Baptisms and Weddings


Baptism in the United Methodist Tradition

     Baptism is an outward sign of an inward truth.  The outward sign of water is a sign of the inward truth of the commitment to Christian faith development on behalf of the one baptized, or in the case of young children, the commitment of the family for Christian faith development with the child.  It is a community event and not a private event.  In United Methodist tradition baptism is a sacrament - a sacred moment - which is done in the midst of a worship service, with very rare exceptions.  Throughout Christian tradition, the waters of baptism symbolize cleansing and new birth.  For some traditions, not ours, the rite of baptism marks the one baptized as special in God's sight and therefore an act between the one baptized and God.  In our tradition, it is a rite of celebration of the already present favor from God, and a commitment to deepen the spiritual journey through full engagement in a community of faith.  We baptize children and adults as a statement of faith and a commitment to engagement in the life of Faith through the church.  We recognize other Christian baptism and do not re-baptize.  Because baptism is lived out in a particular faith community, we baptize only those who are intending to be involved with our church.



     Marriage is a sacred commitment between two people who promise faithfulness to each other in the face of an unknowable future.  It is an ultimate statement of trust, loyalty and love.  It is appropriate to begin a marriage with the blessing of God and the community.


     The role of clergy and the wedding party is that of witness to the vows that the couple make to each other.  The wedding is the exchange of vows.  The marriage is the blessing and work of a lifetime.


Weddings at Sonoma UMC


     Because we view a wedding as a sacred act, any wedding for non-church members requires the permission of our pastor.  If our pastor performs the ceremony the couple will be required to meet with the pastor for at least two sessions before the wedding.  The ceremony will be designed between the couple and the pastor.


     On some occasions we do allow other clergy to use our facility for non-member weddings.  The visiting pastor must be an ordained minister; scheduling must be cleared through the church office; and no alcohol is allowed on the premises.  Facility use fees are due in advance of the service. 


     If you are looking for a wedding in the Sonoma area, we are happy to refer you to local clergy and facilities that may meet your wedding wishes.


     Please contact the church office (707-996-2151) for more information

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