First United Methodist Church would love to help arrange your baptism. We offer several set times during the year, but we are happy to find an alternate date that works for you and your family.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does the United Methodist Church believe about baptism?
Baptism is a sacrament. In a sacrament, God uses common elements - in this case, water - as a means or vehicle of divine grace. Baptism is administered by the church as the Body of Christ. It is an act of God through the grace of Jesus Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit.
Baptism is a divine act, a pledge and gift God gives to us. Baptism of infants includes the reaffirmation of the vows of the baptismal covenant by parents, sponsors, and the congregation; but chiefly it celebrates what God is doing and will do in the life of the infant.
What is the appropriate age for baptism?
The short answer is: as soon as it is both possible and practical.
Our teaching on baptism is found in the book, By Water and the Spirit. Here is the most relevant section to this question: "Understanding the practice as an authentic expression of how God works in our lives, The United Methodist Church strongly advocates the baptism of infants within the faith community: "Because the redeeming love of God, revealed in Jesus Christ, extends to all persons and because Jesus explicitly included the children in his kingdom, the pastor of each charge shall earnestly exhort all Christian parents or guardians to present their children to the Lord in Baptism at an early age" (1992 Book of Discipline, par. 221)" (para. 226, 2012 Book of Discipline).
Isn’t it better to wait until children can decide for themselves whether or not to be baptized?
We no more wait for our children to decide about being in the family of God than we wait for them to decide if they would like to be a part of our human family. As parents, we make many decisions - in matters of health, safety, education, for example - for our children. Of course, they may later reject what we have done for them. But, this possibility does not relieve us of the responsibility to do all that we can for them spiritually, as we do in other aspects of their lives.
May I or my child be Christened instead of baptized?
"Christening" is an historical term that referred to the giving of a "Christian" name at the time of baptism, whether that person was an infant or an adult. The Christian name would become the person's new first name and was thus part of baptism itself and not a separate or different rite.