What is the Meaning of Baptism for Presbyterians?
For both children and adults, Baptism is the sign and seal that God loves us long before we can love God. Baptism is proclamation and experience of the fact that we are who we are because God has first chosen us and loved us and called us into God’s kingdom.
To the question, “Who am I?” Baptism responds, “I am the one who is called, washed, named, promised, and commissioned” by God through Christ. Each time an infant is baptized we are reminded that God’s love claims people before they are able to respond in faith. Regardless of the age, every Baptism marks the beginning of new life through Jesus Christ.
Baptism does not change our relationship with God. Rather it recognizes and proclaims what is already a fact – we are God’s children. It is to be motivated neither by superstition nor social custom but by faith. It is not a private act of pastor and family, but a public act of the congregation. Therefore, it is administered in the presence of the worshipping congregation, except in very special cases.
Baptism unites the people of God with each other and with the church of every time and place. Barriers of race, gender, status, and age are to be transcended. Barriers of nationality, history, and practice are to be overcome.
How do I get started planning a baptism at Westminster?
- Become a member of Westminster: In order for baptism to have integrity, only parents committed to nurturing their children within the household of faith should have their children baptized. Ordinarily, one or both parents shall be active members of Westminster. Likewise, the Baptism of an adult signifies a commitment to the faith and a resolve to live by faith in Christ, in the Westminster community.
- To schedule an infant baptism, phone the church office and speak to Cathy Shilt, Executive Assistant. For an Adult Baptism, attend an Investigating Church Membership Seminar and/or contact Laurie Davis, Associate Pastor for Spiritual Growth.
- Learn more about the meaning and practice of Baptism by contacting the church office to receive a copy of our booklet, Baptism at Westminster.