Baptism

According to the United Church Manual section B. 3.2.1, children may be baptized with the advance approval of the governing body; or if one or both of the parents are full members in good standing; or the governing body may make exceptions to these requirements.

Welcome of the Church (Adoption)
Baptism is the rite by which people are welcomed into the fellowship of the church. Usually the candidate is an infant or child brought by the parents. Occasionally, an adult requests baptism which along with confirmation becomes the route to adult membership in the congregation.

Acknowledgement
A request for baptism whether from parents or guardians, or from the individual themselves, is referred to the Minister for initial conversation. The Minister will bring the request to the Worship Team for approval. The decision to proceed is then reported to the Oversight Council in order to have the baptism recorded in church records.

Format of the service
In the case of an infant or child, the parents or legal guardians will make a profession regarding belief in God, following Jesus, and commitment to the church. In the case of an adult, they will make their own profession of faith.

The baptism will be performed using the traditional Trinitarian Formula:  “I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,” although words such as, “In the name of God, the creator, Jesus, our redeemer, and the Holy Spirit, our comforter and guide” may be used in addition.

Commitment of the Congregation and role of God Parents
During the vows of baptism the congregation will be asked to “Receive this child in Christ’s Name” and to “prayerfully nurture and care for them and their family”.

Though Godparents are not normally part of the United Church practice, because people have many experiences of church from other traditions, Godparents can be included in the service, and will be asked to offer prayer and nurture for the child and their family.