Baptism and Blessings
God loves all children unconditionally. Jesus showed this love by reaching out to children and blessing them. In the Lochside Churches we seek to share the love God has for all children with the children of our parish. In Christian baptism your child is welcomed into the family of the Church. The Church seeks to love and follow God the Father, by following the example of Jesus Christ, through the Holy Spirit. And so in the service we use these important words. “I baptise you in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.”
• in the name of the Father ¬ the Creator. Life is a gift of God and in God there is purpose and love;
• and of the Son – in Jesus of Nazareth we learn what it means to be truly human. In Jesus, we see a love which affirms all human life, enjoys the diversity of human life and calls us all to share sensitively and generously with those who face major challenges;
• and of the Holy Spirit – all of life should be filled with the Holy Spirit: by the spirit of reconciliation and peace, the spirit of confidence, the spirit of the Christian community, the Spirit of Jesus.
Baptism takes place during normal Sunday worship.
Who can be baptised? – Baptism is offered to all people who can make a personal commitment to God and to the children of Christian parents. God loves us all, children, parents, grandparents – without condition, without exception. Baptism is an expression of this love and God’s forgiveness. In baptism we respond to God’s love and parents promise to bring their children up in the Christian faith. The members of the Church in which your children are baptised will promise to help parents to do this. To find out more, please contact the minister.
A Service of Blessing
Some parents prefer a Service of Blessing. The minster will also be happy to discuss this with you. In this service, we will join with you to celebrate your child’s uniqueness, symbolised by using their own name. We will stress the importance of family ties and we will include a special prayer for you and your baby. We also have an opportunity to thank God for the gift of new life, and for the safe arrival of your child.
Again, a service of blessing will take place during normal Sunday worship.
A wedding is such an important day in your life together. It marks your deepening commitment to one another and your desire to live together in Christian marriage. Those of us who are already married know that marriage brings us great joy and deep love. We also know we need God’s help to keep our marriages strong. If you live in the parishes of Craigrownie, Garelochhead or Rosneath St Modan’s, or have a connection with any of our Churches, please contact Rev Christine for more details. Weddings can be conducted on any day of the week. It is worth booking well in advance for at certain times of the year there can be a great demand upon our ministers’ time. Weddings need to be given much thought and we will seek to guide you through the legal, practical and worship aspects of the day. As a marriage has legal standing you will need to make separate contact with the Registrar’s Office to obtain a Marriage Schedule.
Christian marriage seeks to affirm the worth of you as individuals and as a couple. Words of love and commitment will fill the service. We hope our services are joyous occasions. We are more than happy to help you plan your own personalised service, perhaps by including friends and musicians.
As we are parish churches our ministers are always there to be with people through the time of bereavement. Their availability is not dependent upon whether your family has a church affiliation or not.
Death marks the close of an earthly life, and the funeral is an opportunity for friends and family to gather together to share their memories and all the complex feelings that attend the death of someone who has been a central part of their lives. The practical arrangements for a funeral are made in conjunction with the Funeral Director. You may wish to have the funeral in the church, followed by a burial or service at the crematorium. Or, if appropriate to your circumstances a burial or service at the crematorium, followed by a service of thanksgiving in a Church. Some families have one service at the crematorium. Whatever you decide, during the service the minister will bring the person to mind in the way you would wish, all the while reminding us all of the deep love of God that stays with us even through death. The Church of Scotland makes no charge for the service of a minister. Any other fees, such as for the church officer and organist, are paid a fee directly through the funeral director. Children usually handle funeral services well and are welcome to attend with a known and trusted adult. There is nothing that would scare them, and they too have feelings which need an opportunity to be expressed.
After a bereavement, our ministers are here afterwards to support, comfort and link together both grief and hope. A minister will arrange to visit you soon after the funeral if you live in the area. The ministers and the church community continue to be concerned for you in the days, weeks and months or years following your bereavement. If your experience of bereavement has raised any questions of faith, or if you need ongoing support, please do not hesitate to contact one of the ministers at any time.
There may well be other times when you would appreciate a visit from one of our minsters, such as when you are in hospital. Please do contact us. You will also be welcome to draw strength from worship at any of our Churches.