I entered the Sunday morning worship space yesterday in sort of a crabby mood. I had a lot of things on my mind including new year expectations and a few other church, personal, and work challenges. As I sat in the pew and listened, crabbiness seemed to melt away.
It was lovely to reflect on Baptism, light, the healing effects of water, and a story my parents told me for years.
I was born at Fort Bragg, North Carolina during my father‘s service in the US Army. They attended Campground United Methodist Church. In the United Methodist tradition, friends of the couple and baby typically accompany the young family to the altar for the sprinkling, in this case, of the baby during the Baptism rite.
As the story goes, my parents were still new to town and didn’t know many people. My dad had begun singing in the choir, but that was all they could do with his challenging work and them already having two young children. They were prepared to go up to the altar to baptize me with no such outward support. What a special surprise it was that everyone in the choir filed out of the choir loft and stood behind Ann and Andy Keith as they baptized baby Rebecca.
When I think of the symbolism of Baptism, the friendships of almost-strangers is also one that is close to my heart.
Rebecca Keith, President
Mobile (812) 325-0145