By Water and the Spirit
What is Baptism?
Baptism is a sacrament, meaning that we understand the real actor in baptism is God. In baptism, we use water to symbolize the fact that a person is joined with Jesus Christ in his death and Resurrection. That person is claimed as a child of God. Baptism is also the main way in which someone becomes identified as part of the church. The congregation promises to help that person grow in their faith and act as the family of God for them.
Who Can or Should Be Baptized?
People of any age may be candidates for baptism. Adults who wish to be baptized are asked to publicly profess their faith in Jesus Christ. Because baptism into Christ means joining with his Body the Church in a particular place, they are also asked to enter into a covenant relationship with the congregation. They promise to serve Christ through Trinity Chapel by their prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness. They are entered into our records as Professing Members.
In the case of children, their parents or guardians answer the questions on their behalf. The child is then listed as a Baptized Member of the congregation. They will be asked the same questions to answer for themselves at Confirmation, which usually occurs in 5th or 6th grade. They are also asked to enter into that same covenant relationship with the congregation. At that point, they become Professing Members of the church.
What if I want to be baptized again?
Sometimes when a person moves to a different church or has returned to faith and the church after a long absence, they wish to be baptized a second time. The United Methodist Church recognizes “one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.” We recognize and affirm baptism from any church or denomination that is done in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Because baptism involves a promise from God, we do not rebaptize; that *would be saying that God’s promise does not hold. Instead, we have a service to reaffirm the baptismal covenant and celebrate how God’s promised grace has brought you back. Please talk with Rev. Tracy about how we can celebrate this with you!
When are Baptisms Performed at Trinity Chapel?
Baptism by sprinkling may be performed on any Sunday except for the first Sunday of the month. Because baptism involves promises made between and individual and the congregation, it is important that this be done in gathering of the congregation. In certain cases, or if the individual wishes to be baptized by immersion at Tybee Beach, baptism may be performed with a smaller gathering outside the regular worship time; these times need to be scheduled well in advance with the pastor. In emergencies, the pastor offers baptism in hospitals, hospices, or homes with just the family present.
What is Needed Before Baptism?
Those wishing to receive the sacrament of baptism for themselves or to have a child baptized should contact the pastor via the Request Care form on this website or via phone at 912.786.4491. Rev. Tracy requires a meeting with all those wishing to take this important step so that they may fully understand the commitment that it entails.