THE SACRAMENT OF HOLY BAPTISM
If you would like to find out more about baptism and what it means to be part of God’s family, please contact Fr. John Spicer or 816-523-1602, ext. 125. If you’d like to find out more about baptism for your children, please contact Jean Long, minister for children, youth, younger adults, and families, or 816-523-1602, ext. 115.
At St. Andrew’s, baptisms are scheduled throughout the year and are celebrated by our entire parish family, during either the 8 or 10:15 a.m. Sunday service. Private baptisms are not permitted.
Infant Baptism and Church Membership
For infant and child baptism, at least one parent should be an active member of a congregation or be in the process of coming into the life of a congregation. That kind of commitment indicates a willingness to raise a baptized child as a Christian within the Church. Historical and cultural affinity, or having been baptized as an Episcopalian oneself, are not sufficient justifications for baptizing a child at an age when he or she is incapable of making commitments for him- or herself.
Baptism Confers Full Membership
In the Episcopal Church, baptism is the initiation by water and the Holy Spirit into full membership of the Church. Water is its essential visible sign, and the candidate is either immersed in it or has water poured over them. Our font at St. Andrew’s does not lend itself toward immersion, so we opt for pouring. Our Church recognizes all baptisms performed with water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Sponsors and Godparents
Each child, teenager, or adult candidate for baptism must have at least one sponsor who is a faithful Christian. In the case of infants or younger children, at least one sponsor, called a godparent, will make the baptismal vows on behalf of the child, and therefore must be a Christian.
Baptismal Preparation Classes
Before receiving the sacrament of baptism, baptismal families (along with any godparents who are available) should plan to attend our baptismal preparation class. This one-hour class allows our families to reflect upon the grace conferred at baptism the promises they will make on their child’s behalf. Childcare is provided on request. Baptismal preparation classes take place on the Thursday 10 days before the baptismal date.
The Catechumenate is the program through which St. Andrew’s helps adults prepare for baptism, confirmation, or reception into the Episcopal Church. Those who are formally reaffirming their baptismal vows are also invited to attend this journey of faith.
The Catechumenate includes our inquirers’ class, Discovery, and the follow-up Pilgrim course. Discovery takes place before baptism, and Pilgrim typically follows it. Both classes include group discussion, spiritual formation, worship, and fellowship.
For more information on Catechumenate, contact Cheryl Cementina.