Yesterday, I celebrated my first baptism, of a 50 something year old bachelor who has been coming to our little Saturday night service for about 8 months. He is quite shy, but has a good sense of humor. I like him a lot. He has been going to membership classes for the past month and wants to join the church, and found out by asking his mother, with whom he lives (and who has never been to our church) that he had never been baptized. So yesterday at about noon I got a phone call from our parish visitor telling me that he hadn't been baptized, and would I baptize him after the service?
Well, I don't really believe in private baptisms. So I tried to call him but got his mom instead. Then I finally reached him. He didn't want to do it at first, but he was pretty easy to convince. When I got to the church, I sat with him for a couple of minutes. "We are your family" I said, "and we want to share in this." He agreed quietly.
When it came time for joys and concerns, I told the congregation we had a big joy to celebrate, and he and the parish visitor came forward. We went through the entire order of service from the United Methodist Hymnal. I got to pour the water, play with it, and finally got him quite wet with a Trinitarian dousing. It was really powerful for me, and I think for him too. This morning he told WisePastor, the senior pastor, that he was really glad I got him to do it with the whole congregation rather than by himself.
Another milestone in my life as a pastor. Some (well, really most!) days being a pastor is the only thing I ever want to be. That, and a mom, although I could do without cleaning up after everyone (Starman is in Argentina!)