If you are thinking about having your child baptized at Grace United Church, we urge you to give prayerful consideration to the contents of this page. Please feel free to print this page for further exploration and consideration. The information on this page is also available as a brochure at the church.
We celebrate Baptism on set dates throughout the church year:
– 4th Sunday in January
– Mother’s Day
– Father’s Day
– 3rd Sunday in October
The Celebration of Baptism
Baptism is a celebration of thanksgiving for a new life entering the church community, recognizing every person is a beloved child of God. Infant Baptism is most common at Grace, although children, youth and adults also receive the sacrament from time to time since it is open to all, regardless of age. (This document deals primarily with infant or child baptism.)
Baptism is one of two sacraments in The United Church of Canada. (The other sacrament is the Lord’s Supper, also known as Communion.). A sacrament is an action making God’s love known that we do externally to recognize what God has already done internally.
God acts in Baptism by blessing your child, receiving them into God’s care and within the fellowship of Christ’s church. The use of water symbolizes the cleansing of heart and mind, and the new life in Christ that God intends for your child.
Baptism of Children involves promises that are taken by both the parents and the Grace congregation.
Promises of the Parents
Minister: You have brought your child here for baptism. Do you believe in God and in God’s love?
Parents: Yes, we do.
Minister: Do you believe that God is known to us in Jesus of Nazareth, who lived and died and lives again?
Parents: Yes, we do.
Minister: Do you believe that God’s Spirit is active in the world to direct and strengthen you?
Parents: Yes, we do.
Minister: Will you do your best to provide a Christian home for your children and will you encourage them to make a journey of faith?
Parents: Yes, we will.
Promises of the Congregation
All: As a baptized and baptizing church, we commit ourselves to support and uphold all children within a community which worships God, loves and serves others, seeks justice and resists evil. May God grant us all the grace to live out our baptism.
There is a very basic meaning in these promises:
– With faith, you the parent(s) recognize God’s love for yourself and your child.
– With dedication, you promise to raise your child in a Christian home, share your faith with them and encourage them to discern a spiritual journey towards health and wholeness by participating in a community of faith.
– We, the congregation of Grace United Church, offer to support you to raise your child 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 stewards of that Creation.
How to Honour Your Promises
– Be a parent whose care and discipline will help your child to understand God’s love.
– Cultivate consistent Christian attitudes to life, and so help your child to live with faith and courage.
– Joyfully participate in the life and mission of the Church.
– Introduce your child early to prayer, Bible stories, and worship.
– Help Grace to provide Christian education for your child and the children of others by volunteering to help with Kids’ Program and other Faith Formation programs.
– Remember that all baptized children are received by the Church in the name of Christ; support them with love, prayer, Christian example 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. 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 attending worship?
– Am I prepared to seek out opportunities to further my own spiritual development by participating in educational and social programs that are offered?
– Am I prepared to attend a baptism preparation evening led by the Minister?
If your answer to all these questions is “yes”, then either email or otherwise contact Grace’s office for more information about Baptism, getting your child baptised at Grace, or to inquire about upcoming Baptism dates.
Many other world religions can be practiced independently, but Christianity is a response to Jesus who called people to live in a community of faith. We believe Christians cannot practice their faith in isolation from the rest of their “family”. 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.
By having your child baptized, you agree to support your child’s spiritual development. In turn, we make a commitment that we will help nurture all children, making them aware of the love of God and the joy of God’s creation.
Within our tradition there are numerous opportunities to re-affirm our faith. As a child grows up in the love of God, there may come a time when each child will choose to profess their faith before the congregation. One of these opportunities that Grace encourages includes young people (high school age and older) and adults, when ready, to seek membership in the church and publicly profess their faith in Jesus Christ–thereby “confirming” the promises you made on their behalf at Baptism.