As stated in the Book of Alternative Services (BAS), the primary worship resource for the Anglican Church in Canada, "Baptism is a sign of new life in Christ."  In baptism we are each united to Christ, but as the BAS explains, "that union is both individual and corporate.  Christians are, it is true, baptized one by one, but to be a Christian is to be part of a new creation which rises from the dark waters of Christ's death into the dawn of his risen life."  The meaning of baptism unfolds in various images in Scripture and in our tradition.  Baptism is described as participation in Christ's death and resurrection, a washing away of sin, a renewal of the Spirit, and as liberation from barriers of division such as sex, race and social status; as we proclaim at the beginning of the service: "there is one body and one Spirit."  

The vows contained in the Baptismal Covenant are demanding.  Among those questions posed to candidates or their sponsors/godparents (for infants and young children) are the following:

"Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?"

"Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?"

"Will you strive to safeguard the integrity of God's creation, and respect, sustain and renew the life of the Earth?"  

This is why the response to these questions is not merely "I will," but rather, "I will with God's help."  In baptism we commit ourselves to Christ.  Parents and sponsors/godparents of infant or child baptismal candidates commit to doing all in their power support the child in their life in Christ.   

If you are a new parent and are unsure of whether you want to have your child baptized or if you would prefer not to do so, but you would like to have a public service to give thanks for the wonderful gift of your child, the service of Thanksgiving for a Child can take place in a church or home.  You are encouraged to speak with Rev. Elizabeth desire Baptism or a service of Thanksgiving for a Child.