INTRODUCTION: Marriage in the church is a religious ceremony, therefore, all elements of the service have religious significance. Your wedding will mean more to you, your families and friends when there is careful concern given for all the reverential aspects of this holy occasion.

In order that you may have a sacred and dignified wedding ceremony you are urged to make thorough preparations, addressing your spiritual life as well as the details of logistical matters. The pastor and staff of the church wish to extend every possible assistance to you, toward the end that your wedding in the church will be a memorable and blessed event in every detail.

Careful judgments have been made in preparation of the church's wedding policy. These have been adopted by the church as the official policy and suggested guidelines relating to rehearsals, wedding ceremonies, wedding receptions, and building use. You are urged to read the following material carefully and to cooperate fully with the church in upholding the high standards which the church desires.

REQUIREMENTS: Because this is a Christian church, all of the weddings taking place here are to be glorifying to God and in accordance with Scripture.

We do not require that you be a member of this church in order to have your wedding here. However, membership/affiliation with some Christian congregation is considered to be one witness to your personal faith commitment to Christ

Premarital counseling with the pastor is a requirement well in advance of your wedding date, you will need to arrange time for a series of counseling sessions. They are usually three in number (lasting 1 to 2 hours each) with time in between for additional reading and ceremony preparation. A couple should allow a time frame of about three to six months for these sessions to occur.

The pastor, as the official representative of this church, has the right and authority to refuse to marry any couple. If after agreeing to perform a wedding ceremony, the pastor discovers sufficient reason to warrant refusal, refusal may be made, even at the last moment.

If you are divorced, you need to understand divorce is not God's intention for the marriage bond. However, divorce isn't an unforgivable sin. Scripture allows for divorce under certain conditions. We invite you to discuss the matter of your divorce with the pastor. You must produce documented proof of your final divorce decree.


SCHEDULING: Never plan the details of timing for your wedding ceremony without first scheduling the date and time with the pastor. The pastor will cooperate with timing as best as he can, but you have to recognize there are rare times when the pastor just can not be available, no matter what your circumstances may be.

Permission to use the church facilities for a wedding should be secured from the Pastor and Church Secretary at least two months in advance. Call the church office and you will be put in touch with the right persons. The church prefers that weddings not be scheduled on Sundays or major holidays. Only the most extenuating circumstances would be considered for exception.

Evening weddings should be scheduled to begin no later than 8:00p.m. All weddings require there be a rehearsal of the ceremony. The pastor alone will be the person to determine if there would ever be an exception to this requirement. Rehearsals are normally scheduled for the evening on the day preceding the wedding ceremony. Any changes from this time must be agreeable to both the church and the officiating pastor.

All receptions conducted at the church facility are to be conducted by 10:00 p.m. Alternate arrangements must be agreed upon in advance. Additional fees may apply.

OFFICIATING: The pastoral staff of the church will officiate at all weddings. If a couple desires to have another minister conduct the ceremony, or to participate with the church's pastor, that request is to be known to the pastor at the time of requesting the marriage ceremony. Pastoral protocol requires that this church's pastor write an invitation of participation to all outside officiating clergy.

The officiating pastor will conduct all rehearsals and explain all procedures for the wedding ceremony.

The Marriage License must be in the pastor's possession before the ceremony and should be given to him one week prior to the date of the rehearsal, along with all donations and fees.

MUSIC: If music is to be a part of your wedding ceremony, it is to be in keeping with the reverence observed in the House of the Lord. As Christians, we are concerned that music be meaningful and worshipful to all who share in the experience of a wedding ceremony. Couples are responsible for arranging their own instrumentalists, organist, or vocalists. The church organist may be asked to do the task, but is free to refuse if there is good reason to do so. The church piano and organ are available for use (we assume only qualified musicians will use these instruments).

REHEARSALS: Rehearsals will begin promptly at the time scheduled. Delay in beginning on time consumes the time of the pastor, the organist and everyone scheduled to participate. The bride and groom are responsible for insisting that members of the wedding party be prompt for the rehearsal and the wedding. The following guidelines will help to prepare for a rehearsal:

· The pastor is in charge of the rehearsal and the wedding ceremony. If a couple has secured the service of a wedding consultant it is their responsibility to inform the consultant that the pastor has full and complete control and responsibility.

· If parents are to be part of the wedding ceremony, they should be at the rehearsal.

· All of the groom's party and the bride's party should be at the rehearsal.

LICENSE AND FEES

FEES: No fees will be charged to church members for facility use. The same will apply to "regular attending/participating in-the-life-of-the-church-people". For relatives of these same mentioned groups, and other non-members, there will be a fee of:

$100.00 for use of the Sanctuary

$150.00 for use of the Fellowship Hall (four hour max., $50.00 each additional hour plus

 custodial fees.)

$175.00 Pastor’s fee

$100.00 Organist

$ 45.00 Custodian (up to four hours. $15.00 additional after 4 hours.)

Since the church contract with the custodian and the music staff do not include services for weddings, the couple will be responsible for their fees separately.

The pastor gratefully accepts all honoraria offered. It is to be fully understood, however, that all members and "regular attending/participating people" are not required to offer honoraria. They are already paying the salary of the pastor and weddings are part of his pastoral duties. The pastor does, however, reserve the right to request a reasonable fee (set by him) of all outside people.

  The Marriage License and all fees and donations should be given to the pastor no later than one week prior to the rehearsal.

  * Fees are not intended to create a hardship for couples. If this is the case, please discuss this with the pastor so that a suitable arrangement can be made.

PHOTOGRAPHY: Flash photographs may be taken during the processional and recessional, but not during the ceremony itself. Stationary videos and time exposure photos may be taken during the ceremony, but there is to be no one moving around at that time. The pastor will gladly remain for posed photographs with the bridal party after the ceremony. The wedding party may return to the sanctuary following the ceremony for photographs, and parts of the ceremony may be reenacted if desired. It is requested that pictures involving the pastor be taken first so that he may attend to his other duties. The official photographer should be informed by the couple/families to check in with the pastor upon arrival at the church so a full understanding of this policy may be agreed upon between them. 

A video or audio tape of the service may be made, but arrangements must be made no later than the day of the rehearsal.

DECORATIONS: All decorations are the responsibility of the couple/families. The church suggests simplicity with a minimum of decorations. Ribbons or simple floral ribbons or simple floral arrangements may be used to mark the family pews. No tape of any kind will be used to attach decorations. Soft coated floral wire, ribbons, or rubber bands may be used. There are to be no decorations placed on the walls, woodwork, or doors.

USE OF RICE or BIRD SEED: The use of rice, confetti, seed, etc., is prohibited inside the church building. If desired, birdseed or flower petals may be used only outside the building. Bubbles may be used anywhere except in the Sanctuary. Flower petals dropped in the aisle during the processional are also permitted. Arrangements are to be made by the couple/families to insure that no one re-enters the building carrying packets of birdseed.

DRIPLESS CANDLES Only drip-less candles are permitted in the church building.

FLOWER DELIVERIES: The couple/families are responsible for scheduling flower deliveries to the church when someone will be available to let in the florist and receive the delivery.

WEDDING GARMENTS AND PERSONAL VALUABLES. The church will not be responsible for wedding garments, purses, shoes, clothing, silverware, glassware, kitchen utensils, or any personal items brought to the church for use in a wedding or a wedding reception. The church will not be liable for such items if lost, stolen, or damaged. The church will, however, make every reasonable effort to assist the couple/families in protecting and securing such property.

Dressing rooms: The bride and her attendants may use designated rooms on the first floor of the discipleship wing, for a dressing or preparations room if desired. The Library is available for the groom and groomsmen.

RECEPTIONS: Fellowship Hall may be scheduled for reception use. Couple/families requesting the use of the church (sanctuary and Fellowship Hall) are responsible for making arrangements for set up and clean up of all facilities used. Couple/families requesting use of the church kitchen and Fellowship Hall must receive specific instructions on their use from the Fellowship Committee. It is understood that no smoking is allowed inside any of the facilities and alcoholic beverages in any form are not permitted on the church property. Prearrangement with the church must be made for designated outside smoking and clean up.

FACILITY USE carries with it a responsibility to repair or replace should any damage occur.

INTRODUCTION: We live in a nation which has sanctioned, by legal means, the death of unborn babies for a number of reasons, including abortion-on-demand with some restrictive guidelines. Since our nation's Supreme Court gave legal sanction to abortion-on-demand in 1973, as of 2006, over 48,589,993 unborn babies will have had their lives taken from them in the United States alone.[1]

In the 1973 Supreme Court's Roe V Wade, which sanctioned abortion-on-demand, the court said it did not have to decide the "difficult question" of when life begins." (99; 191; US 113 at 159) The court misled the public then and it is still trying to mislead today. The truth is that in October, 1971, a group of 220 distinguished physicians, scientists, and professors submitted an amicus curiae (advice too a court on some legal matter) brief to the Supreme Court. They showed the Court how that modern science has already established that human life is a continuum, and that the unborn child, from the moment of conception, is a person and must be considered a person, like its mother (94:19,29-30). Prior to Roe v. Wade, virtually every medical and biological textbook assumed or taught that human life begins at conception. It is the clear witness of Scripture that life begins at conception and that from conception, one is considered by God to be human and has great worth by simply existing, not because of what he/she may become. (Exodus 21: 22-25; Leviticus 17:14; Job 10: 8-12; Psalm 139: 13-16; Isaiah 49: 1, Jeremiah 1 :5; Matthew 1 :18, 20; Luke 1: 41, 44)

At the biennial meet of American Baptist Churches in 1985, the delegates adopted a statement concerning abortion. The following policy of Christ Memorial Baptist Church is a modification of that adopted statement:



POLICY: As Christians we affirm the value of all human life at all stages between conception and death. We recognize that an unwanted pregnancy can result in real physical, emotional, psychological, economical and familial hardships. These hardships, however, must not take precedence over the life of an unborn child. Our church's response must be one of caring and concern for the unborn child, the mother and the family.

Although there may be differences within our church family regarding the question of whether abortion is "ever" permissible or under what circumstances it is acceptable, our opposition to abortion-on-demand as a means of birth control and its use as a "solution of first choice" must be made clear.

We see our responsibility for service and ministry in providing appropriate support for women seeking alternatives to abortion, and in ministering compassionately to those who have chosen to terminate their pregnancies.




  We call upon our church people to work in a concerned effort to provide positive alternatives which will reduce as far as possible the number of abortions.



We call upon our people to engage in a program of family life education for conception control and child-spacing in the interest of the health of both the mother and the child, and well-being of the family.



We recognize that the man shares responsibility with the woman in any pregnancy. Both stand accountable before God and the laws of the land in their decision for the emotional, financial, and legal consequences of a pregnancy.



We recognize and believe that sexual activity is to be accomplished only within the bonds of heterosexual, monogamous, and life-long marriage relationships.



We encourage all within our church family to stand opposed to the use of abortion-on-demand, while, at the same time, we encourage our nation to continue to weigh the consequences related to abortion-on-demand.



We call upon our people to seek ways to preserve and enhance the value and dignity of every human life (unborn and born alike), urging our church staff and lay counselors to uphold the sanctity of human life as they counsel in situations of unwanted pregnancy.




[1] Taken from http://www.nrlc.org/abortion/facts/abortionstats.html, website of the National Right to Life

POLICY STATEMENT
CONCERNING FUND RAISING
CHRIST MEMORIAL BAPTIST CHURCH
(Approved May 9, 1996, Affirmed 4/14/08)



INTRODUCTION: Stewardship of a Christian's financial income is one of the most common subjects in the Old and New Testaments. Jesus spoke more about stewardship than He did on any other subject. Paul wrote much concerning the subject and he most likely best summarized the principles of stewardship in II Corinthians 9:6-8: “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” Fund raising at Christ Memorial Baptist Church is to be done primarily by volunteers giving from one’s income to help support the ministries of the church.

As a means of personal stewardship of time and energy, there are other ways by which a person or group of persons may want and need to raise funds for ministry. All such projects, or forms of stewardship of time and energy, are acceptable (except those that would involve any form of gambling, legal or otherwise) means of raising funds for ministry. There are times when such projects would be encouraged and our people should engage in them. This church policy addresses the concern of doing all such fund raising projects with integrity, righteousness, decency, in order, and without offense to as many as possible.



CHURCH POLICY: All fund raising projects for ministry at CMBC (i.e., where people are doing projects or personal work with the express purpose of realizing an income for ministry from such projects/work) must be submitted to and approved by the Church Board. The church properties may be used for approved projects/work with the following limitations: no sales of items will be done in the sanctuary at any time. For some projects, after careful consideration and approval by the Board, certain items may be displayed and sold in other parts of our facilities after (not during) a worship service. None of this policy is in any manner a matter of some form of legalism, but is in keeping with the Biblical command to love one another and to not offend when there is no cause to offend someone. Some people are offended by the thought of selling "goods" in the Sanctuary or Narthex during or after a service of worship. Love demands that we honor those people when there is no just cause not to do so. Because we are called to love one another, we will do so in every possible way. (See additional information in Article 9 Section I of the Bylaws)

If there were to be an exception to the limitation given above, it might be under the circumstances of a musical group (or related type ministry group) which has come to minister to our congregation who wanted to place on sale tapes, CD's, etc. as a means of raising additional funds for their ministry. This sale should never be done in the sanctuary and only with great discretion in the Narthex. The setup should not be situated to block the exit from the building nor should it be placed to force a person to come by it in order to exit the building. Hawking a product or stopping people for the purpose of sale is forbidden within our church building facilities.

INTRODUCTION: Racism is defined as "a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race". (from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, ©2007-2008 Merriam-Webster, Inc.). Racism, in some form, has played a significant part in all stages of the history of our nation, the United States. Our Federal Constitution contains the ideal that all of this nation's people are equal under the laws of the land. At the heart of democracy is the reality that equal opportunity in all things must apply to all people, or a nation has no democracy at all. These ideals have been espoused in our nation for over two centuries. Yet, at many levels, these ideals have not always been applied to all peoples. The great Civil Rights Movement of the last three decades indicates that to be the case. Racial minorities in this nation seem to go right on suffering certain injustices at nearly every level of society.

THEOLOGICAL TRUTH: No matter what happens within our nation when one is dealing with the laws made by humans, the Church of Jesus Christ is without excuse if it knowingly or unknowingly practices racism in any form. God created all humans in His image. He started with one man and one woman. From those two, came all of humanity. (Genesis 1: 26-31) One conclusion from that fact is that all people are of one blood and genetic background. There is only one race of humans. When Jesus, the incarnate Son of God, came into the world, He made no distinctions between people, certainly not with regard to race. He said that if anyone would believe on Him, that person was to have eternal life and was to become His adopted son or daughter. (John 1: 12; 3:16). When the Apostle Paul addressed the prejudices of his world and day, he made it plain for all to see that in Christ Jesus there are no distinctions of any kind to be considered between people. (Galatians: 3:27-29) All are in the same family and the Christian is left without cause to make any distinctions between peoples within the Body of Christ or in the world at large.

CHURCH POLICY: The congregation of Christ Memorial Baptist Church, Dover, DE is called by God to be a faithful witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ as is set forth in the Holy Bible. This congregation is a member of the American Baptist Churches of the USA through its membership in the Delaware Baptist Association. That body of churches has a written statement of policy opposing the practice of racism in any form within our fellowships and within our nation. We are a congregation which seeks to be inclusive of persons regardless of ethnic origin. We recognize that any practice of racism among us will plague and cripple our growth in Christ and we confess that racism is sin according to God's standard. (James 2:8-10)

We will oppose all efforts of groups within our communities to promote hate, based upon one's ethnic origin. We seek openly to be a prophetic witness in our world in pursuit of the rights of all ethnic groups. Membership in our congregation is open to all persons without questions regarding their ethnic origin. We will make every effort to educate our people to the reality that the practice of racism in any form is sin according to the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ and the written Word of God.

POLICY STATEMENT CONCERNING RACISM

CHRIST MEMORIAL BAPTIST CHURCH

(Approved Date March 13, 1997, revised March 18, 2008)

INTRODUCTION : Racism is defined as "a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race". (from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, ©2007-2008 Merriam-Webster, Inc.). Racism, in some form, has played a significant part in all stages of the history of our nation, the United States. Our Federal Constitution contains the ideal that all of this nation's people are equal under the laws of the land. At the heart of democracy is the reality that equal opportunity in all things must apply to all people, or a nation has no democracy at all. These ideals have been espoused in our nation for over two centuries. Yet, at many levels, these ideals have not always been applied to all peoples. The great Civil Rights Movement of the last three decades indicates that to be the case. Racial minorities in this nation seem to go right on suffering certain injustices at nearly every level of society.

THEOLOGICAL TRUTH : No matter what happens within our nation when one is dealing with the laws made by humans, the Church of Jesus Christ is without excuse if it knowingly or unknowingly practices racism in any form. God created all humans in His image. He started with one man and one woman. From those two, came all of humanity. (Genesis 1: 26-31) One conclusion from that fact is that all people are of one blood and genetic background. There is only one race of humans. When Jesus, the incarnate Son of God, came into the world, He made no distinctions between people, certainly not with regard to race. He said that if anyone would believe on Him, that person was to have eternal life and was to become His adopted son or daughter. (John 1: 12; 3:16). When the Apostle Paul addressed the prejudices of his world and day, he made it plain for all to see that in Christ Jesus there are no distinctions of any kind to be considered between people. (Galatians: 3:27-29) All are in the same family and the Christian is left without cause to make any distinctions between peoples within the Body of Christ or in the world at large.

CHURCH POLICY: The congregation of Christ Memorial Baptist Church, Dover, DE is called by God to be a faithful witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ as is set forth in the Holy Bible. This congregation is a member of the American Baptist Churches of the USA through its membership in the Delaware Baptist Association. That body of churches has a written statement of policy opposing the practice of racism in any form within our fellowships and within our nation. We are a congregation which seeks to be inclusive of persons regardless of ethnic origin. We recognize that any practice of racism among us will plague and cripple our growth in Christ and we confess that racism is sin according to God's standard. (James 2:8-10)

We will oppose all efforts of groups within our communities to promote hate, based upon one's ethnic origin. We seek openly to be a prophetic witness in our world in pursuit of the rights of all ethnic groups. Membership in our congregation is open to all persons without questions regarding their ethnic origin. We will make every effort to educate our people to the reality that the practice of racism in any form is sin according to the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ and the written Word of God.

Wedding Policies
Christ Memorial Baptist Church
(Approved 1/16/08)
Policy Statement Concerning Abortion
Christ Memorial Baptist Church
(Approved 3/13/1997), revised 3/18/08
Policy  Statement Concerning Racism
Christ Memorial Baptist Church
(Approved 3/13/1997, revised 3/18/08)
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Christ Memorial Baptist Church
Dover, DE
​Pastor Jeff Collins                                                     302-697-7924