Jesus calls us to be baptized. It is part of our Christian journey and an expression of our faith in Christ. So if you have never been baptized or you are considering being baptized or if you are interested in having one of your children baptized, then you can call the church office 614.832.3732 or fill out the following Baptism Form. Below you will find a few questions and answers that may help you understand Baptism better.
What is Baptism?
Baptism is a ritual of water to signify entrance into the household of faith. It is a symbol of repentance and inner cleansing from sin. It represents our new birth in Jesus and a mark of Christian discipleship. Baptism is an outward and visible sign of the inward spiritual grace through which we become partakers of his righteousness and heirs of life eternal. Those receiving the Sacrament are thereby marked as Christian disciples and initiated into the fellowship of Christ’s holy Church. We practice 3 forms of baptism: sprinkling, pouring and immersion.
These are 3 methods that the church has traditionally used to baptize people. Sprinkling is when the pastor takes a handful of water typically from a bowl and sprinkles the water upon the head of the person being baptized. Pouring is when the pastor takes a pitcher of water and pours it over the person being baptized. Immersion is when the pastor fully immerses the person being baptized in a pool of water. In each case the pastor shares the words, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.”
What are sprinkling, pouring and immersion?
Do I have to be baptized in order to be saved?
No. Salvation is a process of the soul, not a practice of the church. However we do believe that a believer who refuses baptism is rejecting a means of grace that God alone provides.
We discourage the practice of re-baptism. Instead we offer people an alternative called re-affirmation. In a service of reaffirmation people are given the chance to re-affirm their baptismal vows by sprinkling, pouring or immersion in a slightly different form than the baptism service. The recipient of re-affirmation takes the initiative to enter into the waters of their baptism while the pastor shares the words, “Remember your baptism and be thankful.” A re-affirmation service implies that while God remains faithful to God’s half of the Baptismal covenant, we are not always faithful to our promises. Our half of the covenant is to confess Christ as a Savior, trust in his grace, serve him as Lord in the church, and carry out his mission against evil, injustice and oppression in the world.
Absolutely. We recognize the baptism of other churches and denominations provided those traditions baptize people with water in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit as generally understood in historic Christianity. We offer baptism to people of all ages who have not previously received Christian baptism in any form.
Generally all baptisms happen in the context of our public worship services. Only in emergency cases (such as health or inability to participate in a service) do we offer more intimate private baptisms.
From the earliest times, 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) We believe children are under the atonement of Christ and are heirs of the Kingdom of God. Children of believing parents through baptism become a special responsibility of the Church. Once baptized a child is considered a preparatory member in the United Methodist Church. They should be nurtured and led by the parents and the church family to a personal acceptance of Christ and a profession of faith to confirm their baptism.
We offer baptisms the 3rd Sunday of every month at either of our worship services. A baptismal class or counseling session is scheduled prior to the baptism to explain the meaning of baptism and answer any questions the recipient or parents might have. You can request baptism by either calling Valerie Grace-Engell in the church office 614-837-3732 or signing up on the “Count Me In” insert in the bulletin.
When an infant is baptized, parents assume the responsibility to live out the promises of baptism on behalf of their child. In a believer’s baptism the one being baptized assumes responsibility for the promises made and professes their faith in Christ and is baptized. The Bible says, “anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved.” Mark 16:16 (NCV) In an infant baptism, as that child grows up in a Christian home under the influence of believing parents who faithfully bring their child to church, that child at some point professes their own faith in Christ and confirms their baptism. So in both traditions there is a public profession of faith that confirms the baptism. Why, because in all forms of baptism, God claims those being baptized whatever their age or ability to profess their faith, with divine grace. Clearly, an infant cannot save themselves but is totally dependent on God’s grace, however so is an adult who comes to faith in Christ at some later stage of life. Ultimately, God’s means of grace are bigger than the traditions of our faith.
The theological understanding of the two services is very different. We encourage parents to baptize their children but we will offer a prayer of dedication. Dedication is a human promise we make to God. Baptism is a covenantial promise made by both God and us. Although the United Methodist Church does not practice the ceremony of child dedication because of our theological understanding we at PEACE church believe for those parents steeped in a tradition of believer’s baptism who are unwilling to have their child baptized, for the outreach and mission of Christ’s church, we will offer a dedicatory prayer.