St Matthew's is a baptizing community and there is nothing more meaningful to us than to make vows before God with those being baptized. As the Body of Christ, we commit to one another and to God in sharing our lives together; lives marked by participating in, and becoming, the Eucharist, patterning our lives after Jesus Christ, and serving the world God loves.
We're so pleased you are seeking Baptism for yourself or your child! Baptism is your promise, supported by your family, friends and the entire congregation, based on your faith and membership in the church, to raise your child to be a faithful follower of Jesus Christ or to be a faithful follower yourself.
We're committed to helping you prepare for Baptism so that it's a meaningful experience and the beginning of a life-long relationship with Jesus Christ.
What is Baptism?
In Baptism we ritually die to the "human condition" that ensnares us and are reborn in Christ, consecrated by the Holy Spirit. We make renunciations and promises to allow our lives to be reformed in Christ. We are restored into the image and likeness we are created to be, an intention in the heart of God that is realized and fulfilled with all the Saints at the end of time. The life of the baptized, fed by the Eucharist, is a lifelong journey of conversion and transformation.
Baptism is the accepting of our inheritance as children of God. Like any journey of great significance, the road to Baptism takes time. Practically speaking, you'll want to plan ahead, allowing 6-9 months for the following steps to unfold:
Get the Ball Rolling!
The First step is to speak to the Rector, the Reverend Gregor Sneddon. He is looking forward to speaking with you! firstname.lastname@example.org
Find a Rhythm of Worship and Get to Know Us
Second step: We invite you to spend some time worshipping with us regularly for 3 to 6 months. This helps you form a solid basis for the promises you will make at Baptism. Then, in conversation with the Rector, you decide whether you are ready to make the commitment of Baptism. If so, you become a candidate, and a period of intentional formation begins.
Third step: In discernment with the Rector, the candidate becomes a "catechumen" and a parish sponsor is assigned. The sponsor agrees to walk with you during your formation and will present you for Baptism. That usually happens at the Sunday of the Transfiguration, the Sunday before Ash Wednesday.
Fourth step. Following Ash Wednesday, you will participate in five weeks of experiential formation through Lent including
Fifth step: You will join the community in the great Passover consisting of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and the Great Vigil of Easter where the Baptismal Rite takes place (some provision can be made to baptize on the Sunday following Easter for infants). The Sunday following Easter you will participate in serving the Holy Eucharist where you are formally welcomed into the community.
The newly baptized also participates in final session of reflection on the experience of baptism called "mystagogy" and prepares for Pentecost.
We hope you find baptism to be as exciting a journey as we do! Please pray for us and all those seeking the light of faith.
In Baptism, we are invited into a 'rebirth,' to refocus our life together around the defining moment in the Christian story: the life, death and resurrection of our Lord. As we say to those newly baptized, "We receive you into the household of God. Confess the faith of Christ crucified, proclaim his resurrection, and share with us in his eternal priesthood."
St Matthew's is building a program of life-long baptismal formation. Beginning in March, 2017, you will be able to explore a series called Christianity 101 drawing on:
In this experiential series, you and the other participants will break bread together, share and re-enter the deep drama at the heart of the biblical story. The journey is for
The program will begin on Ash Wednesday (March 1) and continue for the five following Monday evenings of Lent from 6-8 pm (March 6, 13, 20, 27 and April 3) and climaxing at the Great Triduum - Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and the Great Vigil of Easter (April 13-15). Participants will also be invited to gather on one more occasion to reflect on the experience and to prepare for Pentecost.