Sunday, July 20, 2008

Worship at the Lake

We had our church service by a lake cottage today, singing worship songs to the strum of an acoustic guitar. The congregation sat on lawn chairs or just on the grass. Frogs and birds joined in the singing.

Oddly, our church building does not have a baptistry. Since we are of the church tradition that baptizes by immersion, this means we either borrow another church space and baptistry, go to a swimming pool, or baptize people in a lake (only a summer option). A baptistry in a church building is good, and both a baptistry and a pool are nice and clean with no weeds or mud. However, there is something about a baptism in a lake that I particularly enjoy--the more natural setting, the sun glistening on the lake water as the congregation stands on the shore to sing, watch, and pray for those being baptized--and it makes me think of the Jordan and John baptizing Jesus as others watched from the banks..

The woman below, Donna, has been taking some classes from Global University, an Assemblies of God correspondence school. Today she preached her first sermon and did a great job, sunglasses and all (she has to wear them outside because of an eye problem.). Some of her relatives were in town for a visit, so it worked out that they could join us for the service.






Bob, Mark, Brienne, me, Patti, Claire, Faith, CJ and Aaron
These eight people standing with me were about to get baptized. What a joy it was to see several of our young people taking this step. I had some help out in the water, becasue it is slippery and because I have a sore shoulder. Only afterwards did it occur to me that it is pretty unusual to have two women baptizing folks.


Brienne is a special blessing to our church family.

As for Patti, this is a truly life-changing moment. Bob, her son, would enter the water soon too.
Mark, our guitar player is another of our wonderful young people.
Steve prays for three of the guys.
Aaron shares with us why he is being baptized, and says he will seek, by God's grace, to live in a way that brings glory to the Saviour.
It was a beautiful day, and God's presence was with us. There were prayers and hugs and tears and much laughter as well. God is good.

Afterwards I changed out of wet clothes and discovered I had two little lake snails with me--one in the right pocket and one in the left!

17 comments:

DannyG said...

We have a rural retreat with a small stream running thru it. A couple of years ago the youth group built a small rock dam at the outlet end of the largest pool which, when filled in, lets the water rise to waist level. Many of the youth prefer baptism there as opposed to the traditional Methodist sprinkle. I certainly feel like it is a link to our common past. (the movie O Brother Where Art Thou, and the Alyson Kraus song in the soundtrack {Down to the River to Pray} seem to have increased awareness of the traditional river/lake baptisms, at least in this area).

theFutureRev.Cody said...

I am proud to say that I was baptized in a lake. I don't quite remember the year (I think I was...13, but I could be wrong.) We were camping with the the church and I decided before-hand, that I'd rather have it done there than in the baptistry (which we have.)

Sounds like quite the day!

God's blessings, my reverend friend.

Iris said...

Praise God for lives changed by our Lord! How wonderful!

Kievas said...

Our previous church used to baptize in the lake, until a couple of years ago when the algae got too bad. Now, they use an inflatable pool in the church yard instead...much cleaner!

Jeni said...

The Baptism ceremony looks quite impressive and inspiring. I also wanted to let you know our new pastor was installed tonight! Her mother, brother and I think the other lady with them was her sister-in-law but could have been a sister too (not sure about that) were present and obviously, very happy and proud. And, I do hope our congregation will pay particular attention to the sermon our Bishop gave tonight about the role pastor plays as well as the roles the congregation plays to make this the best fit possible for all concerned. (Too many in the church tend at times to want things done "my way" ya know.) Did I tell you she is from Wisconsin?

mompriest said...

Awesome day of baptizing!

ANd, hey, also awesome, I'm posting your Meet and Greet Interview tomorrow (Monday) YAY!!

Presbyterian Gal said...

What a glorious day! Thanks for sharing these pictures. What a close church family you all look like. And it's such a joy to see young people being baptized.

truth said...

I guess the snails didn't want to miss out on a good thing. I loved seeing the pictures, caused me to remember my own baptism and those of my kids. What a precious thing to witness, as they take this step.

Sunny said...

'Just passin thru'
At the moment I don't own a computer so have to view weekly @ the library.....
I do hope you will say HI and read a bit about me if you would care?
I also have another BLOG
www.xanga.com/freye
But can't view due to filters here...
Hope it is still there LOL....
at last we have a mirage in the sky here...
The SUN lol
Blessings
and remember HIS name is also LOVE.....
Your pics are great.....

Iris said...

Wonder Photos! Wonderful sharing! Thank you. What an awesome day our Lord Jesus gave you. I love baptisms. They are a real "happening" where I worship.

seethroughfaith said...

wonderful. I was so encouraged reading this. Bless you all :)

Singing Owl said...

Well wow, y'all. I could have posted pictures of all of them! I thought I was overdoing it as it was. :-)

Rev Kim said...

Wow. Beautiful photos! So inspiring and encouraging!

Ruth said...

I prefer lake dunkings myself, probably because that was my experience. Don't know if any A/Gers remember TJ Jones, but my baptism was in the lake outside his house. (Tells people in the know just how old I am!) There's something particularly special about being outside in the world God created for special rituals like baptism. Makes me feel closer to the Creator.

Singing Owl said...

Yep, I agree.

TJ Jones...you ARE old. Heh heh--I can only say that because I'm older than you.

CaptainQuick said...

Gosh, Singing Owl...where were the white baptismal frocks?! I remember these from my own baptism (in our church's baptistry)...a horrid towelling undergarment, then a very gathered, heavy linen overgarment, with weights (perhaps fishing sinkers) stitched into the hem. Yes, they certainly did preserve one's modesty post-dunking, but they also succeeded in making even the reasonably slender look like the side of a house!!!

Looks like you had a beautiful day for it...I guess baptism is a truly seasonal affair in Minnesota, at least when you don't have a baptistry! WHat a blessing to see so many young folks being baptised. :-)

Sally said...

wonderful!