THE SACRAMENT OF BAPTISM AT FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
Baptism is a way we remember that God reaches out to embrace us in love and make us part of God’s Household. When we baptize an infant or young child it reminds us that God embraces us even before we can respond. When we baptize a youth or adult it portrays our human response to God’s initiative. Baptism for all ages is entry into a covenant community we call the church and is one of the sacraments shared in public worship.
Infants and children are baptized on the faith, commitment and church membership of at least one of their parents. Children are raised in the church so that they may make their own confession of faith and join the church as a youth. Children are part of the covenant community, the church family, and are expected to participate in age-appropriate classes and activities in the church to learn about God’s love and being followers of Jesus.
Adults and youth are baptized on their own statement of faith. They become full participants of the church family and continue to grow in their understanding of God and what it means to follow Jesus in all of life.
Baptisms may be scheduled for our English language worship service at 9:00am or one of our English language or Korean language services at 11:00am. All Baptisms are approved by our Session (the governing council of the Church) which meets every month but July. We ask that Baptism requests be made at least six weeks in advance to ensure time for approval by the Session, scheduling on the Church calendar, and meeting time with the Pastor to discuss the meaning of Baptism for you, your family and the Church. The only prerequisite for infant baptism is that one parent is an active member of the congregation. To arrange for baptism, please contact the church office and one of our Pastors will be in touch with you as soon as possible.
The early Church, following Jesus, took three primary material elements of life — water, bread, and wine — to become basic symbols of offering life to God as Jesus had offered his life. Being washed with the water of Baptism, Christians received new life in Christ and presented their bodies to be living sacrifices to God. Eating bread and drinking wine they received the sustaining presence of Christ, remembered God’s covenant promise, and pledged their obedience anew.
The Reformed tradition understands Baptism and the Lord’s Supper to be Sacraments, instituted by God and commended by Christ. Sacraments are signs of the real presence and power of Christ in the Church, symbols of God’s action. Through the Sacraments, God seals believers in redemption, renews their identity as the people of God, and marks them for service. (Directory for Worship, W-1.3033)