"The resurrection is a central doctrine of the Christian faith and shapes Christians' attitudes and responses to the event of death. Death brings loss, sorrow, and grief to all. In the face of death Christians affirm with tears and joy the hope of the gospel. Christians do not bear bereavement in isolation but are sustained by the power of the Spirit and the community of faith. The church offers a ministry of love and hope to all who grieve.
Because it is difficult under emotional stress to plan wisely, the session should encourage members to discuss and plan in advance the arrangements which will be necessary at the time of death, including decisions about the Christian options of burial, cremation, or donation for medical purposes. The plans should provide for arrangements which are simple, which bear witness to resurrection hope, and in which the Christian community is central.
The service on the occasion of death ordinarily should be held in the usual place of worship in order to join this service to the community's continuing life and witness to the resurrection. The service shall be under the direction of the pastor. Others may be invited to participate as leaders in the service at the discretion of the pastor." (Book of Order)
1. When a death occurs in the church community, the minister ought to be contacted immediately. This creates an opportunity for the minister and church family to offer support and solace, and allows the benefit of the minister's experience in making funeral arrangements.
2. A funeral service, called a Service in Witness to the Resurrection, is a worship service. It is recommended that, whenever possible, it be held in the church and incorporate regular elements of divine worship such as hymns, scripture readings and prayers.
3. The minister can help the family select hymns, scriptures and other elements of the service to ensure the centrality of God's love in Jesus Christ and the hope of resurrection.
4. Public viewing of the physical remains may be arranged for prior to the service, if it is held in the church, or at the funeral home prior to the church service. Ordinarily, the casket will be closed during the funeral service itself.
5. Families are encouraged to recommend to concerned friends and loved ones the opportunity of making memorial gifts to the church or designated charities. Church members are reminded of the importance of stewardship and the importance of acts of thoughtfulness and practical concern to the living during the grieving process.
6. Any special arrangements or requests, such as PowerPoint video presentations or music CD’s to be played in the sanctuary prior to or during the funeral service should be submitted to the church office at least 24 hours prior to the service. If the sound system is used for a funeral or memorial service by a non-member of the church, a personnel fee of $50.00 will be charged.
7. Because the funeral service is considered as one of the ordinary functions of the church, no fees of any kind are charged for the use of the church's facilities or its personnel by members.
8. Non-members may submit a church use form for approval by the session for use of the sanctuary for a funeral or memorial service and/or the social hall for a family gathering following a funeral service held at the church or at another location. The church use fee is $50.00. If a meal is prepared for a gathering following the funeral, an additional personnel fee of $50.00 will be charged, plus billing for the actual costs of food.
9. If you wish to use the church facilities for a funeral service and/or fellowship lunch following the funeral, please contact the church office as soon as possible at 724.637.2436.
The sacrament of Christian baptism is the rite of entry into church membership. It is a sign of belonging to the church and to God. The children and infants of Christian parents are properly baptized as members of the covenant community. If an adult has been previously baptized, re-baptism is not necessary to join the church. Ordinarily, re-baptism is discouraged. If an adult wishes to mark a recommitment to Jesus Christ, a public affirmation of that commitment, other than water baptism, may be arranged in consultation with the minister.
For young people who were baptized as infants, confirmation offers a time to intentionally explore elements of Christian faith and practice in order to make a public declaration of their intention to live as a disciple of Christ and an active church member.
Ordinarily, active participation in the life of the church by a young person is a prerequisite for admission to a confirmation class.
Name of person to be baptized _________________________________ Age___________
If an infant, are the parents members of the West Sunbury Church? _________
Is a grandparent or other relative a church member?__________
For infant: Date of Birth ________________________ Place of Birth _______________________________________________
Date requested for baptism__________________________________
Please copy and paste this form into a document, fill it out and bring it to the church office during regular office hours. Thanks!
It is a policy of West Sunbury United Presbyterian Church to share our facilities with community groups engaged in education, human enrichment, environmental or social justice and other civic activities consistent with the overall mission of the church. Long term building use will be provided by individual contract. If you wish to book an event at WSUPC, please call the church administrative assistant, Tara Snyder at 724.637.2436.
Marriage at the West Sunbury Church
Wedding Request & Planning Form
Thank you for considering West Sunbury Church for your wedding! Weddings are usually performed by the West Sunbury minister on Friday evening or on Saturdays: late morning, early or mid-afternoon or early evening. No weddings are held on Sundays, New Year’s Day, Palm Sunday through Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving weekend or from December 15th to 31st.
"Marriage is a gift God has given to all humankind for the well-being of the entire human family. Marriage involves a unique commitment between two people, traditionally a man and a woman, to love and support each other for the rest of their lives. The sacrificial love that unites the couple sustains them as faithful and responsible members of the church and the wider community.
In civil law, marriage is a contract that recognizes the rights and obligations of the married couple in society. In the Reformed tradition, marriage is also a covenant in which God has an active part, and which the community of faith publicly witnesses and acknowledges." (Book of Order)
Marriage Approval Policies
As an expression of Christian hospitality, the session of the West Sunbury United Presbyterian Church will consider all requests for facility use for the celebration of marriage, including requests from both mixed and same-gender couples. As a religious society and private facility, in conformity with the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church (USA), the session reserves the right to allow or disallow any marriage request at its discretion. The minister reserves the right to approve or decline the request to officiate any marriage.
Session approval is required for all marriage services to be held on the grounds, or in the facilities, of the West Sunbury Church. In addition, the minister will need to meet with the prospective couple and agree to officiate the marriage. It is the prerogative of the minister to determine whether or not to officiate any particular marriage service. It is an additional right of the minister, as an extension of pastoral care, to officiate marriage services s/he deems appropriate, without session approval, if the marriage ceremony is conducted at a location off church property.
Approval by session is required for any request to use an officiant other than the installed minister of the West Sunbury Church. Any guest minister is required to contact the minister of the West Sunbury church prior to the wedding date. A guest minister may contact the minister by calling the church office at 724.637.2436.
Fee Structure: Music
Organist $250 (Members & Non-members)
Persons to be married at WSUPC must use the services of the church organist. The organist will be present at both the rehearsal and marriage service.
If you do not plan to have organ music, the pastor can speak to you about other potential options. The PowerPoint system may only be operated by a person designated by the session. Use of PowerPoint during the wedding service requires a fee of $50 payable to the operator. This may be arranged through the church office at least one month prior to the wedding date.
If a soloist will be rehearsing at a time other than the scheduled rehearsal, there will be an additional organist fee of $50.
The couple to be married is responsible to contact Dale Rice, the church organist, at least three months prior to the wedding date to confirm his calendar availability and to arrange other details of the marriage service. He can be reached at:
Fee Structure: Facilities
$150 Building Use Fee (Covers use of the sanctuary and social hall for two days)
Other events will not be scheduled in the church facilities on the days you reserve for rehearsal and wedding.
$250 Sexton Fee (Covers janitorial services for the sanctuary and social hall, and basic wedding coordinator services for two days)
The couple to be married is responsible to contact Holly Collins, the church sexton, at least three months prior to the wedding date to confirm her calendar availability and to arrange other details of the marriage service. Holly oversees the facilities during rehearsals and weddings and assists wedding parties with the entry and staging of wedding parties for the service. At no time will the wedding party using the church facility need to adjust lights, sound system, heat or a/c and so on. Holly may be reached at:
Fee Structure: Officiant
$150 Officiant Fee (Members & Non-members) The minister will be provide one to three meetings with the couple prior to the wedding date, work with the wedding party at the rehearsal and officiate the service of marriage. The meetings between the minister and couple prior to the wedding date will include service planning, pre-marital resources and conversation and general marriage preparation.
The couple to be married may contact the church office in order to make arrangements to meet with the minister in order to schedule pre-marital planning meetings. The officiant fee and guidelines apply whether the marriage service is to be held at the West Sunbury church or at another off-site location. The office phone number is: 724.637.2436.
Fee Structure: Member Waiver
Active members of the West Sunbury church are not required to pay the $150 building use fee. Active membership in relation to this fee waiver is defined as membership and active participation in the church for one year prior to the wedding date by at least one member of the couple to be married or an immediate family member related to one of the persons to be married.
All fees must be paid in full at least one month prior to the wedding date. Fees may be paid to the church office. Checks may be made out to: West Sunbury United Presbyterian Church.
Limited amounts of toasting wine or champagne may be used in the social hall for the wedding reception with prior session approval.
If you are requesting only the involvement of the West Sunbury church minister as an officiant of your marriage at a site other than the West Sunbury facilities, you may disregard those fees and guidelines that do not apply to your off-site service.
Only birdseed may be thrown outside of the facilities at weddings. Rice and confetti are not allowed.
The couple must provide their own unity candle, sand or other materials if so desired.
If candles are used, other than those already present in the sanctuary, they must be dripless and/or every candle must have a drip guard of some sort.
The couple should have their marriage license at the rehearsal.
Person 1 Full Name: ___________________________________________
Address: ________________________________________ City__________________________
State:____________ Zip Code: __________________
Phone Number: _____________________________
Person 2 Full Name: ___________________________________________
Address: ________________________________________ City __________________________
State: ___________ Zip Code:_________________
Phone Number: _____________________________
Wedding Location: ___________________________________________
Rehearsal Date: _____________________________________________
Rehearsal Time: _____________________________________________
Wedding Date: ______________________________________________
Wedding Time: ______________________________________________
Number in Wedding Party: ______
Best Man: _________________________________ Maid of Honor:______________________________
Is someone ‘giving away’ or presenting the bride to be married? (Y/N)_____
What is their relation to the bride? ________________________________________________________
Wedding Colors: ______________________________________________
Will a soloist be used? (Y/N)________
Will you be using a unity candle or unity sand? _______________________________________
Will you be requesting the participation of WSUPC’s organist in your wedding? (Y/N)_____________
Session Approval of Marriage & Authorization of Facility Use Date
Minister Agreement to Perform Marriage Date