Baptism is one of two sacraments we celebrate at First Congregational Church (the other being communion). It is a joyous celebration because it marks a person’s incorporation into the universal church– the body of Christ.
In the United Church of Church, people may be baptized either as children or adults. Baptism is a gift of God. Baptism with water and the Holy Spirit is the mark of our acceptance into the care of Christ’s church, the sign and seal of our participation in God’s forgiveness, and the beginning of our growth into the fullness of Christian faith and life.
When an infant or young child is baptized, one or both parents, who are members of the church, promise to assume responsibility for the Christian nurture of their child. Sometimes one or more sponsors (often referred to as God parents) also take on those responsibilities. The baptism of child is subsequently “confirmed” later in their life when they can make a personal profession of faith in Jesus Christ.
Baptism is not only a personal celebration for the baptismal candidates and their families, but also a central celebration in the life of the local church which embodies the universal church in a particular place. For this reason, baptism should take place in the presence of the community of faith gathered for public worship. In officiating at a service of baptism, the pastor acts as a representative of the church.
Adults who make a profession of faith and want to be baptized as a public expression of their faith in Jesus Christ are also welcome to participate in this sacrament. In any case, those who desire baptism should consult with the pastor at their earliest convenience so a mutually convenient date can be set and notice given to friends and family who might wish to be present.
If you would like to discuss baptism with the pastor, simply contact the church office.