This weekend was Avondale United Methodist Church’s annual “Worship it the Wilderness” weekend, where the church sponsored a campout at the Wilderness Retreat and Conference Center, and had its Sunday worship service at the campground. It was also when they chose to do the immersion baptism of the three members of this year’s 100th anniversary confirmation class that had yet to be baptized. My son Nathan was one of the three.
The youth group, which included many of the confirmands and all of the baptismal candidates, gave the sermon for the service in the form of a skit — on the story of the paralytic man whose friends tore open the roof of a house to let him down into the presence of Jesus. In the picture above you see Nathan as the paralytic who has just been healed, and his friends standing around watching in amazement.
That was followed by a potluck meal at the pavilion, and then an adjournment down to the lake for the Baptism, where Ronin Dmittri Dare, Jonathan David “Nathan” Lightfoot and Savannah Kya Louann Lindsay were baptized. They went in order of age, which meant Nathan went first.
Each one was “dunked” and then came out of the water to be prayed over by the laying on of hands by family and mentors.
Music, of course, was an important part of the service, both before and after the actual baptism. Songs sung included “Shall We Gather at the Lake,” “Creator of the Water”, God Claims You” and Because He Lives.”
After the singing and praying, the service was done, and additional recreation followed. Since the youth were by the lake, swimming ensued. The baptismal candidates, being already wet, led the way.
(Upcoming related blogs: ALS challenges at Camp Wilderness and the Accident Gauntlet.)