See Below: Baptism, Holy Communion, Confirmation and Reception, Marriage, Death and Burial, Membership, Pastoral Ministry, and Ministry to the Sick
Holy Baptism is full initiation, by water and the Holy Spirit, into Christ's Body, the Church. Holy Baptism is administered within the Eucharist as a part of our Sunday worship. Only in very exceptional circumstances will it be administered apart from such a service. It is very appropriate to baptism adults and children in January on the first Sunday after the Epiphany (also called the Feast of the Baptism of our Lord Jesus Christ), at the Great Easter Vigil, the Day of Pentecost, All Saints' Day, and the Sunday after All Saints' Day.
Each candidate for Holy Baptism is to be sponsored by one or more baptized Christians. Sponsors of adults and older children present their candidates and thereby signify their endorsement of the candidates and their own intention to support them by prayer and by example in their Christian life.
Sponsors of infants, commonly called godparents, present their candidates, make promises in their own names, and take vows on behalf of their candidates. Instruction before baptism is mandatory, and parents seeking baptism for a child are expected to be themselves active members of the parish family. It is fitting that parents should be included among the godparents of their own children, and if desirable, they may be the only sponsors.
Baptized persons who are sixteen years of age or older and who wish to make a mature commitment to the Christian life may be presented to the Bishop at his annual visitation for the Laying-on-of-hands in Confirmation. Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Lutherans, and certain others who have been confirmed by a Bishop in the Apostolic Succession are not re-confirmed, but are to be "received" by the Bishop into this branch of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.
Instruction is offered in preparation for confirmation or reception. An appropriate method of instruction is for new or inquiring persons to take the 10-week Alpha Course which is offered in the fall, winter and summer months (for further information, see "The Alpha Course" on this website). When the Bishop comes, other persons who have been confirmed or received may wish at this time to reaffirm their baptismal vows in the presence of the Bishop. Re-affirmation of our baptismal vows is also a part of the liturgy of the Great Easter Vigil.
All baptized persons who have been admitted to Communion in their own churches, who recognize the real presence of Christ in the Sacrament of the Eucharist, whose conscience permits, and who are duly prepared to make their communion, are invited to receive Holy Communion in our church.
This includes baptized children of any age who have the consent of their parents. We recognize that Holy Baptism is the rite of full membership in Christ’s Church. Communion may be received either standing or kneeling, by sharing the common cup or by dipping the host into the cup (called "intinction." Intinction should be practiced by all person's who have a cold or the flu).
By Canon Regulation, the Rector requires a 30-day notice before the ceremony. Christian marriage is a solemn and public covenant between a man and a woman in the presence of God. When a couple asks to be married in the Church, they are inviting the Church to be a partner in their marriage. Therefore, as a church family, it is our intention to promote loving, caring, mutual, life-long, and spiritually healthy marriages. A wedding is for a day, but a marriage is for a lifetime. We require that at least one of the persons is a baptized Christian and the ceremony be attested by at least two witnesses. The marriage also must conform to the laws of the State of Wisconsin. Christian marriage is a service of the whole Christian community, and is not simply a private rite. Therefore, it is expected that those desiring Christian marriage are, or intend to be, a participating member of this parish. The Rector should be consulted early on before any arrangements are made. Counseling in the nature of Christian marriage and the responsibilities of the vows that are made is required before the ceremony. [It is expected that the Rector will meet with the engaged couple at least four times before the marriage -- normally, a four-month preparatory period is expected. During this time, the couple will be required to complete a pre-marital inventory (such as FOCCUS or PREPARE), make a commitment to meet again at one and two-years of marriage, and enter into a relationship with a trained and experienced mentor couple from the parish.
All arrangements must be discussed with the Rector in advance, including such matters as form of service, flowers, music, and photography. A rehearsal is required. The parish hall, with proper advance notice, is available for receptions. The Vestry has determined that the parish hall shall be both smoke and alcohol-free. A fee or deposit may be required.
If either party has received a civil divorce and the former spouse is still living, the consent of the Bishop must be obtained before Christian marriage can be solemnized. A period of at least 90 days is necessary in order to process this request of the Bishop which requires the divorced person(s) to reflect on the reasons for the failure of his/her former marriage and attest that he/she is properly caring for and supporting the children of that marriage.
When a member of the Parish is in danger of death, the Rector should be notified at once, regardless of the hour, so that the dying person may have the benefit of the ministry of the Church, and that those who mourn may have the help and strength of the Church's consolation in this difficult time.
The funeral rites, in the Book of Common Prayer is called the Burial of the Dead, it is a celebration of the life of the one who has died, as well as an expression of support for those loved ones who are still living. This liturgy is also a celebration of the departed person's new life in Christ. For this reason, the service should be held in the church, and the Holy Eucharist is properly celebrated at the Burial of the Dead. The casket is always closed, and covered with a Pall or National Flag. The Rector is available to help in arrangements with the funeral director, and he should be consulted.
The Episcopal Church does not object to cremation and the donation of organs for transplant or for scientific purposes is encouraged. Memorials, to the Church or some other worthy cause, instead of flowers, are encouraged. Only a minimum amount of flowers is used at the service.
[NOTE: The Book of Common Prayer (p. 445) encourages all persons to execute a proper will and members of the parish are encouraged to file with their physician and the Rector, a power of attorney for medical care. The Rector should also be informed of each member’s burial plans.]
Before people can make funeral plans they need to know all the options, costs, and legal requirements. For many people, a funeral is one of the largest expenses they will face. Today, funerals often cost $5,000 or more. Unfortunately, these decisions are often made at a time when grief and bereavement cloud judgement -- when people are most vulnerable. Therefore, the Rector is available to discuss alternatives, be with you when you make decisions at the funeral home, and/or meet with you before you have to make these decisions.
One such alternative is membership in a memorial society. Memorial societies offer simple, dignified and affordable funerals. Their members rarely spend more than $1,000 for burial services -- either cremation or in-ground burials. All members of the parish are members of the Wisconsin Memorial Society. You may contact them directly for further information at (800) 374-1109 or visit their website at: http://www.memorialsocietywi.org
All persons who have received the sacrament of Holy Baptism with water in the name of the Triune God, and whose Baptisms have been duly recorded in the Episcopal Church, are members of it. Those who were baptized, confirmed, or received in another Episcopal parish may request that their membership be transferred to this parish. To be listed as a member here, persons baptized in another Christian communion must first speak to the Rector and be received into parish membership during Sunday worship. Persons who for the previous year have been faithful in corporate worship and who have been faithful in working, praying and giving for the spread of the Kingdom of God are considered members in good standing and are able to participate in parish decision-making.
The Rector is available for pastoral ministry and for short-term counseling. Please call the church to make an appointment to speak with the Rector, or to ask questions about the Church.
The Rector desires to be notified in all cases of serious illness, and whenever someone is entering the hospital. The Sacrament of Holy Unction, anointing with oil and Laying-on-of-hands, is a healing sacrament and is appropriate before an operation or at any time of illness. The Rector is on call to assist with the Church's healing ministry. Upon request, Communion may be brought to persons in the hospital or to those who are ill at home. The Rector and our pastoral ministry team is glad to perform this ministry. The Rector desires to be kept informed of any illness--by the one who is ill, by friends, or by relatives.
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