Wesley, our son, is getting baptized this Sunday at our new church. With our transition this year, we weren’t quite sure what to do about this. Wesley was born into a beloved faith community in Anchorage, full of people who gave him love, clothes, diapers and hugs. They supported me during our pregnancy, gave me space and support during maternity leave and helped us transition back to full time work. My administrative staff rocked him when he cried and tickled him during lunch time visits. Two dear friends, spent many early days with him at church while I worked so we could start day care a little later. The people of St. John United Methodist Church loved Wesley before they knew him.
And now, we’re getting to know a new church family in Marysville. I think they love Wesley already too. He’s crawling and starting to walk around the building. He gets hugs and kisses when he visits at lunch and plays on the playground. Wesley’s smile still lights up a room. He knows how to share joy.
Many of you know that both of Wesley’s grandfathers are United Methodist pastors. The timing didn’t work out as we hoped to have Grandpa Earl be a part of his baptism but we’re thankful Papa Dave will be with us on Sunday to baptize Wesley. And I’m looking forward to just being mom for those moments in the service.
On Sunday, we will promise this church to do our best to raise Wesley in a faithful way. We’ll teach him about the Bible (how complicated, messy, and wonderful it is). We’ll show him how to love others, especially those we don’t like. We’ll mess up a lot and ask for his forgiveness. We’ll give him grace as he figures out life. They are beautiful promises to make. But even better, the church will promise to help us. They’ll teach his Sunday School classes, taking him on mission trips, build relationships with him and show him what it means to be the body of Christ together. They will help him claim his identity as a child of God.
And another special group of people will be there to make these promises too. His Grandma Kim, Aunt Lauren, Uncle Ryan, Uncle Rob, cousins Camden and Kylie and of course, his big sister, Isabella.
On the day of Wesley’s baptism, this beloved child of ours will not only be baptized into this Washington faith community, he’ll be baptized into the body of Christ, which includes his Alaska family and I’m so incredible thankful for their presence in his life.
grace + peace, Jenny