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Baptism, Effects of the Conversation by Greg Mees

I greatly appreciate Second engaging in a conversation about the necessity of tying church membership to a believer’s baptism.  I appreciate even more the conclusion reached by members that now allows not only me, but also many other participants in the Second faith community, to become members regardless of the method of our baptism. For this I thank you.

One of the interesting outgrowths of this conversation topic at Second is the baptism conversations I had with my parents. I learned I was baptized at two years old by a four-foot-tall, blind priest at Our Lady of Lourdes in Columbia. I have known for as long as I can remember that I was baptized Catholic because that was the faith of my mother, at the time. I just had no idea who the priest had been for the event. I also learned my father traveled for his baptism to a large Presbyterian church in the Chicago area because that is where his mother was baptized. I never would have had these details had it not been for the dialogue at Second. For this I thank you.

The membership policy at Second which covers those who have not experienced a believers’ baptism is twofold. First, one must affirm their commitment to Jesus Christ. Second, one must affirm the present meaningfulness of their baptism. I find the first requirement much easier to acknowledge.  I feel I grow in my faith individually and through others. I feel I try to get others to grow in their faith as well. I feel I try to act in ways which Christ would have if he were presented with the same situations. I feel I use my spiritual gifts for the betterment of society. These things help me acknowledge my commitment to Christ. The second criterion is a little more difficult.  I am thankful that the word “present” is tied to the meaningfulness of my baptism.  I could not at two years old have understood the meaningfulness of my baptism.  However, I reflect on that event now and can say the baptism was an outward symbol by my family that they were going to raise me in the spirit of Christ. Through my spiritual journey from a Catholic baptism to a United Church of Christ confirmation to a United Methodist Church as a young adult and finally to Second, I know the meaningfulness of my baptism was the first outward sign of how Christ would be in my life. Pondering these two details would not have happened had Second not engaged in a baptism conversation. For this I thank you.

It is with a cheerful heart that I am changing my status from associate member to member at Second Baptist Church. For this I thank you.

Submitted by
Greg Mees


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