Baptism

 

“But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His own loving-kindness. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior…” (Titus 3:4-6).

What is Baptism?

Baptism is a sacrament—a “holy” (sacra) “action” (mentum)—of the church.  In Baptism, our merciful God is acting in a special way to create a new spiritual life in the person being baptized.  Baptism is our entrance into fellowship with God and into the Christian community of believers.

Why do we baptize infants and young children?

Lutherans baptize infants and young children because (a) we believe it is the command of Christ Himself in the Great Commission to make disciples of “all” nations (Matthew 28:19), (b) we believe it is God’s gift “for us and for our children” (Acts 2:38-39), (c) because it was a known practice in the earliest days of the church (Acts 16:30-34), and (d) Jesus welcomes the little children, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these” (Luke 18:16).

Since Baptism is a grace event, it is all God’s doing.  It does not depend on our qualifications, any powers or goodness in us, or our mastery of religious teaching.  God freely accepts all people through Christ, regardless of age or intellectual ability.  Knowledge is important as a child matures, but God begins with a relationship. In the same way, a good human parent loves and embraces a child in relationship, and does not first require their baby to understand them, or even respond to them.  Of course, we are thrilled whenever that happens and so is God. We, therefore, commit ourselves to raising our children to know and respond to God, and live under Him by faith.

What is the role of parents in a Baptism?

BEFORE Baptism – parents are to understand what we believe and teach concerning Baptism. They are encouraged to choose Christian sponsors who will pray for, care for, and provide a Christian example for their godchild. 

AFTER Baptism – Baptism is both a gift and a responsibility.  God grants the gift of new spiritual life and also entrusts to parents a responsibility to nurture the seed of faith that He has planted in their child by living out their faith at home and in the church.

What happens during the Baptism Service?

Ordinarily, Baptism takes place during one of our regularly scheduled non-communion worship services. In special cases, we can arrange for Baptism at times outside our worship schedule either in the home or at the church.  The baptism service includes:

  • Invocation & Scripture Readings
  • A Promise by Parents and Sponsors
  • A Confession of Faith using the Apostles’ Creed
  • The Act of Baptism
  • A Welcome & Prayer

What are Sponsors asked to do and promise?

Sponsors, or Godparents, are called to witness that a child was baptized and to support their ongoing growth in the Christian faith. Following the Baptism, Sponsors are asked to:

  • Be an example of Christian faith in the life of their godchild.
  • Remember their godchild frequently in prayer.
  • Help their godchild remember his or her baptism. This can be done through religious gifts (bible, cross, storybook), special activities (dinner, dessert, etc.), cards/phone calls, or anything that helps the child “celebrate” their baptism birthday annually or at any time throughout the year.

How can I schedule a baptism?

Contact the church office 317-783-2000 or to discuss questions you may have, possible dates that work both for your family and the church calendar, and other necessary contact and biographical information.

Baptism Information Sheet