is the adult rite of claiming your own mature faith in the church. For those baptized as youths, it is the confirmation
of the faith given to you at baptism.
St. Paul's offers a Confirmation Class for young people through
our Youth Ministry team. Please contact our Youth Ministry for info about dates and schedules.
Adults, we offer Inquirers' Classes in the Fall and in the Spring, an eight-class series. Contact the clergy for the
upcoming dates. Publicity is always in the E-News, the bulletin insert (The Epistle) and the monthly newsletter (The
Communicant). Our text for the series is "Your Faith Your Life: An Invitation to the Episcopal Church" by
Jenifer Bamber with Bill Lewellis, available from the St. Paul's Bookstore.
Holy Baptism is a sacrament by which God welcomes new members into Christ’s Body,
the Christian Church, and offers them a place in the reign of God as expressed through the Christian faith. The outward and
visible sign in Baptism is water, in which an individual is baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the
Holy Spirit. The inward and spiritual grace in Baptism is the baptized person’s union with Christ, birth into God’s
household, forgiveness of sins, and new life in the Holy Spirit.
Paul’s, we delight in welcoming the newly baptized as partners with us in Christ’s life and ministry, and we thank
you for considering having your Baptism here. This brochure will answer initial questions you may have about the sacrament,
including the Church’s expectations for you and the practicalities of preparing for Baptism.
Holy Baptism is a sacred occasion. We promise to do all in our power not only to make your Baptism a joyous event,
but also to support you in your life in Christ.Who Can Be Baptized?
Anyone who seeks God and is drawn to Jesus Christ is welcome to
receive the sacrament of Holy Baptism. God’s invitation extends to people of all ages, from infants to the very aged,
and from every kind of background.When Are Baptisms Offered?
The Christian Church calendar has five feast days on which Baptisms are especially appropriate. The are the Feast
of the Baptism of Our Lord in January, the Easter Vigil in early spring, the Day of Pentecost in late spring, the first Sunday
of August (Transfiguration), and the First Sunday of November (All Saint’s Sunday). At St. Paul’s we also schedule
baptism at the Bishop’s annual visitation. Because Baptism is an initiation into the Christian community, and is therefore
a public occasion, we will only in rare and very demanding circumstances offer baptisms that do not include the presence of
gathered Christians beyond the immediate family.To schedule the Sacrament of Holy Baptism, you may
initially contact the parish secretary to express your interest: (479)442-7373 ext. 10, firstname.lastname@example.org. One of the parish clergy will then contact you.
What about Baptismal Preparation?
Candidates for Baptism, or their parents and godparents when the candidate is an infant,
enter into a time of holy preparation before the Baptism. The preparation usually includes a session or two with the clergy,
but can involve more extension formation, depending on the candidate’s age, background, and desire. During this time,
candidates reflect prayerfully on the five promises of The Baptismal Covenant (Book of Common Prayer, pg. 304-305),
which serve as a foundation for their commitment to the Christian faith and life. Our Inquirers’
Class serves as a good preparation for adult baptism. We offer the classes in the spring and fall.
Can Be Godparents?
Every candidate for Baptism is accompanied in
their faith journey by a sponsor (for adults) or godparent (for children). The commitment of the sponsor or godparent is to
support the candidate in the Christian faith and life. Anyone can serve in this role, including persons from other faith traditions
or no faith tradition, as long as the individual is sincere in promising to support the candidate’s spiritual grown
as a Christian and able to do so. Because being a godparent is a special ministry and relationship, we encourage parents to
pick someone outside their family, since uncles and aunts already have a special relationship with the child. If you are new
to the community or do not know someone you would like to choose for a godparent, our priests are happy to connect you with
someone who could serve as an active and mature godparent for your child.
What about communion?
The Prayer Book’s first
rubric about Baptism says, “Holy Baptism is full initiation by water and the Holy Spirit into Christ’s Body the
Church.” Therefore we welcome everyone, even infants, to receive communion from their baptism. We regard the age at
which a child receives communion to be a family decision. You can discuss options with your priest.What
Are the Church Expectations After Baptism?
Because Baptism is a rite
of initiation and welcome, the Church yearns for the newly baptized to have an authentic relationship with the Christian community.
A mark of this relationship will be regular participation in the life of a particular parish. At St. Paul’s, we invite
candidates for Baptism to take seriously the aspect of the Christian life and to express their sincere commitment to “continue
in the apostle’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers” (Book of Common Prayer,
Ministries with Young People: Children and Youth