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About Baptismal Ministry

Baptismal Ministry / Baptismal Covenant

 

When God created the earth humanity was instructed to watch over it on God’s behalf. What an awesome opportunity and responsibility to be in partnership with God in that way!

When Jesus taught the religious leaders and his followers he indicated that the most important points to remember were “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind – and – love your neighbor as yourself.”

Many believe that God’s Spirit is an active presence today to help and guide us to live good and holy lives.
So what would that all look like?

For Episcopalians we see God continually inviting us to be in partnership, following Jesus’ teaching of love, guided by the Spirit. This partnership we refer to as a covenant. And we officially acknowledge our role in that relationship from the time we are baptized.

In the Episcopal baptism service we use the following words to spell out and affirm our role in this amazing and divine relationship of love spread throughout creation.

The Baptismal Covenant

Celebrant    Do you believe in God the Father?
People         I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

Celebrant    Do you believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God?
People         I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary. He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

Celebrant     Do you believe in God the Holy Spirit?
People          I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.

Celebrant     Will you continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers?
People          I will, with God’s help.

Celebrant     Will you persevere in resisting evil, and, whenever you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord?
People          I will, with God’s help.

Celebrant     Will you proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ?
People          I will, with God’s help.

Celebrant     Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?
People          I will, with God’s help.

Celebrant     Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?
People          I will, with God’s help.

(Book of Common Prayer pp. 304-305)

 

And from the Anglican “Marks of Mission” we often add another emphasis to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.

That covers so much! No one of us can do all that it would take to activate fully the breathtaking world that God had in mind. Yet each of us has a job (or ministry) and have been given special gifts by God in order for this to happen!

Some think that ministry is only for priests, pastors, and clergy, but with the gift of life, and recognized in our baptism, each of us takes on the mission God gives us of living out our unique and loving role in the world! Episcopalians therefore refer to this responsibility, of each Christian living authentically in following Jesus, as “Baptismal Ministry.”

For more information please contact:

Nancy Ann McLaughlin
Ministry Developer
nmclaughlin@edomi.org
313-833-4421

 

“We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch. Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit.” (e. e. cummings)

For a full history, mission and vision of Baptismal Ministry, click here.