BAPTISM – A Sign of God’s Grace!
Through the sacrament of baptism, a person is incorporated into the universal church, the body of Christ. The water, words, and actions of the sacrament are outward and visible signs of God’s grace.
In the United Church of Christ, people are baptized either as children or adults. Baptism with water and the Holy Spirit is the mark of a person’s acceptance into the care of Christ’s church, the sign and seal of their participation in God’s forgiveness, and the beginning of their new growth into full Christian faith and life.
When an infant or young child is baptized, one or both parents and/or one or more sponsors promise to assume certain responsibilities for the Christian nurture of the baptized child. Those who are baptized at an early age are given an opportunity in their youth to make a personal profession of faith through Confirmation. Church of the Good Shepherd offers Confirmation Classes for students in grades 9 and above.
Baptism is not only a personal celebration in the lives of the individual candidates and their families, but also a central celebration in the life of the local church, which embodies the universal church in a particular place. For this reason, baptism takes place in the presence of the community of faith gathered for worship. When urgent circumstances make it necessary to undertake baptism apart from the worshiping congregation, leaders of the local church participate in the ceremony with our pastor.