In With the New
I hope you had a wonderful Easter weekend and can enjoy this beautiful day. Spring has most definitely sprung. I love the spring season because it’s the season where we celebrate the “new”. And this spring, here at Central, we have some pretty significant “new” to celebrate!
“New” is the word I associate with baptism, as baptism marks the entrance into a new life, a new way of living, a new community, a new calling, and a new story. So starting this Sunday, we’re going to do a four-week series on baptism called “In With the New” – exploring what baptism means, reminding you of your baptisms, and…..drum roll….baptizing a few folks!
And 2 of those folks might really surprise you: me, and my wife!
Speaking of new – and this might be new information to some of you: Amanda and I have never been baptized as believing adults. I grew up Roman Catholic, and she Presbyterian, and so both of us were baptized as infants (which you may have been as well).
We both started to actively follow Jesus when we were around high school age, but the churches that we’d been a part of didn’t encourage or require baptism as a believer if you’d already been baptized as an infant…so neither of us were. I’ve always believed that baptism as a believer was the way that seemed to be reflected and taught in scripture, but never took that step personally.
Until now…because now, as Baptists, we do hold believer’s baptism as one of our cornerstone and distinct beliefs and practices, and in fact, we require it for church membership (you don’t need to be baptized here at Central to be a member, but we do require you to have been baptized as a believer at some point – i.e., of an old enough age to make an informed and free decision of faith in Christ).
For months, we’ve been talking about how and when to be baptized – and we’ve finally landed on a date: Sunday, April 30th. We’ll have Jared Murray, our good friend and the pastor of First Baptist Church in Red Bank, baptize us. We’re excited for it, and we hope that you can make that very special Sunday service.
Then, the next week (May 7th), we plan on having some other baptisms for people who are joining Central as new members. We are VERY excited for this! If you’ve never been baptized as a believer and want to explore that possibility, please reach out to me – I’d love to talk with you about it.
So, out with the old – and in with the new. Join us this Sunday, and then the next four weeks to learn about – and witness – baptism for yourself.