From the beginning, it has been inconceivable to many that one could respond to God's grace by reciting the renunciations, affirming one's faith in Christ and loyalty to the Kingdom, without joining the fellowship of those who are committed to mature in that faith. As the "Body of Christ" in the world, baptism commissions us to use our gifts to strengthen the church and to transform the world.
At JODECO ROAD UMC, we welcome infants, children, youth and adults to be initiated and welcomed into the church by the sacrament of baptism. Our pastor is eager to speak with you and your desire to have your child or yourself baptized in a service of public worship whereby the entire congregation welcomes the one to be baptized into the family of God and the church of Jesus Christ. Please speak with Pastor Dee Dee Lawson if you have questions or concerns.
Below is some more helpful information on our church's theology of baptism:
From the earliest times, both children and infants were baptized and included in the church. As scriptural authority for this ancient tradition, some scholars cite Jesus' words, "Let the little children come to me...for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs." (Mark 10:14) However, a more consistent argument is that baptism, as a means of grace, signifies God's initiative in the process of salvation. John Wesley preached about "prevenient grace," which works in our lives before we are aware of it, bringing us to faith. The baptism of children and their inclusion in the church before they can respond with their own confirmation of faith is a vivid and compelling witness to prevenient grace.
Baptism Is the Beginning, Not the End
You have heard people say, "I was baptized Methodist" or "I was baptized Presbyterian" which could mean that in baptism they got their identity papers and that was the end of it. However, baptism is not the end - it is the beginning of a lifelong journey of faith. It makes no difference whether you were baptized as an adult or as a child; we all start on that journey at baptism. For the child, the journey begins in the nurturing community of the church, where he or she learns what it means that God loves you. At the appropriate time, the child will make his or her first confession of faith in the ritual the church traditionally calls confirmation. Most often, this is at adolescence or at the time when the person begins to take responsibility for his or her own decisions.
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, baptism still marks the beginning of a journey in the nurturing fellowship of the caring, learning, worshiping and serving congregation.
Go to www.umc.org for more information on the Sacrament of Holy Baptism in The United Methodist Church.
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