Baptism is a Grace-Filled Gift of God to Your Child
Baptism is also the celebration and proclamation of God acting. When we baptize young children, we affirm that everyone depends on Christ to move from sin and evil to life and hope. Baptism acknowledges that your child is part of the family of God—much about baptism parallels their coming into your family. Romans 8:14‐17.
Your child was born or adopted into your family and has taken your name and family history. At Baptism, God claims your child as part of God’s family and gives them the family name of “Christian.”
Your child was introduced to their new family at a joyous welcoming and the entire family will nurture them and help them grow and know what it is to be part of the family. At Baptism, your child is introduced to their new Christian family—the church—and the entire church family pledges to nurture them. The gift of family came to your child as a free gift—your child did nothing to deserve the love of your family. The grace of God is a free gift—your child did nothing to deserve this grace from God.
Your child will slowly understand what it is to be part of your family and will take on a greater role in the family and claim their family heritage for themselves. Baptism is the beginning of a lifelong process of responding to God’s call and claiming Christ for themselves. Baptism affirms that your child is God’s child, affirms that God loves and is acting in their life and affirms that being a Christian is a lifelong process.
Baptism is a Sacrament
In a Sacrament, God’s grace working in us is shown in an outward sign (water and words). In Baptism, God is acting to draw us into new life and the gift of salvation.
“Through the Sacrament of Baptism
we are initiated into Christ’s holy church.
We are incorporated into God’s
mighty acts of salvation
And given new birth through
water and the Spirit.
All this is God’s gift,
offered to us without price.”
The Baptismal Covenant—Introduction
At What Age is Baptism Appropriate?
Baptism is God’s gift to us. Baptism is the way God acknowledges that people of any age are part of God’s family and are growing in faith. Since the days of the Apostles, whole households have been baptized. Baptism demonstrates Jesus’ admonishment to “Let the little children come to me.”
Can a Person be Baptized Again?
Baptism acknowledges that God acts to claim us. To rebaptize casts doubt on the saving actions of God in our lives. In the United Methodist tradition, adults do acknowledge and affirm their baptism at every baptism in the church. Further, the United Methodist Church believes that baptism administered with water in the name of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is valid no matter in what church. Baptism is God’s action, not the action of a specific church. We believe God gives his family name of “Christian” in Baptism, not the name of a denomination.
Must I be a Member of Church to Have My Child Baptized?
Baptism should be within the faith community that will nurture you and your child in life in Christ. Parents do not have to be members of the Church of the Messiah, but they must profess their faith and their intention to nurture the child in the church.
“Do you confess Jesus Christ as
your Savior, put your whole trust in
his grace, and promise to serve him as your lord,
in union with the church
which Christ has opened to people of
all ages, nations and races?”
“Will you nurture this child in Christ’s holy church,
that by teaching and
example he may be guided to accept
God’s grace for himself, to profess his
faith openly, and to lead a Christian life?”
The Baptismal Covenant — asked of parents.
What About Infant Dedications?
There is no Biblical precedent for infant dedication. In baptism, God acts to move our souls to seek him — something every person needs. Infant dedication is something that people do, not what God does, and it fails to proclaim the great gift of God given to your child.
How Do I Schedule My Child's Baptism?
Baptism occurs one weekend of the month (usually the second weekend) at any worship service. Call Cortney Reed (firstname.lastname@example.org) at the church office, 614-882-2167, to schedule a baptism and an appointment to meet with the senior pastor.
The number of baptisms at any service is limited. Since baptism is a sign of the covenant between God, the family and the church, it occurs during the gathering of the church for worship. Unusual circumstances may warrant baptism in a hospital or nursing home.