You have called us to know you, to love you, to trust you, to seek you, to grow with you. Let us who thirst come to the waters of new life. By your grace, we are received with open arms. – A baptism prayer
Baptism’s role in our covenant with God.
The sacrament of Baptism is the door through which we find entry into the whole Christian life. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as children of God. We become members of Christ’s church, incorporated into its mission.
“Baptism is God’s most beautiful and magnificent gift… We call it gift, grace, anointing, enlightenment, garment of immortality, bath of rebirth, seal, and most precious gift. It is called gift because it is conferred on those who bring nothing of their own; grace since it is given even to the guilty; Baptism because sin is buried in the water; anointing for it is priestly and royal as are those who are anointed; enlightenment because it radiates light; garment since it veils our shame; bath because it washes; and seal as it is our guard and the sign of God’s Lordship.” (St. Gregory of Nazianzus)
From the very day of Pentecost, the Church has celebrated and administered Holy Baptism. St. Peter declared to the crowd astounded by his preaching: “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38)
If you experienced God’s grace and were baptized as an adult or received baptism as a child and desire to reaffirm your baptismal vows, reaffirmation still marks the beginning of a journey in the nurturing fellowship of the caring, learning, worshiping, serving congregation.
What do I need to do to prepare?
Those seeking baptism should have shown a commitment to the sacrament by attending worship regularly and participating in the life of ASUMC. Membership at ASUMC is not required to perform a baptism, but adults seeking baptism (or parents of children or infants) are expected to take the new member class. It is important to discuss the desire for baptism with the pastor and to attend a baptism workshop prior to scheduling a date for the baptism.
- Teens and adults seeking baptism should meet with the pastor one-on-one.
- Children seeking baptism may meet with the pastor along with their parents.
- Parents seeking baptism for their infant should meet with the pastor. This can be done late in the pregnancy, if desired.
- The baptism must be scheduled at least one month ahead of time.
Generally, baptisms can be scheduled on any regular Sunday, but we prefer they not be scheduled on special holy days or during the penitent seasons of Advent (December) or Lent (early spring).
Godparents, (sponsor or sponsor couple) may be selected for the individual to be baptized, but this is not required.
What will happen during the baptism?
- On the morning of the baptism, the adult to be baptized (or the family of a child or infant) should arrive at 10:00 (30 minutes before worship).
- Dress: Parents are encouraged to dress their infants in a simple, white garment to symbolize their new life in Christ. (Adults may wear white as well.)
- After the sermon, the pastor will invite the family of the individual to be baptized to the font, which is a bowl of water at the back of the assembly. The congregation will then be invited to surround the individual and his or her family.
- The baptismal liturgy can be found on p. 33-38 of The United Methodist Hymnal. You are encouraged to review and pray over this prior to the day of your baptism.
- At the appropriate time, the individual to be baptized leans his or her head over the bowl as water is poured over three times. The pastor then anoints the individual by making the sign of the cross with oil on his or her forehead. Afterwards, the community will welcome the newly baptized.
A few months before:
- Contact the church office to sign up for the next baptism workshop
- Attend a baptism workshop
- Consult with the pastor to set a date for the sacrament (must be done at least one month ahead of time)
- Select godparents (if desired)
Two weeks before:
- Send the names of parents, grandparents, and godparents (if any) as you wish them to appear in the bulletin to Sue Ellen Nicholson (email@example.com).
The day of:
- Arrive no later than 10:00am (30 minutes prior to the service.)
- Ask your family members and guests to sit in the back row(s) of seats, as these will provide the best view of the sacrament. Reserve seats if necessary.
- Meet the pastor at the font at 10:00 with a hymnal for a quick “dress rehearsal.”
Available dates for baptism
Dates / Season
April 24 – June 5 / Easter
June 12 / Pentecost Sunday
June 19 – October 30 / Ordinary Time
November 13 – 20 / Ordinary Time
January 1, 2012 / Christmas
January 8 – February 12, 2012 / Epiphany