Baptism is a beloved ritual within the community life of First United such that we provide considerable effort and attention in celebrating baptism. We celebrate both infant/child and adult baptism as a significant “marker” of the faith journey.
Baptism celebrates the gift of life. As sacrament, baptism is a sign of what already exists, the gracious life-giving love that God has for all of creation and for individual parts of that creation. In our baptismal ritual we celebrate “original goodness”.
Through this sacrament, we re-enact the baptism of Jesus and experience for ourselves the symbolic description of Jesus’ baptism, a description where the the clouds of the sky roll back like a scroll, and the spirit of God descends like a dove, and God’s voice is heard saying, “this is my child, my beloved, in whom I am well pleased”.
In baptism there is also the gift of being membered—the gift of belonging to community. A community that receives us, blesses us, unleashes us—a community where we receive the giftedness of other and we share our own giftedness.
These are the questions asked of candidates for baptism and/or their parents. These are the same questions we use for new members and those transferring their membership.
Do you affirm your trust in God as Creator and as One who is still Creating; that God can be and is known through the ways of Christ and the Christ story; and that God as Spirit is active in the world and in our lives, giving to us meaning and hope?
Do you recommit yourself to living in the Way of Christ, committing yourself to love and justice toward all and in resisting actions that cause harm?
Do you recommit yourself to be open to learning and to welcoming growth in your faith, sharing your insights and questions, being open to the insights and questions of others, which includes the insights and questions of our own child, children and those children about us?
Do you promise to join with this community of faith, participating in the mission of Christ Jesus through the ministry, worship and work of First United, by being a steward of your own special gifts and abilities, and receiving the stewardship of the gifts and abilities of others?
Congregational Covenant and Prayer of Commitment
Do you as a congregation covenant to nurture these families and each of these individuals within a community which worships God, follows Christ, remains ready and open to listen and respond to the Holy Spirit? Do you promise to provide a community which, in living love and in resisting evil, is committed to Christ’s mission and ministry of healing and wholeness? Will you promise to share your own special gifts and abilities with this community and encourage the same from others?
If so say, we do. Let us join in a prayer of commitment
We will continue to support you and walk with you. With God’s help, we will live faithfully our baptism as a loving community in Christ:
Nurturing one another in faith
Upholding one another in prayer
Encouraging one another in God’s work