At First Presbyterian Church, when a baby is born or adopted, we place a rose in the chancel and note the child’s arrival in the bulletin. We welcome the new baby, show how happy we are that there is a new child among us, and give thanks for this new life. Soon parents may begin to think about having their child baptized.
To have a child baptized here, at least one parent must be a member of First Presbyterian Church of Ann Arbor. As soon as a family anticipates that they are ready to have their child baptized, they should contact Linda Robinson, Office Manager, at lrobinson@firstpresbyterian. org, or 734-662-4466. Linda will schedule the date for your child’s baptism and an appointment with the minister who will baptize your child. This meeting will last about an hour and will cover:
- Baptism and Its Meaning
- Living Faithfully with your Child
- Caring for and Nurturing Your Child at Church
- Planning for the Baptism Day
Presbyterian 101: Infant Baptism
Baptism ususally occurs during infancy, though a person may be baptized at any age. Parents bring their baby to church, where they publicly declare their desire that he or she be baptized. When an infant or child is baptized the church commits itself to nurture the child in faith. When adults are baptized they make a public profession of faith.
Baptism distinguishes children of those who believe in God’s redemptive power from children of nonbelievers. The water that is used symbolizes three accounts from the Old Testament: the waters of creation, the flood described in the story of Noah, and the Hebrews’ escape from slavery in Egypt by crossing the Red Sea. All three stories link humanity to God’s goodness through water.
Baptism signifies the faithfulness of God; the washing away of sin; rebirth; being sealed by God’s Spirit; adoption into the covenant family of the Church; and resurrection and illumination in Christ.
Book of Order, W-2.3004
Both believers and their children are included in God’s covenant love. Children of believers are to be baptized without undue delay, but without undue haste. Baptism, whether administered to those who profess their faith or to those presented for baptism as children, is one and the same Sacrament. The baptism of children witnesses to the truth that God’s love claims people before they are able to respond in faith.
Book of Order, W-2.3008
The Bible declares that God claimed humanity as God’s own “before the foundation of the world.”