Baptism

All ages are invited to come and be baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.  For infants it is a time when the heart is filled with faith by the grace of God.  For adults it is a profession of faith in Jesus Christ and as admission into the global community of faith.

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Baptism

Before we take our first breath, we belong to God. When we are born, we come into the world already bathed in God’s love. It’s as if God shows up first with the perfect gift for the new baby! This gift of grace comes to us even before we are aware of our need for God’s grace. Grace is simply gifted to us, offered to us without price.

Baptism is also a reminder that God’s gift of forgiveness comes to us. In baptism we use the symbol of water to remind of us the powerful ways that water makes us clean, replenishes and refreshes us. In baptism, God gives us a nurturing and new beginning. Baptism is a powerful gift of the Spirit!

In our United Methodist tradition, a person can be baptized by immersion, pouring or sprinkling of water. In each of the three mediums, the pastor prays a blessing of Thanksgiving over the water, invoking the power of God’s presence and Spirit. Because we understand Baptism as something God does, we do not re-baptize a person. We do sometimes celebrate and remember our Baptism in special ways. These occasions are important reminders of the importance of being a part of a community of faith; a community that exists to encourage, support one another, and do good for others.

John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, often referred to the sacrament of Baptism as one the “means of grace” whereby God’s people experience an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace.

Baptism at whatever age is a celebration! Thoughtful planning should go into this significant event so that it is personal and memorable in every way. Far from a somber ritual, baptism is a time for celebrating the life of the one who comes to be Baptized!

Do you have to be baptized to join the United Methodist Church?

In order to join the United Methodist Church, you need to have been baptized within the Christian faith. If you’ve never been baptized, the pastor will do so during the service in which you become a member. If you are interested in learning more about baptism, ask the pastor in your church for some of her/his time so that you can learn and grow in your understanding!

Why do United Methodists baptize infants?

Infant baptism is particularly illustrative of the United Methodist doctrine of prevenient grace-a gift of love and un-merited grace that comes before we are even aware of the gift or not yet able to ask for it.

When an infant is baptized her/his parents are the verbal representatives, pledging to support ……(see UM hymnal)

Because Baptism is a gift from God, the pastor who baptizes a child, young person or adult serves simply as a vessel, a servant of God offering a gift to God’s own.

What do I wear for my baptism?

Anything you choose. Often when infants are baptized, parents choose special clothing that perhaps is new or a family heirloom. Special clothing is not a requirement in any way. God could not adore you in more in whatever you choose to wear!

Who should I invite to my Baptism?

For starters, your community of faith is an important part of your baptismal celebration because this is your official “Let’s Celebrate this Child of God Party!” In addition, you should feel free to invite relatives, special friends, neighbors, co-workers; anyone who is important to you! Your friends and family will be invited to stand with you during your baptism as a show of their love and support of you.