Baptism is the outward sign of belief in Jesus. It represents our union with Jesus in his death, burial and resurrection. Baptism signifies our birth into God’s family, forgiveness of sins and our new life in the Holy Spirit that comes through faith in Jesus Christ. Logically, Baptism would follow belief in Jesus, which is the case with adult Baptism. In continuity with the Jewish tradition of Circumcision, Christian parents include their children in what St. Paul described as a circumcision of the heart, the sacrament of Baptism (Col 2:11-12). A child’s baptism, therefore, is their entry point into the Covenant Community of the Church. For this reason, we baptize infants whose parents are part of Redeemer trusting that if we train up children in the way they should go, when they are old they will not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6).
When a young child is presented for baptism, godparents (or “sponsors”) stand with the parents, and join them in making very serious commitments. The parents and godparents promise to do all in their power to ensure the child’s Christian nurture. Keep several considerations in mind regarding the selection of godparents:
- Their Christian Faith & Practice
Have they placed their personal trust in Jesus Christ’s redeeming work on the cross? Do they actively seek to abide in His will? Are they baptized?
- Their Church
Are they committed and involved in their church’s ministry and outreach? Godparents need not be members of Redeemer or even Anglican; but they must be believing, participating and baptized members of a Christian church.
- Their Commitment to Your Child
Is there evidence that they will take an intentional and active involvement in the spiritual life of your child?
- Their Availability & Proximity
In our increasingly mobile society we can never be certain of the permanence of any of our relationships, but if the godparents live close enough to maintain a good relationship with you and your child.
The promises the godparents will make, along with the parents, are earnest commitments that can only be made by faithful followers of Jesus Christ. Parents are strongly urged to recruit only persons who are willing and able to carry out those responsibilities faithfully.
We set aside certain specific days for baptisms, and in preparation for the baptism service we offer a required Baptism Preparation class.
The Baptism Preparation class explains and discusses the meaning, history, and liturgy of Holy Baptism, as well as the role and responsibilities of those who sponsor a child for baptism. Parents who wish to present their children for baptism, as well as all candidates presenting themselves for baptism, are expected to attend the class. Godparents, as well, are strongly encouraged to attend.