Sacrament of Baptism at The Union Church of Hinsdale, United Church of Christ.
In the United Church of Christ, we celebrate two sacraments, Baptism and Communion. “Sacraments” are special gifts from God to God’s people. They carry God’s grace in unique ways. By uniting the mystery of grace with the tangible elements of water (for Baptism), and bread and wine (for Communion), God embraces and blesses us. Sacraments also involve our response, so in receiving Baptism and Communion, we commit ourselves to living for God.
In our congregation, we baptize both adults and children. At the most basic level, baptism is using water as a visible sign of God’s invisible grace, presence and promise. When adults are baptized, it signals that they have become aware of the love and grace of God in their lives, and they respond by accepting Jesus Christ as the ruler of their lives and committing to live for Christ. When children are baptized (before they are old enough to intentionally respond to God’s love and grace), the parent(s) are acknowledging that God is already present with the child, and that the parents will raise the child to know and respond to the love and grace of God, within the context of a particular church community (i.e. a local church congregation).
For all ages, baptism is the mark of acceptance into the care of Christ’s church, the sign and seal of their participation in God’s forgiveness, and the beginning of their new growth into full Christian faith and life.
When an infant or young child is baptized, one or both parents or guardian, and perhaps one or more sponsors (traditionally, “Godparents”), promise to assume certain responsibilities for the Christian nurture of the baptized child. Most parents presenting their children for baptism are members of our congregation. There are circumstances when non-members may present children for baptism, after consultation with the minister. The key consideration is whether the parents are actively involved in another local congregation, but because of special circumstances (such as family history at Union Church), wish to have the child baptized here. Because you are promising to raise your child in the context of Christian community, we will encourage you in your commitment to a particular church in order to fulfill these promises. Those who are baptized at an early age are later given an opportunity to confirm their faith through a year-long “Confirmation” program, normally in their early teen years.
Baptism is not only a personal celebration in the lives of individuals and their families, but also a central sacrament in the life of the local church that embodies the church universal. Therefore, baptisms take place in the context of Christian worship when the whole community of faith is gathered. Baptism occurs only once in a person’s life, and is a sacrament universally embraced across all Christian faiths including Roman Catholic, Protestant and the Greek Orthodox Church.
To initiate the process of baptism for your child or to consider baptism for yourself as an older youth or adult, simply call the church office (630.323.4303) to speak with one of our ministers. You will be asked to meet with a minister, and perhaps to attend a special session with others considering baptism. When meeting with the minister, the date of baptism can be established.