Marking a new life in Christ—a beautiful spiritual journey we make in community with one another.
Since the time of Jesus, baptism has signified the beginning of a spiritual journey following Christ’s Way of Love. In Baptism, we are joined to Christ in his death and resurrection and made full members of his body, the Church.
Baptisms are a sacrament. Baptism is an initiation rite that is an “outward sign of an inward grace.” The grace of baptism signifies God’s blessing and the receiving of the Holy Spirit to empower a person’s journey following Christ.
Baptisms are a roadmap for the community. The baptismal liturgy contains a kind of roadmap of how to love as Jesus did. It is a profoundly communal experience, not a private one, because in it three kinds of promises are made: the promises of God for forgiveness and transformation to those being baptized; the promises of the person being baptized to follow Jesus’ Way; and the promises of the community to support those being baptized. For this reason, we ask those being baptized to be or to become members of St. John’s.
Baptisms are for all ages. At St. John’s we baptize children and adults because God’s love for people is independent of ability, achievement or understanding. It’s for everyone!
“If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation; the former things have passed away; all things have become new!” – 2 Corinthians 5:17
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to be a member of St. John's to schedule a baptism?
Usually, this would be the best option. If you don’t have a church, why not make St. John’s your church? If you do have a church, why not have the baptism there? And if you don’t want a church, why have a baptism at all? The clergy at St. John’s would love to talk with you about these questions or any related issues that might be on your mind.
What if one of the parents or godparents is not a Christian?
The love and support of relatives and friends is a blessing from God. All are invited to participate in baptism at St. John’s in whatever way makes sense to them and to you, including as supporters and witnesses. One role that does not make sense for a non-Christian is that of godparent. This is a matter of courtesy and hospitality to the non-Christian, in light of the fact that godparents make public promises and affirmations in the name of Christ as part of the baptismal service.
Should I bring the baby to the preparation meetings? To church?
Babies should be wherever they’re comfortable and their parents are happy. If you and the baby are happy together, then keep the baby with you even if there’s some fussing and wiggling and getting up and down. A worship service is not the opera, and our pre-baptismal conversations are not business meetings. On the other hand, if the baby’s happy in the nursery, and you’re happy for a break, you may leave the baby in our professionally staffed nursery for any part of Sunday morning. Older siblings, depending on their age and comfort level, can go to Children’s Chapel and Sunday school or stay and be joyfully welcomed wherever they are.
What if I myself am not sure about Christianity or my commitment to the Church?
The best way to address those questions is to participate, reflect, and evaluate. You are more likely to make progress on these issues in conversation with others than at home by yourself. We are a wide-open church with many perspectives; what we have in common is the conviction that Jesus’ Way is loving, liberating, and life-giving. We would love to have you join us to explore, even if you’re not committed to membership or baptism.
Interested in baptisms?
If you (or your child) would like to consider baptism at St. John’s, please contact Lisa Wiens Heinsohn, or fill out the contact form below, and join us in worship!