“Born by Water and the Spirit”
For two thousand years and counting, people have marked the beginning of their life in Christ with Baptism, and that is certainly true at St. Michael’s. Baptism is open to anyone who wants to follow Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. This includes adults as well as children.
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 28:19
We are so glad that you are considering baptism for yourself or your child. It is our greatest joy in the church to welcome a new member into the family of God. Our prayer is that through this sacrament you will experience the power and love of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Before you begin your journey towards baptism, you might have a few questions. We hope we can answer most of them here so that your experience is as joyful as possible.
What is baptism?
Baptism is a sacrament instituted by Jesus. A sacrament is an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace. The outward and visible sign is water and the inward and spiritual grace given to us by God through the waters of baptism is new birth and adoption as his son or daughter, a member of his divine household. With baptism we are forgiven and cleansed from our sin and united with Christ in his death and resurrection. We are welcomed as members of the Body of Christ, the Church and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Does baptism guarantee salvation and a place in heaven?
Like any other gift that is given, one can decide not to open and receive the gift. The gift of new life given in baptism is no different. Most assuredly, the gift God gives is real and his promises are true, but the individual who has been baptized can choose to reject the gift of God and turn from him eternally. Our prayer is that by the prayer and witness of parents and Godparents along with the support of the church community, there will be a greater prospect of the individual, by faith, receiving fully the gift of God and knowing the love of the giver.
Do we baptize adults?
Yes we do, and this is one of our greatest joys. In order to be baptized an adult must renounce Satan and all the spiritual forces that work against God, repent of his or her sins and turn to Jesus Christ and trust him as Savior and Lord. Adults who wish to be baptized, as part of there preparation, must complete the Alpha Course and meet one on one with a priest for specific baptismal instruction.
Do we baptize infants and why?
Yes, we do baptize infants and small children which is part of our Anglican tradition and the wider church’s practice since its very earliest days. We believe this practice is agreeable with the Biblical understanding of the sacrament. We believe that the chief actor in the sacrament of baptism is God himself rather than the person being baptized. When a helpless infant is baptized, this truth is beautifully apparent. Just as infants are full members of their earthly families, through baptism they can also become full members of the family of God, the Church.
What is required of the parents of a child being baptized?
In the baptismal service on page 302, there is a list of questions we will be asking you during the service. They include:
• Will you be responsible for seeing that the child you present is brought up in the Christian faith and life?
• Will you by your prayers and witness help this child to grow into the full stature of Christ?
• Do you turn to Jesus Christ and accept him as your Savior?
• Do you put your whole trust in his grace and love?
• Do you promise to follow and obey him as your Lord?
How do we prepare you for these and other questions?
We ask you to come to our First Thursday of the month Baptismal Preparation Party (B.P.P.). This party is scheduled with childcare from 5:30 – 7:15 pm every first Thursday and includes everything from teaching to fellowship to a tour of our facilities. So, if you would like baptism in January for instance, you could choose to come to any of the monthly baptismal prep parties beforehand. Also, take note that Godparents are strongly urged to attend. Simply e-mail Sara Frances Rasmussen and let her know which month you plan on attending the BPP, as well as the date and service time for the Baptism.
If I have been baptized before in another denomination, do I need to be re-baptized in the Episcopal Church in order to join Saint Michael’s?
No. We believe that there is one Lord, one Faith, and one baptism. We recognize as valid any baptism of an individual in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in the one holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.
Who should we choose as Godparents?
The Godparents should be followers of Jesus Christ and active members of a Christian Church. The Godparents make the same vows and declarations that the parents make as part of baptismal liturgy. You will want to choose Godparents who can make these vows in good conscience.
When are baptisms done at Saint Michael’s?
Baptisms are celebrated as part of the corporate worship life of our congregation. We do not do private baptisms except in very special pastoral situations. Baptisms occur on the third Sunday of the month at the 10:30 service. We also love to have baptisms at the other Sunday services as well. At these other services we can be more flexible about the particular day of the month we do baptisms.
Who can I get more information on Baptism?
Contact Sara Frances Rasmussen
Please fill out the form below.