Baptisms

Baptism is one of the oldest and most central practices of Christianity and we believe it signifies new life and new presence in the church community.

Baptism is not mandatory to participate in the life and work of God. We believe that God loves all people in life and in life beyond death, whether they were baptized or not. As such, we welcome baptisms for people of all ages, including adults.

During baptism, vows of faith and intention are made and water is used to symbolically cleanse the body. Likewise, the congregation makes a vow to support and care for the new member.

Parents seeking baptism for a child should call the office to arrange a one-evening class. This is required to help families understand how to become connected and supportive of the church community.

Confirmation

When an infant is baptized, parents make the vows on behalf of their child. When the child is of an age to decide to assume those vows that person may reaffirm them.

This is sometimes called "confirmation" and grants a child or teen full membership in the church. Confirmation classes are held regularly in both Lower and Middle pastoral charges, and confirmations are a special celebration for our churches. Classes can be arranged by contacting the office.

Recognition

Baptized people are members of the United Church of Canada, and their baptisms are recognized by all Christian churches.

Other Christian denominations also recognize baptisms conducted in the United Church.

 

"In grateful response to God's abundant love,
   we bear in mind our integral connection
   to the earth and one another;
we participate in God's work of healing and mending creation.
To point to the presence of the holy in the world,
   the church receives, consecrates, and shares
   visible signs of the grace of God.
In company with the churches
   of the Reformed and Methodist traditions,
we celebrate two sacraments as gifts of Christ:
baptism and holy communion.
In these sacraments the ordinary things of life
—water, bread, wine—
point beyond themselves to God and God's love,
   teaching us to be alert
   to the sacred in the midst of life.

Before conscious thought or action on our part,
   we are born into the brokenness of this world.
Before conscious thought or action on our part,
   we are surrounded by God's redeeming love.
Baptism by water in the name of the Holy Trinity
   is the means by which we are received, at any age,
   into the covenanted community of the church.
   It is the ritual that signifies our rebirth in faith
   and cleansing by the power of God.
Baptism signifies the nurturing, sustaining,
   and transforming power of God's love
   and our grateful response to that grace."

-A Song of Faith: A Statement of the Faith of the United Church of Canada (© The United Church of Canada 2006), on baptism

Links

  • MVUC Baptism Policy