The Beginning of a Life Committed to Christ
Are you thinking about baptism for yourself or your child? In the United Methodist Church, we mark the beginning of a life committed to Jesus Christ through baptism. For a child born into a Christian home, that's appropriate anytime from birth onward, as the parents determine the child's early years. For those who discover Christian faith at a later age, we also mark the event with the sacrament of baptism.
How is Baptism Done?
Our normal practice is to do a baptism during a regular Sunday morning worship service, when the community of faith is present to pledge their support for those being baptized as they grow in Christian love. It must be an exceptional case to warrant a private baptism.
Often the parents of a child being baptized will select Godparents for the child. This is not a requirement, and there is not a formal role for Godparents in the United Methodist system. However, we're always glad to welcome Godparents to stand with the family during a baptism and to take the vows with the parents.
Our normal practice is to place water from the baptismal font on the head of the person being baptized. Occasionally someone feels strongly about being baptized by full immersion. While we don't have a baptismal pool in the church, we can invite the church community to join us at a swimming pool, lake, or river if necessary. Any mode of baptism by water is acceptable to us.
We do not re-baptize a person. Since we believe it's God's action rather than anything we've done, we expect that God was at work in a person's baptism no matter where, when, or how that was done. We recognize the baptism of all other Christian denominations.
Occasionally someone has had a transformative experience and wants to remember their baptism in a tangible way. We have a service for the reaffirmation of baptismal vows for that purpose.
We believe that baptism is a free gift of God, and there are no fees associated.
Scheduling a Baptism
If you'd like to schedule a baptism, we invite you to come and visit us for worship at least once. Choosing a church to celebrate a baptism is very often a first step in choosing a church home. You will want to strongly consider celebrating a baptism for your child or yourself in a church community where you expect to become participants.
Once you've decided that, call the church office at 978-692-4176, and the Pastor will work with you to prepare for the baptism celebration.