Baptisms at First Lutheran Church
We acknowledge that Baptism is God’s act, God’s initiative, and God’s gift. It joins us to Jesus, the Church and eternal life. Baptism brings us into the Church, Christ’s living body on earth. Within this Christian community, we grow in faith and understanding, living as disciples of Jesus Christ.
Who should be baptized? Everyone! Infants, children, and adults in fulfillment of Jesus’ command, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28)
When should a child be baptized? Traditionally parents will have their child baptized after the first days of birth throughout the first year. There is no exact time frame for baptism. Sometimes family traditions or life circumstances will help decide when your child will be baptized.
Should I be concerned that my child won’t remember or understand their baptism? No. Infant baptism emphasizes our conviction that there is nothing we can do or say to earn the promises of baptism, but rather it is pure gift from God. As your child grows, learning about their baptism will be part of their faith formation journey in worship, church school and other events. When your child is in middle school, they will be invited to participate in our Confirmation ministry, where they will dig deeper into the meaning of baptism and a life of Christian discipleship. At their Confirmation, typically in 9th grade, they will publicly affirm their baptism.
Can my child be baptized at First Lutheran Church if I am not a member? Ordinarily, parents should be First Lutheran members or worshipping here before bringing a child for baptism. Once a person has been baptized at First Lutheran Church, they become a member. If the parent’s membership is in another congregation, we insist that they receive the permission from the pastor of that congregation for the baptism to take place at First Lutheran Church. If they should wish to retain their membership in another congregation, we will transfer the membership of the newly baptized to that congregation.
When will baptisms take place? Baptisms take place during regular worship services of First Lutheran Church. Because the gathered community is an important part of baptismal theology and the baptism rite, we do not offer private baptisms, except in rare cases of health/medical concerns. These exceptions will be made at the discretion of a pastor.
How should I choose sponsors? When choosing sponsors think about the person(s) who will help raise your child in his/her faith life. Think about a person who would help celebrate your child’s baptismal day each year, assist with answering those difficult faith questions, be there for your child’s faith milestones, and listen to and pray for your child. Sponsors themselves must be baptized, and should be 18 years or older. A younger child may be considered as an honorary sponsor. Sponsors will publicly promise to pray for your child and support them in their
So, what should I do if I want my child, or myself to be baptized? Contact our church office. One of our pastors will contact you, listen to your faith journey so far, and answer your questions about baptism. Scripturally, baptism and teaching always accompany one another. In preparation for baptism and membership in our congregation, we ask that the following form be filled out and returned to the church office.
If you have any additional questions, please contact a pastor at (701) 852-4853.