You have many identities; son, daughter, brother, sister, husband, wife, neighbor, coach, co-worker. Becoming a Christian is to choose a new identity as one who has “put on Christ”. We celebrate becoming a new Christian through the Sacrament of Baptism, a ritual that begins with putting off the old, renouncing sin and the evil powers of the world, and pledging our loyalty to Christ in the presence of, and support of, a loving congregation.
Baptism is the beginning of a new life, not a checkbox we check and move on. We are initiated into Christ’s holy church alongside our faith family and become part of the “Body of Christ”. We commit ourselves to use our gifts to strengthen each other as we seek to transform the world. We want to be a part of something bigger than ourselves.
Our vision and mission is to be used by God to serve and strengthen others as we transform the world!Penns Valley Charge Churches’ Mission Statement
Every new Christian begins where they are and are changed as they grow in their understanding of God’s Word and apply it to their own life. Some think you have to “get right” before you are “right enough” for Jesus. If that were true, no one would qualify to become a follower of Christ, myself included! 🙂
Jesus met everyone where they are. Jesus loves everyone just as they are. That doesn’t mean he wants them to stay just as they are because Jesus also knows everything we were created to do. Imagine at the end of our life finding yourself in a room with God and he shows you a video called “Your Life” and see yourself doing all these amazing things with incredible people, except you don’t remember any of those things happening nor knowing some of those people. So you say to God, “That wasn’t my life. I didn’t do any of those things.” And God said, “That’s the life I had planned for you.”
That’s the best way to explain this idea that you are NOT an accident or a surprise! You were created by God on purpose, for a purpose…and it’s not too late to find out what it is…
Jesus helped me to see what was preventing me from having hope and a future, the things I did or didn’t do, and sometimes the people who were preventing me from pursuing His awesome plan. Jesus did this for a lot of people you can read about in the Bible. And he always met them where they were, as they were, and with love. He helped them to recognize the sin in their life and how it separates them from God who needs them to get hold of this Plan if they want not only to live this new life but to have life everlasting, life together with all those who’ve gone before. Jesus is “the Way”.
Jesus explains that this gift of everlasting life is ours for the taking, providing we confess (admit) our sin, repent (turn away from that life) and make him (Jesus) the Lord of their life (make him the trusted guide and example to follow rather than the old ones we need to stop).
Are you ready to take the plunge and start fresh?
We’re planning this September and October 2019 to bring the renewing waters of Baptism and Reaffirmation of Baptism to a Penns Valley Charge Church near you! It’s going to be part of the Back to Church celebration that begins September 8th with the message series “Together” followed by Homecoming services that reinforce everyone in the church that day is a part of a rich tradition that can be traced all the way back to Jesus himself! And after the Renewing Waters service there will be a 3 session study offered to help you understand your new identity in Christ! It’s going to be an awesome thing!
If you were never Baptized before and are feeling ready to take that step, I’d love to talk with you and make it happen.
If you were baptized as a young child but fell away from the church or never went through a confirmation process allowing you to make the commitment for yourself and now feel that you need to recommit yourself as a Christian, consider Reaffirmation of your Baptism.
If you are ready to have your child baptized into a church signifying God’s initiative in the process of salvation, I would love to talk to you.
With hands to the plow, Pastor Theresa
NOTE: Baptism is available at the churches anytime of year. For an in-depth look at how the United Methodist Church Understands Baptism, please click here.