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Baptism in the United Church

When someone is baptized in the United Church of Canada, that baptism is recognized by all denominations of the Christian church that practise infant baptism. In the same way, if someone has already been baptized in another church at any age, the United Church recognizes their baptism and welcomes them as Christians.

Baptism is not a requirement for God’s love. We believe people who die without baptism are in no way condemned, lost, or damned, but that everyone is a beloved child of God.

Having said that, the United Church believes that baptism consists of important promises that are made between the person being baptised, the community of faith, and God. Those promises are about the kind of relationship we want to be in with God, through Jesus. We understand that baptism is one of the two “sacraments” of the church – rituals that Jesus himself directed people to do. We understand that a sacrament is an action making God’s love known that we do externally to recognize what God has already done internally.


Baptisms at Grace

If you are thinking about having your child baptized, or being baptized YOURSELF, at Grace United Church, we invite you to give prayerful consideration to what you find here. Please feel free to print this page for further exploration and consideration. Give our minister a call at the church, or send an email, if you’ve got any questions. This information is also available as a brochure at the church.

The Celebration of Baptism

Baptism is a celebration of thanksgiving for a new life entering the church community, recognizing that every person is a beloved child of God.  Although infant baptism has been most common at Grace, children, youth and adults are just as welcome to receive the sacrament of baptism. It is open to all, regardless of age or stage of life.

Understanding Baptism

In Baptism, the church celebrates that God has blessed the person being baptised with God’s Spirit, recognizes that God has received them into God’s care and promises that the newly baptised person has a place in the community of Christ’s church, with all the support we can offer in their growth in Jesus.  The use of water symbolizes the cleansing of heart and mind, and the new life in Christ that God intends for that person.


When children are baptised, it involves promises that are made by both the parents and the Grace congregation. In the case of an older child or an adult, who will make their own promises, the wording may be somewhat different, but the promises are the same.

Promises of the Parents

Minister: Do you believe in God, who has created and is creating?

Parents (or person being baptised): Yes, I do.

Minister: Do you believe in Jesus, the “Word made flesh”, and that he came to reconcile us, and make us new?

Parents/Person: Yes, I do.

Minister: Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, and that the Spirit remains in the world, teaching us what it means to live God’s love?

Parents/Person: Yes, I do!

Minister: Will you help your child learn what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ, and will you love her/him/them to the best of your ability, and beyond, each and every day of your life?

Parents: I will!

Promises of the Congregation

Minister (to the congregation): Will you do everything in your power to help this child grow as a disciple of Jesus? Will you love them, to the best of your ability (and beyond!), each and every day of your life?

Congregation: We will, God being our guide!

There is a very basic meaning in these promises:
– With faith, the parent(s) (or the person being baptised) recognizes God’s love for yourself and the one being baptised.
– You commit  to helping the person being baptised to be a disciple (follower) of Jesus, that you’ll share your faith with them and encourage them in living a spiritual journey towards health and wholeness by participating in a community of faith (maybe even with Grace!)

– We, the congregation of Grace United Church, offer to support you, and the person being baptised, in a Christian community of love and trust, with a knowledge of God’s love as expressed through Creation, and an appreciation of our responsibilities as people who are responsible to care for that Creation.

How to Honour Your Promises as a One who will Guide someone newly baptised

– Be a parent whose care and guidance will help your child to understand God’s love.
– Explore your own faith, learning about what living Christianity means in your life, and help your child to live with faith and courage.
– Have fun participating in the life and ministry of the Church.
– Explore prayer, Bible stories, and worship with the newly baptised person.
– Help Grace to provide Christian education experiences for your child and the children of others by volunteering to help with Kids’ Program and other Faith Formation programs (or by volunteering for something else that you’re interested in, which lets another volunteer be with the kids and teens).
– Remember that everyone who is baptised is received by the Church in Christ’s name and love; so each of us supports the other with love, prayer, Christian life and teaching.

Questions for Consideration for Baptism at Grace

You do not have to be an “official” member of Grace or the United Church of Canada to have your child baptised here or to be baptised here. However, we ask that you consider these questions:
– Am I in agreement with the beliefs of this Christian community?
– Am I prepared to commit myself to being part of the worshipping community?
– Am I prepared to seek out opportunities grow in my own spiritual development by participating in educational and social programs that are offered?
– Am I prepared to meet with the Minister, to talk over what baptism means?

Whether or not you answer “yes” to all of these questions, if you’re interested in exploring the “whats and the whys” of baptism, then  email or call Grace’s office for more information, and to set up a conversation with the minister.

After Baptism

We understand that Christianity is a response to Jesus who called people to live in a community of faith. We believe that it is almost impossible for Christians to  practice their faith in isolation from the rest of their faith community. It takes a village to raise a child, and at Grace, part of our mission is to support people in belonging, learning, and connecting to our community of faith.

Within our tradition there are numerous opportunities to re-affirm our faith.  As people grow in the love of God, there are times when each of us can choose to profess our faith before the congregation. One of these opportunities that Grace encourages includes young people (high school age and older) and adults, when ready, to publicly share their faith in Jesus Christ–“confirming” the promises that were made on their behalf.