The sacrament of baptism testifies to our trust in God’s promise of grace. Baptism, like circumcision in the Old Testament, marks us as children of the covenant. Baptism unites us with Jesus Christ and makes us members of God’s family, the church. Though we obediently come to the waters of baptism, we do so through the summons of the Holy Spirit, to respond to God’s grace in Jesus Christ, and only by God’s initiative. God acts, we respond.
The baptism of infants and children is a one-time event that witnesses to the truth that God's love claims people before they are able to respond in faith. When an infant is baptized, it is God's activity—God acts to make us his own, pledging himself to us. Furthermore, the parents and the church family commit themselves to nurture the child in faith so they will come to know God’s grace and respond to it, and claim its promise on their own someday.
The baptism of adults is a one-time public profession of faith, and an act of obedience. Presbyterians believe that we are part of one body of Christian believers and recognize and accept all baptism with water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Adults who profess faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and who make a heartfelt commitment to giving their lives to him as fully devoted followers are invited to be baptized.
For more information on baptism at Bethel Presbyterian Church, contact the church office.
“The Lord’s Supper (or Eucharist) is the sign and seal of our communion with the crucified and risen Lord…The Lord’s Supper enacts and seals what the Word proclaims: God’s sustaining grace offered to all people. The Lord’s Supper is at once God’s gift of grace, God’s means of grace, and God’s call to respond to that grace…When we gather at the Lord’s Supper the Spirit draws us into Christ’s presence and unites us with the Church in every time and place. We join with all the faithful in heaven and on earth in offering thanksgiving to the triune God. We reaffirm the promises of our baptism and recommit ourselves to love and serve God, one another, and our neighbors in the world.” PC(USA) Directory for Worship