'What is Baptism'
It is great that you are thinking of Baptism for yourself or your child. Baptism is one of the two sacraments of the Church (the other being Holy Communion). The minister will be delighted to speak with you about this so arrange to meet with him, but in the meantime here are a few things to consider:
1. Baptism of a Child
The gift of baptism implies growth and grace and therefore, in the case of the baptism of a child, parents or guardians are asked to give a clear commitment to raise their child in the Christian faith, within the life and worship of the Church. In asking for baptism, parents are essentially saying "We believe in Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour and we want to dedicate our child to him and promise to bring him / her up within the active life of Christ's Church on earth, represented by the local church”.
This obviously requires belief and faith on the part of at least one of the parents. Being part of the Church family is the best place to start and if you are not a member of our congregation, we look forward to welcoming you. We would expect that at least one parent would be worshipping with us for a time before discussing a baptism. Our prayer is that you and your family would feel at home with us and become part of our church family, and we look forward to getting to know you and supporting you and your family in the years ahead. Baptism, if it is to mean anything at all, should be seen as the beginning of a journey for your child. It shouldn't be considered just because "grandparents say it's the thing to do". It is not an insurance policy! If you have not yourself accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour of your life then speak to the minister.
Infant Baptism in the Church of Scotland
Baptism is not a private family event but a church family event. The Church of Scotland sets out rules about whom a minister can baptise.
A child can be baptised if one or both parents have themselves been baptised and are members of the Church or who intend to become members of the congregation (currently attending our church).
2. A Service of Blessing & Thanksgiving
If you do not think Baptism or Church membership is right for your family at present, you may wish to consider a service of blessing and thanksgiving for your child. This can be an excellent celebration of the gift of a child, shared with your family and friends alongside our congregation. In choosing this type of service, you can leave the matter of baptism to a time when you think it right. The minister would be happy to discuss an act of Blessings and Thanksgiving with you.
3. Adult or Believer’s Baptism
"Should I be baptised as a teenager or adult?" That depends on your relationship with Jesus Christ. Jesus made it clear that his followers should be baptised (Matthew 28:19,20). In the same way that Jesus died and rose again so, by being baptised, we acknowledge that we have died to sin and now live a new life in the power of the Holy Spirit (see Romans 6:4). Baptism is certainly an outward sign or symbol of what God is doing within your life - but it is a whole lot more! Baptism is also a way of announcing publicly that you are a Christian and that you want wholeheartedly to follow Jesus Christ as Lord.
There are many clear examples in the Bible to show that this was how people were admitted into fellowship in the early church (see Acts 8:34-39). In Acts 2:41 we read that 3,000 people were baptised after believing on the first day of the Christian church. So if you are a Christian and you have not yet been baptised, then come along to worship at St Andrew’s Church and, when the time is right, speak with the minister. Note, however, that the Church believes in 'one baptism' so if you were baptised as a child you don't need to be baptised again as an adult.