Baptism is one of only two Sacraments in the life of the Uniting Church. The other is Communion and the two are linked. The Basis of Union of the Uniting Church expresses it this way:
The Uniting Church acknowledges that Christ incorporates all human beings into his body by Baptism. In this way he enables them to participate in his own baptism, which was accomplished once on behalf of all in his death and burial, and which was made available to all when, risen and ascended, he poured out the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Baptism into Christ’s body initiates us into his life and mission in the world, so that we are united in one fellowship of love, service, suffering and joy, in one family of the Father of all in heaven and earth, and in the power of the one Spirit. The Uniting Church will baptize those who confess the Christian faith, and children who are presented for baptism and for whose instruction and nourishment in the faith the church takes responsibility.
The importance and nature of baptism means that it cannot simply be ‘done’, so the congregation seeks to build a relationship with persons seeking baptism for themselves or their children. Baptism is a starting point for a lifelong journey of faith, one which requires instruction in the faith as well as a community of faith to belong to and be formed by. For this reason, the minister will visit families and individuals seeking baptism to discern with them whether baptism best expresses the faith of the family or individual. In circumstances where someone is not ready to make all the commitments of baptism but still wishes to have a service which expresses their gratitude for their child and seeks God’s blessing, an alternative service, called the ‘Service of Thanksgiving for and Blessing of a Child’ is available. This service does not replace baptism,or prevent baptism at some later stage, it simply recognises that many parents who seek baptism for their children may not be able or willing to fully commit to the promises and faith statements involved in baptism.
To discuss baptism, please call the minister, James, on 0425 747 850 or 9807 9140.