151 S. Youngs Rd
PO Box 263
Amherst, NY 14231-0263
Phone 716-633-4656, Fax 716-633 4717
http://www.amherstpreschurch.org



Reverend Amir Tawadrous

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Amherst Prsbyterian Baptism Page

CHRISTIAN BAPTISM AT AMHERST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH

Christian Baptism is offered to believers and to their children. Baptism is one of the two Sacraments of the Presbyterian Church (USA). The reason we baptize as Presbyterians is that we believe that Baptism, whether it takes place in infancy, adolescence or adulthood, is the Sacrament through which one enters the family of God. In baptism, the church recognizes that God has received and adopted the person being baptized, as a living member of God's community of his chosen people.

MEMBERSHIP

Some people have asked us if one needs to belong to Amherst Presbyterian Church in order to have a child baptized. The answer is no. We baptize the children from those homes in which there is at least one believing parent who is an active member of a Christian church, and who publicly affirms their Christian faith.

PRIVATE VS. PUBLIC WORSHIP

We do not provide private baptisms. As Presbyterians, we believe that the Sacrament of Baptism must be shared by the whole congregation. We therefore, baptize as part of our regular Sunday worship service. The Sacrament of Baptism is an act that is done by the whole church. Because it is a sign of the entrance into the church, it is to be regularly administered in the presence of the worshiping community on Sunday morning during the usual hours of worship. Because we live in the midst of a community where there are strong traditions of Godparents, many people ask us if Presbyterians do designate Godparents; we do not. However, sometimes parents like to have witnesses stand with them. As Presbyterians, the members of the whole church of which you are a part, become the sponsors of the baptized children that come before us. We promise to do what we can to help the parents train their children in Christian faith and practice. We do this by providing a worshiping community, a Christian education program, and of course, pastoral care. There is never any fee connected to the Sacrament of Baptism.

APPOINTMENTS

You may make arrangements for Baptism by calling the church office to make an appointment with the Pastor. The time for Baptism will be arranged when convenient for the family and the child or person to be baptized, as long as it fits with the hours of regular worship. Baptism is a Sacrament, and therefore a part of our religious service of worship. Before a child is baptized, or for that matter an adult, there is to be a time of instruction and discussion with the parents if it be a child; or with the individual if they are an adult. The purpose of this discussion is to acquaint them with the significance of what God is doing in this act of baptism, and with the responsibility which is upon them as parents and upon us as Christians.

CONFESSION OF FAITH

At least one parent (at least one that is exercising the right of parenthood) shall be asked to make an affirmation of faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. He or she shall also promise publicly, in dependence on the grace of God, to raise the child to be baptized and taught to love God, and to serve Him, so that the child may come to confess Jesus Christ as his or her own personal Lord and Savior. The congregation itself shall be asked to speak for the whole church of Christ, and to take unto themselves the responsibility to assist the parents in growth of the child in Christian nurture; to provide for and to care for this child until Baptismal vows can be confirmed by the child, as an adult. If you wish to have a baptismal gown for your child, that is certainly appropriate; otherwise, simply have normal attire for church worship. Persons to be baptized or persons having their children baptized are to meet in the church library 15 minutes before the designated hour of worship to begin. There we will have a brief session meeting to approve the baptism. This gets the important information into our session's minutes. After this you may go into the sanctuary and sit where you like. You will be called forward at the appropriate time in the service. Note should be made that the service is early in the hour of worship, so that a small child does not need to be held for the whole hour; however, if the family wishes to have your child present in the sanctuary for the full time, you are certainly welcome and encouraged to do so. A nursery is provided for infants with trained personnel to supervise. If there are other children in the family, if there are grandparents, or aunts and uncles, or other important persons who wish to come forward at the time of baptism, they are welcome to do so provided it is not a large number of persons. We do not allow any flash pictures during an act of worship; however, if the family would like to arrange for natural light photographs to be taken from the gallery, or a video taken from the pew, they may arrange to do so with the Pastor ahead of time. The Pastor is also willing to pose these photographs after the service of worship. Many people worry what will happen if the baby cries or is fussy during the act of holy baptism. Usually, this disturbs the parents, and simply raises the enjoyment of the congregation and the other children present, including the child being baptized. Be well assured that all places for you to stand and move within the service will be directed by the Pastor. A certificate of Baptism will be issued to you, and we will do our best to work for you and your child. April 24, 2002



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September 21, 2007

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