The United Methodist Church celebrates two sacraments: Baptism and Holy Communion. In the sacraments we encounter God and God’s love in a special way.
Baptism is a sign of God’s grace and marks the beginning of our lifelong journey as disciples of Jesus Christ. In The United Methodist Church, persons of any age may be baptized—infants, children, youth, and adults. Each family makes a choice about having children baptized early or waiting until they are older.
Baptism of infants and young children is a celebration of promises:
Of God’s promise to love us and claim us forever.
Of parents’ and sponsors’ promises to teach their child about Jesus, and to be the instruments of God’s love in his or her life.
Of the congregation’s promise to do this as well.
When children reach confirmation age (eighth grade), they are invited to profess their personal commitment to following Jesus Christ.
Baptism of older children and adults emphasizes:
Forgiveness and cleansing from past wrongs.
Personal acceptance of God’s free gift of unconditional love.
A commitment to following where Jesus leads.
As L. Edward Phillips and Sara Webb Phillips state in Baptism: Understanding God’s Gift, “Baptism marks a person as a member of the church of Jesus Christ, but practicing all that baptism means will take the whole of our lives. This is true of any Christian, no matter the age of their baptism.” Copies of this booklet are available in the Church Office for those wishing to learn more about baptism.
To be baptized or have a child baptized at Gary, you do not have to be a member of the church. We do ask you to worship with us on several occasions and to attend a preparatory session with one of our pastors. Baptism takes place during a regular Sunday morning worship service. We do not schedule baptisms for the first Sunday of the month when we celebrate Holy Communion.
To request a baptism, click below to download the form. It would be helpful for you to suggest a couple possible dates. After you return the completed form to the Church Office, the pastor will contact you to confirm a date and to schedule the preparatory session.