Below you will find the information that we require for Baptism in the UMC of Hyde Park. But before you fill in the information, here are some "fun facts" about the commitment that you are going to make on behalf of your child.
Three Channels of Grace
The liturgy and theology of the Service of Baptism in the United Methodist Church is encapsulated in the concept of "Channels of Grace." Channels of grace are conduits through which God works in the lives of individuals. Baptism suggests three distinct channels of grace.
1. The family unit. This is the most primary and basic unit for the flow of God's grace to our children. Parents/guardians are asked to renounce, to profess, and to promise. In essence parents/guardians pledge, to the best of their abilities, to live out the call to be Christ to one another and as a model to their children.
2. The community. Baptism is never a private act. It is always done in the context of and on behalf of the wider community of faith that witnesses to Jesus Christ as its Lord and Savior. In the liturgy the community states its faith, renews its vows, and promises to live in the light of Christ as an example both for the world and for the child which is being baptized. As we are one family in Christ, one community stands in to represent the full community that may be distant. This channel of grace is the free flow of grace to our children that they will be nurtured in the context of the community of Jesus Christ through the living witness of its saints.
3. God. At their heart, all sacraments are mysteries. We are ill advised to remove the Divine Mystery from the right of baptism and make it simply a means of incorporation. God wills and desires to work directly in each of our lives for the perfection of our lives. Science and sociology have confirmed that we are not born blank slates, but the moment we come into this world we already have experiences of it. Pollutants in our environment, stress and anxiety in our mother, chemicals and broken relationships are softened but not eliminated through the protection of a womb. We are born already knowing the hostile world in which we will live. For this God does not hold us culpable, to blame, but God wishes and works to correct the distant relationship by reaching out through grace. Baptism is a right of life in which God seeks to walk in grace as direct channel to overcome the strain and stress of life.
It is these three channels that Church understands as being not simply nice, but vital to life full and abundant. It is these three channels that sacrament of Baptism aims to open for every individual the living waters of Christ's touch.
A brief note on "God Parents." In a foregone age God Parents were just as the name suggests, spiritual surrogates to ensure the Christian upbringing of a child whose parents were not able to. There is no longer a legal relevance to this term, but it is an important role to at least symbolically have two people who will be active in the role of spiritual leadership for your child. These people should be baptized into the Christian faith in which they will be renewing their baptismal covenant to witness to a Christian faith to your child.
Please be aware that because of the second channel of grace operating in Baptism, that of community, all Baptisms, with few exceptions, are held during a Sunday morning worship opportunity.
Please fill in as much of the form below as you can. You will be asked to confirm your information and a response will be emailed to you.