Baptism

 

Baptism at Good Shepherd

Baptism

The most significant step we take on the road to a deeper and transformed life in Christ is to be baptized with water in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

 

By Baptism, we are joined to Christ in his death and resurrection and made full members of his body, the Church. At baptism, we make promises about how we will live our lives as followers of Jesus. God promises us forgiveness of our sins and new life in the Holy Spirit, and welcomes us into full communion with Christ and his Church.

 

The Episcopal Book of Common Prayer recognizes specific feast days as especially appropriate for baptism:

The Baptism of Our Lord (the first Sunday after January 6 each year)
Easter
Pentecost
All Saints Sunday (the Sunday nearest November 1 each year)

 

In addition we baptize at times when families are likely to be gathered:

Memorial Day weekend
July 4 weekend

 

We conduct a baptism class the Sunday before each occasion of baptism, immediately following our 10:00 am worship.

 

At Good Shepherd we baptize children and adults. If you (or your child) are ready for baptism, we encourage you to contact the parish office at 904-387-5691 to begin a conversation, and we encourage you to join us regularly in worship. Please complete the baptism information form and send it to the parish office.

 

Questions about Baptism

Do I have to be a member of Good Shepherd to schedule a baptism?

 

No. If you want to have a baptism here, we will say, "Yes." But if you don't have a church, why not make Good Shepherd your church? If you do have a church, why not have the baptism there? And of you don't want a church, why have a baptism at all? These questions sometimes have very good answers, but they are always worth asking. The clergy here would love to talk with you about these questions or any related issues you may have.

 

What is the appropriate age for baptism?

 

Any age is an appropriate age because God's love for his people is absolutely independent of understanding or achievement. We baptize newborns, we baptize grandparents and even great grandparents, and all ages between.

 

What if one of the parents or godparents is not a Christian?

 

The love and support of relatives and friends is a blessing from God. All are invited to participate in baptism at Good Shepherd in whatever way makes sense to them and to you, including as supporters and witnesses. One role that does not make sense for a non-Christian is that of godparent. This is a matter of courtesy and hospitality to the non-Christian, in light of the fact that godparents make public promises and affirmations in the name of Christ as a part of the baptismal service.

 

Should I bring the baby to the preparation meeting? To church?

 

Babies should be wherever they are comfortable and their parents are happy. If you and the baby are happy together, then keep the baby with you even if there is some fussing and wiggling and getting up and down. A worship service is not an opera, and our pre-baptismal conversations are not business meetings.

 

What if I myself am not sure about Christianity or my commitment to the Church?

 

The best way to address those questions is to participate, reflect, and evaluate. You are more likely to make progress on these issues in conversation with others than at home by yourself. We would love to have you join us to explore, even if you're not committed to membership or baptism.

 
 

FIND US ONLINE

CONTACT US

  • Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd
  • 1100 Stockon Street
  • Jacksonville, FL 32204
  • United States
  • Phone: (904) 387-5691
  • Fax: (904) 387-9575
  • secretary@GSJax.church