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Celebrating Rev. Nancy’s Ministry at Advent

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


Since August 2005 when Nancy arrived at Advent as a newly commissioned deacon, she has baptized or assisted in the baptism of 90 saints into the life of Christ. Kristopher James, was the first baptism Nancy celebrated at Advent. Kris is now 15 and an active member of the church. Most recently in July, Rev. Nancy baptized Callie Ciccarone, granddaughter of Gaila and Carlo. Most of the baptisms have been babies, although Rev. Nancy has baptized a few adults as well over the years, and even one gentleman who was in his 80’s. Nancy said that she absolutely loves celebrating baptisms—such a joyous sacrament and the foundation of our life as Christians.   


Nancy has shared this story as part

of a baptism sermon:

In Baptism, God the Holy Spirit lives in our hearts and helps us praise God for the abundance of blessings in our lives.  When Helen Keller was a little girl, a man named Philips Brookes was her priest.  (He was actually the composer of the Christmas carol, “O Little Town of Bethlehem.  And he donated to memorial windows in our chapel honoring Bayard Taylor.)  When Helen finally learned sign language and was able to use words, she told Philips Brookes that she always knew there was a God ~ she just never knew what God was called.  In her dark and silent world, Helen had a companion.  To me, that is incredible proof that children have an inborn spirituality, and we are called to nurture and foster that spirituality throughout their lives. 


Baptism is the link to our ministry. In Baptism we make 5 promises and spend the rest of our lives learning how to live out those promises.

Our Baptismal Covenant

+ We will proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ, with God’s help.

+ We will seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbor as ourselves, with God’s help.

+ We will strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being, with God’s help.

+ We will continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers, with God’s help.


+ We will persevere in resisting evil, and, whenever we fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord, with God’s help.

Other words of wisdom from Rev. Nancy on baptism :

+ Parents, godparents and members of the faith community take on an important role in Baptism.  They assume the responsibility of faith formation and education for the children who have been entrusted to them.  Actions speak louder than words and the way a parent or godparent carry out their own Baptismal Covenant serves as a model for their children.

+  I like to think of Baptism as a sort of ordination to lay ministry.  We celebrate Baptism with great joy.  The date of our Baptism serves as a yearly reminder of this commitment.  Christian education and formation activities ensure lifelong spiritual growth and development of our relationship with God.

+  The Church is God’s family and is found throughout the world.  The sacrament of Baptism is an adoption ceremony, connecting us a part of God’s family.  In Baptism we are adopted as sons and daughters of God.  As members of this family, God promises to be with us always, while we are on earth, and when we die.  God wants each of us to be part of this very large family.

+  Just like any other family, there are good times and not-so-good times.  Sometimes we forget that we are part of this very special family and we act as if we are not God’s children, and this is called sin.  Sin separates us from God, it means we have turned away from God.  But one of the amazing things about God is that if we are truly sorry for our sins, if we repent and turn back toward God, we are reminded that God still loves us, and forgives us.  God stands with open arms to welcome us back.

+  We build up our relationship with God by reading the Bible and praying to God.  Just being quiet and listening to God to discern God’s will for our lives is an important part of being in this family of God.  Each Sunday, when we gather here together at the church, we are reminded of the promises we make in Baptism.

+  The Great Commandment says: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and mind and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself.  This is the first and great commandment, and the second is like it ~ Love your neighbor as yourself.  On these two commandments hang all the Law and the prophets.”  This is the foundation for our understanding of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus….to be a child of God.


In thanksgiving for these 90 baptisms celebrated by Rev. Nancy+, if you have a photo of one of these baptisms, please post it to Advent’s Facebook page.

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