About us

Scroll down for information about Sunday Services, Our Team, Weddings and More, and Baptisms, Christening & Dedications..

SUNDAY SERVICES

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We meet every Sunday morning at 11:00am.
Currently our Senior Pastor Michael leads the praise and worship with his guitar, helped by Ken on the keyboard on occasions, and we enjoy many contemporary songs as well as hymns. 

We prefer a very relaxed style where participation from the congregation is encouraged. However, loud heckling, throwing solid objects at the Preacher and talking on mobile phones is not considered "participation"!  Only joking of course ...... or am I?

We regularly share Communion and consider this  important. When we do you are welcome to receive the bread and wine if you believe that Jesus Christ is your Lord and Saviour.

We always enjoy a time of fellowship after the service, and often go to a local restaurant for lunch together. Everyone who attends the service is welcome to come along.

There are always opportunities for those needing prayer or counsel. You only need to ask, and it isn´t  necessary to be a member of the church.


OUR TEAM

pastor
Rev. Michael Adams

I am an ordained minister, although I come from a free church evangelical background. I have a degree in theology and I delight to spend my time in the Word.

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Co-Pastor Lynette

Lyn is my right hand, my encouragement, and my great helper. She has many gifts and is a great blessing to the church.

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The both of us!

As things are today we run the church together. Previously we have had a leadership team but at the moment we are on our own. If you want to know how and why we came to Spain in the first place then click here.


WEDDINGS & MORE

weddingPastor Michael is an Ordained Minister in the Episcopal tradition and has conducted a number of weddings services, adult baptisms, and funerals. 

For more information about how weddings are conducted here in Spain please feel free to contact us by telephone or email. But for now......

Normally, unless you are both a Roman Catholic and a resident in Spain you cannot get married in a church service by a minister. The Spanish "registrars" will not come out of the town hall into expatriate churches. The rules are always changing, and they vary from Province to Province but most people either come to Spain and get the legalities covered in Gibraltar and then ask for a wedding blessing, or if you are 'residents' the local town hall will do the honours. We were allowed in 2009 to conduct the 'blessing' in the Benissa Town Hall immediately after the legalities (which was a big 'first'!) and it all flowed along beautifully.  You can always get married in a registry office in the UK and have the blessing in Spain of course.

For the wedding blessing most people, for the sake of family and friends who haven't either been able to attend the Town Hall or go to Gibraltar, the service is conducted as a full normal ceremony. Please feel free to contact us for more details. 

Baptisms and Christenings are a little more controversial than weddings. However we are open about what we believe and practise and you will find that below.



BAPTISM, CHRISTENING & DEDICATION

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When I was asked some time ago to conduct our first full baptismal service here in Spain it prompted me to look again at Scripture and what other branches of our one (!) Church believed and were doing. I know that there is a lot of controversy about some of this, and I certainly dont claim to have any definitive answers or special revelation. Have a look at this then below, and see what you make of it. I have tried to be fair and open minded, whilst being true to what I personally believe.

Water Baptism - a short study for those considering partaking in it.

1. What about all the controversy and differences of opinion between those who Christen, those who baptise, those who sprinkle and those who immerse?

Carefully consider this quote from C.S. Lewis - from his book called Mere Christianity;

It [essential Christianity] is more like a hall out of which doors open into several rooms. If I can bring anyone into that hall I shall have done what I attempted. But it is in the rooms, not in the hall, that there are fires and chairs and meals....even in the hall, you must begin trying to obey the rules which are common to the whole house. And above all you must be asking which door is the true one; not which pleases you best by its paint and panelling. In plain language, the question should never be: Do I like that kind of service? but Are these doctrines true: Is holiness here? Does my conscience move me towards this? Is my reluctance to knock at this door due to my pride, or my mere taste, or my personal dislike of this particular doorkeeper? When you have reached your own room, be kind to those who have chosen different doors and to those who are still in the hall. If they are wrong they need your prayers all the more; and if they are your enemies, then you are under orders to pray for them. That is one of the rules common to the whole house.

2. Why do I have to do anything anyway - I'm already saved arent I?

Consider the link between the sign and the reality; The 1Westminster Confession (27:2) says, There is, in every sacrament, a spiritual relation, or sacramental union, between the sign and the thing signified: whence it comes to pass, that the names and effects of the one are attributed to the other.

GENESIS 17:7-11 I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. The whole land of Canaan, where you are now an alien, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God. Then God said to Abraham, "As for you, you must keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you for the generations to come. This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised. You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you. It both is the covenant and the sign!" (about Circumcision)

MATTHEW 26:27,28 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take and eat; this is my body". Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins." Jesus didn't say this is like my body - He said it is my body….

3. So where do we get the word from, and what does it actually mean? A look at the Greek text of the New Testament will shed some light on the subject. The Greek word baptizo means to wash (by immersion) and rhantizo means to sprinkle. This word is simply transliterated (i.e. not translated). The mandate given to His disciples by the Jesus in Matthew 28:19 therefore, is to go and 'wash by immersion' (baptise) all the nations. It is obvious from Scripture that the Messiah Himself was immersed by John the Baptist!

4. So what is Christening? The word "christen" comes from English culture and isnt really definitive in the modern day. It obviously derives from the word Christ, and means to bring to Christ. It is usually used about infants rather than adults. There are basically three sorts of Christening services:

  • A Service of Blessing, which is based what Jesus did when children were brought to him: Mark 10:13-16 records that he took the children in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them. This is about receiving Gods unconditional love.

  • A Service of Dedication, which is about the parents making promises about the upbringing of their children.

  • A Service of 2Infant Baptism, which declares the child to be a follower of Jesus Christ.  
  • To some extent the different emphases above overlap in most cases, and an atmosphere of thanksgiving to the childs birth and life is common to all three. 

     5. So what exactly is the main point of Baptism?
    Its quite difficult to give a concise definition of baptism.  This statement and the notes (hover over the highlighted words) try to offer a relatively short theological explanation;

    Baptism is being immersed in ideally the person being baptised should go down into the water (Acts 8:38) and be submerged in it. It is however sometimes acceptable that people are baptised by affusion in which water is poured on the candidate instead. Remember it may be impossible for the person to be immersed through ill health, disability, or the simple lack of deep enough water! water in the name of the Trinity The words I baptise you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19 Great Commission again) would normally be used in a Service of baptism, but some people are baptised in the name of Jesus (Acts 19:5 Paul baptising at Corinth) for repentance, in this context the word means turning back to God, but also implies turning away from a sinful lifestyle, and making a decision to think differently, and was a key part of Jesus message (Matthew 4:17 Jesus first gospel preach immediately after the temptation in the desert!).
    and faith the Bible's word means both belief and trust. Belief is agreeing to facts, and trust is putting ones personal security into someones hands. In the Bible baptism is always linked with faith in Jesus. It denotes both assenting to the facts about Jesus life, death and resurrection, and also committing oneself to following him in a personal relationship. in Jesus, denoting entry in the New Testament it seems baptism was the way people became followers of Jesus, but the question of whether baptism makes you a Christian was not tackled in those days when baptism always accompanied a personal response. into the Christian Jesus disciples (followers) were soon nicknamed Christians (Acts 11:26), and this word describes all those who believe in Jesus as God's Son, our Saviour, Redeemer and the Messiah, in the fullness of the way in which the New Testament explains Him to be. (Read the whole N.T.!) Church. the universal community of those who actively, obediently and willingly follow Jesus through faith in Him, and by His Holy Spirit's empowerment, having received the Gospels message. Ephesians 1:22-23 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fulness of him who fills everything in every way.

    6. Who was baptised back in Bible times?

    The Acts of the Apostles gives the impression that wherever and whenever the gospel was proclaimed, those who believed were baptised immediately. Of course, this raises the long debated question of whether infants (those too young to express their belief) were baptised. There are four household baptism recorded in the New Testament (Acts 10:48, 16:15, 16:33, 18:8), and some argue that there must have been infants in at least some of these. Others argue that any infants cant have been baptised since baptism denotes having faith, which the infants wouldnt have been able to profess.  

    The text of the book of Acts doesnt tell us definitively either way, and there is no definite historical evidence about infant baptism dating before 3AD 200.

     7. What does baptism actually do? 

    There are generally four overall views of the effect of someone being baptised:

    a) Nothing.
    Christians need not bother with the physical sign of baptism if they experience the spiritual grace. Holy Spirit baptism is thought of as the fulfilment of the ceremony of water baptism. (This view is often taken by churches which do not practice sacraments, such as the Quakers and Salvation Army).

    b) It is an expression of obedience to Jesus, and as such is desirable but not essential:
    It is thought of only as a sign which symbolises an underlying reality but has no actual effect. This view is called Zwinglian (after a man called Zwingli 1484 1531) or Baptist (but many Baptist theologians are closer to the 5Reformed view). One of the main points of baptism on this view is that it is a witness to others of ones personal decision to follow Christ.

    c) It actually makes someone a Christian
    This is a Roman Catholic or ex opere operato view. These Latin words mean it works by virtue of having been performed correctly.

    But this fourth view would be that of The King's Church;

    d)
    It is a 8Sacrament; a sign and a seal, effecting what it signifies in the context of faith. This is the Reformed or Covenant view, held by the Church of England (in the 439 Articles of Religion) and the 1Presbyterian Westminster Confession. In the context of faith means that the New Testaments language of 6efficacy …..

    Romans 6:4,5
    We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.

    1 Peter 3:21
    ….. and this water symbolises baptism that now saves you also  not the removal of dirt from the body but the pledge of a good conscience towards God. It saves you by the resurrection of Jesus Christ …..

      …………is correctly applied to those who trust in Jesus for themselves. It works if we have a genuine faith in Jesus.

     8.  What does the Bible say about it then?

     Which scriptures should you start with? 

     There are both the allusion to Jesus death in Luke 12:50……
     But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am until it is completed!

     ….and baptisms place in the Great Commission in Matthew 29:19 for you to consider.

     From the following eight instances of baptism in the Acts of the Apostles (2:38, 8:12, 8:36, 9:18, 10:47, 16:15, 16:33, 18:8 and 19:5) can be seen these five characteristics of Christian baptism similar to the explanation at main point 5. above:

    •           it is usually in the name of Jesus Christ, implying allegiance to him,
    •           it is closely linked to preaching the gospel and making disciples,
    •           it involves repentance and faith and leads to sins forgiven,
    •           it usually includes the gift of the Holy Spirit,
    •           it usually implies incorporation into the church.

      (Note of course that not all of these five are present every time.)

     Mark 16:16
    Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

     And 1 Peter 3:17-22
    (see above)                                       both talk about salvation

     Hebrews 10:22
    …let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.                                         referring to washing

     Ephesians 4:46
    There is one body and one Spirit just as you were called to one hope when you were called one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.                         which talks about only one Baptism

     Galatians 3:26, 27
    You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptised into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

                                                                    being baptised into Christ

    and Colossians 2:11, 12
    In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ,

                                                                    which parallels baptism with Old Testament circumcision

     
    We can conclude that contemporary baptismal practices are a development of the apostolic baptism of the New Testament, but that almost all of our presentday practices differ from the New Testament pattern.  In the New Testament it seems that baptism was administered to any person desiring to become a Christian at any place and at any time.  By contrast, most denominations have delayed baptism, reserved it to special times, places and ministers, and given it a structure and planning which is remarkably lacking in the New Testament.

     
    Footnotes:


    1Confession of faith of English speaking Presbyterians, representing a theological consensus of international Calvinism. Produced by the Westminster Assembly, it was completed in 1646 and approved by Parliament in 1648. When the monarchy was restored in 1660, the episcopal form of church government was reinstated and the Confession lost official status in England, but it had already been adopted by the Church of Scotland (1647) and various other churches. Consisting of 33 chapters, it states that the sole doctrinal authority is scripture, restates the doctrines of the Holy Trinity and Jesus, and gives reformed views of the sacraments, the ministry, and grace.

    2Does christening make a child a Christian?  No, because it is up to the child to decide whether or not to follow Jesus Christ, and no church service has the power to force a child to make a particular choice.  The best way of ensuring that a child does become a follower of Jesus is for them to attend church regularly as a family, so that they can all grow as part of the community which follows Jesus. 

    3The question of the early churchs practice was debated by Jeremias and Aland who came to opposite conclusions: Jeremias maintaining that the early church did baptise infants and Aland that it did not.  Although this seems an impasse, what did emerge was the large body of information on which they agreed, and which is now generally held as a consensus view.  These areas are: lack of conclusive evidence before AD 200, existence of various practices after AD 200, a developing sacramental theology, the catechumenate in the third century, and emergency baptism administered to catechumens and unbaptised children who were in danger of death.  From these we can come to a tentative view on the developments and variations in the baptismal practices of the early church.

    4The ThirtyNine Articles of Religion were established by Convocation of the Church in 1563, under the direction of Matthew Parker, then the archbishop of Canterbury, which pulled back from some of the more extreme Calvinist thinking and created the peculiar English reformed doctrine. The articles, finalized in 1571, were to have a lasting effect on religion in the United Kingdom and elsewhere through their incorporation into and propagation through the Book of Common Prayer.

    5The Protestant Reformation was a reform movement in Europe that began in 1517, though its roots lay further back in time. It began with Martin Luther. The movement began as an attempt to reform the Catholic Church. Many western Catholics were troubled by what they saw as false doctrines and malpractices within the Church. On October 31, 1517, in Saxony (in what is now Germany), Martin Luther nailed his NinetyFive Theses to the door of the Wittenberg Castle Church, which served as a notice board for universityrelated announcements. These were points for debate that criticized the Church and the Pope. Other radicals, such as Ulrich Zwingli and John Calvin, soon followed Luthers lead. Church beliefs and practices under attack by Protestant reformers included Purgatory, particular judgment, devotion to Mary (Mariology), the intercession of and devotion to the saints, most of the sacraments, the mandatory celibacy requirement of its clergy (including monasticism), and the authority of the Pope.

    The process of reform had decidedly different causes and effects in England, where it gave rise to Anglicanism. There the period became known as the English Reformation. (Abridged Wiki definition)

    6Efficacy  the power or capacity to produce a desired effect; effectiveness.
    [From the Latin efficācia, from efficāx, efficāc, efficacious.]


    7The Greek term εκκλησία — ekklesia, which literally means a gathering or selection i.e. eklectic in English or called out assembly, was a governmental and political term, used to denote a national assembly, congregation, council of common objective or a crowd of people who were assembled.

    8Sacrament - a Christian rite (like the Eucharist) that has been ordained by Christ and that is held to be a means of divine grace, and a sign or symbol of a spiritual reality.

    The Westminster Confession (see 1 above) reads Sacraments are holy signs and seals of the covenant of grace, immediately instituted by God, to represent Christ, and his benefits; and to confirm our interest in him: as also, to put a visible difference between those that belong unto the church, and the rest of the world; and solemnly to engage them to the service of God in Christ, according to his Word.

    (Some sections include material adapted from an article by John Hartley, modified Wiki texts, and other material from the internet.)