When we were expecting Eloise, we knew that scheduling her baptism would be a challenge. I work in one church and work on Sunday mornings. Jarrod works at another church and works on Sunday mornings. Our dear friend and baby match-maker is a pastor and also works on Sundays at a 3rd church. Eloise's birth family is dedicated to a church and are busy on Sunday mornings. Baptizing our baby on a Sunday morning seemed impossible.
However, as United Methodists, we believe in baptism done in corporate worship. It is a sacrament meant to be done in community. It is not intended to be a private or secret event, but rather is a covenant between a community and a family. We firmly believe in being surrounded by friends and family as we commit to raising our child in the church. We love the liturgy that creates a covenant between the community and the family that together we will support each other to raise that baby to know Christ.
That being said, we began discussing Eloise's baptism before she was even born. We knew we wanted our dear friend to have a significant role. We knew we wanted her birth family to be there, if they desired. We knew we wanted our friends to be there - many of our friends work in churches on Sunday mornings. And we knew we wanted our baby baptized in the local church. We wanted as many folks from the local church to be there. We wanted it to be a big huge worship service, honoring God, and celebrating Eloise.
We scheduled Eloise's baptism for Wesley's birthday weekend in the afternoon. It meant that family that needed to travel could come for just one weekend and get Wesley's birthday and Eloise's baptism all in one shot. It is a time and day that is somewhat convenient for everyone we know that works in the church. It's proving to be a slightly chaotic weekend because Jarrod's in a January semester class this week and next. But we're making it work, even in the midst of the threat of terrible weather.
Following Eloise's baptism we are celebrating with friends and family at a great Methodist tradition - a potluck! We're making chili, corn bread, and will have cakes - one for Wesley's birthday and one for Eloise's baptism. The color scheme for the party is pink and gold. I fell in love with this color palette and created this invitation. I'm incredibly excited about how they turned out! We will decorate with pink and gold balloons, frames with pictures of our family, and cake!
I'm sure I'll share more pictures after the weekend extravaganza is over! Ellie will be wearing our family baptismal gown for the service and changing into something more comfortable for the potluck. Wesley will likely wear a Super Wes t-shirt because I'm picking my battles with him. :-)