Why do we Baptize? It is the command of our Lord Jesus that we would,
“Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:19) So, that’s the short answer, we baptize because Jesus said, “Baptize…”  And more, Saint Paul says that through water and the Word of God, we are joined to the death and resurrection of Jesus. (Romans 6:3-4) God uses baptism to bring about faith and increase our faith. For thousands of years, baptism is the beginning rite or sacrament of the church, the “means of grace” – when a person becomes connected to the whole Christian church on earth. To see and/or print “Living Out Our Baptism” document, click here.

To schedule a Baptism – The first step is to call or email the church and speak with a pastor. Prior to the Baptism, a pastor will meet with you to get better acquainted and to respond to any questions you may have.  After the Pre-Baptism Meeting (below), a date that works for the church calendar will be chosen with you.

Pre-Baptism Meeting – You will learn more about why we do baptism, what will happen that day, and your role as the one being baptized or as a parent, grandparent, or sponsor.

Pre-worship Meeting – Parents, sponsors, pastors, and those being baptized will gather the day of the baptism 30 minutes before the worship service time. We will meet outside the sanctuary, courtyard area.

What is an appropriate age for baptism? Since the first days of the Christian Church, infants and adults have been baptized. We believe God is the one who acts at baptism through the earthly element of water connected to God’s unshakable Word. When infants are baptized, parents make promises for their child until the child is old enough to affirm these promises for themselves. Lutherans view Baptism as a “Sacrament.” Therefore, whether a person is a few months old or elderly, we emphasize that Baptism is primarily about God’s actions on our behalf and the rest of life we live out our gratitude. For an article about infant baptism, please click here.

Do I have to be a member? You do not have to be a member, but you will want to be a member! Baptism is open to all who believe and wish to be baptized in the name of God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit, whether you are a member of Gloria Dei or not. While congregation membership is not a requirement, we do believe a person is joined to the community of faith through baptism. In baptism, commitments are made to enter a life-long journey of faith within a congregation. We encourage families to be connected to a faith community. If you don’t have a church home, please speak with a pastor about joining officially the Gloria Dei family.

What if I was raised in another faith tradition? We believe there is only one lifelong Christian baptism in the triune God (In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit). There is no need to “re-baptize” when someone comes to the Lutheran church from another Christian faith, or if someone who has been baptized feels they have fallen away from the faith. Because Baptism is primarily about celebrating what God has done and not what we do for God, God’s Word at baptism holds firm!

Baptismal Sponsors/GodparentsOne or more persons of your choosing will stand with you during the baptism. Godparents or Sponsors have a calling to encourage the child/adult in the Christian faith. Sponsors can be any family member or friend who is a baptized Christian. Maybe the following questions are wise for selecting – Are they able to pray for the person being baptized? Do you trust this person to be “with” the person being baptized? (That is more than physically present.) Is the person you are considering a compassionate, kind, grateful follower of Christ? There is no legal status for sponsors or Godparents, but they are important for support and guiding the baptized person in a life of faith.

What about a private baptism? As Lutheran Christians, we understand that in Baptism, you are officially made part of the “one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church.” Therefore, the church gathers to welcome and pray for the newly baptized. Given that emphasis upon belonging to the larger community, we do not normally perform “private” baptisms at Gloria Dei, except in an emergency (see below). Baptism is entry into a community of faith, where the people of Gloria Dei make promises to love, support, and pray for the child.

Emergency Baptism Our pastors are glad to provide baptism on an emergency basis. In cases of a life-threatening situation, a person may be baptized by any Christian with water from any source “in the name of the Father, Son, & Holy Spirit.”

So I’ve been baptized. What now? Baptism is the Sacrament of belonging and beginning. It is the first milestone in a life-long journey of faith in community with other believers. If you are baptizing your child, you are making promises to teach them the Christian faith, to bring them to worship and Sunday School, and to attend worship yourself. It’s important you work on your own spirituality to help them grow. With the help of your godparents or sponsors and the church, you will continue to teach them about God’s love through Jesus Christ and a lifetime of joyful service.