It is our hope that this important milestone will be the beginning of a partnership between Central and families that spans the lifetime of each child who participates. As parents, they will play a significant role in the spiritual journey of their child. We want to encourage parents to surround themselves and their children with people who embody the characteristics they’d like their child to one day portray. We also want to challenge parents to widen the circle of influence to include Central, their local church.
At Central, we love to welcome children into our family of faith. We do this in two ways: through baptism and dedication.
In baptism, we celebrate that God chooses us in love long before we have done anything to deserve it or are even able to love him back. (We also love when older children and adults respond to his love by asking to be baptized!) In baptism, we believe that the child is received into God’s family, begins their journey of faith, and is connected to Jesus in a special way. Through a mystery we can’t quite explain, God uses the water and words to communicate his love to the child and claim the child as His own. During the baptism, the parents are asked to affirm the Christian faith and promise to continue to teach their children about the life following Jesus. The congregation is also asked to commit themselves to this family in support, love and prayer. Because this is a community event, we encourage parents to be moving toward membership at Central, in order to make those promises most meaningful.
In dedication, parents commit before God and our church community to raise their child in a God-honoring way. We as a church community commit to come alongside and support these families as they do that. Unlike baptism, dedication is not a sacrament.
In both instances, we believe Psalm 127:3, which says, “Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.” We celebrate the gift of each child and hope to establish a partnership between the church and the family to help parents help their child develop a faith of their own.
Our next Baptism/Dedication Sunday will take place Spring 2023.
Please contact Kathie Phillips (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions.