Christianity at it’s core is a tangible faith. God became a human in the person of Jesus. Jesus blessed and healed physically. The church continues to give tangible expression to Christ’s presence. The tangible way that we are then marked as “one of God’s” is through the sign of baptism. Just as circumcision was the mark that signified belonging to the Kingdom of God in the Old Covenant, Baptism is the mark that signifies belonging to the Kingdom of God in the New Covenant.

            This mark then shows all the benefits of the Atonement: full welcome into the community of faith and a covenant to bear one another’s burdens and have our burdens borne by others.  All this happens within a church community through a dying to our self and resurrection into the Kingdom, the empowerment of the Holy Spirit for Christian ministry in the world around us, and the peace of assurance that comes with this sign and seal of water.

            It is our strong encouragement for those who have not been baptized to seek out our pastor to discuss this further. It is also our strong encouragement for our parents to consider baptism for your children (however small!) so that they may be brought up as fully included participants in the faith; so they never have to know a time of being unsure of their standing in the church but rather from day one be able to testify to being one of the baptized!

We also encourage those who have been baptized into the faith and have left for a season and are now coming back later in life to thank God for the power of your first baptism to call you home and to consider talking to pastor about how to give testimony to that by publically re-affirming your baptism. Just because a prodigal may walk away from their inheritance still doesn’t mean they cease being children of the father. Therefore, upon their joyous return we celebrate the wonderful reclamation of their inheritance by killing the proverbial “fatted calf” and throwing a party, but respect the permanent claim of God’s father-ship by strongly discouraging rebaptism.