The Meaning of Baptism

In baptism a person is recognized within the faith community, received into the Church and welcomed as one of God's people to a lifelong commitment of growth and service to others in Christ's name. In the creed of our Church we proclaim that "We are not alone - We live in God's World". Through baptism we understand that we belong to God's universal congregation of faith.

In his own baptism, Jesus received the Holy Spirit. Soon after that moment he began a new chapter in his public ministry and in his relationship with God. In our baptism we are similarly claimed, called and commissioned by God.

God claims us, whether we are an infant or adult, and is a continually present in our lives. In the relationship they have with their children, parents are expected to foster that presence that God has in their children's lives. They do that by living an example of what they want their children to be and by being involved in the life of the church.

Through baptism we are invited by the congregation to share their life of worship, prayer, belief and service. Therefore baptism is not an event that takes place at one time and in one place, but rather it is a process of renewal that is ongoing. We are reminded of our baptism as we worship and as we simply live our lives, understanding that God is with us always. We are also reminded of our own baptism when we participate in the celebration of another's baptism.

Prior to Baptism

To ensure that St. Paul's is the proper place for the baptismal experience that you are seeking and that, together, we can answer the baptismal questions with integrity - it is expected that you will attend worship for a number of weeks prior to the baptism.

Parents who desire their child to be baptized will attend a mandatory evening session usually a week or two prior to the baptism.

Sponsors or Godparents

When a child is baptized, the congregation acts as a Sponsor or Godparent and promises to continue to walk beside that person in faith and life. When parents have come from traditions where Godparents are familiar and wish to name such - they will be introduced on Sunday morning. They will also be invited to answer the same question asked of the congregation.

Godparents are different from legal guardians who may be named in our wills. Although we may name the same people for both functions, there is a clear distinction between the two.

Frequency of Baptismal Services

Baptism is usually celebrated four or five times a year with the possible exception of Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter and the summer months.

Private Baptisms

Through baptism we are welcomed into a community of faith and because of this we celebrate baptism as part of a Sunday morning worship service. Occasionally there are exceptional and emergency circumstances when we will celebrate baptism in a private setting

General Information

Nursery and Toddler Care is provided each Sunday during the year and parents are encouraged to make use of this. Nursery and Toddler Care is located in the Mezzanine on the main floor.

Naming - when the minister asks for the name of the child, the parents reply giving only the Christian names (e. Beverly Louise or Stephen Arthur) not the family or surname.

The act of baptism requires that you state your belief in the Christian faith and asks you to promise to raise your child in relationship with a community of Christian believers - the Church. The act of baptism also asks the congregation if they will stand beside you as you raise your child.

To answer these questions honestly we all need to have a sense of who each other is. Therefore in order to baptize your child with integrity, St. Paul's asks that you endeavour to attend worship with us on Sunday morning for several months prior to the baptism date.