Baptism – a rite of passage for all ages!
Who can be baptized in a United Church?
Baptism is a symbolic ritual designed to open us to new life in God within a church community. This sacrament serves as an initiation into Christianity, a first step taken in one’s personal journey of faith. It is offered to all ages without condition. Because we believe the gift of God’s love doesn’t depend on our ability to understand it, we baptize people as infants right up through adulthood.
Baptism in the United Church is recognized by all denominations of the Christian church that practice infant baptism. Similarly, if people have already been baptized in another church, the United Church recognizes their baptism and welcomes them as Christians.
What does baptism look like at CBUC?
Because Jesus was baptized with water and water has long been recognized as a symbol of life, renewal, and connection, water continues to play a significant role in the ritual. At the Baptismal Font in our Sanctuary, water is poured into a beautiful bowl designated for this purpose and then sprinkled on the child or adult by our minister. Baptism is usually offered as part of a regular Sunday worship service. The ritual, while not complex, is significant for everyone involved.
With an infant, it is not required that parents become members of the congregation. But parents and the congregation are required to make promises to support the child’s spiritual growth and development. In order for these vows to be meaningful, we strongly advise families to get to know us first.
In the case of adult baptisms, our ministers will work with you to create a meaningful ritual that reflects your spiritual journey.
So what do I do if I want to have a baptism in your church?
First, attend worship several times so that you know who we are and how we work in the world. Do our dreams and values align with your needs and hopes? If it’s an infant baptism that you’re wanting, visit our nursery and church school too. Can you imagine your family participating in what CBUC offers?
These days, families and individuals are pulled in so many directions. CBUC appreciates that participation in our community’s life will vary according to schedules, etc. It is your intention that is most important to us. Come as you are, whenever you can – you will always be welcome!
If you think you or your family would like to be part of our Christian journey, contact our minister. He will make all the necessary arrangements and guide you further in the process.
I’m uncomfortable making baptismal vows at this time, but I really want to acknowledge God’s presence in the life of my child and my family. How can I do that?
Consider an Infant Service of Blessing instead. It can be done as part of a regular service or outside of our Sanctuary in the presence of gathered friends and family only. Your child will be named and blessed by our minister, and gratitude for the birth of this child as a gift from God will be expressed. If you’d like more information about this special service, please contact our minister.
If I don’t baptize my child, will something happen to my child’s soul?
Baptism is not a requirement for God’s love. The United Church believes people who die without baptism are not condemned, lost, or damned. God’s love for us is a reality from the moment we are born; baptism is an acknowledgement and celebration of that reality.