Have you ever been baptized?
If you have never been baptized we invite you to celebrate your faith through baptism. That is the church’s ritual of putting off the old, renouncing sin and the evil powers of the world, and pledging our loyalty to Christ. We also believe that in baptism God initiates a covenant with us, announced with the words, “The Holy Spirit works within you, that being born through water and the Spirit, you may be a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ.” This is followed by the sign-act of laying hands on the head, or the signing of the cross on the forehead with oil. The United Methodist Baptismal Covenant states, “We are incorporated into God’s mighty acts of salvation and given new birth through water and the Spirit.”
For adults who wish to be baptized you can email Pastor James to set up a time to discuss baptism and participate in a baptism class for adults.
Why do you baptize babies?
From the earliest times, children and infants were baptized and included in the church. As scriptural authority for this ancient tradition, some scholars cite Jesus’ words, “Let the little children come to me…for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs” (Mark 10:14). However, a more consistent argument is that baptism, as a means of grace, signifies God’s initiative in the process of salvation. John Wesley preached “prevenient grace,” the grace that works in our lives before we are aware of it, bringing us to faith. The baptism of children and their inclusion in the church before they can respond with their own confirmation of faith is a vivid and compelling witness to prevenient grace.
Members with a child whom they wish to have baptized, must meet with Pastor James to discuss the meaning of baptism as well as to set a date.
Do you rebaptize?
Because baptism is a sacrament of God’s grace and a covenant that God has initiated, it should not be repeated. However, God’s continuing and patient forgiveness, God’s prevenient grace, will prompt us to renew the commitment first made at our baptism. At such a time, instead of rebaptism, The United Methodist Church offers the ritual for the reaffirmation of baptismal vows, which implies that, while God remains faithful to God’s half of the covenant, we are not always faithful to our promises. Our half of the covenant is to confess Christ as our Savior, trust in his grace, serve him as Lord in the church, and carry out his mission against evil, injustice, and oppression.
How do you baptize?
As United Methodist Christians, we can offer baptism in three ways. We sprinkle water in the name of the Trinity as a sign of the coming of the Holy Spirit on Jesus at his baptism. This is often done with children and babies. We can also pour water as a sign of cleansing, forgiveness, and new life. We can also immerse in water as a sign of the death and resurrection of Jesus. This mode is only used for adults. This decision can be discussed when talking with our clergy.
What kinds of membership are available?
Membership at Kingswood comes from four different categories:
- Baptized members are people who have been baptized by water in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and who wish to be (or in the case of infants and children — are sponsored to be) members of a local congregation of the United Methodist Church.
- Professing members are those who have professed the faith of this church themselves.
- Affiliate members are professing members of another United Methodist Church who may be temporarily far from their home congregation and wish to connect with the life, ministry, and watch-care of a congregation nearer to where they now are for a time.
- Associate members are non-United Methodists currently located at some distance from their home church. They have been baptized by water in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in another Christian denomination, wish to connect with a local United Methodist Church, but wish to retain their current denominational affiliation rather than become professing members of The United Methodist Church while in their current location.
STILL HAVE QUESTIONS??
If you have more questions or would like to discuss baptism or membership you may contact Lead Pastor, Rev. James Preston
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