The Sacrament of Baptism is the sign and seal of God's grace and our response. When a child is baptized, parents and sponsors make promises on the child's behalf until that child is able to confess their own faith in God. In the baptism of a baby or a child we witness the truth that God's love is able to claim us before we can claim God for ourselves.
"See what love the Father has given us that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are."1 John 3:1
At Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Urbandale, the milestone of baptism is celebrated with a faith chest lovingly made for each child. Our prayer is that parents create a Christ-centered atmosphere at home, and add items of faith to the chest as their child grows, continuing through the years to add items that have helped nurture his or her faith. At Baptism each child receives items that can be placed in the chest; the baptismal candle, banner and certificate. Each year, on the child’s baptism anniversary families can take out the items, light the candle and talk with their child about baptism and what it means to be a child of God. The Faith Chest can serve as a reminder of the covenant made as a child was baptized! They have support from their church home, and know that there are other hands helping to hold up this child! We pray that this chest will be a keepsake item that stays with their child throughout his or her life. Each faith chest that is given has been hand-crafted by a team who cuts and sands the wood. Another team carefully constructs each chest. Before baptism, the child’s name and a cross are placed on the front of the chest.
Baptism Banners created for each child is another way Gloria Dei, Urbandale celebrates baptism. The quilting group at Gloria Dei designed and created the banner we use. On the back of each banner is a prayer or Bible verse is written, chosen by the quilter, to bless and encourage the family of the child being baptized. Often the family doesn't see the verse or prayer until they are home, it is a special moment when they discover it.