St. John’s Methodist Church, Littleport – Baptism
Many churches in our communities baptise adults and children, by total immersion or the sprinkling of water on the forehead. Christians carry out this ritual today, to follow Jesus’ example, and to show that they believe and obey him. It is a symbol that someone belongs to Christ.
Some Christians believe that people should only be baptised when they are old enough to understand what they are doing and able to make the choice to follow Jesus for themselves. We believe that children of Christian parents should not be excluded from the Christian family as it is a rite on the path of faith. The baptism of children, is usually referred to as a Christening.
The Christening normally takes place during the main Sunday service so the family can be welcomed into the family of the church, in turn the church promises to support and pray for them and their chilld. A number of important symbols and actions will be used during the service itself; the sprinkling of water three times in the name of the trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) represents being washed free from sin and many a child will be christened in a white gown as a symbol of purity. The minister will ask parents and godparents to bring the child up in the Christian faith and to lead a good example by their own lives. They pledge this by saying ‘with God’s help we will’. The sign of the cross is made on the forehead, as a sign of the child’s new life with Christ. Finally at the end of the service, a lit candle will be offered as a reminder of the light which has come into their child’s life. The Christening is a symbol of rejecting this world of darkness and following a way of life that reflects goodness and light and shares that light with others.
Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off-for all whom the lord call’. (Acts 2: 38-39)
St John’s services are open to all, as are our social events and you will be most welcome. Details can be found on the notice boards at the front of the church.
Chris HuntIssue 28 1 March 2013
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