If not already part of your spiritual journey, baptism may be your next step,
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
- Jesus (in Matthew 28:19-20)
If you are reading this because you feel the next step for you or your child is baptism, congratulations! You have begun a wonderful and exciting journey of faith.
Baptism is a sacred act during which believers affirm their faith in Jesus Christ and, for parents presenting their children for baptism, declare their intention to raise their child in the Christian faith and Church.
The Sacrament of Baptism
We understand baptism to be a Sacrament. The term “sacrament” implies that something sacred is happening. Different Christian traditions will differ over what they recognize as sacraments. Some accept as many as seven different sacraments while others have none. Our church recognizes two sacraments – Baptism and the Lord’s Supper.
We understand these two actions to be sacraments as established by God and commended by Christ. The Sacraments are signs of the real presence and power of Christ in the Church. Through the Sacraments, God seals believers in redemption, renews their identity as the people of God, and marks them for service.
To arrange baptism for you or your family member, fill out the form below or contact one of the pastors.
Who may be baptized?
We baptize both those who profess their faith at the time of baptism and the children of believers, including infant children. At least one parent must be a believer.
Why can't we baptize at home or in a private ceremony?
Baptism is an act of the congregation as it worships. You may notice that even when we have beach baptisms in the afternoons, the pastor says, "This worship service will continue at the beach." Baptism is not solely between the one baptized and God; it is an important moment for the church as well. The congregation makes a promise to help nurture the faith of the one baptized.
Is baptism necessary for salvation?
Our church does not hold that baptism has a saving function. For us, the Sacrament of baptism is a symbol of that salvation by God, but does not bestow that salvation on us.
Why baptize infants when they can't express a saving faith?
Throughout the history of the church, many people like those in our tradition found good reasons for believing that infants were baptized in the New Testament era churches. It is true there is no documented infant baptism in Scripture, but it is also true there is no record of the baptism of anyone raised in the church. The question of how the second generation became Christian is not addressed. In Scripture, what we see is that covenantal signs such as circumcision and later baptism were given to children along with their parents. We also see that like circumcision which was a sign of entry into the faith community in which they would be nurtured, so baptism was given as a similar sign into which a child would live.
Why can't I just wait and let my child decide later?
The answer is, of course, you are free to do that as parents. You have the primary spiritual responsibility for your children. Having said that, we encourage you to present your child for baptism without delay. Baptism is a sign of our covenant with God, which includes all generations, including the youngest among us.
Yes, it is true that you baby will have no memory of the baptism. That is often said during the baptism itself. That not only proves what the apostle said, "We love because God first loved us" (1 John 4:19), but it also presents an opportunity to help make the memory of your child's baptism live by celebrating his or her baptism regularly and talking about it often.
Do we have Godparents?
The role of the Godparents is usually referred to as "sponsors" in our church. Their role is to provide special assistance and encouragement to the child and the family in their spiritual journey. It is up to you whether or not you have Sponsors for your child.
Sponsors must be Christian, but do not have to be Presbyterian. They will stand with the family during the baptism. They are making a commitment to pray for the child over the years. They will also take special interest in the child, sharing graduations, holidays and remembering birthdays, but especially on spiritual big days such as confirmation, weddings, or other activities in the church.
How much water is used at baptism?
In our church, baptism can be done by sprinkling, pouring, or immersion. For infants, the water comes from the baptismal font at the front of the church and is sprinkled over the head of the child. For older children or adults being baptized in church, abundant amount of water from that same baptismal font is poured onto the head. For older children or adults being baptized at the beach, full immersion into the water is done.
Why don't we rebaptize?
We believe that once you are baptized with water in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Sprit, you are baptized for life. There is no need for baptism and indeed it goes against the "one Lord, one faith, one baptism" language of Ephesians 4:5. We recognize the baptism done in any other Christian church. While we don't rebaptize, we are encouraged to remember our own baptisms when someone else is baptized. The reminds us that the grace of God in baptism has been given to us.