BAPTISM: For further reading, click on this link
God has blessed you and entrusted you with one of his precious children. Congratulations! As a parent it’s time for you to present your child for baptism.
Our Lord instructed baptism as part of the ministry of the church. Baptism is not a profession of faith; it is God’s pronouncement and a sign of his covenant mercies.
Child Or Adult? The Christian Reformed Church is glad to celebrate the sacrament of baptism with both adults and children.
In infant baptism God publicly places his covenant claim on the children of believing parents. It is God’s plan that they should grow up in the Christian faith, blessed by Christian nurture. For the rest of their lives your children may know that from day one they belong to the Lord, that they are part of the community of God’s people, and that God has promised to forgive their sins if they will accept that promise with a believing heart.
As covenant children grow older, they must cash in on the promises that were publicly sealed in their baptism. Baptized children are born into citizenship in God’s kingdom. How they will respond to their citizenship in God’s kingdom and to the promises that were sealed in their baptism is a decision they will face further down the road.
For us parents, baptism commits us to our responsibilities – God helping us – in raising our children.
For the church, the baptism of its children is within the church community that members become increasingly aware of what it means to be called by the name of Christ.
THE BAPTISM SERVICE
Baptisms should take place in church during the worship service, because baptism is not an individual but a “family” ceremony. During baptism, our local congregation represents that family of faith. But it is also very appropriate and meaningful to include your Christian friends and members of your family, such as grandparents, sisters and brothers, uncles and aunts, among others. If no immediate or extended family can be present. Do not exclude your non believing family members or friends. Be sure to tell your pastor who they are, so that they can be warmly welcomed to the worship service and be thanked for their support in attending this festive event. Fellow Christians are glad when nonbelievers attend a worship service – it celebrates an opportunity to witness what their faith is all about.
Most churches encourage parents to think about and help plan the baptismal service of their child. Check with [firstname.lastname@example.org] to see how you can help to make the baptism as meaningful as possible to you, your family, the congregation, and later, to your child when you tell him or her about it. Since churches plan well in advance, don’t wait until the last minute.
You, as parents, will be asked in the baptismal questions to reaffirm your faith in God. It’s also appropriate for the congregation, as you and your child’s extended family in Christ, to make a pledge of support. In the Reformed tradition the entire church body takes on the role of godparents for infants.
Baptismal forms have a question-answer format for parents to use to reaffirm their faith and make their views. You may want to suggest an appropriate hymn that the congregation can sing to celebrate the baptism of your child. The Music Director, (email@example.com) will be able to help you choose a meaningful song. Some family circles are blessed with musical talent. If yours is one of them, consider the possibility of one or more family members or friends singing or playing an appropriate baptismal song as well. This can be a very meaningful addition to the baptism, as long as it does not prevent the congregation from singing or saying its responses as well.
Bethel presents a baptismal banners to mark this festive occasion. The Administrative Coordinator, [insert clickable link to office] will coordinate the details.
Please contact a pastor [firstname.lastname@example.org] for more information about the baptism of your child. They will be pleased to speak with you further about this joyous celebration of God’s enfolding of children in his love. May God bless you richly as you continue to lead your child in the wondrous ways of the kingdom of heaven.