Baptism and Grace UMC
Who Do we Baptize?
We baptize the children of Christian parents and those who are old enough to make their own profession of faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Adult sponsors may take the place of parents.
When Do we Baptize?
We offer Christian baptism at both our Saturday Chapel service (5:30 p.m.) and our Sunday Sanctuary service (10:00 a.m.). We do not arrange “private baptisms” because we believe that baptism is not a private event. Our teaching is that baptism is a congregational event. The baptized are received and welcomed by the church family. Promises are made both by the baptized (or parents/sponsors) and by the Congregation. Rarely, and for exceptional circumstances (such as illness), baptism may be arranged without the presence of the Congregation.
How do we baptize?
We baptize by sprinkling, pouring, or immersion. This is mostly a matter of local custom. In our Grace Church Sanctuary we most often baptize by sprinkling or pouring.
HOW TO ARRANGE FOR BAPTISM
Contact the Church Office (712.276.3452) and request baptism. One of the pastoral staff will contact you to plan for the baptism.
What is Baptism?
Who tells you who you are?
Baptism celebrates becoming a new person. That is why the church’s ritual begins with putting off the old, renouncing sin and the evil powers of the world, and pledging our loyalty to Christ.
God Initiates the Covenant
We also believe that in baptism God initiates a covenant with us, announced with the words, “The Holy Spirit works within you, that being born through water and the Spirit, you may be a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ.”
God Has Chosen Us
Christians have also understood the baptismal covenant in light of Jesus’ baptism. At Jesus’ baptism, God said: “This is my son.” While Jesus’ relation to God as Son is unique, for Christians baptism means that God has also chosen us as daughters and sons, and knows us intimately as a parents
The introduction also says, “Through the Sacrament of Baptism, we are initiated into Christ’s holy church.”
Why Baptize Infants?
From the earliest times, children and infants were baptized and included in the church. As scriptural authority for this ancient tradition, some scholars cite Jesus’ words, “Let the little children come to me…for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs” (Mark 10:14). However, a more consistent argument is that baptism, as a means of grace, signifies God’s initiative in the process of salvation. John Wesley preached “prevenient grace,” the grace that works in our lives before we are aware of it, bringing us to faith.
*From A United Methodist Understanding of Baptism by Mark C. Trotter. Copyright © 2001 by The United Methodist Publishing House. Used by permission.