Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


Church Growth

Noah Skyler Bayliss was born yesterday to Kalyn, who is as longtime a member of King of Peace as anyone, having been at the service at Honey Creek welcoming Victoria, Griffin and I to Camden County in June of 2000. Kalyn was our first ever acolyte and has been both married and baptized at King of Peace. Her grandfather was the first person buried on our grounds. Her connections here run depp.

Kalyn's baptismYet, as Kalyn is married and her husband is in the Navy and will be moving immediately to Charleston, Noah may never spend much time, if any, at King of Peace. Yet, I trust his life will be influenced by what Kalyn learned and experienced in our church and in diocesan youth programs.

This is one way the Body of Christ has always grown, by new babies being born into Christian homes and nurtured in the faith. Certainly it is not the only way for a church to grow and there is great value in reaching out to those who have never known the love of God as we experience it day by day. We need the growth that comes through conversions to the faith. But for now, I pause to consider a big baby boy who came into this world on a very rainy day, with the name Noah already picked out for him.

Kalyn as our first acolyteIt will take not just everything Kalyn and Josh have to raise their son up in the faith that has formed their lives. It takes the Body of Christ too made real within a church. This is why at each baptism service, the people in the congregation are asked if they will do everything they can to support the one being baptized in his or her life in Christ. If the congregation can't say a hearty "We will" then the whole process of baptizing infants should be stopped.

Kalyn holds a doll while Gregory 'baptizes' herFor we baptize infants planning on their growing up in the faith and coming to the point of making a profession of the faith on their own. For in the end, God has children, not grandchildren and it will be Noah's faith that will matter. He will have to make that choice on his own. But for now, this new little family needs a supportive community to help them in their tasks of raising this newest part of our church family in faith in Jesus Christ.

What I notice is how raising children in faith can enlarge the faith of the parent. How much more do we learn in order to answer their questions and to try to set a good, positive example. When we really work as a church at teaching our children well, the adults learn also and the church grows in grace as well as numbers.

The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor

For more on infant baptism read the sermon Marked as Christ's Own Forever which explains the scripture and tradition that support the pratice.



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