Christian baptism is a religious adoption ritual by which we claim our rightful place as God’s children and heirs to His kingdom.
As such, individuals can be baptized at any age – infant, child, youth, or adult – and it doesn’t matter how much water is used because it’s God’s choosing of us through His Son Jesus Christ – not anything we do – that makes us part of His family.
We just need to accept His gift.
United Methodists, therefore, let the individuals being baptized (or their parents) choose the means by which they are baptized – sprinkling (that is, touching their head three times with a hand that has been placed in water), pouring that water on their head, or completely immersing them in water.
Other churches may do things differently – and that’s OK – but this is how we do it in The United Methodist Church.
United Methodists do not rebaptize anyone, even those transferring from another denomination, because doing so would say that there was something wrong with their original baptism, but we do encourage our members to periodically “remember your baptism and be thankful” and we even have a ritual for doing so.
Those who were baptized by sprinkling or pouring as an infant, don’t remember it, and would like to recommit themselves to Christ by renewing their baptism – possibly through a different use of water (such as immersion) – have often found this baptism renewal experience deeply moving, as they claim that earlier event for themselves without denying the deep love their parents had for them when they brought them for their original baptism.
This is similar to how a married couple might renew their wedding vows after being married for a particular period of time. They don’t get “remarried” because they’re still married, but there is often great power and intimacy in renewing their marriage vows.
They just don’t need to get, sign, and file a new wedding license.
If you’re interested in being baptized, renewing your baptism vows, or having your infant or child baptized, please call the church at 618-253-7023 and our pastor would be glad to answer all your questions and set up a date and time for it.
God bless you!