Are You Seeking Baptism for Yourself or Your Child?
Congratulations! This is a very special time for you, your family and us!
Upcoming Baptism Dates
Our dates for baptisms are set ahead of time for the coming year. This leaves enough time for you to complete our baptismal preparation program and for family members from away to make their travel arrangements in advance.
Winter 2016 TBA
Within the Anglican Church of Canada and the Diocese of Nova Scotia and PEI, baptismal preparation is a requirement before the sacrament is celebrated. The preparation is a time to learn about God, to explore your beliefs, to feel the support of the community of faith and to find continued strength on your journey of faith. Most of our participants quite enjoy it!
The Process Leading to Holy Baptism
If you wish to learn more about having your child baptised or if you are an adult and seeking baptism for yourself, please speak directly with the Rector of the parish, Rev'd. Cathy Lee well in advance (at least two months) of one of the months above, since you will need to participate in our baptismal preparation program before you or your child are baptised.
If you aren't already attending services at the Church of the Good Shepherd, please join us for worship since it is a big part of our baptismal preparation program. If you do not live in the area and your are coming home for a visit and wish to hold the baptism here, you will need to make arrangements with your local parish to participate in their program. All that we need is a note from that parish letting us know that you have completed their program.
The Meaning of Holy Baptism : A Way of Life
The celebration of the Sacrament of Holy Baptism is one of the most sacred and important activities in the Church and in the life of an individual. When we celebrate baptism we remember that Jesus himself was baptised in the River Jordan by his cousin, John the Baptist just before he began His public ministry in First Century Palestine. So for us, baptism isn't just a moment that passes: it is a way of life.
A sacrament is an "outward visible sign of an inward invisible grace". Baptism is not just a single moment (in the case of infants, we often hear people say, "It's time to get the baby done", but a baby is not a pot roast! If you were sitting with us you would see that we are smiling! Have you ever heard anyone say that? Have you ever said that?
We think of baptism in a deeply spiritual way: as the marking of an infant, child or adult as "Christ's own forever." Wow! That means that baptism marks us as a child of God! And that we vow to be a servant of God by using our lives to shine light in the dark and difficult places of life. Not only does baptism represent a set of promises made to God to try to live a good, compassionate, prayer-filled, forgiving, loving and justice-seeking life: Baptism comes alive when we remember and act on those promises. And we change the world, right where we are, where we work and love and play.
Being baptised means that we promise to:
- Continue to be part of the family of God by worshiping in a community of faith, learning about the teachings of Jesus and the Church, receiving Holy Eucharist, and spending time together with God in prayer each day;
- Apologize and make amends when we hurt another person or do something that alienates us from God or one another;
- Take a stand in the world where we see injustice and harm being done to people and to the Earth and all of her creatures;
- Be compassionate and love or neighbours as ourselves, whether we happen to like those neighbours or not;
- Strive for justice and peace among all people and respect the dignity of every human being.
In the case of adult baptism, we make these promises for ourselves.
In the case of infant baptism, we make those promises on behalf of the little one and promise to support and uphold them in these promises as they grow up.
There are no fees charged for Holy Baptism, although we are a family church and in order to continue to serve the community as we do, we appreciate a donation to the ministry and outreach work of the church as we seek to carry out our baptismal promises far beyond our doors be serving the spiritual and physical needs of the surrounding community.
Know that we celebrate with you and offer prayers for you at this very important time in your life!