If you have never made a profession of your faith in Jesus, you may do that during any worship service. This does not always entail standing up and giving a personal witness as you might have seen done somewhere else. We do ask you to answer the following traditional questions:
1. Do you renounce the spiritual forces of wickedness, reject the evil powers of this world, and repent of your sin?
2. Do you accept the freedom and power God gives you to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves?
3. Do you confess Jesus Christ as your Savior, put your whole trust in his grace, and promise to serve him as your Lord, in union with the church which Christ has opened to people of all ages, nations, and races?
After you have answered those questions, if you have not been baptized previously, we will ask you to kneel and have a small bit of water poured over your head. This is an ancient ritual that even Jesus participated in. It symbolizes a washing away of an old way of life—often called “washing away your sin”—and the claiming of a new life in Christ. This form of baptism is called “sprinkling”, and it is the most common way we baptize people in our church. However, United Methodists are allowed to baptize people in a variety of ways. If you wish to be baptized by full immersion that is possible by scheduling it with the pastor. The amount of water used is not as important as what occurs between you and God in this life-changing experience.
United Methodists believe that baptism is an act of God and that there is never a need to re-baptize anyone. God chooses to call a person to baptism in God's time, and God doesn't make mistakes. However, we know there are occasional times when an individual feels a need to be reminded of their baptism and we are glad to assist with a ritual which does exactly that.
Following your baptism, and/or profession of faith, we will ask you the two additional questions shown in the next two sections below. The first question is proclamation of your interest in joining the larger Christian community of the United Methodist Church and the second question is a proclamation of your interest to join the congregational community of the First United Methodist Church of Red Oak.