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The Baptism of Jesus

Mark 1: 9-11 9 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. 11 And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.” Acts 8: 34 34 The eunuch asked Philip, “About whom, may I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?” 35 Then Philip began to speak, and starting with this scripture, he proclaimed to him the good news about Jesus. 36 As they were going along the road, they came to some water; and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water! What is to prevent me from being baptized?”  He commanded the chariot to stop, and both of them, Philip and the eunuch, went down into the water, and Philip baptized him.


What is the Sacrament of Baptism?

We believe that Baptism, whatever the age of the candidate, is the sole rite of initiation into membership in the Church.  The service celebrates the graceful initiative of God in calling and claiming us, and the faithful response of the people, both as individuals and as a community.


What happens at Baptism?

In response to God’s gracious initiative, the parents or adult candidates for Baptism, AND the whole gathered community make a profession of faith.  The Church community expresses its willingness to receive and support the families in the nurture of all children in their midst.  Using the visible signs of water, and laying on of hands and other gestures, the sacrament celebrates God’s invisible grace poured out on us.  It is our expectation that all requesting Baptism here consider Jubilee United Church to be their church home.  As such, parents requesting Baptism of their children will normally be active in the life of our congregation.


I want to be Baptized, or we want our child to be Baptized.  Now What?

Norm Baptism 1The first step is to contact the Church Office and arrange to meet with one of our Ministers, Rev. Norm Seli. or Rev. Anne Dionisio. We will require the following information:

  • Name of person to be Baptized
  • Date of Birth
  • Place of Birth
  • Name of both Parents
  • Current Address and Phone Number

The Minister will arrange to meet with you at the church or in your home to discuss with you the nature of Baptism and the practice of Baptism at Jubilee United Church.  There are no formal classes or attendance demands, although information and tutoring can be arranged through the minister for those wishing to know more.  The one requirement is the face to face meeting with the minister.


When is the next Baptism Sunday?

We don’t have specific dates for Baptism, choosing to celebrate the Sacrament from time to time as the need arises.  We do NOT celebrate Baptism on Mother’s Day or Easter Sunday.  In consultation with the Minister, a suitable date will be arranged.


What happens on Baptism Sunday?

The Sacrament of Baptism is introduced as part of the regular worship service.  Once the meaning of the Sacrament is shared, those wishing Baptism are asked to stand.  The Congregation then stands and together, Congregation and those who have come for Baptism share in the following Profession of Faith (modeled on The New Creed, of the United Church of Canada).  


What about Godparents?

It is the tradition of the United Church of Canada to regard the congregation as godparents.  The whole congregation makes a promise to provide for the spiritual nourishment and Christian Education of your child and all children in our care (which is the role of the godparent in the truest sense of the word). In the past, godparents were often seen as a child’s legal guardian.  Today, when godparents are named, it is an honourary position only.  If you wish your child to have a legal guardian, they must be named in your will.  If you have chosen godparents, they are invited to come forward at Baptism to be recognized as being selected by the parents to have a specific responsibility for the spiritual nurture of the child being baptized.


Profession of Faith

Minister: Do you believe in God and in God’s love?

We are not alone.
We live in God’s world
We believe in God,
who has created and is creating.

Minister:  Do you believe that God is known to us in Jesus of Nazareth  who lived and died and lives again?

We believe in God who has come in Jesus,
the Word made flesh,
to reconcile and make new,
who works in us and others by the Spirit.

Minister:  Do you believe that God, by the Spirit, is active in the world to direct and to strengthen you?

We trust in God.
We are called to be the church,
to celebrate God’s presence,
to live with respect in Creation,
to love and serve others,
to seek justice and resist evil,
to proclaim Jesus, crucified and risen,
our judge and our hope.

In life, in death, in life beyond death
God is with us. We are not alone.
ALLELUIA!  Thanks be to God.

The Water is blessed and those wishing to be Baptized come forward to have watered daubed or poured on their heads. All who wish to be Baptized are Baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and formally welcomed into the Church Community and the specific community of Jubilee United Church.