Baptisms in the United Methodist Tradition
To schedule a baptism for yourself, a loved one, or a child, please contact the church office at 775-358-0925.
Becoming a Christian is both a moment and a life-long process. As a moment, it is when a person embraces leading a life guided by Jesus, God in the flesh. As a process, “it entails a decision to commit our lives to the Lordship of Christ, an acceptance of the forgiveness of our sins, the death of our old selves, [and] an entering into a new life of the Spirit – being born again (John 3:3-5, 2 Corinthians 5:17)” (By Water and the Spirit, p11). These moments and this process connects individuals and faith communities around the world with each other and with God.
The sacrament of baptism is one step in that process and is a millennia-old tradition that God has given us so that we can feel closer to Him. In the Bible’s New Testament, John baptized Jesus, and Jesus later baptized his disciples with the Holy Spirit (John 1:33). After His resurrection, Jesus gave His disciples The Great Commission: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…” (Matt 28:19), a directive that applies to Christians today.
Baptism is a public reminder of our personal acceptance of God’s eternal grace and the corporate responsibility we all share to support our fellow believers. Symbolically, water is used in baptism to visually represent God washing away our sins; modern practices include pouring, sprinkling, or immersion (we can meet you at the river, lake, or a pool!).
Infant and Adult Baptism
Infant and adult baptism are distinctly different environments and should be understood as such by everyone involved. Infant baptism is a visual indication of the parents’ desire for their child to grow up in the Christian faith as well as the congregation’s commitment to support the entire family in their faith journey. Since a baby has no decision-making ability in an infant baptism, they should make a public declaration of their beliefs when they are old enough to understand what it means to be a Christ-follower and a member of a faith community (each year our church offers a Confirmation Class to help teens understand their beliefs and make a public declaration). Adult baptism, on the other hand, is an adult individual’s public statement of their own beliefs and their desire to pursue God by joining the Christian faith community.
Click here to learn more about the United Methodist Church’s understanding of baptism.