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Baptism and Communion

Upcoming Baptism Dates:

June 22, 6:30pm, Lake Minnetonka, Excelsior
September 7, 12:30pm, Lake Minnewashta

"I remember feeling so tired of doing it all, so tired of worrying about it all, so tired of being all to everyone that I laid my life and my concerns before Jesus and made Him my personal Savior. I finally realized how completely God could be trusted to love me, to give me strength, to hold me close, and to forgive me. I have never walked alone since that day."
Marsha B. (mother of three)

Baptism

At Westwood, we believe that baptism is for everyone who believes in Christ and has chosen to follow Him. Baptism is a time of celebration. In baptism, people express faith in Jesus Christ and publicly acknowledge their commitment to Him.

Symbolism of Baptism

Scripture teaches that baptism is a symbol of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection - that as believers we were buried with Christ and then raised with Him. Thus, baptism symbolizes the passing of our old life and the beginning of our new life as a Christian. Though baptism does not save us in and of itself, it does allow us to demonstrate publicly that we have chosen to follow Christ.

As Jesus Commanded

Baptism is an important expression of faith. Jesus commanded that his followers be baptised in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Baptism demonstrates one’s belief in Christ and a willingness to obey His teachings.

Method of Baptism

The Greek New Testament word for baptism literally means “to dip or immerse.” At Westwood, we follow this example. We believe immersion in water preserves and fulfills this meaning of baptism. It best symbolizes our union with Christ, our spiritual cleansing and forgiveness, and our promised resurrection.

When We Baptize

Westwood holds outdoor baptism services at the beginning and end of summer at area lakes. We also have indoor baptism opportunities during the school year.

Westwood seeks to honor God in all that is done. Two words describe our vision well receiving and giving. We enjoy a life of faith when we openly receive what God wants to give us and when we generously give His love to others.

Baptism Classes

Baptism classes that teach the meaning and significance of believer’s baptism are offered throughout the year for both children and adults. Questions? Call the church office at 952-224-7300.

9 Interesting Things to Know About Baptism

1) You can be baptized at Westwood as soon as you are a believer in Christ.

2) Believer baptism is a public demonstration of faith.

3) Salvation should not be confused with baptism; our salvation is by faith in Christ Jesus.

4) Because believer baptism follows faith, you should consider becoming baptized by immersion (even if you were baptized as an infant) if you have since come to believe in Christ.

5) Adult baptism does not diminish your infant baptism; it is merely another opportunity to proclaim Christ in your faith journey.

6) Believer baptism is not a rejection of your parents’ choice to baptize you as an infant; it is a celebration of your desire to follow Jesus Christ.

7) Families can be baptized together - we encourage it - as long as each family member fully understands the meaning of baptism.

8) Westwood generally permits the baptism of children who are nine years of age (or have completed third grade) because children at this age are able to express their belief and understand their actions.

9) Baptism is not a precondition of membership (fellowship member) at Westwood, but it is strongly encouraged.

Communion

How often do we celebrate the Lord's Supper?

The Bible does not say how often it should be celebrated but the book of Acts indicates that the early church partook of the elements frequently and that the experience typically included a time of teaching, fellowship together and prayer (Acts 2:42). At Westwood we observe communion the first Sunday of the month with the exception of the month of Easter when communion is observed during the Maundy Thursday service.

What does the Bible tell us about the Lord's Supper?

It was instituted by Jesus Christ before His death. “And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.’” -Luke 22:19 (NIV) You can capture the essence of what communion is in one word, “remember.” Jesus is asking us to take the bread and drink from the cup so we won’t forget who He is and what He did for us on the cross. He knew that the pace of life and the challenges we face, as well as life’s heartbreaks, could converge and cause our memory to fade concerning the importance of what Christ has done for us. Our memory fades, so does our worship, and so does our wonder.

It is for believers who are prepared to remember the Lord.

“Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself. “ -1 Corinthians 11:27-29 (NIV) You do not have to be a member of Westwood to participate in communion. You do need to be a follower of Christ walking in right relationship with Him. Each time communion is offered at Westwood an invitation is given for each person to make their relationship right with God before they partake of the bread and the cup. For those who have been away from the Lord for a long time the communion experience can be a welcomed and powerful invitation to come home to God.

It is a time to remember Christ and our new relationship with God through faith in Him. “In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.’”
1 Corinthians 11:25 (NIV)

The Bread and the Cup

Communion includes bread, which represents His body, God coming in the flesh, and the cup, which represents Christ’s blood, shed on the cross for our forgiveness of sin. “Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ?” -1Corinthians 10:16 (NIV)

The bread and the cup are symbols or reminders that picture our salvation. The Lord’s Supper is a picture of His sacrificial death to secure salvation for us. Some church traditions believe the elements literally become the body and blood of Christ. We do not believe the Bible teaches this, but rather that the bread and cup are symbols to help us remember Him.

A covenant means an “arrangement made by one party which the other party involved can accept or reject but cannot alter.” God, the “Arranger” of the new covenant, was offering through His Son a new and better way. We can accept or reject His offer. But we can’t alter it.

It anticipates Christ’s return and we will practice communion until He comes again. “For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” -1 Corinthians 11:26 (NIV)

Can children participate in the communion service?

Children are welcome to participate in communion. Westwood believes that participation in communion is an individual decision. The church doesn’t decide for you or for your children. You determine the readiness of a child to participate. We encourage each parent to spend time with their children and explain the wonder and significance of this service. We suggest the following questions, based on God’s directives, as a guideline for discerning a child’s readiness. 1. Has your child made a personal decision to follow Jesus Christ as his or her Savior and Lord? 2. Have you explained to your child the meaning behind the elements of the communion service? Does your child demonstrate an age appropriate understanding of the symbolism involved in the Communion Service? 3. Has your child requested to participate? If so, do the reasons behind the request reflect a biblical understanding of the Communion Service? Answering “yes” to these questions, indicates a clear understanding of His death and resurrection and a readiness to participate in the Communion Service. If you would like a pastor to assist you in clarifying the meaning of the Lord’s Supper, please call the church office (952.224.7300).


Baptism 
Sun, Sep 7
Sunday, Sep 7, 12:30pm, Lake Minnewashta (Chanhassen)

At Westwood, we believe that baptism is for everyone who believes in Christ and has chosen to follow Him. Baptism is a time of celebration! In baptism, people express faith in Christ and publicly acknowledge their commitment to Him. Baptism symbolizes the believer’s union with Christ, spiritual cleansing and forgiveness, and promised resurrection into eternal life. Westwood celebrates baptism together in community in June and September at area lakes as well as periodic occasions in our Worship Center. Classes are offered prior to the summer and fall baptism services.

INFO: Sabrina Downey, 952.224.7314


Baptism 
Sun, June 22
Sunday, June 22, 6:30pm, Lake Minnetonka (Excelsior)

At Westwood, we believe that baptism is for everyone who believes in Christ and has chosen to follow Him. Baptism is a time of celebration! In baptism, people express faith in Christ and publicly acknowledge their commitment to Him. Baptism symbolizes the believer’s union with Christ, spiritual cleansing and forgiveness, and promised resurrection into eternal life. Westwood celebrates baptism together in community in June and September at area lakes as well as periodic occasions in our Worship Center. Classes are offered prior to the summer and fall baptism services.

INFO: Sabrina Downey, 952.224.7314


Baptism Classes 
June 1 & 8
Baptism Class and Interviews
Baptism is Sunday, June 22, 6:30pm, Lake Minnetonka (Excelsior) or Sunday, Sep 7, 12:30pm, Lake Minnewashta (Chanhassen).

If you desire to be baptized, a class and/or interview is part of the process. The Baptism Class is required for children and students, and optional for adults. Everyone needs to be part of an informal baptism interview with a pastor or Westwood leader prior to baptism.

Register now.

Children (ages 9–grade 5) Baptism Class and Interviews
Class: Sunday, June 1, 8:30am
Interviews: Sunday, June 8, 8:30am

Student (grades 6–12) and Adult Baptism Class and Interviews
Sunday, June 1, 9:45–10:45am

Adult Baptism Interviews
Sunday, June 8, 15 or 22, 9:45 and 11:00am

INFO: Sabrina Downey, 952.224.7314


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