Holy Baptism is a Covenant in which parents and godparents make promises on behalf of their children who will be presented to receive this sacrament. Therefore, it is expected that parents will model for these children, even though they are still infants or very young, the life to which we are called as members of the Body of Christ, the Church. The Episcopal Church identifies 4 particular times during its liturgical year when baptisms are particularly appropriate. They are: the Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord (in January), at the Great Vigil of Easter (on the eve of Easter Day), on the Feast of Pentecost, and on All Saints’ Sunday (in November). St. Paul’s observes these days but may also schedule baptisms at other times for compelling need and with the permission of the rector.
St. Paul’s on the Green has made a commitment to Radical Welcome creating an environment where no one is ever turned away from God’s Table and from receiving the Holy Eucharist for any reason and where all people are invited to come to this Table as God’s own beloved ones. We do not require any formal membership as a prerequisite from participating in worship, receiving the Eucharist, enjoying any of the activities or programs offered by the parish, or seeking pastoral care. Baptism is not required to be a part of our faith community. However, we do believe that Baptism is a sacrament that implies an intentional, serious commitment to follow Christ in discipleship and not merely a rite of passage or social event based on family or cultural tradition.
We, therefore, ask parents who are requesting the baptism of a child to model this commitment in the following ways:
- Regular attendance at worship on Sundays which we understand to mean at least twice a month.
- Participation in the life of the community by engaging with fellow members in ministry and fellowship.
- Support of the mission of the church by making an annual pledge and fulfilling that pledge during the year.
- Participation in three sessions of preparation prior to the celebration of the sacrament of Baptism.
For more information, please contact Father Peter Thompson.