You’re Invited to Go Deeper

by The Rev. Dr. Steve Danzey

Are you wondering why we are doing an adult formation series on Baptism? It may seem basic, or maybe you feel that you know everything about it already. But the truth is that there is always something to learn and ways to grow. Baptism gets to the heart of what it is to be a Christian—both the ways in which we encounter God’s grace and what it means to live as a Christian in the world. So whether you were baptized 60 years ago or are thinking about doing it now, diving into its meaning will stretch and deepen your faith as an individual and, just as importantly, the faith we share as a community.

If you missed the first week of “I Will, With God’s Help,” our current formation series on the Baptismal Covenant, you can still join us this Sunday for the remainder of the class. We meet at 9:15 am in the Narthex on Sundays. The youth of Good Samaritan have been exploring “I Will, With God’s Help” since September and we hope you’ll join them in learning about and exploring our faith.

About the Baptismal Covenant

In the Episcopal Church, baptism is when we say “yes” to God’s grace in our lives and to everything being a Christian means. We say “yes” by making the promises contained in our Baptismal Covenant—our job description, of sorts, as Christians as we understand it in the Episcopal Church.

Many of us were baptized as babies. Our parents and sponsors said “yes” for us at that point, promising to guide us in the Christian life according to the Baptismal Covenant, hoping that one day, we might make the promises and follow Christ for ourselves. You may have been confirmed at some point later on in life and have lived the promises as your own. The reality is that we always have room to grow, to be more faithful to our call as Christians, to make these promises again and again because we never live them perfectly. This is the reason why we say the Baptismal Covenant together, as a community, whenever someone is baptized in our church and several other times throughout the year. We need always to be reminded of God’s call and what it is we have promised to do as followers of Jesus.

Along with our formation series to explore the meaning of this in more depth, two opportunities to reaffirm the promises of our Baptismal Covenant are happening in the coming weeks:

  1. This coming Sunday, January 13, is the day we celebrate the Baptism of Our Lord, and we will renew the Baptismal Covenant together as we remember Jesus’ own baptism—whose example we follow.
  2. On February 10, Bishop Greg Rickel will be visiting during our regular services, giving the sermon, baptizing and receiving any new members, confirming youth and adults, and praying for those who would like to make a more formal recommitment to their baptismal promises.

I hope you will join your church family and make the commitment to go deeper with us this year as we go on a journey with Jesus. Baptism is the beginning of our Christian life, just as it was the beginning of Jesus’ earthly ministry. After we renew our Baptismal Covenant in the coming weeks, we will continue following Jesus’ journey of love through his life and death in Lent, through his resurrection in Easter, and finally through his charge to the church at Pentecost. Each stage of the journey is important and your presence is what makes us a community as we travel together.

—Fr. Steve+