Baptism at the Arena Congregational Church
Arena, Wisconsin

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Baptism is a visible sign of an invisible event. It is the reconciliation of a person with God. Once we were enemies, now we are friends. Once we were lost, now we are found. Once we were aliens, now we are members of the greatest family on earth and in heaven. There is great rejoicing in heaven and on earth.

Baptism is the means by which we publicly declare our desire to be united with Jesus Christ and his Church.

Baptism is a demonstration of the work of the Holy Spirit. For it is the Holy Spirit who woos us in love to accept the invitation of God.

Through baptism, we enter into covenant relationship with God. We express our willingness to believe what God reveals to us, to accept what God offers us, and to do what God asks of us. God offers us forgiveness for sin, spiritual growth and immortality. In this relationship we discover a life of contentment and joy.

It is through baptism that we affirm the presence of God in the life of a child. We pray, that with encouragement, the child will be led to make a personal profession of faith which confirms the baptism.

WHO MAY BE BAPTIZED?

You do not need to be a member of First Congregational Church to have your child baptized. For adults, baptism is the entrance rite into full church membership. If you are not currently an active church member, we invite you to make First Congregational Church your spiritual home. This is so that both you and the child may have the support and instruction necessary to preserve your baptismal vows.

WHAT OF BAPTISM FOR OLDER
CHILDREN OR ADULTS?

You may be baptized at any age using the method of your choice. Baptism is not restricted to infants.

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METHOD OF BAPTISM

The mode of baptism most generally used at First Congregational Church is the sprinkling of infants. Those people who were dedicated as infants, adults who have not been baptized may be sprinkled or baptized by immersion. Simply let your desires be known to the pastor.

HOW CAN I ARRANGE A BAPTISM?

To schedule a baptism, speak with the pastor. He/She will arrange to meet with you a few days before the baptism is scheduled to explain the ordinance and to answer your questions.

WHEN AND WHERE WILL
THE BAPTISM TAKE PLACE?

Most baptisms take place in the sanctuary during a worship service. For various reasons, some people prefer the ceremony to be conducted at another place and time. Baptisms may take place at a source of water that is outside the sanctuary. Often this gives deeper meaning to the ceremony.

DEDICATIONS

Some people prefer to "dedicate" the child rather than have the child baptized. Your desire will be fulfilled. Simply speak to the pastor and a dedication can be arranged.

Dedications usually take place in the sanctuary during a worship service. Generally the same format that is used for a baptism is used for a dedication with the exception that the word dedication is substituted for baptism and no water is used.

COVENANT AFFIRMATION (CONFIRMATION)

Covenant Affirmation is the process through which a young person, usually in eighth grade, is instructed in the meaning and purpose of Christianity and Congregationalism. This is done in a series of weekly class sessions beginning in October and ending with a high day, Covenant Affirmation Sunday.

At this time the young person affirms his/her baptism and enters into full covenant relationship with God and the Church.

There is no Covenant Affirmation for adults. Adults are offered a one hour Orientation which provides information on the meaning of membership in the Congregational tradition.

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SPONSORS OR GODPARENTS

These good people with their covenant promises support the decision of the parents and lend their influence to the spiritual development of the child. It is assumed that the Sponsors will bring their influence to bear on the spiritual life of the child so that the child will come to know and accept the principles of the Christian Faith, the meaning and purpose of the Church.

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