The Meaning of Baptism in the Church
This is the day that Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it!
Our understanding is that Baptism is a Sacrament of the Church. Meaning that it is outward, visible sign of one’s faith commitment to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Whether as an adult requesting such for him or her self, or parents seeking such for their children, baptism is best thought of as a statement of faith, as parents when done so for a child. As such it is public act done in the context of public worship. Not a private event for family or next of kin alone.
Baptism should not be thought of as something to do, as a matter of family or parental expectation. Nor is it a magic ticket to any special status in the faith. What Baptism signifies is that you value the church, God, faith in your life and that of your children and you are looking to make a commitment to that faith community in which the act of Baptism will be preformed.
As Pastor I do not Baptize under my own authority or rational. I Baptize on behalf of the faith community and Session or management board of the Community Church of Lambertville, 1st Presbyterian. When requested by people not members of the church, protocol is that the adult or parent(s) present themselves to the Session of the church and make a statement of personal faith and the meaning of Jesus Christ in their lives, seeking Session approval for the Sacrament to the preformed. Upon Session approval a date will be planned for. It is presumed that in the case of non-members requesting Baptism that they are also seeking to become members of the Community Church of Lambertville, 1st Presbyterian making it their home church. Apart for this commitment or promise to make active participation in a faith community important in ones life or that of the family, the Sacrament is rendered meaningless and just another act that people do for the sake of doing or cultural or because of family expectations.
All who seek the Sacrament should come to the act in prayer and joyful expectation. Prayer that the Lord will bless and be with us, as He is always. And joyful expectation of the new life, new hope, new beginning in Jesus Christ. May God bless and keep you.
Peter Gregory Pastor