Baptism is a sign that points to the reality of God’s unfailing, never-ending love. It shows forth God’s gracious welcome of all. It marks our turning from a life apart from God and toward God’s life-giving presence.
At First Pres, we are delighted to offer baptism to all who are followers of God in the way of Jesus Christ. Ordinarily, baptism is offered to those who have previously not received it (since it is a life-changing event that claims God’s grace and love once and for all). Those seeking baptism should first participate in one of our Inquirers Classes and/or consult with the Pastor. Upon profession of faith and becoming a member of the church, baptism is offered during our Sunday morning worship service. Just contact the Pastor in advance to schedule the baptism.
In keeping with our Presbyterian Reformed tradition, at First Pres we are also delighted to offer baptism to infants, children and youth. Baptism is a sign of full inclusion in the family of faith. During the baptism, the parent(s) are asked to affirm their faith and their desire for their family to participate in the church’s life together. The congregation is asked to pledge to participate in the child’s Christian nurture, which it can only do if the family participates in the life of the church. For infants and children, ordinarily one or both parents should complete the process of becoming a member of First Pres by participating in one of our Inquirers Classes and/or consulting with the Pastor. For youth, ordinarily the youth first participates in our Youth Confirmation Class, which culminates in church membership and baptism (for those previously not having been baptized).
During the baptism, the participants are asked to respond to the following questions:
Will you seek to be a follower of God in the way of Jesus Christ?
Do you trust in God and will you try to live your life following the teachings and example of Jesus Christ?
Will you be a faithful member of this congregation, participating in our life together and giving of yourself as you are able?
After the participant(s) respond to these questions, the Pastor administers baptism by placing a small quantity of water upon the participant’s forehead, stating the baptismal formula that is used throughout Christendom: “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”
The church celebrates with individuals and families this life-changing worship sacrament to the glory of God!