Community in Baptism

By Mark Regis, Associate Priest

Posted on November 18, 2014

On November 23 six individuals from our community will be baptized at the 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. services. At St. Paul’s we’re always excited about baptism because it demonstrates God’s incredible favour towards us, and at the same time, our deep desire to be united with Him and His people.

Baptism is a milestone that marks the beginning of a person's Christian journey. It's an exciting moment in which they say yes to Jesus.

Along with our Children’s Minister, Janet Earle, I had the amazing privilege of engaging with families and sponsors of those being baptized in our Turning to Jesus course (TTJ) – a course that helps prepare individuals and families for baptism. Each person in the room had deep transformative hopes for the lives of the baptismal candidates. They were committed to playing a part in seeing those hopes come to fruition.

Over the course of Turning to Jesus, Janet and I heard hopes for peace, joy in life, positive impact, service to others, ethics and morals, love of God and family, and deep faith in Jesus.

While discussing these hopes it occurred to me they closely resemble the promises to follow Jesus that the candidates and their sponsors will be making during the baptism service. This further brought home the great fact that God is at work gathering us into his family and to his mission in the world – long before we even promise to do it.

Baptism is not just about the individuals being baptized. It’s also just as much about the community who welcomes them. That community also makes a promise: to be a part of God’s work in the lives of the newly baptized.

November 23 will also see four individuals committing themselves to membership at St. Paul's. Membership marks your journey of faith as you follow Jesus and actively engage in life and community at St. Paul's. These four people will join our other members in committing to live out our Discipleship Covenant.

If you can be present on Sunday, great! We’ll be delighted to share and pray with you in the celebration of God’s growing family at St. Paul’s. If you can’t, please pray for the candidates as they embark on this new stage in their adventure following Jesus.

We pray every blessing to be on the candidates, their sponsors and families, and the whole community of St. Paul’s, not just on Sunday, but also in the years to come.