Monday, 17 October 2011

Steph's Baptism

Yesterday was a day of firsts for me, which at 50 isn't a bad thing!

During the morning service at Wesley Hall I conducted my first baptism by total immersion. It's not the first adult baptism I've conducted - I've done four previously (two in this circuit) - but on all the previous occasions they've opted for sprinkling rather than 'dunking'. This time, though, it was the real deal, and to add an extra 'frisson' I was baptising my younger son's girlfriend - so almost family.

We'd borrowed a pool from a local church (Thank you Greenhill Methodist) and had decided to set it up the night before. Due to a concert in the church we couldn't start the set-up until about 9:00 p.m. and by 10:30 we'd got the pool together and about 3" of water in. I decided to come in early on Sunday morning to fill the pool and put the heater on, which I duly did.

By 09:30 Sunday morning the pool was knee-deep, but the water was about as warm as the sea at Scarborough in April. As we prepared to start the service, the Steward praying with us asked God that the service would go 'swimmingly' - and then realised what she'd said!
First time those shorts have appeared in worship!

Don't drop her!
Oh, how the congregation laughed as we climbed into the pool and Steph let out an audible shriek! For the baptism I was assisted by James, my son, and thankfully we didn't drop her and we managed to get her completely under the water (my two main worries).

Right under!

All in all, the occasion was extremely moving, and I'm sure I'm not the only one there who found it a most profound spiritual experience. Later in the service we confirmed Steph, along with another young lady, Beth, and Beth's partner Tim was welcomed as a member of the church too. A great day for us all, I think!

The other 'first' was later that afternoon, when I shared in a communion service at a Retirement Village - Loxley Park - and we shared bread and wine by intinction (for those who don't know, that's where you dip the wafer in the wine). As someone commented later on Facebook - "lots of liturgical dipping then!"

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