St. John’s warmly welcomes all who desire to join the community of those committing themselves to the way of Jesus to receive the sacrament of baptism.
Holy Baptism is the rite of initiation into the Christian community, and is one of the two rites universally upheld within the Christian tradition as sacraments (the other being Eucharist). As an Episcopal church, St. John’s baptizes infants, children, and adults. Baptism is normally observed in the context of the principal Sunday liturgy. Traditionally, the Christian church has baptized candidates at Easter, the Day of Pentecost (usually May or early June), All Saints’ Day (November), and the Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord (early January). St. John’s offers a few other dates in addition to these, generally on the “Family Liturgy” first-of-the-month Sundays.
“My baptism at St. John’s in early January 2012 was a truly uplifting and memorable experience for me. It is not so easy to put into words. I am grateful to Tom and Chase for their heartfelt participation and graceful handling of the day, and blessed to have been able to share the experience with my beautiful wife and daughters, Amy, Emily and Annie, and many friends . . . What I’ve found touching is how many parishioners have commented to me on the uplifting spirit of the event, and several observed that each baptism they witness is an opportunity for renewal in their own lives.” [Read more . . . ] – Sanjiv Jaswal
When infant baptism became normative in the Christian church, confirmation was seen as a way for adolescents and adults to publicly reaffirm the vows made on their behalf as children. At St. John’s, the curate teaches confirmation classes for our youth, beginning at the end of eighth grade and culminating at the end of ninth grade. For adults who seek to be confirmed or received (the term for those who come to us from denominations that also practice confirmation), the rector will either hold classes or engage in one-on-one discussions. Confirmation and reception are held once a year at St. John’s, when a bishop of the Diocese of New York makes her or his annual visitation (generally in early to mid-spring).
In the Christian church, marriage is a lifelong covenant between two people, made in the presence of God and the church, to love and care for one another. St. John’s warmly invites all couples contemplating marriage to speak to the clergy. The Episcopal Church requires that at least one party be a baptized Christian and that couples engage in premarital counseling with the clergy. St. John’s and the Diocese of New York offer marriage for both heterosexual and same-sex couples.
In the Christian church, a funeral is an occasion to celebrate the Resurrection as well as the life of the deceased. Sadness is a natural human emotion, but the service of burial is intended to speak to the Christian hope that we are held in the heart of God in life and death. Any St. John’s parishioner may have her or his service of burial at the church. Those not formally affiliated with St. John’s may speak to the clergy about holding a funeral or memorial service at the church.