Milestone 7

dove symbolExploring the Sacrament of Baptism

Exploring the Sacrament of Baptism is a Milestone Celebration for 1st graders and their parents.

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” ~ Matthew 28:19

Through special activities designed for parents and children to do together, children have the opportunity to explore the Sacrament of Baptism and learn how symbols remind us of God’s grace. God’s love, forgiveness, and peace come to us through baptism. Through water and the Word and we are challenged therefore to become the “walking wet” as we live out our Baptismal vows.

Session 1 | Session 2 | Session 3| Session 4

Gifts for Remembrance

Each child receives a clay faith stone to add to their Treasure Box with the symbol for this Milestone: a shell and three drops of water under the cross to remind us that we are cleansed through the waters of baptism by God through Jesus Christ.

As families gather, children decorate their own Bible book cover. The Pastor teaches the group about this Sacrament. Each child is presented with a copy of Miss Roxie Gibson’s book, “Hey God, What is Baptism?

Books for the Home

As you celebrate this milestone in your child’s faith journey, here are some books you may want to add to your family library.

For Kids:

For Parents:

Faith Practices for the Home

Caring Conversations

  • Each time there is a Baptism in worship, talk with your child about the words and actions, helping him/her to recognize key phrases of love, grace and their role in the family of God.
  • Talk about the promise you and your child are making during the Baptism as you stand with the congregation. Discuss ways that you can keep that promise through prayer and witness.
  • Talk about symbols in our faith that remind us we belong to the family of God. Look for symbols in our church that also connect with your everyday life. (Your child will be creating a Baptism Symbol Book in Sunday School which includes the following symbols: a shell, rainbow, heart, Triquetra, dove, Chi Rho, water, Fleur de Lis, and a candle).

Daily Devotions

  • Read together the stories of God’s creation and grace: (Genesis 1; Genesis 6-9; Exodus 14; John 20; Matthew 3:13-17; Matthew 28:16-20; I Corinthians 12:4-11; 2 Corinthians 13:13; John 1; Acts 2)
  • Include prayers of confession in your nightly prayer time and be sure to assure your child of his/her forgiveness.  Never let your child go to bed feeling unforgivable or unloved by God.

Family Traditions

  • Celebrate your child’s Baptism birthday each year. Gather your family and friends together for a party! Light a special Baptism candle (either one purchased or a simple taper) to celebrate this special day. Invite friends and family to share their remembrances of this day through stories and pictures.

Servant Acts

  • Send a card of “welcome” to a baby who has recently been baptized. Include your favorite Bible verse and your promise to pray for him/her in the coming months and years.
  • Adopt the family of a newly baptized child. Invite them to sit with you in worship. Offer to babysit as a family. Invite them over for a meal at your house to welcome their child into God’s family.

Professing our Faith: Catechism Connections

Presbyterians have historically professed their faith through their creeds, confessions and catechisms. Belonging to God:  A First Catechism provides simple language for parents and children as they profess their faith.

Question 41. What is a sacrament?

Answer: A sacrament is a special act of Christian worship which uses visible signs to present God’s grace for us in Jesus Christ. We believe that two sacraments were given by Jesus:  baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

Scripture background: Mark 1:9-11; Mark 14:22-25

Question 42.  What is baptism?

Answer: Through baptism I am adopted and welcomed into God’s family. In the water of baptism I share in the dying and rising of Jesus, who washes away my sins. I am made one with him and with all who are joined to him in the church.

Scripture background: Romans 6:3-4; Galatians 3:27-28; I Corinthians 12:12-13; I Corinthians 6:11; Acts 2:39; Ephesians 4:4-6

Question 43. Why are you baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit?

Answer: Because of the command Jesus gave to his disciples. After he was raised from the dead, he appeared to them, saying: “Go…and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 28:19).

Scripture background: Matthew 28:16-20; I Peter 1:2; I Corinthians 12:4-6

Faith Development for 6-9 Years Old

Children develop personal friendships at this age. They sense the needs of others and balance self-interest with fairness and sharing. This is also a time when children develop personal competencies and a general sense that they can accomplish tasks by themselves. They seek new information and begin to reason how things relate to one another in cause and effect sequences.  Some still have difficulty with cause and effect thinking. Expanded cognitive skills help them follow and remember longer stories. Physical skills improve considerable, and a greater sense of independence and ability is a hallmark of this time of life. From Vibrant Faith Milestones Ministry

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