Baptism is a visible sign and seal of God’s covenant of grace and reconciliation with us. The water of baptism symbolizes the cleansing of God’s grace. It is also a reminder of God’s call to us be a covenant people. Just as the people of Israel passed through the waters of the Red Sea to leave their slavery behind, and just as they passed through the waters of the Jordan River to enter the land of promise, so, too, does the water of baptism set us apart as Christ’s own. In the words of our baptismal liturgy, “In baptism God promises by grace alone to forgive our sins; and to adopt us into the body of Christ, the Church . . .” Baptisms are times of joy and celebration. Because baptism is a sacrament of the entire church and not a private rite, they are done as part of Sunday morning worship except under special circumstances.
Baptism is for both adults and children, though a person is baptized just once in his or her life. Adults and older children are baptized at the time of their public confessions of faith. For them, the waters of baptism mark a new beginning and rebirth as disciples of Jesus Christ and members of his church.
Young children and infants are baptized as a sign of belonging to Christ’s covenant community, the Church. Their baptisms anticipate the day when they will stand before their congregation and say, “I claim for myself the Christian faith I have been taught and shown.”
Since baptism is the sign of belonging to Christ’s covenant community, at least one parent or guardian of a young child or infant must be a regular and faithful worshiper, and a confessing member of the Church. Normally, this parent is part of this congregation. Occasionally, however, parents who are active in a distant congregation seek to bring a child for baptism here so that grandparents and other extended family members may be witnesses.
Our Board of Elders and Pastor together administer the Sacrament of Baptism. Speak to our pastor to find out more.