SACRAMENT OF BAPTISM
“Christian baptism is rooted in the ministry of Jesus of Nazareth, in his death and in his resurrection. It is incorporation into Christ … entry into the New Covenant between God and God’s people. Baptism is a gift of God. Baptism is the sign of new life through Jesus Christ. It unites one baptized with Christ and with his people. There is a variety of biblical references pertaining to baptism. The following is a sampling: Baptism is participation in Christ’s death and resurrection (Rom. 6:3¬5; Col 2: 12); a washing away of sin (1 Cor. 6: 11); a new birth (John 3:5); an enlightenment by Christ (Eph 5:14); a: reclothing in Christ (Gal 3-:27); a renewal by the Spirit (Titus 3:5); and a liberation into a new humanity in which barriers of division whether of sex or race or social: status are transcended: (Gal.3:27-28; 1Cor.12:13) The images are many but the reality is one” from “Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry” WCC. Geneva, 1982
Baptism affirms a covenant relationship.
The faith community (including parents/mentors) assumes responsibility for nurturing the person being baptized. Baptism is a welcoming and affirmation of a relationship- between: God and community. The baptismal practice at Trinity-St. Paul’s United Church is that there is already an established relationship between the individual/family requesting baptism and the worshiping community, or a willingness on the part of the individual family to establish a relationship. (An established relationship may mean, for example, a child of parents who have been attending Trinity-St. Paul’s for three months, or a child/grandchild of regular attendees at TSP)
– The Sacrament of Baptism is celebrated in the usual context of the worship service, except for unusual circumstances such as extenuating health emergencies.
– The normal expectation is that photo opportunities are provided either before or after the worship service.
– The names of the persons to be baptized shall be formally presented to the Nurturing Community and Discipleship Circle prior to baptism. Where it is not possible to present names prior to baptism, due to extenuating circumstances, the names of persons baptized shall be reported to the next meeting of the Circle for ratification.