The Sacrament of Baptism is the beginning of the process for membership in the church. If you have already been baptized with water in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, your baptism is valid in the Anglican Church. Baptism is the Sacrament of Initiation into the Body of Christ, the family of faith, and it is the process by which we enter into a covenant relationship with Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
The Anglican Church baptizes both infants and small children, as well as older children and adults. Infants and small children who cannot speak for themselves are equally covered by God’s Grace, and are as much a part of the Body of Christ as adults. Because of this, they are eligible to receive the Sacrament of Baptism. We also believe Baptism to be the New Covenant representation of the Old Testament initiatory rite of circumcision, which God commanded his people to perform when their children were eight days old. Parents who would like to have their children baptized assume responsibility for the child’s baptismal covenant, until such time as the child is old enough to make a mature profession of faith (in Confirmation). The Rector reserves the right to refuse baptism to a child if it becomes apparent that the parents are not serious about raising their child in the faith.
In addition, the parents may select Godparents to participate in the baptism. It is very important to note that a Godparent is not merely a person with an honorary title. The Godparents take the vow to raise the child in the Christian faith with the parents, and therefore should be active with the parents in raising the child in the faith. Again, parents should select Godparents that will help them raise the child in the faith, and not select people who are merely friends.
Adults who desire to receive the Sacrament of Baptism should make an appointment with the Rector to discuss the expectations of a Christian disciple, and will be required to attend a Baptismal Conference on the Saturday before the Baptism.
Confirmation is the Sacrament in which a baptized Christian makes a mature profession of faith and is empowered by the Holy Spirit, working through the laying on of hands by the Bishop, to engage in Gospel ministry in the world. Confirmation can best be described in Holy Scripture in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. (Ephesians 4:11-16)
The Sacrament of Confirmation is entered into only after instruction in the faith, called the Catechumenate Process. At Christ the King Anglican Church, our Catechumenate process consists of the following:
- To Be A Christian – This course is based on the new Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) catechism, a document for basic instruction in the faith. In the course, participants will learn about the Nicene Creed, the 10 Commandments, the Lord’s Prayer and many other basic facts and information about the Christian faith.
- Anglican Foundations – This course is designed to delve into the Anglican Communion, of which Christ the King Anglican Church is a constituent member. We will look at Anglican Church history, the Anglican method of developing theology, and Anglican worship practice, among other topics.
- Network – The third and final step for the Catechumenate process is spiritual gifts discernment. Network is a program created by Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago. It is designed to help the Christian disciple further understand his spiritual gifts, ministry style, and ministry passions in order to be empowered for service to God. Network is a Friday and Saturday retreat.
Once these three courses are complete, the prospective confirmand can make application to the Rector in order to be presented to the Bishop for Confirmation.
If a prospective member is coming from the Roman Catholic Church, they will receive Reception from the Bishop and must complete the Anglican Foundations and the Network course.
If a prospective member is transferring to Christ the King from another Anglican or Episcopal Church, they should make an appointment with the Rector to determine what courses might be necessary, if any, in order to transfer into the Church. The prospective member should initiate transfer paperwork with the church that holds their membership once they have completed any coursework. The forms will be sent to Christ the King and the Rector will approve the transfer. The Rector reserves the right to accept or deny any membership transfer in accordance with the Canons of the Church.
If a prospective member is transferring in from any church other than Anglican, Episcopal, or Roman Catholic, they should go through the Catechumenate process as outlined above.