A Mixed Up Minister?
What insights does the book of Jonah have for ministers today?
Led by The Revd Tom Stuckey, a former President of the Methodist Church.
All this for you
Surprisingly, at a time when fewer new parents are churchgoers or openly profess faith, many still choose to seek Baptism for their child. This presents those who are to preside with an opportunity and a challenge to reach out with the love of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ, and seek to draw both parents and child into the fellowship of his church.
This little book provides a useful aid as a starting point for conversation and makes a lovely gift and memento to offer to parents. It is very attractively presented on good quality paper with an eye-catching cover and evocative photography. However, this is not a book just to hand out indiscriminately, but one that could be used to inform a time of sharing and preparation. The text is well laid out with each double page spread clearly presenting one particular aspect of Baptism. The material sets out the meaning and significance of Baptism and its biblical background, and explores the question of why we baptise infants and the importance of different parts of the service, explaining exactly what will happen on the day and the responsibilities of parents, godparents and the receiving congregation.
There is a central section on the cross of Christ and on Baptism as the beginning of a journey in the way of the cross, and the importance of the promises that the parents and others will make is emphasised. The form of the service described is that which we find in the Methodist Worship Book and it might actually encourage some ministers and churches to take a look and start to use it. For instance, there is one section on the giving and receiving of the lighted candle which teaches about Jesus as Light of the World. The book also has sections concerning the alternatives to Infant Baptism: the Thanksgiving Service, Believer’s Baptism and Baptism by total immersion are all addressed.
The book is offered at a price which will enable churches to hold a supply ready to meet the need as it arises and I am happy to recommend it.