Baptism and Stuff
We had a lovely Sunday service. Rev. Hank Peirce officiated and preached a lovely homily. It was World Communion Sunday and we served communion as we do the first Sunday of every month during the regular church year. It was nice not to do all the heavy lifting and to get to enjoy the day. It was, in fact, also the day of Baptism for Son #3, which was truly enjoyable and why Hank, his lovely wife, Rebecca and daughter Ruth were with us and not at their usual haunt of the UU Church of Medford.
It was interesting being on the recieving end. Of course, both these rituals (Baptism and Communion) occured during the regular worship service as is befitting for any events this central to the life of the community. They are an active acknowledment of our connection to God and to each other. As for the Baptism, it was great to have our "church family" present to minister to us by accepting our baby boy into the Eliot Church and the Church Universal. Thank you to all who were there and there in spirit.
I am occasionally called upon to serve the bread and wine (we use both Manischewitz and Grape Juice) in other settings. However, this is (in part) so the community may be present in spirit to the homebound. I have also performed Baptisms outside the usual time and place, but my personal preference is for having them during the service (at least for active member families) after all, the congregation has an investment in that child and if one is essentially committing to raise a little person of faith, it is good to have witnesses. Sometimes, things don't work out schedule-wise, of course and, really, that is OK, too.
I have also perfomed Baptisms for non-member (and non-"friend") families. What it means to them, I do not know. I know that it varies. However, I tend to believe that they all must find it significant, for otherwise they wouldn't have gone through the trouble of looking up a minister to do it. Sometimes these non-members opt for having the ritual done during worship. I like that. It tells me that they take religion seriously enough to respect the tradition and to endure what might be a bit of discomfort and inconvenience. I hope that, if they choose not to attend Eliot, that they find a church home that works for them.
Anyway, thanks to Hank and Rebecca for coming down and celebrating with us. Thanks also to my brother Matt and his Significant Other, Anita. We had a blast and I can promise you that Son# 3 will be raised in the liberal church...