Persons of any age are suitable for baptism. Infants or others unable to take the vows for themselves are presented by parents and/or sponsors.
We encourage the baptism of infants and children. 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). Baptism as a means of grace signifying God’s initiative in the process of salvation.
John Wesley preached “prevenient grace,” the grace that works in our lives before we are aware of it, bringing us to faith. The baptism of children and their inclusion in the church before they can respond with their own confirmation of faith is a vivid and compelling witness to prevenient grace.
Those baptized before they are old enough to take the vows for themselves make their personal profession of faith in the service called confirmation.
If you were baptized in a different Christian faith, we recognize and honor your baptism as real and effective. Therefore there is no need for rebaptism if you have chosen to become a United Methodist Christian.
If you would like to be baptized, or have your child baptized, please contact the Pastor to make arrangements.
What is a Confirmation?
We United Methodist Christians practice and encourage baptism of infants and young children. At baptism we are born in a very particular way into the family of God. We are incorporated into God’s promise of love and forgiveness and acceptance, now and forever in heaven, through Jesus Christ.
Confirmation classes are offered each year for both those young people who are ready to take personal responsibility for the vows made on their behalf at their baptism and also for those young people who have not yet been baptized.
In general, young people who are at least 12 years old, are invited to participate in confirmation classes. However, age is not as important as the readiness of each person.
Following completion of classes on 12 specific topics, confirmands come forward in a Sunday worship service.
All of the confirmands take the vows of a professing member:
- To renounce the spiritual forces of wickedness, reject the evil powers of the world, and repent of their sin;
- To accept the freedom and power God gives them to resist evil, injustice, and oppression;
- To confess Jesus Christ as Savior, put their whole trust in his grace, and promise to serve him as their Lord;
- To remain faithful members of Christ’s holy church and serve as Christ’s representatives in the world;
- To be loyal to Christ through The United Methodist Church and do all in their power to strengthen its ministries;
- To faithfully participate in its ministries by their prayers, their presence, their gifts, their service, and their witness;
- To receive and profess the Christian faith as contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments.
We baptize the young people who were not baptized previously.
Then, together with the congregation, we “remember” our baptisms”. (We are not so much “remembering” the details of something we may or may not have been old enough to recall, as we are giving thanks for the gift of being born in a very particular way into the family of God.)
Each confirmand then kneels and the pastor lays hands on her/his head. The pastor speaks words that are nearly identical to those said during the laying on of hands following baptism, “The Holy Spirit works within you, that, having been born through water and the Spirit, you may live as a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ.”
At this time the confirmands are welcomed as full members of the congregation promising to faithfully participate in our ministries through their prayers, their presence, their gifts, their service, and their witness.
What about adults who have not been baptized?
The Lord is ready and waiting for you right now!! Contact the Pastor so we can make plans for your baptism right away.
What about adults who have not been confirmed?
The pastor periodically offers classes for those who would like to know more about our faith and about what it means to be a United Methodist Christian. Please call the church office for more information.