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Renewal of Baptism

I have now participated in, or led, a renewal of baptism service five times in 2016. It's a great reminder of God's abundant grace at work in our lives, and our response to it. The most commonly used service is in the United Methodist Hymnal, beginning on page 50. Here's an updated version of the renewal service, which I found on umcdiscipleship.org:

Introduction
All standing in body and/or spirit.
Sisters and brothers in Christ:
through the sacrament of baptism
God's Spirit has been poured out upon water,
water poured over and immersing us,
water that flows freely for all who will receive it,
water from the streams of God's saving power and justice,
water that brings hope to all who thirst for righteousness,
water that refreshes life, nurtures growth, and offers new birth.
Today we come to the waters,
to renew our commitments
in each other's presence
to Christ who has raised us,
the Spirit who has birthed us,
and the Creator who is making all things new.
Renunciation of Sin and Profession of Faith
And so I ask you, will you turn away from the powers of sin and death?
We renounce the spiritual forces of wickedness,
Reject the evil powers of this world,
And repent of our sin!
Will you let the Spirit use you as prophets to the powers that be?
We accept the freedom and power God gives us
To resist evil, injustice, and oppression
In whatever forms they present themselves!
Will you proclaim the good news and live as disciples of Jesus Christ, his body on earth?
We confess Jesus Christ as our Savior,
put our whole trust in his grace,
and promise to serve him as our Lord,
in union with the church which Christ has opened
to people of all ages, nations, and races!
Will you be living witnesses to the gospel, individually and together, wherever you are, and in all that you do?
We will remain faithful members of Christ's holy church
And serve as Christ's representatives in the world.
Will you receive and profess the Christian faith as contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments?
We affirm and teach the faith of the whole church
as we put our trust
in God, the Father Almighty.
in Jesus Christ, his only Son.
and in the Holy Spirit,
one God now and forever.
Thanksgiving Over the Water
The Spirit of the Lord is with us.
Even so, come Lord Jesus!
Let us pray.
Almighty God, the life you birthed in us
by baptism into Jesus Christ
will never die.
Your justice never fails.
Your mercy is everlasting.
Your healing river flows.
Your Spirit blows where you will.
We cannot stop you, God!
But sometimes we try.
We try to block the flow,
we redirect the winds of the Spirit,
or we walk so far away from the life-giving Stream
that we do not hear its sound,
and we forget its power.
We parch ourselves.
We are dry and thirsty, O God.
Come, refresh us!
The pastor offers gestures of calling upon the Holy Spirit to come upon the people and the water.
The people are invited to offer the same gestures as they respond.
Come upon us, Holy Spirit!
Come upon us, Holy Spirit!
Come upon these waters.
Come upon these waters.
Let these waters be to us drops of your mercy.
Let these waters remind us of your righteousness and justice.
Let these waters renew in us the resurrection power of Jesus.
Let these waters make us long for your coming reign.
Most Holy God, Abba, Father!
Glory to you!
Jesus Christ, Savior, Lord!
Glory to you!
Spirit of fire, Spirit over the waters, Spirit of holiness!
Glory to you!
Eternal God, One in Three and Three in One!
All glory is yours, now and forever. Amen!
All who are baptized and have renewed their vows are invited to come to the font to use the water as a sign of refreshing. As each uses the water, another says to her or him:
Remember that you are baptized, and rejoice!
While baptism in the United Methodist Church is a sacrament, meaning only ordained elders can offer it, the renewal of baptism service can be led by anyone. Water is offered, and the person dips their hands in it, maybe forms a cross on their forehead, or playfully splashes the water. What is important is that in the United Methodist Church we do not practice a "second baptism" or a "re-baptism." We believe God acts in our baptisms, regardless of our age or capacity to express faith. So the leader in offering this service should make it clear that the sacrament of baptism is not being offered. Those who have not been baptized but are interested should speak with their pastor.

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