What is Baptism?
Baptism is a sacrament - a promise, and a mystery that God appointed towards a special nurture of God's people - the Church.
Baptism is a seal to a promise by God to love and redeem the child. The baby is loved by God from its birth - baptism is a sign (water) and seal (light) of all that God has promised to us in Jesus Christ.
Baptism is a new birth. The baptized child is made dead to sin and rises to new life in Jesus Christ. There is no "original sin" in the meaning of like an overdraft, that the baptism cancels or covers, so the baby does not go to hell. Rather, in baptism we are oriented permanently and confidently towards God.
Baptism is a sacred obligation. The parents and sponsors present the child to the congregation. They affirm their faith in God, as well as their own commitment to faith and to this community, the church. They affirm that they desire for the child to be a faithful follower of Christ.
Baptism is a family bond. By virtue of baptism, the child receives new brothers and sisters in faith - our congregation, and the Church universal.
Baptism is an act of worship - children are not just "baptized." We are baptized to a community, the Church with a capital C and a small one - the congregation. The congregation members are not spectators in baptism but active participants. We too affirm the faith we share with the parents and sponsors and promise to raise the child in the church.
Last but not least - baptism is an act of faith - in God that all that God proclaimed is and will come true, in our commitment to God revealed in Jesus Christ, and in the parents and the congregation, that what has been said and pledged is true to the best of our abilities.
Who Can Get Baptized?
We baptize both adults and young children.
In the Congregational tradition churches have always insisted that only children of members be baptized, and after 1662 that at least one grandparent had to be an active member of the church. What we are looking at First Church is a genuine commitment to Christian life and worship with our congregation.
I Would Like To Get My Child Baptized - Who Do I Call?