Dear First Pres,
The experience we shared on Sunday is one of my favorite experiences of the year. Remembering our baptisms is a powerful way of living into the identity that our baptisms signify. Many of you came forward to remember and give thanks, but I know there were still some lingering questions about what exactly we were doing. Let me address that briefly here.
Sunday wasn't about getting baptized again. We don't believe in the need to get re-baptized. If you were baptized in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit as part of a Christian church, your baptism is valid. Even if you spent most of your life living counter to the vows of your baptism, your sinfulness doesn't dry up your baptismal waters. And, Sunday wasn't about getting baptized. For us, baptism is always connected with church membership - either making an adult profession of faith into membership into God's covenant family or parent members presenting their child for baptism as part of God's covenant family. If you are interested in being baptized or having one of your children baptized, please give Pastor Lana or me a call. Finally, Sunday wasn't about making those who haven't been baptized feel insignificant. Rather, I hope it was inspiring to see others remembering their identity in Christ and rededicating themselves to live into that identity in 2014 (by the way, this is what it was really about). I guess we could do that by staying in the pews and saying a prayer, but for me (a person many years separated from my baptism) the few drops of water on my forehead are a wonderful and tangible reminder of the ongoing implications of my baptism. I belong to Christ, and I am so grateful.
Let me know if you have more questions, I am happy to talk about it.
On Sunday, you also heard about our upcoming congregational meeting. Please notice the special schedule on January 26. If you are one who normally just skips the annual meeting (I know you're out there), I encourage you to reconsider this year. At this year's meeting I'll be sharing some of my thoughts about the status of our church. We'll also be engaging in some very important conversation about the culture and future of our congregation. Please start planning ahead for our special schedule that day.
We're starting a new sermon series this Sunday called Forever Changed. May the Lord use it among us to change us more into His people.