Having a baptism followed by receiving new members is a way of celebrating the vitality of our congregation. I’m not sure I’ve ever done it except on Confirmation Sunday. This is also a way of reminding ourselves of what binds us together in a church. It is our baptism…that calls us to practice our faith together… in a community… we call EPUMC. I won’t be making a mistake when I ask the dozen or so new member the same questions I will have just asked Audrey’s parents.
The questions I will ask are ritualistic sounding questions, which is a good thing in my book. Baptism and receiving new members are after all rituals we are participating in. And like most rituals or sacred events, they contain an element that is a bit mysterious. What matters, if you ask me, is not understanding all that is happening when we baptize a baby or comprehending all that it means to be a new member when we ask the larger questions of faith….what matters is that we recognize that God is up there with us. We can answer, “I do… and “I will,” to the questions that sound so ominous because God is right beside us up there saying “I do, too… and I will also.”
In the sacrament of baptism God accepts us in a way we could never earn. In the ritual of receiving new members God is supporting us in our attempt to stay together and faithfully face the joys and challenges of the times we experience.
On Sunday we will celebrate God’s blessings upon our congregation…a new life… a new family… new members. It is also a time for you to remember your baptism and be thankful and to reaffirm your promise to be a part of this Big Enough to Make a Difference, Small Enough to Care church we so affectionately call EPUMC. See you in church.
Keep the Faith,