“But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.” -Isaiah 43:1
WHAT DOES BAPTISM MEAN?
Baptism is the church’s proclamation and experience that we are who we are because God has first chosen us and loved us and called us into God’s kingdom. Baptism by water is a visible sign of God’s love toward God’s children and is represented in the covenant that is sealed between God, the parents of the child or the baptized adult, and the worshipping congregation. The profound truth and beauty of baptism is not so much that we give our children or ourselves to God, but that God chooses us, and calls us God’s own. Baptism is not something that we earn or ever deserve, but receive as a sign and seal of God’s eternal grace.
WHO CAN BE BAPTIZED?
Baptism is offered to adults, upon their profession of faith in Jesus Christ, as well as to the children of parents who are members of SCAPC. The baptism of infants witnesses to the truth that God’s love claims us…even before we are able to respond in faith.
WHEN DOES BAPTISM TAKE PLACE?
In the sacrament of baptism, we, as a community, welcome adults and children into our midst, and promise to come alongside those being baptized to encourage them, as they grow, to answer Jesus’ call to follow him. Baptism, like the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, is celebrated in the context of a worship service. It is not a private rite, but a public celebration. Each time a person is baptized, the congregation gathered for worship is reminded of God’s love and can then dedicate themselves to supporting one another in the journey of faith. Baptisms may be scheduled for either the 8:30 a.m. or the 10:30 a.m. worship service.
WHAT DOES BAPTISM MEAN FOR US BEYOND THE EVENT ITSELF?
When Jesus was baptized (see Matthew 3, Luke 3 and Mark 1) Jesus heard his Heavenly Father proclaim, “You are my son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.” In the same way, each time we celebrate a baptism, we remember our own baptism and how God gives us a new identity in Christ.
HOW DO I REQUEST A BAPTISM DATE?
To request a baptism date for yourself or your child, request a baptism form, or to set up a time to meet with the baptizing pastor, please e-mail Bonnie Shoemaker (firstname.lastname@example.org), or call 504-897-0101, ext. 112. In order to schedule a baptism date, a baptism form must first be completed and returned to the church electronically. If you are not ready to take this step, but would like to talk with someone about baptism, please feel free to request an appointment with either of the pastors.
WHAT ELSE DO I NEED TO DO?
Your newly baptized child (under age five only) will receive a hand-sewn cross-stitching with his or her name on it, as a gift from SCAPC, so it is important that sufficient notice be given in order to have this completed. The church will also provide you with a baptismal certificate and several resources to help you and your child reflect upon, be encouraged by and remember your baptism!