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Baptism is the traditional induction into the universal Christian Church. Its biblical authority comes from the Gospels where Jesus began his ministry by being baptised in the Jordan by John the Baptist.
The formula by which people are baptised, and the understanding that baptism is the initiation ceremony for church membership, comes from the closing verses of Matthew’s Gospel the risen Christ addresses the disciples and charges them with the responsibility to ‘Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). The book of Acts describes numerous conversion incidents where new converts are baptised and in some instance whole households which presumably included children and infants. St Albans Uniting represents two traditions, Methodist and Presbyterian, both of which recognise the baptism of infants as well as adults and, as a co-operating parish, recognises that in baptism people are welcomed into membership of the whole church.
St Albans Uniting welcomes inquires about Baptism as long as those involved understand that it is the entry ritual into the Christian Church so those involved need to believe that belonging to the church is worthwhile and have a desire to seek a closer relationship with a divine presence through Christianity.
Because infants are unable to make informed promises for themselves parents seeking baptism of their child have to make promises on the child’s behalf and to promise to bring up the child within the Christian Faith. It would therefore seem self evident that parents have to be seriously prepared to make such a promise. However at St. Albans Uniting as long as parents are prepared to answer such questions in the affirmative we will believe them, there is no test or probation period. In fact the congregation undertakes to support parents in the spiritual growth of their child and bring them to a point where they can confirm the vows made on their behalf.
The minister is always happy to talk to people about baptism and can be phoned on 03 385 7545