We are pleased to welcome new members into our parish family through the sacrament of Holy Baptism. Baptism, the foundation for church participation and ministry, is full initiation by water and the Holy Spirit into the church. We believe that baptism is most appropriate in front of the parish community so we do not offer private baptisms except in extraordinary circumstances, such as severe illness. Baptism is usually administered at a regular Sunday service of Holy Eucharist. We baptize babies, children, and adults. Once baptized, all members are encouraged to confirm their faith as adults at a confirmation service with the bishop.
Each candidate for baptism in the Episcopal Church is sponsored by one or more baptized person(s). Sponsors, also known as Godparents, speak on behalf of those who are too young to speak for themselves at the Presentation and Examination of the Candidates. Parents and Godparents promise to bring up the candidate in the Christian faith. At each baptismal service, members of the congregation renew their own baptismal vows and promise to uphold and support the newly baptized.
Parents wishing to have their children baptized at St. John's are required to attend a preparation class (led by a member of the clergy) on the Sunday before the baptism. This class is an hour to an hour and a half, and is an informal session designed to familiarize parents and Godparents with the meaning and flow of the baptismal service. Godparents, grandparents, siblings, and infants and children being baptized are encouraged to attend, but AT LEAST one parent MUST attend. Godparents do not have to be present at the baptismal service if they are precluded from doing so by distance or some other impediment; someone else may stand in for them.
Following the baptism, the parents will be presented with the baptismal towel used by the clergy during the baptism. This keepsake is embroidered by the St. John's Altar Guild. Adults are presented with a baptismal candle. Parents and Godparents also receive a baptismal certificate for their records, and the baptized child/adult is registered in our church record books.