Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. — Matthew 28:18-20
The sacrament of baptism is a sign and seal of new birth. It is the means of grace whereby each individual is initiated through water and the Holy Spirit into the body of Christ, making us one with each other and one with Christ. We typically practice what is called paedobaptism – the baptism of infants – in which the parents’ declaration of faith and promises to raise the child in the faith serve as an intention on the child’s behalf to follow Jesus Christ. The words of this baptismal service serve us a reminder that God was working to save us before we loved or even knew him. We were once all in the same helpless and needy condition of an infant. “We love him, because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19). We recognize even young babies as rightful members of Christ’s church, “For the promise is unto you, and to your children” (Acts 2:39). And we trust that in due time the child will grow in faith and personally apprehend the promises and declarations of baptism.
Those seeking baptism for their child should themselves be baptized Christians who can heartily affirm the promises that they are making for their child. For more information about the service, please see the baptismal liturgy.
We also baptize adults who make a public profession of faith in Christ. When you make this decision of faith, you promise also to live in the way of Jesus in the context of the local church–to worship, serve, and fellowship with fellow believers.
Because the mark of baptism is an indelible sign and seal of new birth, we do not re-baptize those who have already been baptized. The invitation to repentance at each Holy Communion service is nothing less than a call to return to and renew the baptismal vows that were made at the beginning of every believer’s Christian life.
For those from other denominations who have already been baptized and who seek to join Trinity Church, please see the Confirmation page.