Expressing God’s Love, Engaging in God’s Justice

The elevation of the communion table and baptismal font accents how God’s Word is revealed through the sacraments. Let us consider some background for these renovations. Among the theological documents that came before the 217th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) was a pastoral letter that stressed how sacraments are God-given means of grace that can “strengthen the church’s ministries of evangelism and hospitality…[and]bring into clear focus the gospel’s call to ministries of compassion and justice.”

Several of the practices the letter recommends are relevant to the renovations of the sanctuary at New York Avenue. The letter suggests setting the baptismal font in full view of the congregation, opening the font and filling it with water on every Lord’s Day. The intention behind these sacramental practices is to remind us every Sunday of the sacred story that is conveyed in baptism and communion.


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