Before conscious thought or action on our part,
          we are born into the brokenness of this world.

Before conscious thought or action on our part,
          we are surrounded by God’s redeeming love.

Baptism by water in the name of the Holy Trinity
          is the means by which we are received, at any age,
          into the covenanted community of the church.
          It is the ritual that signifies our rebirth in faith
          and cleansing by the power of God.

Baptism signifies the nurturing, sustaining,
          and transforming power of God’s love
          and our grateful response to that grace.

- From A Song of Faith

 

We rejoice in God’s unconditional covenant relationship with all of creation and every living being. We celebrate this covenant publicly in worship through:

  • the Service of Thanksgiving for the Gift of a Child,
  • the Sacrament of Baptism (infant and adult) and through
  • the Service of Renewal of Baptismal Faith (Confirmation)

 

A Service of Thanksgiving for the Gift of a Child 
A service of blessing for the gift of a child is similar to baptism (below) in that it celebrates the miracle & wonder of a child’s birth. It differs, however, in that it does not place any requirements upon the parents/guardians to raise the child in a manner that provides opportunities for him/her to learn and grow in faith. This service is offered as an act of hospitality with the hopes that the Spirit will guide the family and the church into future relationships.

 

The Sacrament of Baptism – Infant and Adult 

Baptism (both adult and infant) is one of the two sacraments that are acknowledged in the United Church of Canada. As a sacrament, baptism unites us ecumenically with the other denominational members of the World Council of Churches. For these reasons, it is offered with reverence, great care, and exuberant celebration.  

Infant baptism is a sacrament that does two things: Firstly, it celebrates the miracle and wonder of a child’s birth. Secondly, it acknowledges the responsibilities incumbent both upon the people raising the child as well as the congregation. The people raising the infants are asked for their commitment to raising their child in a manner that provides opportunities for him/her to learn and grow in faith. Also, the congregation is asked to renew their commitment to providing opportunities for the child to grow in his/her faith. 

Adult baptism is a sacrament where the baptized publicly proclaims their faith by affirming statements of belief. In addition, the person is encouraged to offer a personal faith testimony. As the congregation is required to provide an ongoing place for spiritual growth and service, they are asked to renew their commitment to such opportunities.

 

Renewal of Baptismal Faith (formerly Confirmation)

Renewal of Baptismal Faith is a service that celebrates the work of the Spirit in the lives of those who have felt “their hearts strangely warmed”—to borrow a phrase from John Wesley’s Aldersgate experience—and who have experienced an awakening to a deeper understanding of the promises made in their baptism.  

This service is for those who are making a first public profession of faith, or with those baptized persons who wish to reaffirm their faith at a particular moment in their life (for example, transferring membership from other denominations or congregations, in response to a specific life experience, or when returning to active participation in a congregation after a period of little contact or involvement).

In this service, the congregation renews its commitment to provide ongoing opportunities for spiritual growth and service. In addition, the person is encouraged to offer a personal faith testimony. While there is no age requirement for a first public profession of faith, it is not usually offered until the person is at least in their teen years. Once a person publicly professes their faith, they become a formal member of the congregation.

For more information about these services, please contact Rev. Sophia Ducey via the contact form below.

Inquiry about Baptismal Services