Baptism is the sacrament of initiation into the Body of Christ (the Church Universal). Through this sacrament, the church recalls the sacred history of God’s faithfulness to God’s people through the sign of the water: creation itself, the rivers of the Garden of Eden, Noah and the rainbow covenant, Moses and the miraculous division of the water, Jesus baptized in the River Jordan, Jesus washing his disciples’ feet.
Baptism is a two-fold symbol. With children, the primary symbol is that God loves us before we are able to respond. The parents make the vows, as does the church. The baptized child can join the church through Confirmation or even later and make his/her own commitment to Christ at that time. When someone receives baptism as a youth or adult, that person takes the vows for him or herself. Baptism again becomes a sign of God’s love reaching us, only this time, we respond for ourselves. We understand God’s love for us while admitting that we are sinners. Water symbolizes that we are “washed” or “cleansed” from our sin.
Once baptized, always baptized! We recognize the baptism of other Christian churches as valid , and thus, if you were baptized before in another Christian church, you will not be “re-baptized.” With the sacrament of Baptism, it is very important to remember that it is not the volume of water used – the sacrament is an outward sign that tells others that we have trusted in Christ as our Savior.
At Severna Park United Methodist Church, the sacrament of baptism is offered to infants, children, youth and adults.
Parents who wish to have their infants or children baptized need to attend a onetime baptism class to learn about the sacrament of baptism and their role as their child’s spiritual leader. The dates for future classes are shown on the Calendar. Please plan ahead for this important spiritual occasion in your child’s life.