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Thinking about baptism?
Jesus was baptised in the River Jordan. He commanded his friends to go and get other people to follow him, and to baptise them.
What is Baptism?
It is a sign for us and for the whole world:
we do belong to him
It is also more than a sign:
Baptism does not mean that we put a special ‘magic’ on someone, to keep them safe from all harm, nor does it promise them a lifetime of good health and happiness. Nor is it simply a time for giving a child its ‘proper’ name.
Questions and promises
These are the questions the parents are asked:
Do you wish your child to learn about Jesus Christ, to know his forgiveness, share his love, and follow what he says?
Do you believe in one God, the Father and maker of us all, in his Son Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour, and in the Holy Spirit our Helper?
Do you promise, with God’s help, to make your home a place where they can learn about Jesus, and see in practice what it means to follow Jesus’ way of caring for and helping others, and will you encourage them to be part of his family the Church?
As a congregation we all promise to welcome your child into our fellowship at all times, to pray for them and to ensure that here they can learn about God and will find the love of God.
How do we arrange the Baptism?
Do I have to be a church member to have my children baptised?
Many ministers try to find ways to help families to meet this requirement: perhaps asking a family member who is a church member (Granny or Auntie) to make the promises, or agreeing to baptise the child before the parents formally become church members – on the understanding that at the first available opportunity the parents will attend a New Members Class and join.
We are looking for people to be part of the local church community, not just go through a procedure to have names added to a list. If the parents cannot see themselves joining the church or being part of its life on a continuing basis, then we might explore with them whether a Baby Blessing might be more appropriate.
Can we have the Baptism on a Saturday, or midweek, or Sunday afternoon?
What is the difference between Baptism and Baby Blessing?
So the church has made available the opportunity for families to do that – probably in church in the main service, but also at home or in church at a time other than the main service.