For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.
1 Corinthians 12:13
God’s plan for humanity is to draw different and diverse peoples into one unified human family. God did this through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and baptism is the outward and visible sign of this unity.
When God set out to save humanity, he chose a people, the Israelites. And God distinguished them as his people through a bodily act-- circumcision (Genesis 17:9-12). This mark showed who was in God's chosen family.
Until Jesus came, this mark was limited to descendants of Abraham. But now, membership in God's family is open to anyone and everyone who proclaims Jesus as Lord in the new covenant sign- baptism!
Additionally, while we do not believe that baptism is necessary for salvation, we do believe it is an important marker of the work of the Holy Spirit in one's life and marks the beginning of the journey of faith that lasts throughout one's lifetime.
WHO CAN BE BAPTIZED?
Baptism is a one-time sacrament of the church. A sacrament is a sign-act through which God’s grace is specially made available to us and by which our reality is changed. As a sacrament, baptism involves the visible work of water, but also the invisible work of the Holy Spirit, through which the baptized person’s identity is now joined with Christ and with his people. It is not possible to re-do this through additional baptisms.
A willing adult or child over the age of 12 is ready to be baptized when he or she trusts in the promises of God made available in Jesus has been instructed in the basics of the Christian faith and is willing to publicly affirm the Church’s baptismal vows.
We also baptize children of baptized parents because we believe baptism is God's gift to us. When we baptize children or infants, we are proclaiming that God's grace has "come before" these children in the form of Christian parents and we ask the parents to make vows on their children's behalf until they are ready to make them themselves.
I'M READY! NOW WHAT?
Great! We're so honored to be on this faith journey with you. We should note that we also believe that baptism is also an act of initiation into the life of the church. For this reason, membership vows are often included in the baptism liturgy for adults (baptized children take these vows during Confirmation in their 6th Grade year). Parents, as members of the church, speak for their children and promise to raise them as members of the church until they are ready to take on the membership vows themselves.
For this reason, we ask that all candidates for baptism be willing to join the church as members or children of members of The Grove. This includes a commitment to serve, give to, and participate in the life of the church.
If this all sounds good to you, please submit a baptism request form and someone from our team will get in touch with you.