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 because every child is a reason to celebrate, and God’s love is also something to celebrate.
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 page 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.)
God acts in Baptism by receiving your child into God’s care and within the fellowship of Christ’s church, using the occasion to make God’s love known. 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 personal profession of faith?
Parents: Yes, we will.
Promises of the Congregation
All: As a baptized and baptizing church, we commit ourselves to support and uphold you 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 recognize God’s love for yourself and your child.
– With dedication, you promise to raise your child in a Christian home, and within an ongoing and active relationship to the church and its congregation.
– We, the congregation of Grace United Church, promise to help you 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.
Requirements 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, you need to:
1. Be an active part of Grace through attendance, and in opportunities for outreach and other congregational initiatives, or, if you are not currently attending Grace, make a commitment to becoming an active part of Grace.
2. Make us aware of your attendance by signing the Friendship Pad as it is passed around, and introducing yourself to the minister.
3. Ask yourself the following questions:
– Am I in agreement with the beliefs of this Christian community?
– Am I prepared to commit myself to regular attendance at worship?
– Am I prepared to seek out opportunities to further my own spiritual development by participating in the educational and social programs that are offered?
– Am I prepared to attend a baptism preparation evening led by the minister?
Making a Decision about Baptism
If your answer to all of 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.
By the very definition of Christianity as the family of Christ, Christians cannot be raised in isolation from the rest of their “family”. It takes a village to raise a child, and at Grace, we believe that it takes a Christian village to raise a Christian.
By having your child baptized, you agree that you will bring your child to worship on a regular basis so that your child will be a part of a Christian community. In return, we make a commitment that we will help nurture your children while making them aware of the love of God and the joy of God’s creation.
As a child grows up in the love of God, there will come a time when each child will have an opportunity to profess his or her faith before the congregation. Grace encourages 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.