At a baptism, the parents, godparents, and sponsors make vows that they will be responsible that the baptized child will be brought up in the Christian faith and life and that through their prayers and witness, help the child grow into the full stature of Christ.
The older youth and adults also make vows to grow in the faith and practice of it.
Once they have made those promises, we, the church gathered, make the promise that we will help them in the faith development of both child and adult.
In the Baptismal Liturgy, there is a moment when the congregation is asked, “Will you who witness these vows do all in you power to support these persons in their life in Christ?” The congregation responds with a loud, “we will.”
We make this solemn vow before each of those to be baptized, their families, each other, and before God. It is a serious moment. This “we will” is a declaration that we are all in this together and that we who make this faith journey are a Christian community.
One of the things I tell the baptismal families is that we cannot keep our promise to help them mature their child’s faith if they do not bring the child to church.
We, the church, do not keep our promise if we do not support the ministries that actually enable faith formation in our children and youth. One does not need to have children (we are community/family) to help us keep the promise.
How do we keep our promise to help them in the faith formation of their children? We do so through:
- Children’s Chapel
- Daughters of the King
- Brotherhood of Saint Andrew
- VBS, Summer camps
- Camp Allen
- Mission partnership trips for our children, youth, and families
- Acolyte Guild
- Communion Classes
- Trinity Kids Corner
- Trinity Episcopal Day School
- Reading a Lesson at Sunday service
- Involvement in Outreach ministries
- Various intergenerational activities
If we as the church make such a vow, we must keep it. This is a sacred vow and we should not make such a vow lightly or without an intention to support the church in keeping the promise.
We keep the vow by our gifts of time and talent as we involve ourselves in the faith formation of our children and youth. We keep our promise by our ongoing support of these ministries through our regular financial gifts to the Ministry Budget.
Through financial stewardship, you are making yourself present in a way that truly supports our children and youth, the staff and parish members who carry out the ministries.
I ask you to consider this promise we make at each baptism. Will you do all in your power to help our children and youth in their life in Christ? It is within our power as the Body of Christ to keep this promise fully.