Baptism Policy-Zion United Church of Christ-Lehighton, PA

Introduction

We believe that Baptism is both God’s gift and our human response to that gift. Through the sacrament of baptism, Christians are brought into union with Christ with each other and with the church. Baptism with water and the Holy Spirit is the mark of their acceptance into the care of Christ’s church, the sign and seal of their participation in God’s forgiveness, and the beginning of the new growth into full Christian faith and life.

Policy for Baptism

 The sacrament of baptism is an outward and visible sign of the grace of God. Inasmuch as the promise of the gospel is not only to us but also to our children, baptism with water and the Holy Spirit is the mark of their acceptance into the care of Christ’s church, the sign and seal of their participation in God’s forgiveness and the beginning of their growth into full Christian faith and discipleship. (Book of Worship, United Church of Christ) To this end parents, sponsors and Zion make promises to God to raise this child in a Christian community and support each other in our efforts to guide this child in the way of the gospel, and into faithful service in Christ’s
church.

From the Church By-Laws

Holy Baptism shall be administered in the House of God unless the physical condition or other mitigating circumstances of the infant or candidate prohibits. Infant baptism shall be administered to such children who have at least one parent or legal guardian that has on record in this or another Christian Congregation formal Christian commitment. When neither parent nor legal guardian is a full member of this Congregation, the record of infant baptism shall be forwarded to that Congregation in which one or both parents or legal guardian have declared Christian commitment. Sponsors at Infant Baptism also shall be persons who have on record a formal Christian commitment through the Christian Church in this or another Christian Congregation. Infant Baptism shall not be administered without the participation of at least one parent or legal guardian. Believer’s (Adult) Baptism shall be administered in the presence of qualified witnesses.

From: Zion United Church of Christ By-Laws; Article IV-Ministry-Section 3. Worship; Sacraments and Rites part C.

Infant Baptism Procedure

 At baptism the parents and/or guardian make promises before God and this congregation that their child shall be raised in a Christian environment. With that understanding, Zion requests the parents demonstrate their Christian intentions by doing the following:

  1. Call the church office at least six (6) weeks prior to the requested baptismal date.
  2. Set a meeting with the pastor.
  3. Signify the importance of the sacrament of Baptism and the vows being made by attending Sunday Worship through this preparation period for at least three of these Sundays. Regular church attendance with your child should start with Baptism and continue throughout his or her life.

Adult Baptism Procedure

For adult baptism to be administered by the pastor of Zion United Church of Christ the following criteria must be met:

  1. The one to be baptized will attend classes for new Christians before being baptized.
  2. The baptism candidate will meet with the pastor.
  3. The baptism will be conducted during a regularly scheduled worship service.

Photography

 Flash photos may be taken during the worship service at the direction of the Pastor at two (2) times specified in the bulletin.

Zion Christian Commitment

Zion United Church of Christ commits itself and its members to provide support and opportunities so that parents and children may live out their baptismal promises. Its members will provide love, support and care for the newest member and his or her family.