Welcome to Mayfield United Church, Caledon, Ontario

Since 1830

12496 Dixie Road, Caledon, ON L7C 2L7; Tel: 905-843-1035

|| Sunday worship Sept-June: Sundays at 10:15 am ||

1 community 2 growth 3 support

About Baptism

What does the United Church believe? A Background Document

At Mayfield United Church, there has been in the past and there continues to be today, an open attitude towards individuals who request baptism for their children. The Ministry of Worship and sacraments group at Mayfield do not expect or require the parents or guardians of a child to be members of Mayfield, although practicing membership is preferred to non-membership. However, the Manual of the United Church does say that membership in a congregation is required, each congregation can make its own decision concerning this.

When parents or guardians bring children for Baptism, it is you who are making promises on behalf of your children. The promises are between you and God and the covenanted community of the church. You promise to live out these vows which are part of the sacrament of Baptism within the community of faith and with their support.

Baptism is not required for a child to be accepted by God. All children are from God and all are accepted by God as God’s own. It was a common belief in years past that salvation was denied to a child who was not baptized and this used to give some anxiety to parents. However, the United Church does not adhere to that belief. If a child dies before they are baptized or, even if they are never baptized, salvation is not denied. We are all accepted and loved by God regardless of whether or not Baptism has been part of the child’s life.

In the United Church, there are four main views about baptism.

The first is that it is a means of grace
the second is that it is a covenantal promise
third that it emphasizes belonging to a community
and fourth that it is a rite of passage

Grace

In Baptism, God reaches out to us, whether we are a child or an adult who is presenting themselves. The church is the vehicle by which the grace of God is bestowed and so the church should never obstruct God’s grace being bestowed upon an individual. We never know how God will work in our lives so the role of the church is to be open to allowing God to move in our lives freely. In the gift of grace bestowed at Baptism, the individual hears good news, that we are each beloved by God.

Covenant

The second understanding of Baptism is Covenant. Covenant connects us with the idea of entry into a community of the church. We are incorporated into the Body of Christ through Baptism. People make a commitment to God and then go into the world to make a difference. Covenant theology stresses God’s faithfulness to us and our response to that faithfulness. Parents make promises to raise their children in an atmosphere of faith. People in the congregation also make promises that they will be there to support the parents by providing opportunities for the child’s spiritual development. Covenant theology implies that people are aware of the promises they are making and commit to them.

Belonging

A more recent understanding of Baptism is that of belonging. It is understood that Baptism is the entry way into life together. It means being grafted into the Body of Christ. One is not a Christian apart from belonging to a community.

Baptism is a sacrament of the church, it is an outward and visible sign of an inward, spiritual grace. The emphasis on belonging helps us to find our own identity and a vision for our lives in relationships found within the community. A child does not earn membership in a family nor does a person earn membership in a church. It is simply a gift from God. The child just belongs. As we learn our family traditions and stories in our home settings so the Baptized Christian learns the stories of faith in the church setting. The church provides for the enculturation of children, the nurturing aspects of faith.

Rite of Passage

We understand human beings to go through special times fo life and eath that must be acknowledged or noted in some way: birth, maturing, marriage, death are all ritualized in most cultures around the world. For Christians, Baptism is the ritual by which the church acknowledges the birth of the child. This is a way of initiating the child into an existing group. While the United Church does not stress the idea of a rite of passage in our practice of Baptism, it seems to be an important understanding for many who bring their children for Baptism.

Prepared January 2008

 

About Marriage

Information when planning your wedding ceremony
About getting married in Mayfield Church

Sacred Events

Dates and times of worship services.
Worship

 

Contact Us:
Rev. Lloyd - Minister | 
Marlene - Secretary | 
Howard - Music director | 
12496 Dixie Road, Caledon, ON L7C 2L7; Tel. 905-843-1035