Each time this Sanctuary is blessed by the sacrament of baptism, the congregation is asked, in part, “Do you ….. undertake with these parents the Christian nurture of this child?”… and “Will you endeavor by your example and fellowship to strengthen (the child’s) family ties with this household of God?”
We answer “We do” and “We will” as scripted. We smile at the baby as the ritual proceeds, perhaps laugh at the child’s noises or gestures and then move on with worship service. But what did we mean when we essentially promised God, the baby and parents, and all assembled, that we’d help raise this child? How does one fulfill this important but vague commitment? The Westminster Presbyterian Church Foundation, which exists solely to support this church and its mission, has created a voluntary initiative to help each of us make this happen. “Fulfilling our Promise of Baptism” is the name of the program and it is designed to help us do exactly that – put our treasure, time and talents to work in making good on the promise we make at each baptism.
The program is simple, completely voluntary, and separate from other ways we support the church. Each Sunday when a baptism takes place, there are envelopes in each pew offering opportunities to both make a monetary donation and learn more about volunteering in our Children and Youth ministries. You can honor the child and family by making a tax deductible contribution to the Foundation. Contributions in any amount will gladly be accepted and appreciated. Interest from the investment of these funds is dedicated solely to the support of our Christian Education program, where the child will grow and learn with Christian nurturing provided by staff and volunteers in that ministry. You can also indicate on this envelope, your interest in becoming part of the child’s nurturing directly. You will learn about volunteer jobs such as a teacher, chaperone, or other important and needed roles that touch the life of this and many other children so that in due time, each may come to know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior.
In April, we have a baptism on the 23rd. Please look for special white envelopes in your pew. Consider taking a concrete step toward honoring the child and your commitment to help with that child’s spiritual growth by making a donation and learning how you can play a direct role in that child’s Christian nurturing.