The Evangelical Covenant Church perspective is that infant and adult baptisms are considered sacraments, as is communion. This sacrament is a sign or symbol that points beyond itself to the gracious work of God in the one being baptized. Others have defined the term sacrament as a sacred action, a means of grace by which the message of the Gospel is brought forth into an individual life, or more simply put, a visible sign of an invisible grace.
Infant baptism signifies the initial acknowledgment of God’s grace in the life of a child. By the grace of God the child has been created and will be sustained in the future. This grace includes the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Church. Though the child is entering into this community, it is assumed that the Holy Spirit is not yet fully appropriated in the life of a child. Later in life, through the spiritual nurture of parents and the church family, the hope is for the child to personally own their faith in Christ by way of public confirmation. This is essential since baptism does not save a person. The Bible, in New Testament mentions household baptisms, which assumes infant baptism [Acts 16:15, 33, 1 Cor 1:16]. For more information about infant baptism at PCC, contact Tom Netane.
Child dedication differs from infant baptism for the focus is on the parents making a public profession before the body of believers and God that they will do their part to raise their child up to believe and follow in the ways of the Jesus. Like infant baptism, there is a hope for personal ownership of faith in Christ at a later age. The church body is challenged with the same expectation of supporting the child in their spiritual growth process. This tradition stems from the actions of Mary and Joseph, who brought Jesus to the temple to be consecrated or dedicated to God, based on the Jewish law [Luke 2:22]. For more information about infant baptism at PCC, contact Tom Netane.
Believer baptized, by a child, student or adult, is an act of obedience after receiving salvation by faith in Christ. Baptism acknowledges the grace given to one through the death of Jesus Christ, while the act of being immersed in water provides a metaphor of one’s conversion [Col. 2:12]. It is an outward expression of an inward faith and does not save or enhance once status before God. When going down into the water it signifies our old life going down into the grave and being buried with Christ in his death. Rising out of the water signifies being raised with Christ in his resurrection and entering into a new life. In the Bible, the word for baptism means to plunge, dip and immerse. Jesus taught that one of the marks of a follower of Christ is that they will be baptized [Matthew 28:19]. The pattern revealed in the New Testament is that those who give a believable profession of faith should be baptized [Matthew 28:19, Acts 2:14, 8:12, 10:47-48, Rom. 6:3-4, Gal. 3:27]. PCC will affirm and give individuals the opportunity to confirm their infant baptism as adult believers if they so choose.
Interested in a baptism or dedication?
Dedications and Baptisms are held on a quarterly basis. Licensed Covenant ministers are willing to administer any of these without persuading you in a particular manner. For child, student, or adult baptism, click on the green button under the Detail Box to fill out the registration form. For infant baptism or child dedication information, contact Tom Netane.