James and I attend Shepherd of the Hills Presbyterian Church. We found our church while we were engaged and searching for a church that would fulfill both of our desires for a church. Our search consisted of attending numerous Christian churches. It was difficult as James was raised in a Baptist church and I grew up in a Catholic church, two Christian churches on opposite ends of the spectrum. After our marriage, which was performed by a minister friend of the family, we joined SHPC. We have not been the most consistent attendees of church, but we both think it is something important for our children (Jessica won’t be an only child) and will become more frequent church-goers.
One of the most important things for me when we were searching for a church, was infant baptism. The Baptism of children witnesses to the truth that God’s love claims people before they are able to respond in faith. Baptism in the Presbyterian Church, usually occurs during infancy, though a person may be baptized at any age. Parents bring their baby to church, where they publicly declare their desire that he or she be baptized. When an infant or child is baptized the church commits itself to nurture the child in faith. When adults are baptized they make a public profession of faith. The water that is used symbolizes three accounts from the Bible’s Old Testament: the waters of creation, the flood described in the story of Noah, and the Hebrews’ escape from slavery in Egypt by crossing the Red Sea. Unlike some denominations, Presbyterians do not require a person to be entirely immersed in water during baptism. Baptism is received only once. Its effect is not tied to the moment when it is administered, for it signifies the beginning of life in Christ, not its completion. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) believes that persons of other denominations are part of one body of Christian believers; therefore, it recognizes and accepts baptisms by other Christian churches.
Jessica’s baptism was performed Sunday, January 31st by Rev. Larry Coulter at SHPC. It was a very beautiful time in Jessica’s life. She did great. The unfamiliar situation didn’t cause her any distress.
After being baptized, Pastor Larry carried Jessica around the sanctuary so that the members of the church could see the child they were committing to nurture in faith.
After the end of the church service, we all returned to our house for a little brunch. I had to have a picture of Jessica with all of her cousins: Dawson, James’ sister’s son and the oldest cousin at 9 years old; Cameron, my sister’s oldest son; Trevor, my sister’s youngest son and the youngest cousin (just 3 weeks younger than Jessica); and Aspen, my brother’s daughter.
We also got a number of photos of Jessica posing in her baptism gown. She is such a cutie, don’t you think?
Kristy, thank you for being the lovely photographer. I could not have captured this moment without you.