The sacrament of baptism

Baptism is the act of initiation into the Christian faith and into the Christian Church. It is not simply a blessing, but rather a welcoming into the family of faith and the first step in the journey that is the Christian life. In the Presbyterian tradition, both children and adults may be baptized.

In adult baptism, the theological emphasis is on the covenant commitment of the new believer, the one being baptized who makes answer to the questions of commitment. New adult members of the congregation who have never been baptized are normally baptized on the day they join the congregation.

In infant baptism, the emphasis is on God’s grace offered to us in the sacrament and the covenant commitment of the parents and congregation who answer the baptismal questions and promise to nurture the child being baptized in the Christian faith.

Baptism is a Christian, not a denominational, sacrament. This is to say, should a person join a denomination – Protestant or Roman Catholic – other than the one in which their baptism took place, they do not need to be baptized again.

In Presbyterian tradition, the entire congregation, on behalf of the whole church, commits itself to support the child’s parents in nurturing their child in the Christian faith. Such a commitment means that additional sponsors, or “Godparents” as they are customarily known, are optional.

Baptism and the Church Membership of Parents

As a policy, at least one parent of a child being baptized must be a member of The Georgetown Presbyterian Church. When children are baptized, their parents are asked to make statements of Christian faith and commitment that imply membership in the church.

To schedule a baptism, please contact the church office at 202-338-1644 or [email protected] and arrange for a time to meet with the pastor.