Jesus said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…” Matthew 28:19
Baptism is not simply water, but water together with God’s Word. In baptism water flows over an infant, a child, or an adult, and through the water and the Word God touches this marvelous crown of creation, this precious human being and claims each one for all eternity. It is grace-filled, life-giving water that washes each one clean and makes them new. It is a new day, and the newly baptized child of God is called to “walk wet” all the days of his or her life.
Martin Luther suggested that each day as we rise and the water of a new day touches our faces, we remember that we are baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. It is a good way to go out into the day. In baptism one becomes a child of God—loved, claimed, forgiven, and free. This is not up to the one being baptized or even the ones bringing the infant to the font, but rather, depends on the marvelous grace of God that grafts us into Christ and sets us on a path to live as children of God all the days of our life.
As parents bring infants or children to the waters of baptism they do make promises, however. They promise to continue faithfully bringing the child to worship regularly, provide for Christian instruction, to teach them the Lord’s Prayer and the Ten Commandments. With that we can see that baptism is far more that a family ritual. The Lutheran understanding is that we live out our baptismal calling to let our lights shine before others that they may see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven. As gifted children of God, baptism is about a way of life.
For more information, please read the FAQ on the right side.
Upcoming Baptism Classes for 2019
Tuesday, March 5, 6:30 pm
Sunday, May 19, 7:00 pm
Tuesday, July 9, 6:30 pm
Sunday, September 22, 7:00 pm
Tuesday, November 5, 6:30 pm
Please contact the church office to register at 255-1001
What do I do if I want my child baptized at Good Shepherd?
If you would like to have your child baptized, please contact the church office at 255-1001 or send e-mail to GoodShepherd@GoodShepherdBismarck.com. We always prefer to have baptisms as part of worship. It is important for the gathered faith community to know that they have taken on responsibility for another member of the flock. We are all in this together, and it is important that we support one another as the body of Christ
When do baptisms take place?
Baptisms can be scheduled for almost any worship service, though we prefer to schedule them on the second, fourth, and fifth weekends of the month if at all possible, and need to be scheduled at least 4 weeks in advance. Good Shepherd’s Baptism classes are designed to be an introduction to Holy Baptism. The classes are 90-minutes in length and childcare is available. Attending one of the baptism classes is a required part of the Holy Baptism journey for parents. Sponsors, family, grandparents, godparents, or friends are also welcome to join us at a class. Pre-registration for baptism classes is necessary. Please contact the church office to register.
How should I choose godparents?
Each candidate for baptism will want to ask people to serve as godparents. These are people who will serve as faithful role models throughout the baptized one’s life and hold them in prayer as they grow in their Christian faith and life. Being a godparent is much more than simply remembering to send a birthday card. It is not necessary for the godparents to be Lutheran, but it is important that they are followers of Jesus Christ. Godparents are welcome to attend the Baptism Class with the parents, although this is not required. However, they do need to be present as the sacrament is celebrated in worship.
What if we are not presently members of the Good Shepherd faith community?
It is important to know that as your child is baptized, he or she does become a member of Good Shepherd. As we receive new members at a later date, you may want to join your child in membership.If you are not currently members of Good Shepherd, you will need to meet with a pastor prior to attending the Baptism Class or scheduling the baptism.
What if I am older and have never been baptized?
It is never too late! As was mentioned early on…water washes over an infant, a child, an adult. If this is something you have been curious about, please come and talk further about this. Know that the pastors would welcome conversation with you. Lutherans believe in infant baptism, yet not exclusively. Early on in St. Paul’s ministry he was baptizing entire households, so we know that all age groups were included. It is not about us “getting it,” but about God in Christ Jesus claiming us even when we may not get it because we are too young, too scared, or too confused. No matter what may be going on in our lives Jesus says, “Come to the waters…”
If I was baptized at another church, do I have to be baptized again at Good Shepherd?
No. You are baptized once and your identity in Christ is set for all the days of your life. In baptism you are marked with the cross of Christ forever and you become a part of Christ’s body, the church; you become part of the community of faith.