Baptism is one of the two sacraments, or sacred acts, celebrated in Protestant Christianity.
Why we baptize
The practice of baptism extends back to the time of Jesus, as John the Baptizer baptized Jesus, and beyond, to purification rites practiced by some segments of Judaism for generations before.
a grace of God
We understand Baptism and the other sacrament, Holy Communion, to be primarily statements about the nature of God. Secondarily, they also reflect on our human condition. Baptism proclaims the forgiving grace of God. Water, the element used in baptism, nourishes and cleanses us. This is also our understanding of the function of God's grace. God's grace is freely given. It is not dependent on our merit; thus we believe it is available to infants and small children and they therefore can also receive baptism.
baptism of children
When we baptize infants we also place our hands on the child's head and pray God's spirit to work within them. In the biblical accounts of Jesus' baptism the Holy Spirit came upon him. Thus, we celebrate not only the forgiving and welcoming grace of God but also the gracious guidance of God in the Spirit's presence in our lives.
Becoming a member of the Church
Finally, in baptism we mark the individual's initial entrance into the community of the church. They are officially a part of the congregation as Baptized Members and the congregation has enumerated responsibilities to them of care and nurture.
If you have any questions about baptism we invite you to call the church office 619-297-4366 and ask to speak with any of our pastors or to Demmie Divine, Executive Assistant to the Lead Pastor.
Photo: Robert Lang (copy right)