Baptism is the full initiation by water and the Holy Spirit into the church. We baptize in the traditional name of the Holy Trinity-- Father, Son and Holy Spirit. With each baptism, we invite all members of the worshipping community to remember (or look forward to) their own baptisms with joy.
The baptism or Christening of infants is a beautiful way to welcome the newest members into the family of faith. In this sacrament, parents state publicly that they hope, with God’s help, to raise this child in the Christian faith. At the same time, the members of the congregation express their care for the child, by making the important promise before God to support this family with their prayers and provide for the Christian nurture and education of this child.
As children come to church with their families, they are learning the traditions of the Christian faith that sustain us. If they have not already been baptized, we offer baptism of children as an important step in their faith lives. As they learn about baptism and see others baptized, children will often ask about their own baptisms, and whether they were baptized as infants. If they have not already been baptized, their families may choose to have them baptized as children.
AT THE TIME OF CONFIRMATION
In our confirmation program, teens learn about the Bible, the teachings and history of the church, and the church’s mission in the world today. After this program of study, they are invited to “confirm” the promises made on their behalf at baptism, in a Confirmation service where they are accepted as full members of the church. If they choose to be confirmed but were not already baptized as infants or children, they will be baptized in the same Confirmation service.
We also welcome adults to take the step of baptism for themselves if they have not previously been baptized. This can be a deeply meaningful expression of their determination to follow Christ in their faith lives.
A sacrament can be understood as an outward sign of the inward reality. In baptism, a person receives the invisible and indelible mark of the Holy Spirit, claiming them as Christ's own forever. Nothing in the sacrament should be understood as making a person any more worthy of the love God already has for each one. Yet baptism provides us with a beautiful moment to celebrate Christ’s love for each of us as God’s own child, and to welcome each as a baptized member of the church.