After a child has been baptized as an infant, they are encouraged to attend Sunday School, Kids on a Mission, Vacation Bible School, summer camp, youth group, and all of the Christian Education opportunities offered at Lakewood UMC. Baptism is the beginning of the faith journey, but faith needs to be encouraged and nurtured.
When the young person is in sixth grade, or about 11 or 12 years old, they are eligible to become professing members of the church. The pastor offers confirmation classes when there are several young people who express an interest in deepening their faith, and becoming professing members of the church.
These classes are offered at different times of the year, depending on the number of youth interested, and the pastor’sschedule. Any parent, or youth, wanting more information about joining the church as a professing member are encouraged to speak to the pastor.
After the birth of a child, many persons seek out a church to have their baby baptized. Not all Christian churches baptize infants, but the United Methodist Church does. Why baptize babies? Well, let this paragraph from our brochure on “A United Methodist Understanding of Baptism” explain:
“From the earliest times children and infants were baptized and included in the Church. Some recite Jesus’ words, “Let the children come to me, for such is the Kingdom of God,” as a scriptural authority for this ancient tradition.
However, a more consistent argument is that baptism, as a means of grace, signifies God’s initiative in the process of salvation. John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist Movement, preached “prevenient grace,” the grace of God that works in our lives before we are aware of it, bringing us to faith.
The baptism of children and their inclusion in the Church before they can respond with their own confirmation of faith is a vivid and compelling witness to prevenient grace.”
It is important that the child’s parents have an active faith in Jesus Christ. While it is not required to belong to Lakewood UMC to have a child baptized at our church, it is recommended that parents become active in the life of the church. Why? So that he or she can grow up in a community of faith, and learn what it means to be a follower of Jesus.
It is the parents’ responsibility after baptism to raise their child in the Christian faith, so that when the child is older he or she can come to their own decision to be confirmed in the Christian faith. Being a part of a faith community will help the parents to teach their child about the Christian faith, and will help to nurture that child in the Christian faith.
Therefore, parents, or anyone seeking the sacrament of baptism, should call the pastor at the church office (833.4131) to schedule an appointment to talk about baptism and schedule a time for the sacrament to be performed. The pastor does not do private ceremonies. The ceremony will take place in the context of a Sunday morning worship service. The child or adult is baptized into the community of faith. Therefore, he or she needs to be surrounded by the Christians who will pledge to love and support them so that he or she can grow to Christian maturity.
From Birth to Passing, there are Life Connections in the United Methodist Church. We believe that these connections are the foundation for lifelong growing towards a mature and vital faith.
Whenever a parishioner goes into the hospital, either the pastor or the Lay Visitor, Suzie Rosendahl, will go to visit the person. This is an important part of the ministry of Lakewood UMC. However, we do not always know when a person has been admitted. So, when you or a loved one is admitted to the hospital, if you would kindly notify the church office then one of the church staff will be sure to visit.
When you are admitted to St. Vincent’s or Hamot Hospital, they will ask you upon intake if you have a church affiliation. If you tell them that you are a member of Lakewood UMC your name will be added to our list at the hospital. When we call each of those hospitals (Monday through Friday) they tell us which of our parishioners are in the hospital.
However, to ensure that the church knows about your admission, it is always wise to call the church office yourself, or have a family member call to tell us you have been admitted. Prayer is a powerful tool in our physical, emotional and spiritual recovery. We would like the opportunity to share that ministry with you while you are in the hospital.
Information will be coming soon.
At the time of death, it is often a stressful time when many decisions are needed to be made. To help you in your preparations these words may be helpful to you. The pastor is available to do funerals for both church members and non-church members, as the pastor’s schedule allows. Church members obviously are a higher priority.
Usually the family meets with the funeral director to make their arrangements, and then the funeral director calls the pastor to set the time and place of the funeral. Occasionally changes need to be made to accommodate the pastor’s busy schedule, but generally the pastor makes the time to do the funeral at the family’s convenience.
Funerals may be conducted at the funeral home or at the church. If the church is desired for the funeral, please contact the pastor as soon as possible so that all necessary arrangements can be made, including the organist. The board of Trustees has set the fees as $100 for the pastor, and $75 for the organist for church funerals. Generally these fees are handled by the funeral director.
Following the funeral, some families request a funeral luncheon. Several persons in the church are involved in this ministry of setting up tables and chairs, preparing and serving food, and cleaning up afterwards.
This group has not set a fee for their services, but a free will offering is gratefully received to help defray their costs. If this service is desired, please notify the pastor as soon as possible so that the pastor can inform the group and they can have plenty of time to prepare.
Memorial Gifts and Endowment Policy:
After the death of a parishioner or loved one, memorial gifts are often given to the church in that person’s memory. The church has a policy and procedures that it follows to receive, account for and utilize such gifts. All gifts are gratefully received, and acknowledgements to both giver and designated family member should be made soon after the gift is given. Memorial Gifts
New Member Orientation Classes:
Persons who have attended Lakewood United Methodist Church for a period of time may express an interest in becoming a member of the Church. Simply speak to the pastor and express an interest and the pastor will schedule a new member class to help those persons prepare for church membership and becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ.
There are several ways to become a professing member of a local United Methodist Church. A person who has not been baptized would join by baptism and profession of faith. A person who already belongs to a United Methodist Church may transfer their membership to Lakewood. A person who belongs to one of several denominations may also transfer their letter of membership.
Other churches do not have that type of reciprocal membership. Therefore, a person who had been baptized in that tradition would join our church by profession of faith, but they would not need to be re-baptized.
In any case, a person who has attended Lakewood and feels a desire to deepen that relationship with the church may speak to the pastor about church membership. Per the pastor’s schedule, new membership orientation classes are then scheduled.
Lakewood is a growing a vital congregation. We would eagerly look forward to having the opportunity to talk to you about becoming a professing member of our congregation. And welcome to the family!
3856 West Tenth Street
Erie, PA 16505
Pastor Robert Lewis