The Anglican Parish of Christ Church celebrates baptisms for its parishioners from infancy to adulthood. We count it a privelege and a joy to welcome people into the household of faith and to play such an important role in their spiritual formation. This means, of course, that there is no fee or charge for baptism, although some people like to make a special thank offering.
What is Baptism?
Baptism is entry into the Body of Christ, in which we become members of one another and of Christ — it is about who we are in Christ, and whose are: God’s own. It is a response to God’s call to us by the Holy Spirit and through baptism we are given the Holy Spirit who imparts to us new (spiritual) life in Jesus Christ. But baptism is not just about our own transformation. In baptism we are also sent out into the world to join in God’s own ministry of transformation, reconciliation, healing and salvation of the world. So baptism is about identity and belonging but it is also about being sent in mission and ministry.
Who can be Baptised?
Anyone who is prepared to make a commitment to the Christian life by confessing Jesus as their Lord can be baptised. If you are not a member of Christ Church already, you will be registered as a new member when you are baptized. As a member of Christ Church you will take your place alongside other church members who support each other’s commitment to follow Christ through weekly worship and fellowship, ongoing opportunities for Christian learning, sharing in the financial support of the church’s work and relfection on each one’s service to the world.
Adults make the choice to be baptised themselves. Infants and children who cannot make this decision for themselves are baptized in the faith of their parents and/or sponsors (godparents) and with the promise of their parents and/or sponsors to teach and support them in the development of their relationship with God in Jesus. Those who are baptized as children or infants are encouraged and expected to confirm their faith for themselves through a Service of Confirmation with Bishop once they grow older and have been taught in the faith.
How do I prepare for Baptism at Christ Church?
- Talk to the clergy
- Participate in a preparation program
- Attend the Baptism service
- Participate in the life of the Church
Summary of Christian Baptism
The Book of Alternative Services describes Christian Baptism in the following way:
“Baptism is the sign of new life in Christ. Baptism unites Christ with his people. That union is both individual and corporate. Christians are, it is true, baptized one by one, but to be a Christian is to be part of a new creation which rises from the dark waters of Christ’s death into the dawn of his risen life. Christians are not just baptized individuals; they are a new humanity. As the World Council of Churches document Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry has reminded Christians, the scriptures of the NewTestament and the liturgy of the Church unfold the meaning of baptism in various images (often based on Old Testament water symbols) which express the mystery of salvation. Baptism is participation in Christ’s death and resurrection (Romans 6.3–5; Colossians 2.12); a washing away of sin (1 Corinthians 6.11); a new birth (John 3.5); an enlightenment by Christ (Ephesians 5.14); a reclothing in Christ (Galatians 3.27); a renewal by the Spirit (Titus 3.5); the experience of salvation from the flood (1 Peter 3.20–21); an exodus from bondage (1 Corinthians 10.1–2) and a liberation into a new humanity in which barriers of division, whether of sex or race or social status, are transcended (Galatians 3.27–28; 1 Corinthians 12.13). The images are many but the reality is one. Several dimensions of baptism became clear as the early Church developed its practice. Initiation into the Church was a vital concern of the whole Christian community and not only of the candidates for baptism and their immediate families. Preparation for baptism was a responsibility shared among various members of the community, both ordained and lay. Becoming a Christian had as much to do with learning to live a new lifestyle within the Christian community as it did with specific beliefs. When the day of baptism finally arrived, the event took place within the context of the Sunday eucharist, when the whole community was gathered and where the newly baptized received communion for the first time.
-From the Introduction to the Baptismal Liturgy of the Book of Alternative Services of the Anglican Church of Canada ©The General Synod of the Anglican Church of Canada 1985.