Baptism is a sacrament available through Toronto Urban Native Ministry. Both The Anglican Church of Canada and The United Church of Canada have different community requirements for Baptism. You are encouraged to contact our ministry staff if you are interested in having yourself or your children Baptised.
Baptism in The United Church of Canada
Baptism in The Anglican Church of Canada
Baptism is a symbolic action that signifies the new life God gives us as we join the church community. Baptism uses water as a symbolic cleansing that signifies the acceptance of new life within the church family. The sacrament of baptism is the single rite of initiation into the Christian community, the church.
Baptism is not a requirement for God's love. We believe people who die without baptism are in no way condemned, lost, or damned.
The United Church offers baptism to all ages. We believe the gift of God's love doesn't depend on our ability to understand it, so we baptize people as infants right up through adulthood. With children, instruction is given to parents or sponsors to equip them for the child's Christian nurture. During the ceremony, everyone in the congregation pledges support for the child and their parents.
Baptism in the United Church is recognized by all denominations of the Christian church that practise infant baptism. Similarly, if people have already been baptized in another church, the United Church recognizes their baptism and welcomes them as Christians.
Jesus welcomed everyone, whether they were poor, rich, or just getting by; ill or healthy; self-made or educated; popular or a loner; secure or full of doubts. The United Church of Canada prides itself on welcoming everyone the way Jesus did, regardless of age, race, class, gender, orientation, or physical ability.
The church works hard to appreciate people of all ages, from grandparents to newborns. Children aren't viewed as adults-in-waiting, nor are they on display for the amusement of the adults. They're full and welcome participants at the heart of each congregation, bringing ideas and unique talents that can inspire the entire church.
Baptism is a coming into the Body of Christ, in which we become members of one another and of Christ – it is about who we are in Christ, and whose we are: God’s own. In baptism we are gathered… and sent forth, in the ministry that is God’s own ministry of transformation, reconciliation, healing and salvation of the world. So, baptism is not just about identity and belonging, it’s also about being sent in mission and ministry.
The baptismal liturgy speaks of the foundation of that mission and ministry:
“Baptism is the sign of new life in Christ. Baptism unites Christ with his people. 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. Christians are not just baptized individuals; they are a new humanity.
As the World Council of Churches document Baptism, Eucharist and Ministry has reminded Christians, the scriptures of the New Testament and the liturgy of the Church unfold the meaning of baptism in various images (often based on Old Testament water symbols) which express the mystery of salvation.
Baptism is participation in Christ’s death and resurrection (Romans 6.3–5; Colossians 2.12); a washing away of sin (1 Corinthians 6.11); a new birth (John 3.5); an enlightenment by Christ (Ephesians 5.14); a reclothing in Christ (Galatians 3.27); a renewal by the Spirit (Titus 3.5); the experience of salvation from the flood (1 Peter 3.20–21); an exodus from bondage (1 Corinthians 10.1–2) and a liberation into a new humanity in which barriers of division, whether of sex or race or social status, are transcended (Galatians 3.27–28; 1 Corinthians 12.13). The images are many but the reality is one.
Several dimensions of baptism became clear as the early Church developed its practice. Initiation into the Church was a vital concern of the whole Christian community and not only of the candidates for baptism and their immediate families.
Preparation for baptism was a responsibility shared among various members of the community, both ordained and lay. Becoming a Christian had as much to do with learning to live a new lifestyle within the Christian community as it did with specific beliefs. When the day of baptism finally arrived, the event took place within the context of the Sunday eucharist, when the whole community was gathered and where the newly baptized received communion for the first time.