Baptism

Baptism is a celebration for the whole church!

Whether it’s an infant or adult baptism, celebrating Jesus’ baptism, or at confirmation, remembering our baptismal vows is a big deal.

But how do we talk about baptism and baptismal vows with our families? Is it just a once, or twice, in a life time conversation? Here are some activities and resources to help inspire you.

Get your families involved in the ritual!

At your church, you can ask everyone to bring some water from home to fill up your baptismal fount! Send them home with a decorated water bottle one Sunday and ask them to bring it back for the baptism.

Ask everyone to bring in a photo (if they have one) of their own baptism for show-and-tell! Maybe they even have the outfit they wore that day.

Have a great idea of ways to engage families in baptism? Share with us in the comments!


What is a vow?

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

A vow is a promise to try. When we make baptismal vows we’re saying that we are going to try and live our lives faithfully. God knows, and we know, we won’t get everything right. But, lucky for us, we worship a God of love and forgiveness. She wants to see us try our best, and helps us when we make mistakes.

Selina’s favourite part of our baptismal vows is when the candidate responds: “I will, with God’s help.” We need God’s help to do all the things we’re promising at our baptism/confirmation.

Our Promises

In the United Church we generally make the following statements/promises at baptism…

We say that we believe in God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit

We promise to do good, not evil

We promise to follow Jesus’ example

We promise to be part of the family of God

We promise to share our faith with others

Paraphrased from Celebrate God’s Presence

When exploring our vows with families we can ask questions about what it means to live these promises out day-to-day. Invite your children and youth to put these promises into their own words!

We can also remind families that these are promises we make as a whole church. This is emphasized when the church recommits themselves at a baptism or confirmation.

Mini Colouring Book

Check-out this one-page mini colouring book for kids to learn about our baptismal promises. Selina created them to give to each child at an up-coming baptism so they can stay engaged while also staying distanced! Download and print your own! (Instructions for folding are on the back.)


The Symbols of Baptism

A great way to explore a sacrament is with symbols. Just like communion, with the bread, the wine and table, we have different symbols we use to talk about baptism.

Water, dove, fount/basin, shell, candle…

Your faith community also likely has their own symbols! What do you use during baptism? Do you light a special candle? Anoint the candidate with oil? Do you give the candidate a prayer shawl to take with them? What do candidates usual wear for their baptism?

These are all images and questions you can explore as a family or faith community.


Baptism-Themed Activities

From thejerseymomma.com.

Using glass pebbles, glue and an old plastic lid, you can make a wonderful sun catcher! Try using blues and a central seashell to create a baptismal themed catcher. Or have the kids create a rainbow-theme one that reminds us of God’s promise to care for creation.

From flamecreativekids.com.

Laminated play dough mats invite kids to interact with symbols and images. Print and laminate your own baptism themed mat.

Looking for something to do with all that leftover cardboard? Make a Baptism-themed jigsaw puzzle! Check-out our printable puzzle templates.

Why not create some DIY baptismal candle with your kids? You can talk about the different symbols for baptism we use (water, shell, dove, cross, light).

Check-out this tutorial on how to transfer a drawing to a wax pillar candle!

From funcraftskids.com.

We love mosaics, especially ones that use recycled materials (buttons, beads, shells, rocks, bottle caps…)! You can make a baptism-themed mosaic with air-dry clay or salt dough. Or, make a collage on an old piece of cardboard using glue and paint.

From theeducatorsspinonit.com.

Using a paper plate, you can decorate your own large shell!

From survivingateacherssalary.com.

For the littlest among us, why not make a baptism sensory bin!? Add water or water beads with like seashells.

Check-out these cute Congratulations cards you can print and colour in. Print the template.


Books for Little Ones

“On the Day You Were Baptized” by Taylor Young is a great gift to families at a child’s baptism. It explores the ritual of baptism and what it means in simple language.

Or check-out “Water Come Down: The Day You Were Baptized” by Walter Wangerin Jr., which is a slightly more detailed explanation.

“May God Bless You and Keep You” is a rhyming prayer for our children, and reminds them about the God’s promise to them as they live their lives. Written by Sarah Cunningham.

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