Holy Baptism is an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace in a person’s life and relationship with God. Whatever the age of the one baptized, baptism is the birth rite of the world-wide Christian church. We know from our own experience that, as we pass from certain states of existence to others, some rite is often performed. An alien who becomes an American citizen participates in the rite of becoming a citizen. A civilian who joins the armed services participates in a similar rite of passage. The rite speaks to both the individual and the whole community.
In just the same way, when one becomes a member of the Christian family, either by being born into a Christian home or by deciding for himself that he has come to believe in Christ as his Lord and wants to join the church, a definite rite or ceremony is performed: Baptism.
Baptism symbolizes dying (going under water) with Christ and being re-born (coming out from the water) with him: a new creation in his likeness. St. Paul said, "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me!" (Galatians 2:20) Baptism symbolizes our new life lived under cover of Christ's righteousness, reconciling us to God forever.
What is baptism?
Baptism is the sacrament by which we celebrate God’s adoption of us as his children. It marks our membership in Christ’s Body, the church. It is the outward and visible sign of union with Christ in his death and resurrection, birth into God’s family the church, forgiveness of sins, and new life in the Holy Spirit.
Do we baptize infants? Why?
Yes, we do. Infants are baptized so that they can share citizenship in the Covenant, membership in Christ, and redemption by God. Infant baptism has been the universal practice throughout most of the church’s history and can be traced back to the second century.
Do we baptize older children and adults? Yes!
We love to welcome people into the family of God. Older children and adults also meet with the clergy. If you're interested in being baptized as an adult, contact a member of the clergy.
I have already been baptized in another denomination. Do I need to be re-baptized to join St. Francis in the Fields?
No. We accept baptism in other denominations of the Church as valid, as long as you were baptized with water in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
When do you have baptisms?
They are scheduled in Sunday worship services in the main Sanctuary. The schedule is available from the church office.
What about godparents?
They must be active and instructed members of a Christian church, because they will be making vows that only a strong believer can in good conscience make. We require that they send us a reference from their pastor.
Can we have a private baptism?
Private baptisms are discouraged for some pretty good reasons. Baptism is the public rite of initiation into the church, so we celebrate baptism during our corporate worship as the Body of Christ which allows the church to welcome the newly baptized. Clinical baptism is administered to the gravely ill or for other pastoral considerations at the discretion of the clergy.
Do we need to be members?
If the parents are not yet members of St. Francis in the Fields, we ask that they join the parish and attend the next confirmation class. However, their child may be baptized before the confirmation class is completed.
What is required of us at Baptism?
- It is required that we renounce evil, repent of our sins, and accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
- Attend a Baptism class, which meets on the first Sunday of every other month during the Education Hour and meet once privately with a member of the clergy. (Baptism Classes: March 18 and May 6)
- Attend a rehearsal/instruction time with the Children's minister just prior to the service at which the baptism will occur.
- If the person being baptized is an adult, that person may be asked to attend The Exploration Class.
- After your child’s baptism you will be invited to some follow-up events designed to help and encourage parents in fulfilling the commitments they make on behalf of their children.
If I have more questions?
If your questions regard the baptism of a child, contact our Director of Children's Ministry, Jennifer Grady or by phone in the church office, 502-228-1176 ext 5098. If you have questions regarding adult baptism, call the church office at the number above and ask to speak to a member of the clergy. We will be happy to assist you!