An Invitation to Receive the Sacrament of Holy Baptism
We invite anyone who has an interest in taking this step to contact the church office to set up an appointment to discuss your desire to be baptized with the pas- tor or one of the elders. The following may answer some of the basic questions you may have.
If I have been baptized in another church, must I be baptized again to join Chapel by the Sea?
No. The Bible tells us that there is “one Lord, one faith, one baptism.” (Ephesians 4: 6)
If I wish to be re-baptized, is that permitted?
We do not re-baptize people at Chapel, but we do offer occasional opportunities to renew your baptism and to be anointed with oil rather than water.
What is the method of baptism that is used at Chapel by the Sea?
Our constitution (“the Book of Order”) says that the water in baptism will be applied by “pouring, sprinkling or immersion. ” (Book of Order, W-3.3605). Infants and children will be baptized in the Sanctuary by pouring or sprinkling. Youth and adults may request a baptism by immersion, which would take place immediately following the 10:00 am worship service in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. In all cases, the baptism is considered part of the public worship service.
Why does Chapel by the Sea baptize infants and children?
We believe that we do not have to wait to earn God’s love and mercy. God, our Heavenly Father, loves us as any parent should love a child—immediately and freely. Ephesians 2:8-9 teaches us, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.”
While some believe that a person should wait until reaching a certain level of knowledge or understanding about Christ, most Christian Churches believe that God freely loves and receives children into the faith. We are reminded of the words of Jesus who said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them.” (Matthew 19:4). In the Book of Acts, Peter preached a sermon on Pentecost Day. At the end of it, people asked, “What shall we do (to be saved)?” Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children. ” (Acts 2:38-39)
Can a child from another church be baptized at Chapel by the Sea?
While it is best for the child to be baptized in the community of faith he or she attends worship and Sunday School, we recognize that there are times when Chapel can provide the most appropriate place for a baptism of one who is part of another church.
Reasons for celebrating the Sacrament at Chapel might be to allow grandparents who are unable to travel to take part in witnessing the baptism. In some cases, the parents may attend different churches and find that Chapel provides a common ground. The reasons may vary widely, but if you feel we can serve your family by providing the Sacrament here at Chapel, you may make a request to the pastor and Session (our governing board of elders). Such baptisms will always be done in consultation with the child’s home church and pastor.
What happens at the Baptism Service?
During the worship service, your family will be invited to gather around the Baptism Font. You may invite any close friends and family to join you. If you are an adult or youth and choose to be immersed, the congregation will be invited to cross the street and gather at the beach immediately after the Benediction and Postlude.
Those who stand with your family will be asked if they “promise, through prayer and example, to support and encourage this child to be a faithful Christian?” A similar question is then asked of the congregation.
A pastor will then ask the individual being baptized, or the parents four questions:
- Do you renounce all evil, and powers in the world, which defy God’s righteousness and love?
- Do you renounce the ways of sin that separate you from the love of God?
- Do you turn to Jesus Christ and accept him as your Lord and Savior?
- Will you be Christ’s faithful disciple, obeying his Word and showing his love to your life’s end?
A prayer of thanksgiving and blessing is said over the Baptism waters. The minister will then take the child and baptize in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Following the act of Baptism, the minister will introduce the individual as the newest member of our church.
Can we use our family traditions during the Service?
We encourage the use of family traditions that are appropriate with our church’s traditions. Many families will have a small family baptismal bowl that has been used for generations. Infants being baptized might wear a gown used at the baptism of a parent. If you have any family or cultural tradition that you would like to use in the service, you will want to speak with the pastor. If you have such traditions, it is important to speak with the pastor as you plan your baptism. We like to share these family traditions with the congregation by mentioning them in the service and in the bulletin.
Can we take videos or photographs?
Yes, but we ask that care be taken so that the taking of photographs and videos not detract from your joy or the sacredness of the moment. A video should be on a tripod and placed in a way that does not interfere with the service. We’ve found photo- graphs are best taken after the conclusion of the worship service. The pastors and elders who participate in the baptism will plan to be with you during this time.
How do we arrange for the Baptism?
The elders who serve on the Session, the governing body of our church, approve all baptisms in our church. Your first step will be to contact our pastor. The pastor and elders are looking forward to hearing from you!