Summary: Baptism is the symbol for our initiation into the Christian faith and church life.

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Romans 6:3-6 (NRSV)


(3) Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? (4) Therefore we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. (5) For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. (6) We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin.

Welcome, attendance pads


Happy Father’s day. (Recognize fathers, grandfathers, etc).


Our heart-felt prayer today, O God, is but this,

bless our family, and help us be a blessing to it...

Touch all those who are fathers to us - or to others....

Anoint with your healing goodness our brothers and our sisters whom we name in our hearts…

Smile upon our children and help them to grow....... Lord hear

our prayer......

We thank you God for our family. We thank you God for your

family -- for the family you have given us by our birth or adoption, for the

family you have bestowed by our rebirth...Lord, hear our


In the name of our Jesus we pray to you saying - Our Father...

If I were to ask you to recall the most memorable Father’s Day I wonder what comes to mind? As I thought about that—what came to mind was Father’s Day one year ago. We were having a family dinner and my son and his wife gave me a Father’s Day Card. When I opened the card it said HAPPY FATHER’S DAY FROM YOUR GRANDBABY. That’s how they announced to me that they were expecting a child. What a gift that was for Father’s Day.


And today will be a memorable Father’s Day too because I will be baptizing my granddaughter Krisalyn this morning (11 am—I baptized her at the early service). And I will be baptizing Benjamin, son of Amy and Donald Michael today. So this occasion brings me to what I want to teach you in my message today. I’ll say more about that in a few minutes.

For Bethany Church’s 50th anniversary I have planned a variety of preaching series. I began the year by looking at the world religions and comparing their beliefs with Christian beliefs and practices.

During Lent I discussed the meaning of the passion of Christ, i.e. the death of Jesus and what it mean to us, given the popularity of Mel Gibson’s movie on that event.

After Easter I did a series on the Time Machine—events that connected our lives together over the past 50 years in our country like Rosa Parks and dealing with racism, and the Challenger Disaster and how to deal with disaster and tragedy.

Beginning this summer and into the early Fall I want to discuss What Christians Belief—particularly in a United Methodist context since that is the connection and the heritage of this church family. I’ll take a break from these teachings during July.

Today I am starting with what we believe about baptism for 2 reasons:

q Baptism is the symbol for our initiation into the Christian faith and church life.

q And—I am baptizing my granddaughter Krisalyn today and Benjamin Michael as you as a church make a commitment to help rear these children in the Christian way of living.


By the way after Krisalyn was born I researched the meaning of her name. It means “beautiful bearer of Christ.” That is my hope and prayer for her. Besides she’s the most beautiful baby girl in the world. Get it?

I saw a poster last week—this is a baby speaking: My fingers may be small, but I have grandpa wrapped around them. Of course, that is not true about me!


We probably don’t teach often enough about baptism in the church. Although there was a pastor who was fond of preaching on water baptism. Week after week he would preach about baptism. Finally in desperation, the church leaders requested that he allow them to pick his scripture text for the following Sunday’s message. He agreed. They assigned him the text Genesis 1:1. “There“, they said, “let us see him get a sermon on baptism out of that verse.” When he got up to preach, he announced the agreed upon text. His opening sentence then followed, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth is two-thirds water. Today’s subject is Water Baptism.” (from sermon central illustration database)

Well what do Christians believe about baptism?

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