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What does baptism mean?

Baptism is a sign of God's forgiveness of humankind in which we share together. The sprinkled water in baptism carries with it the meaning of cleansing and it directs that promise of cleansing to the child who is baptised, in whom God's Spirit is planted.

Baptism is a sign of fellowship with Jesus. By baptism we are linked so closely with Jesus Christ that his life is at work in us. We pray that, in God's time, God will work in your child's life by his Holy Spirit so that your child will come to have a living faith in Jesus as her or his Saviour.

Baptism is a sign that, because we are united with Christ, we are part of the Christian community. At this point your child is made a part of the "extended family" of faith and shares in its life and its worship.

Which children?

Our church baptises children when at least one parent is a member or frequent attendee of the church, or where the child is under similar Christian guardianship. If you are not a member of the church or have not frequently attended church then we consider it very important that you have some understanding of the statements and promises that you will be making at baptism. To enable this to happen we offer a five-week evening course as an introduction to the Christian faith. If you are unable to attend this then we ask you to join us for at least four Sunday services before reaching an agreement on baptism. This is not to put you off, rather it is to encourage you to think about the importance of the declaration of faith and the promises that you will be making.

Our church believes that those it baptises should have the promise of a Christian upbringing in the church through Sunday School so that they can be expected in due course to take for themselves the promises made on their behalf and to profess the faith in which they were baptised.

Baptism marks the beginning of a process. It is not finished the day your child is baptised, but continues until your child (at whatever age), comes to faith and takes Jesus Christ as her or his own Lord and Saviour. This means that having your child baptised lays important obligations upon you to raise your child in the Christian faith, it also places important obligations on the church. We trust, too, that God also takes his part.

The parents' responsibility

It is because of this continued learning by your child about God's goodness and loving forgiveness we ask you to profess your own Christian faith again as your child is brought for baptism.

At baptism you offer to God the new life of the child he has given you, and you promise to bring your family up in the Christian faith; to bring your child to church and nurture your child in a Christian home.

You are to be the channel of God's grace to your child, your love and correction a small picture of God's own love and correction. It is through your faith that his or her faith will grow; as you pray with him, that prayer will have meaning for him; as you worship with her, that she will worship too; as you speak of Christianity, that he will begin to understand it. At baptism the promise of God's help for you is renewed and you are assured again that Jesus is with you by his Spirit to help you in all your responsibilities.

The congregation's responsibilities

The congregation too has its responsibility. As a sign of this, baptism normally takes place during public worship in front of the congregation. As a sign of these responsibilities, the members stand at your child's baptism, for they have vows to take to help you raise your child in our faith.

Within the church family, in Sunday School and bible classes and by other means, the congregation will help to provide for your child's Christian growth. We expect that you will keep your promises made and take these opportunities, and that since you are members not just of one congregation, but of Christ's church, you will make full use of them wherever you may settle in years to come.

God's work

Baptism is not a guarantee the child will thrive, nor is it a charm to shield the child from danger. It is not essential to salvation, as if a child who were not baptised were condemned by God. But it is the way God has chosen to strengthen us in Christian living, to encourage parents and children in faith. It is Christ's sacrament. The church administers it in his name. This is what gives it such value for us.

It says to us that God loves this child, that Jesus's love enfolds this child. This child belongs within the Christian family. It declares God's intention, and ours, that our children should grow to be adult Christian believers, knowing God's way to live and receiving help for their whole lives.

The baptismal service

The baptism takes place during public worship. This will normally be towards the end of a Sunday morning service, but changes can be made to this. You may have a favourite hymn to go with the Baptism - please let the Minister know if you do. If you wish you may also have "Godparents" there to support you, but this is not essential and they play no formal part in the service.

The vows

As parent(s), you are required to declare your faith and make certain promises before God and the congregation. The "vows" you make are these:

Do you present your child, earnestly desiring that, in God's own time, he will work by his Holy Spirit in your children's lives to accomplish everything that is meant by Christian baptism? (You are expected to be able to answer "I do".)
After this vow the baptism takes place. You will then be asked:
Do you profess your faith in God the Father who has created you, Jesus Christ who has redeemed you, and the Holy Spirit who makes you holy? Do you promise, depending upon God's promised help, by your prayers, teaching and example, to teach your child the truths and duties of the Christian faith (that is, what it means to be a follower of Jesus) and to bring them up in the life and worship of the church?
Again, you will be expected to be able to answer "I do".
The Lord bless you and keep you;
 The Lord make his face to shine upon you 
and be gracious unto you;
 The Lord lift up his countenance upon you, 
And give you peace.

Daily bible verse

And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe.

—1 Thessalonians 2:13 (NIV)

Read more :: Prayers

Our minister

Our minister is the Reverend Margaret McArthur.

You can call her on 01389 849329

Email her: Minister