The information below provides you an overview of the meaning of baptism in the United Methodist Church.
With many other Protestants, we recognize the two sacraments in which Christ himself participated: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper (Holy Communion). In the United Methodist Church, we believe:
- Through baptism we are joined with the church and with Christians everywhere.
- Baptism is a symbol of new life and a sign of God’s love and forgiveness of our sins.
- Persons of any age can be baptized.
- We baptize by sprinkling, immersion or pouring.
- A person receives the sacrament of baptism only once in his or her life.
Through the liturgy we share, we proclaim that “Through the Sacrament of Baptism, we are initiated into Christ’s holy church.” We cease in our old way of living, renouncing sin and the evil powers of the world, and pledge our loyalty to Christ as we become a new person through the grace of God. “We are incorporated into God’s mighty acts of salvation and given new birth through water and the Spirit.”
God Initiates the Covenant
We also believe that in baptism God initiates a covenant with us, as we lay hands on the person and pray, “May the Holy Spirit work within you, that being born through water and the Spirit, you may be a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ.” The word covenant is a biblical word describing God’s initiative in choosing us for a special mission in the world, and our promise to live a life of faithfulness.
God Has Chosen Us
Christians have also understood the baptismal covenant in light of Jesus’ baptism. At Jesus’ baptism, God said: “This is my Son, in whom I am well pleased.” While Jesus’ relation to God as Son is unique, for Christians, baptism means that God has also chosen us as daughters and sons, and knows us intimately.
Of course, we can experience God’s grace at any time and in any place, but in the sacrament of Baptism we begin a new life, a special covenant with God and one another, growing in faith and love, experiencing God’s amazing grace.
If you are interested in planning a baptism at Yorktown United Methodist Church, please contact our Church Office (914.962.5749) to setup a consultation.
Resource: umc.org (MethoPedia / Baptism Overview)
Click here to download the Sacrament of Baptism Information form