(520) 836-8630 umccg2018@gmail.com

Baptism and Confirmation

BAPTISM

The Apostle Paul spoke of being baptized “into Christ” (Rom. 6:3). He may well have meant that we are partakers of the grace of Christ through baptism and initiated into the fellowship that had its origin in Christ.

 

As United Methodists, we are part of Christ’s universal Church, not just a specific denomination or congregation. We honor and respect the baptism of other Christian churches, and those who choose to join us from another denomination are not required to be rebaptized. This inclusivity is a testament to our belief in God’s universal love and our respect for the diverse spiritual journeys of our members.

 

In the Methodist tradition, baptism is a ritual and a visible sign of God’s grace. It is a joyful entry into the Christian community and the beginning of a lifelong faith journey. Through baptism, we are cleansed, reborn, and welcomed into the family of believers. While baptism can be administered in different ways, such as sprinkling, pouring, or immersion, in the United Methodist Church of Casa Grande, sprinkling is the usual method.

Baptism holds a sacred place as a divine channel of grace, embodying the flow of God’s mercy, love, pardon, and welcome into our lives. It is one of the pivotal sacraments within The United Methodist Church, alongside the Lord’s Supper. This holy rite is not merely a human act but a testament to God’s embrace and affirmation. Through baptism, we are embraced by the Divine and the community of believers. It serves as a sign that we are embraced as followers of Christ and welcomed into the body of His holy church. This sacrament signifies the commencement of our spiritual odyssey. In this sacred act, both parents and the church community vow to foster the individual’s faith, guided by the promises and blessings of the Baptismal Covenant.

In the case of infants and children, the parents are asked to respond—not on behalf of their child, but for themselves. In the baptism vows, parents are asked to commit themselves to model a lifestyle of Christian discipleship that will give their child every opportunity to grow in the faith. The parents are responsible for keeping a child under the church’s ministry. The officiating minister will ask these questions to the parents or other sponsors:

On behalf of the whole Church, I ask you:

Do you renounce the spiritual forces of wickedness, reject the evil powers of this world, and repent of your sin?

Do you accept the freedom and power God gives you to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever form they take?

Do you confess Jesus Christ as your Savior, put your whole trust in his grace, and promise to serve him as your Lord, in union with the Church Christ has opened to people of all ages, nations, and races?

Will you nurture these children in Christ’s holy Church so that by your teaching and example, they may be guided to accept God’s grace for themselves, profess their faith openly, and lead a Christian life?

Baptism brings us into the church, making us part of the community of faith. No one has to be baptized in a church building, but someone must be baptized in the presence of the church (the people, the congregation).

In the baptism service, the congregation makes certain promises. The whole church commits itself to nurturing this new member of the family with a Congregational Pledge:

Members of the household of faith, I commend this child to your love and care, whom we recognize today as a member of the family of God.

Will you endeavor to live so that this child may grow in the knowledge and love of God through our Savior Jesus Christ?

With God’s help, we will order our lives after Christ’s example so that this child, surrounded by steadfast love, may be established in the faith and confirmed and strengthened in the way that leads to eternal life.

Although confirmation is not a sacrament in the United Methodist Church, it is an important step along one’s spiritual journey. In the United Methodist Church, Confirmation is an opportunity for people to recognize God’s work of grace in their lives and embrace being disciples of Jesus Christ.

WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CONFIRMATION IN THE UMC?

What does "confirmation" mean?

United Methodists use the term “confirmation” to mark the first time a baptized Christian publicly “confirms” their intention to live the vows of the baptismal and membership covenant and so becomes a professing member of the local congregation and The United Methodist Church.

Can I be confirmed more than once?

We expect that there may be several occasions during one’s Christian life when one may wish to re-affirm or re-profess their commitment to live the baptismal and membership covenant faithfully. Doing so more than once does not change or add to one’s status as a professing member in the Church. So, while we encourage people to re-affirm as they find need, we do not call any subsequent reaffirmations or re-professions “confirmation.”

I wasn't confirmed when I was a teenager. Is it too late for me to be confirmed now that I am an adult?

No, it is not. Remember, confirmation as such is not a process, though preparing for it should involve some kind of process. Confirmation is simply the first time a baptized Christian makes their public commitment to live out the baptismal and membership covenant among us and so become a professing member with us. You may be confirmed at 16, 60, or 92!

I am coming to The United Methodist Church as a confirmed member of a church in another denomination. Do I need to be confirmed again?

No, you do not. While we do ask that all persons seeking to become professing members in The United Methodist Church publicly profess our baptismal and membership vows, we do not call that process “confirmation” for those who are coming to us as “confirmed” or “full” members of other Christian denominations. We, as do many of our ecumenical partners, call it “reception.” We will also offer you a process to orient you to life in our version of the baptismal covenant and in the wider life of the congregation, the district, the conference, and the denomination.