Baptism at St John’s
The Uniting Church in Australia understands that when a person is baptised they become a member of the church. For this reason, we take time to ensure that everyone who is baptised understands what they are doing – or, better, what God is doing in baptism. We understand that in baptism Jesus Christ draws us into his new life. We also understand that when parents seek baptism for their children they have set out on a path to renew their own baptism. When parents make promises on behalf of their children, we want to support them as strongly as possible by being very clear what those promises say.
We take time to prepare for baptism. In that time, we encourage people seeking baptism to come to worship, to have morning tea with the congregation, and join in other parts of the congregation’s life. In that way you are already exploring where baptism leads. To help with that, we arrange a conversation with the Minister (together with an Elder or Mentor if possible) to explore the meaning of baptism, looking together at the gift and responsibilities of baptism. On some occasions several candidates or families
may prepare together.
We remind you that baptism is an important and solemn step. It is also a joyful celebration of God’s gift of grace in Jesus Christ. And we also warn you it is a dangerous thing to do, because in baptism Jesus Christ makes disciples, calling us to take up our own cross, following him. At St John’s, baptisms take place within the regular Sunday morning services throughout the year.
Prior to a service of baptism, the candidate for baptism will normally be introduced to the congregation on a Sunday a week or two before they are baptised. When the baptism has taken place gifts of a Baptism candle, certificate, banner and Children’s Bible will be given as a reminder, of what has been celebrated. The new member who has been welcomed into the church will now also be placed on the congregation’s membership roll.
Those who have been baptised, and those who made promises, will hopefully take part regularly in worship, learning, serving, giving and pastoral care with other members of the congregation. The Elder (or Mentor) who has accompanied them in the preparation will now be appointed to provide ongoing support and pastoral care as a representative of the congregation.
Our regular Sunday services are at 8.30 and 10.00 am and Holy Communion is celebrated every week at 8.30 am and on the first Sunday of the month at 10.00 am.