Baptisms at St. Paul’s.

If you are looking at this page, you have likely just had a baby.  Congratulations!  As a father of 2 girls, I can tell you that you are going to enter into the greatest adventure of your life.  Bill Murray in “Lost in Translation” said something like “you have children and they grow up to be the most fascinating people you have ever met.”
 
If you are reading this, you also want to be a good parent and do everything you can for your child and one of the things parents have always done is have their child “christened” or “baptized.”  Here in Quebec, there did not used to be birth certificates, only baptism certificates.  It was how you officially entered the world after you were born.
 
Today it is different.  There are birth certificates and there are baptism certificates.  Your child is already official.
 
You want to celebrate!!  Absolutely!  And a baptism seems to be the perfect way to do it, Absolutely, sort of.
 
What is Baptism?
 
Baptism is a service of promises.
 
God’s Promise- The most important being the promise that the God, the Creator of the Universe makes to us, to adopt us into his family.  Please note that this is a positive thing.  Being a member of the family of the God of the universe, the God who knit your child together in the womb (you didn’t really think that the miracle that is your child came together by accident?), is a great thing!
 
As Christians we believe that God came to earth in and as Jesus.  A real human person “who lived and died as one of us”.  Jesus became our human brother, to show us God’s love and character, and to be the means through which God adopts humans into His family.  In baptism, we symbolically re-enact what happened to Jesus.  He died (entered the waters of death) and God raised Him from the death and returned Him to his place as His Son, in His family.  In baptism we say, we want that to happen to us and we want to live that kind of life, the life of a member of God’s family.  Baptism begins a baby’s life on particular trajectory.  The promises that you make will determine how you raise your child.
 
Please do not think that baptism is a “get out of hell free” card.  Why would you want to belong to the family of a God so cruel as to punish a child for not being baptized?
 
 
Jesus said, “I have come that you might have life, and have it to the full.”  I am sure that is what you want for your child- a rich, full, wonderful life, right?  Jesus promises that He has that for us if we follow Him.
 
But that life needs to be lived, with Him and we as a church will do everything we can to help you do that.
 
Parent’s Promises
 
Please also know that your child will always be welcome in our church.  Your child can come to Sunday School, play the percussion instruments with our worship team, everything that the other children do at church, whether or not they are baptized.
 
The first promise that parents make is “Will you be responsible for seeing that the child you present is nurtured in the faith and life of the Christian Community?”
 
That means coming to church, being a member of the church, participating in and contributing to the family of God here at St. Paul’s or at a church closer to your home (if you do not live in Knowlton).  In this day and age, let’s face it, that is difficult.  People work on Sunday or else they use Sunday as a day to sleep in (if you can).  I get all of that, and believe me, there are many days I’d like to turn over and go back to sleep on a Sunday morning.  But church is the place that Jesus has promised to meet with us.  It is the place where we intentionally come to meet with Jesus.
 
If you have made it this far, you are likely a) overwhelmed or b) not interested.
 
I want you to know that I take baptism seriously, if you are not interested, or want to investigate further, I understand and respect that decision.  That does not mean that we don’t celebrate!!
 
There is a brief, wonderful service called “Thanksgiving for the Gift of A Child”- a brief but wonderful celebration composed primarily of three prayers, one by the Priest, one by the Parents and one by family, friends and the congregation.  It is a wonderful excuse for a party.  This is often what people want and need, a chance to celebrate the new birth and to say thank you to God for the miracle that is your child.
 
If you are interested in Baptism, or in the Thanksgiving for the Gift of a Child service, please give us a call(450-242-2885)  and we can set up a time to talk.

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