Affirmation of Baptism

St.Paul Lutheran Church rejoices in the gift of baptism given to the church by Jesus Christ in the Great Commission, found in Matthew 28:19-20: Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…”.

In Holy Baptism the Triune God delivers us from the forces of evil, puts our sinful self to death, gives birth, adopts us as children, and makes us members of the body of Christ, the Church.  God says Yes to our lives! “For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we proclaimed among you, Silvanus and Timothy and I, was not ‘Yes and No’, but in him it is always ‘Yes.'”(2 Chorinthians 1:19, 20a)

In a very real way, our whole ministry revolves around baptism. For this reason, we seek to offer responsible opportunities for public affirmation of baptism. The following guidelines have been written to assist those desiring to publicly affirm.

Policy for the Public Affirmation of Baptism in Public Worship

1. In an Affirmation of Baptism, a person says yes to God’s previous and on-going unconditional Yes. God’s Yes is never dependent on our yes. However, our yes is beneficial for experienceing the benefits of baptism.

Affirmands renounce evil. Affirmands turn to Christ as Lord and Savior. Affirmands express a desire, with God’s help to participate in God’s mission, described as:

To live among God’s faithful people
To hear his Word and share in his supper
To proclaim the good news of God in Christ through word and deed
To serve all people, following the example of our Lord Jesus
And to strive for justice and peace in all the earth

2. “Baptism is repeatedly affirmed. The public rite for Affirmation of Baptism may be used at many times in the life of a baptized Christian. It is especially appropriate at Confirmation and at times of reception or restoration into membership.” (UMG p.34) We seek to combat the idea of teenage affirmations as graduations, deals done, studies completed. Rather, each public affirmation of baptism marks a point in the journey and hopes for daily affirmation and future public affirmations.

3. Baptism is for the sake of life in Christ and in the body of Christ, the Church. While affirmation is personal, it is neither for the sake of private salvation nor a way of saying, “yes, I have a private relationship with Jesus.”

4. “In Baptism people become members not only of the Church universal but of a particular congregation.” (UMG p.33) “The baptized should desire to become active members of the fellowship. Active participation in the Body of Christ is the desire of all of the baptized.” (St.Paul Baptism Policy) Therefore, persons desiring to affirm their baptism in a public rite should be well-insturcted in our confession of faith, and committed to living that confession as active members of this congregation.

5. “Every affirmation of baptism celebrated in the assembly is an occasion for the remembrance and renewal of baptism on the part of all the baptized.”(UMG p.34)

Affirmation Preparation at St. Paul

Affirmation of Baptism preparation at St. Paul happens in the 5th and 6th grad years through participation in Faith Trek; through a program of learning, service, and fellowship during the 7th and 8th grade years; and through the 9th grade year as the youth works with a mentor to write reflection papers and a testimony of faith.

If a high school youth or adult did not participate in the St. Paul youth affirmation experience, individual affirmation instruction is also available.

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