The Meaning of Baptism
It is the consensus of the Board of Deacons that no child will ever be refused baptism in this faith community. However, this attitude of welcoming and hospitality is extended with the understanding that parents will be honest in regard to the vows being made before God and a community of faith to nurture the child in faith—modeling that truth and integrity by attending church regularly, by actively taking part in the life of the church, by bringing the child to Church School on a regular basis, and by leading the child to Confirmation in the 9th grade. THESE ARE SOLEMN, SERIOUS, AND SACRED PROMISES TO GOD. Children can be baptized at any age, and since baptism of an infant or child is based on the parents’ promises and commitment, it is far more than tradition or ‘something that is done simply because family or friends expect it’.
- Baptism is a holy sacrament of belonging to the Christian community. The minister introduces the child by saying “This is the newest member of the Church of Jesus Christ!” and we believe that we are the hands and feet, the heart and mind of Jesus Christ—seeking to live out the teachings of Jesus Christ in all we do and say.
- God already loves your child. We do not ‘give your child to God’ but rather we thank God that your child is in the loving care of the Creator, rejoicing because God takes the initiative in coming to us.
- In baptism, children are publicly received by this community of Christians who pledge that they will express God’s love to them in concrete ways. This congregation vows to support you and your family in providing the nurturing environment and education to help your growing child know God as revealed in Jesus Christ. They promise to pray for and with your child and your family and to guide, support and encourage parents in their commitment to raise the child in the Christian faith. In this way the child becomes part of the community of Jesus Christ. It does not happen by magic! The love of God becomes known through personal experience in a community of caring.
- Baptism celebrates the unique life of your child as created by God and joins your child to Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.