Baptism and Confirmation
Baptism is a crucial element of the Christian life. It is the sacramental entry into the Church, the Body of Christ. You don't have to be baptized to be a member of St. Andrew's; however, to receive communion or be confirmed you need to be a professing follower of Christ. Baptisms are most appropriate on four significant days of the Church: Easter, Pentecost, All Saints’, and the Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord (usually in early January).
You will need to meet with the priest in order to schedule a baptism, and to go over any requirements.
The word 'confirmation' is used in two ways:
First, it means that you are saying "yes" to the vows to Christ and the Church made for a small child by parents and godparents. If you have been baptized as child or baby you can, as a mature Christian make a public choice to confirm your Christianity and membership into the Episcopal Church at St. Andrew's. Youth are typically confirmed at age 16.
Second, when confirmation is applied to adults outside of the Episcopal church, the focus is different. If you come from another Christian tradition as an adult that is not rooted in "apostolic succession", we would confirm you as an Episcopalian.
Typically members of United Methodist, Non-denominational, Presbyterian and others protestant congregations are confirmed into the Episcopal Church. Nothing is deficient about these congregations, but the Episcopal Church places a lot of value in the unbroken "family tree" that as traced from the disciples to today in "apostolic succession."
If you were not previously a Christian, you can be baptized. If the Bishop is present at your baptism, you do not also need to be confirmed. If you get baptized at St. Andrew's, then the next time the Bishop visits you would confirm your baptismal vows in the presence of the Bishop.
Confirmation requires several sessions of instruction which can be arranged with the rector (priest). Confirmations are only done by bishops in the Episcopal Church, and usually happen during the bishop’s annual visit to St. Andrew’s.
To discuss arrangements for baptism and/or confirmation, contact the rector, Fr. Bill.