In Touch – June 22, 2012
Posted on June 22, 2012 by under Touché,

Down to the River to Pray

 When you were buried with him in baptism, you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. (Colossians 2:12)

The Reformed Church liturgy says that baptism may be accomplished through “sprinkling, pouring or immersion”.  This is based on the theological foundation that baptism is primarily about the sovereignty of God and the method is not what matters. Having said that, we can celebrate the symbol of immersion baptism.  In Colossians 2, Paul equates baptism with the resurrection of Christ, coming out of the tomb and raised to new life.  Going fully into the water and being raised up is a visual symbol of this theological truth.  That is why it is such a joy for us to head down to the river for baptism.

This Sunday we will celebrate five baptisms by the river following the Gathering service and before the Foundations service.  I invite you to make sure that you are there around 9:45 to experience the joy of this sacrament of the church.

The folks who will be baptized are:

Corey McBride:  Corey met with the elders and shared his joy at finding a church that welcomed him and enabled him to live his faith in action.  Corey is a young man who sees his diligent search for faith beginning following a tragedy eight years ago (on his birthday, June 24)  in which a friend was killed, the date on which he will be baptized.

Jeffrey Ricker:  Jeff actually thought he had been baptized three times before.  Then in talking to his mom after joining the church, he discovered that was his sister’s story and not his.  Jeff has jumped into ministry at Hopewell with both feet, and he has shared with many what a unique church of “radical welcome” Hopewell is and how he sensed that welcome of the Holy Spirit the first time he walked through these doors.

Chris, Samantha and Priscilla Conrad:  Priscilla Conrad (the mom) shared her story of faith when new members joined in May.  Her family now shares in the story as her husband and two daughters are baptized.  Chris was raised in Hopewell and knows many people in the church (elder Stephanie Patton knew his mom).  Chris, however, was not raised in the church.  Priscilla and Samantha are a story of God’s miracle in bringing them to this church.  Unbeknownst to anybody in the family, Samantha’s Kids Hope mentor (Nancy Herrmann) is a member at HRC and when Pricilla (the mom) was looking for a church with her family she “happened” on Hopewell and the miracle unfolded before their eyes.

Sunday is a full circle reflection of God’s miracle for all five of these people and we celebrate baptism in a different way than we usually do, but behind it all is the power of God that raised Jesus from the dead and is bringing new life to people every day.

Thanks be to God,