Baptism is a visible spiritual way to celebrate and enact being welcomed into the community of faith that Jesus Christ started. We continue to do this act of faith because Jesus specifically said in Matt. 28:19. “Go and make disciples… baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit”.
Baptism welcomes us into the community that carries on the way of life, love, justice, mercy, and spiritual renewal, which Jesus lived and taught. Learning, and practicing this way is the discipleship part. Baptism is an act of faith trusting that access to a relationship with God has started; through which God's power to give life and transformation is received.
Presbyterians baptize children because we trust that God is already at work in a child’s life. Later on, confirmation is a personal profession of faith that began in the promises the parents made at the child’s Baptism. Confirmation is when the baptized person chooses to continue the journey of spirituality and discipleship for one’s self. The capacity to choose one’s commitment to God, and to pursue one’s spiritual journey is why Presbyterians also affirm being baptized when one is older and ready to do so for oneself.
Because Baptism welcomes us into a community, we believe that our relationships with others in that community are where much of God’s love and grace can be experienced. That’s why the congregation promises to share responsibility for the child’s growth in faith, love and service. (It takes a village/community to raise a child). Baptism is received only once; because God’s faithfulness is constant even when human beings are not. Baptism marks the beginning of God’s love and grace to humankind, not its’ completion.
When baptizing an infant, this community strongly counsels the parents to be part of a spiritual community. In the service, vows are taken by the parents and congregation that call for serious reflection and commitment, which each family has to work out. Such commitment may be different, due to each family’s circumstances, but figuring out how one’s family will fulfill the promises made, is an integral part of preparing for the child’s baptism.
If you are looking to schedule a baptism, please contact the Pastor to set up a time to meet and discuss the meaning of baptism for yourself and your child.