Baptism is a symbolic way of recognising God’s promises of forgiveness of sin and adoption as his children for those who put their trust in Jesus. It has been a part of Christian life from the very beginning.
After Jesus Christ rose from the dead he commanded his disciples to preach the gospel to all nations and to baptise those who believe (Matthew 28:18-20).
They obeyed his command and we read of the apostle Peter preaching in these words, “Repent and be baptised every one of you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins: and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and everyone whom the Lord our God calls to Him” (Acts 2:38-39).
During a baptism service there is a symbolic washing of water which is accompanied by prayer. The water signifies death to sin, rebirth to new life, and adoption as a child of God.
Those old enough to answer for themselves make their own declaration of faith in Jesus and commitment to living as one of his people. We pray for the renewing work of the Holy Spirit in their lives, and the congregation commits to supporting them as a Christian brother or sister.
Since these promises also embrace the children of God’s people, parents who bring their children to be baptised make these promises on behalf of their children, and commit themselves to raising them in the Christian faith and providing an example of Christian living. We pray that the parents will be able to fulfil these responsibilities and that God will in his own time enable these children to turn and trust in Christ.
Those being baptised can have sponsors to support them in their declaration of faith or godparents to make promises on their behalf and commit to helping their parents raise them as Christians.
So that those being baptised can be welcomed into our church family we prefer to hold baptisms during our normal Sunday services.
Before the baptism service one of our ministers will meet with the candidate and/or their parents to discuss what it means to have faith in Christ so that they understand the declarations they will make.
Confirmation is an opportunity to explore what it means to be a Christian and to then make a public declaration of Christian faith. Confirmation is for anyone old enough to make their own decisions about what they believe.
It is called “confirmation” because it involves confirming the promises made during baptism and reaffirming your faith in Jesus before your church family.
The confirmation service is a service of laying on of hands and of prayer for God’s blessing. During the confirmation service those being confirmed acknowledge their faith in Christ and their desire to live for and serve God. If a confirmee hasn’t been baptised this can the baptism can happen during the confirmation service.
So that those being confirmed understand the Christian faith they will be declaring we offer a series of confirmation classes prior to the confirmation service.