Congratulations! You or someone you love is seeking Baptism. To meet and discuss Baptism, start by visiting St. Mary’s, or if you are already a member, contact Mother Claire Woodley.


What is Baptism?

Baptism is a one-time event and baptism in one community is recognized in others. The community you choose to assist you in living up to, and into, the Vows you take for yourself and/or on behalf of your child is extremely important.  

Holy Baptism is full initiation by water and the Holy Spirit into Christ’s Body the Church. It is a public statement of one’s intentional decision to follow the way of Jesus. In the case of infant baptism, it is the parents’ declaration of their intent to raise a child in the way of Jesus. The bond which God establishes in Baptism is indissoluble, so baptism is only administered once. When you choose to be baptized yourself or to have your child baptized in the Episcopal Church, it means you are choosing to live out the Baptismal Covenant in the context of an Episcopal church community, taking your part in the worship, financial support, mission and ministries of the local parish. Baptism is open to all people, regardless of age or background.

Baptisms are celebrated during the Sunday Morning services on the major Baptismal Feast Days: The First Sunday of Christmas (December,) The Baptism of Our Lord (January,) The First Sunday of Easter (March or April,) Pentecost (May or June,) The Feast of St. Mary (August,) The Feast of All Saints (November.)  

If you feel called to be baptized, or to have your child baptized, the first steps are to attend St. Mary’s regularly and to talk to the clergy about baptism. We require candidates for baptism to undertake intentional preparation. That preparation will include study of the Baptismal Covenant and what it contains, and what it can mean for your life. We also learn about the symbol of water, about the importance of the Trinity—the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—in whose name the baptism is administered, about the Scripture, the gifts of the Holy Spirit and stewardship of the Christian life.

Just because you weren’t baptized as a child doesn’t mean you’ve missed out! Saint Mary’s welcomes any and all who want to feast in the love of Jesus to be baptized!
Baptism can be regarded as the beginning of a spiritual path and not the culmination of one. It is not necessary that a candidate for baptism fully understand nor be comfortable with every word of the Christian Creeds and doctrines from the outset, but rather be ready to embark on the rich path of discovery into the way, truth and life of Jesus Christ.

Baptism and the life of Christ, living and learning to think and act like Jesus, empowered by God, and lived in a community of people likewise striving, is a very good gift for you and your child. Baptism is a community event and that includes you as a parent or a seeker. Spiritual formation for the whole community takes place that in the Rite of Baptism. All of us are on a journey to know God, to be better people, deepen our lives and spread the creative potential of God’s love in the world.  Ultimately, you are the book your children will read on how to be human, how to have a relationship with God, how to live in a world of many choices. Choosing Baptism and Christian community is choosing to be an intentional, well written, deeply thought out book. Intentionality, choosing, is important to building a just, verdant and peaceful world. Listen to what Mandy Patinkin sings about on this subject.

If you are new to the Episcopal Church and have already been baptized in another denomination, you may wish to renew your faith life. If this is the case, you may be Received or Confirmed in the Episcopal Church. We can help you learn about and discern the path appropriate for you. Wherever you come from and whatever your faith background, the Episcopal Church welcomes you!

What’s Next?

How do we get started? Start attending church. Go to the home page for service times. A date for Baptism will be set after you have settled into the rhythm of community worship and life at St. Mary’s. We look forward to growing up into Christ with you and your family!

If you want to read further try these books:

Taking the Plunge: Baptism and Parenting by the Rev. Anne E. Kitch.
Your Faith Your Life: An Invitation to the Episcopal Church by Jennifer Gamber and Bill Lewellis.

Being Christian by Rowan Williams (Former Archbishop of Canterbury)


Hungry to know more? Watch this short video where The Rt. Rev. N. T. Wright, Bishop of Durham, England speaks on Baptism.