INTRODUCTION Thank you for your interest in a Baptism for your child at Hope Lutheran Church. This page is intended to help you with the planning of this important event in the life of your family and of your child. We hope that it will answer questions you may have at this time. Our goal is to help you understand the meaning of Baptism and the procedures followed at our church for the planning and performance of a baptism.
A CRITICAL FIRST STEP We believe that Baptism is a critical first step in the Christian life of every believer. We believe that Baptism brings individuals into the family of God. In Baptism, our sins are forgiven and we become members of God’s family. Baptism is the first step on a life-long journey of faith. The faith that begins at Baptism must be nurtured and strengthened for a lifetime. This is done through regular worship and fellowship with God’s people. This is also done through the regular study of God’s Word, the Bible. The Bible reminds us that if this faith is neglected, it may die.
A MEETING WITH THE PASTOR
To help your family understand the meaning of Baptism in the Lutheran Church, one of our pastors will set up an appointment with you to study what the Scriptures have to say about Baptism. At this time, the pastor will explain the meaning of the Baptism service in the church. This meeting will help you understand the Baptism service and the promises that you and your Baptismal Sponsors will be asked to make before God and God's people.
At the time your child is baptized, you will promise to bring your child to Sunday School, and to worship services, and when they reach eighth grade, to bring them to the Confirmation Program of our church, so that your son or daughter may learn the basics of the Christian faith.
You will be asked to have Baptismal Sponsors present at the Baptism of your child. Your Sponsors will promise to care for the spiritual needs of your child if you are unable to do so. Your Sponsors will be Christian people who are willing to keep the promises that they will make on the day of your child’s Baptism. We will provide you with a copy of the Baptism service and ask that you give it to your Sponsors so that they will know their responsibilities in this process.
CONNECTED TO THE WORSHIP LIFE OF GOD’S PEOPLE
Baptisms are normally performed in the church – as part of a Christian worship service – before a group of gathered believers. Because Lutherans believe that Holy Baptism brings an individual into the family of God, the church, which is the family of God gathered in worship, will want to be part of this important event. God’s gathered people will promise, along with you and your sponsors, to pray for you and for your child. Except in the case of emergencies, private Baptisms are discouraged at Hope Lutheran Church because they tend to disconnect Baptism from the wider life of the Church and its people.
THOSE WHO LIVE OUT OF TOWN
For those who do not live within the geographical ministry area of Hope Lutheran Church, the policy of our congregation is, after the child has been baptized, to send his or her membership within 30 days to the closest Lutheran Church congregation and to ask the pastor of that congregation to offer the services of the church to that family.
No distinction is made at Hope Lutheran with regard to baptisms performed for children whose parents may be married or unmarried. All baptisms normally take place in the church sanctuary. Baptisms normally are not held on the major festivals of the church year or during Holy Week. Whichever pastor is leading the liturgy for the Sunday is normally the pastor who will preside at the baptism.
Baptism_Info_Sheet.pdfThere is no charge for a Baptism at Hope. This is part of our ongoing ministry to our members, their families, and to our community. We pray that God would use this special event to strengthen your own faith and your commitment to His Church. A baptism is a wonderful opportunity for renewal and re-dedication to God for all the members of your family. May God bless the important decisions and plans you are making at this time. Please don’t hesitate to contact a pastor if you have any further questions, or if you would like to set up an appointment. You may download the Baptismal Form by clicking here. It is a PDF document.