This RENEWAL topic is collecting worship-related resources on the theme of renewal and recommitment, especially with an eye toward recommitment to attendance and learning in Sunday School.
It includes Baptism-related ideas, celebration ideas, liturgies, and children's sermons.
You are welcome to add your renewal-themed resource or idea here. If you're looking for lessons and background on Jesus' baptism, visit Jesus' Baptism Bible story forum and check here for ideas for teaching about baptism in general.
The celebration of the Sacrament of Baptism is a natural occasion for those previously baptized to renew their promises to God and to the church community. Indeed, the word "sacrament" comes from the Roman (Latin) word meaning "oath of loyalty," "bond," or "pledge" ("sacramentum").
Baptism is also an occasion that reminds us of the promises of God --unending grace and the promise of the Holy Spirit.
Even if a baptism is not taking place, there are times and places where repeating or being reminded of our baptismal vows are a welcome opportunity for renewal. In fact, we live in a time that calls out for renewal and recommitment in Christ's name to the worshiping community and to the servant life. We hope you'll find and add some inspiration here.
Some "baptism renewal" resources & ideas
A list begun by Neil MacQueen at Rotation.org
- The UMC's Discipleship Ministry has a fresh, language-updated New Service of Reaffirmation of the Baptismal Covenant that all can borrow from. It rephrases the questions usually asked of the parents or person to be baptized so that all can answer. Even if you're NOT United Methodist, the language is worth looking at and the questions are likely similar to what your denomination asks. (By comparison, my own PCUSA denom has a wordy service that I don't recommend.) Don't forget to check your denomination's "Book of Worship" for baptism renewal resources.
- Ceremonially use the water in the baptismal font to water a "Promise Plant" at church.
- Have the kids pot some plants and use the baptism water to grow a "promise" plant.
- Package the baptismal water in ziploc bags to go home where you can use it to water a plant. Add a label to the bag explaining the idea. Can you add more water than usual for a "blessing of the water" (so to speak) as a reminder of the growth we are called to? Lots of water imagery in the Bible.
- Plan a few Water Games to take place after a recommitment service for the kids. Theme them with renewal/water/refresh ideas to reinforce your service or lessons.
- Encourage parents to discover and celebrate the "birthday" of their child's baptism. You can begin by framing that birth certificate you give them so they don't lose it in a box. If a date is undiscoverable, encourage them to use the first Sunday after January 6, which is the traditional celebration date of Jesus' baptism. Share these celebration ideas from Concordia Publishing.
A Couple of Good Baptism and Water Videos for Kids
Here's an engaging video explaining baptism to children in an ecumenical fashion:
Here's Saddleback Kids' retelling of Jesus' baptism:
This "Water of Life" video from the Bible Project connects the theme of water from Genesis to Jesus.
Different denominations will have different emphasis and practice regarding baptism. Check with your pastor and adjust materials in this topic according to your church's needs.