Formation & Practice

Baptismal Theology

In baptism we are joined with Christ in his death and resurrection, are incorporated into the Body of Christ and are commissioned as agents of peace, justice and reconciliation in the world. Thus, our deepest and most fundamental spirituality springs from our baptism, the event in which an indissoluble bond is created between us and God and through which we receive a new identity and purpose. Our baptismal spirituality is laid out in the renunciations and affirmations in the baptismal liturgy along with the words of the baptismal covenant. Renouncing evil and anything that attempts to destroy God’s creatures and creation, we turn to Christ as we affirm that we will, with God’s help:

  • Continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers.
  • Persevere in resisting evil, and, whenever you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord.
  • Proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ.
  • Seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself.
  • Strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being.

At St. Paul’s we baptize in ways that signal the importance of baptism to our life together—the large size of our font and the flowing water of the font, itself, the procession to the font, incense, chanting, different ways to enter the waters—all these are meant to express the importance and prominence of the baptism in the life of Christian people.

At St. Paul’s you may also notice that as people enter or leave the church, they touch the blessed water in the font and make the sign of the cross. This gesture is related to the remembrance of our baptisms as we enter the worship space and as we go into a world in which we sent to be salt, light and leaven in the world.