What is Baptism?

According to The Book of Common Prayer, Baptism is “Full initiation by water and the Holy Spirit into Christ’s body, the Church” (BCP, p. 298). Baptism, in other words, is the Sacrament through which an individual becomes a part of the faith community. This community, the community of faith, is the means by which and through which we are shaped and formed as children of God. It is the community that promises to support us on our journey. In our baptism, we commit ourselves to following in the footsteps of Jesus, helping to shape a world that is peaceful, compassionate, and respectful.

At St. Paul’s, we baptize both adults and infants in the context of the Sunday morning worship service.


Baptism is not like joining a country club. It should be done thoughtfully and prayerfully. Sponsors (Godparents), who are already baptized Christians, should also be chosen. Sponsors need to be baptized, as they will help the child to be regular in worship, service, and prayer—not only by their teaching, but by example. Both sponsors and parents will take part in a short period of preparation.

If you’re interested in baptism for yourself or a member of your family, please speak with a clergy person to schedule a time of conversation and preparation. There is usually a short rehearsal prior to the baptism that includes parents and godparents. Your clergy person will make these arrangements with you.

Holy Baptism is appropriately reserved for the following days at St. Paul’s:

• The First Sunday after Epiphany, January 12, 2020 at 10:00 am
• The Great Vigil of Easter is held in the evening, April 11, 2020
• The Feast of Pentecost, May 31, 2020 at 10:00 am
• St. Paul’s Homecoming Sunday, September 13, 2020 at 10:00 am
• All-Saints Day, November 1, 2020 at 10:00 am

Thinking about baptism? Talk with us to set up a date. Call Linda Willis, Minister of Children & Family Ministries, at (804) 543-3589 ext. 5410.