In Holy Baptism the triune God delivers us from the forces of evil, puts our sinful self to death, gives us new birth, adopts us as children and makes us members of the body of Christ, the church.
“Although a person is baptized once, the gift of baptism continues throughout a Christian’s life. Instruction in the faith for a life of discipleship is part of the preparation of those who are to be baptized or their parents and sponsors. The ongoing nurture of that faith is part of the congregation’s ministries of formation, education, service, and evangelical witness” (“Evangelical Lutheran Worship,” p. 225).
New resources from Augsburg Fortress support your congregation’s baptismal ministry and the participation of God’s people in the life-long gift of baptism.
The development of these resources has been guided by the order for Holy Baptism in “Evangelical Lutheran Worship” (pp. 225-231) and by these statements from “The Use of the Means of Grace”:
“Baptism inaugurates a life of discipleship in the death and resurrection of Christ” (Background 14A).
“Baptism is for the sake of life in Christ and in the body of Christ, the Church. Individuals are baptized, yet this Baptism forms a community. It is for children. It is for adults. It is done once, yet it is for all of our life” (Application 14B).
“The parish education of the congregation is part of its baptismal ministry. Indeed, all of the baptized require life-long learning, the daily re-appropriation of the wonderful gifts given in baptism” (Application 19B).
Meet the family
“Washed and Welcome: A Baptism Sourcebook”
In this 150-page sourcebook and its accompanying CD-ROM you will find:
- five approaches to baptismal preparation with parents, caregivers and sponsors of infants and young children;
- a library of helpful topics that explore both pastoral and practical considerations accompanying baptismal preparation and formation;
- advice, suggestions, inspiration and examples;
- reproducible pages for parents, sponsors, godparents, children, families and the whole congregation; and
- encouragement and resources for strengthening your congregation’s total baptismal ministry.
Local congregational practices around baptismal ministry vary. For this reason, “Washed and Welcome” sourcebook resources are both flexible and customizable.
The CD-ROM in the back contains all of the sourcebook pages in editable (RTF) text files, allowing the leader to create customized session plans and pages that reflect local traditions and practices. The pages are also provided as designed (PDF) files.
All of the sourcebook content is reproducible.
The sessions in the “Approaches to Baptismal Preparation” section suggest five approaches to preparing for meetings with parents and sponsors of infants and young children. Leaders might choose to use just one of these approaches, part of one, or more than one, depending on a family’s background and interests and the congregation’s tradition of pre-baptismal preparation.
Additionally, leaders might adapt, combine or modify content from several of the sessions for pre-baptism or adult education classes.
Leaders are free to pick and choose elements from any session and order or otherwise modify them in whatever way is appropriate for their local context.