Baptism at St. Peter's Church
Baptism is a sacrament of faith that brings a person into the church community and unites him or her with Jesus Christ and Christians throughout the world. Sacraments are given to us by Christ as signs of his presence in the world and in our lives, as we receive God's grace.
At St. Peter's, we baptize infants, children, and adults. One does not need to be a member of the parish to be baptized. In baptism, we are accepted and marked as God's own children in the family of Jesus Christ, the Church. Baptism is the beginning of a life-long journey of faith. We welcome you to live out your baptismal vows and to participate in our worship and community life here at St. Peter's.
Baptismal Dates for 2017 & 2018:
- June 4, 2017
- July 23, 2017
- November 5, 2017
- January 7, 2018
- March 31, 2018
- May 20, 2018
- November 4, 2018
Planning a Baptism
Baptisms are held throughout the year at St. Peter's, administered at the 10:00 am Sunday Eucharist (or at the Great Vigil of Easter). Because baptism is a public sacrament, in which our faith community pledges to support the new life in Christ of the baptized, private baptisms are not administered except in case of medical emergency.
Baptisms at St. Peter's are offered on the following Sundays:
- The Baptism of our Lord (mid-January);
- Great Vigil of Easter (Saturday night before Easter--this is a service more appropriate for the baptism of older children and adults);
- Pentecost (late spring);
- All Saints' Day (early November).
- One late summer date can be added as well.
The first step in planning a baptism at St. Peter's is to contact Father Dirk and submit the Application for Holy Baptism.
Preparation and Instruction
Once a date has been selected, candidates and/or parents and godparents will engage in preparation for the upcoming baptism. Families will meet with a member of the clergy for at least one pre-baptism session. There will also be a brief rehearsal closer to the baptismal date. Additionally, families are encouraged to attend a larger group gathering, scheduled two or three times a year, especially designed for parents of younger children who may be new to St. Peter's.
In addition to these preparations, each baptismal family will be given resources to pursue preparation at home as well, before and after the baptism. Baptism is just the beginning of a life-long journey of Christian formation, and it is our responsibility as a faith community to support all baptized members of the body of Christ!
Selecting Sponsors or Godparents
A godparent is a person who stands as a sponsor (with parents at a child's baptism) to the baptized, and who promises to support the baptized person through prayer, example and action during this new life in Christ.
Godparents do not need to be members of St. Peter's, or even the Episcopal Church. As long as they are willing to help the newly baptized grow as Christians in the knowledge and love of God, and to fulfill the baptismal vows, they are welcome to serve as godparents.
Living Out Baptismal Vows
In the Episcopal Church, we make five baptismal vows:
- To continue in the apostles' teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers;
- To persevere in resisting evil, and, whenever we fall into sin, to repent and return to the Lord;
- To proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ;
- To seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbors as ourselves; and
- To strive for justice and peace among all people, respecting the dignity of every human being.
These vows guide our lifelong journey as Christians. Baptism marks the beginning of this journey. Parents and godparents make a commitment to raise the newly baptized as part of a Christian community, and St. Peter's welcomes all Christians into our faith family.
Parents can support the newly baptized by bringing them to church, praying for them, adding Bible stories to the family library. Our Children at St. Peter's webpage offers suggestions for both Faith-at-Home and Faith-at-Home activities.
Here are some resources to help you learn more about baptism here at St. Peter's and in the Episcopal church:
- I am a Child of God by Helen Barron (Candle Press)
- Journey into Baptism by Helen Barron (Candle Press)
- Taking the Plunge: Baptism & Parenting by Anne Kitch (Morehouse)
- My Baptism Book: A Child's Guide to Baptism by Diana Murrie (Church House Publishing)
- Water, Come Down! The Day You Were Baptized by Walter Wangerin, Jr (Augsburg)