Baptism, Confirmation, and Profession of Faith in the United Methodist Church serve as the designated means of “Becoming” a disciple of Jesus Christ. While faith alone is the means by which one is saved; these three designated means serve as the rites of passage through which we commit ourselves (or our children) to the Lord.
The profession of faith is for youth and adults who have never been confirmed or become members of a church do so. It serves as a rite of passage along the faith journey, as well as official entry into the church. For those who have never been baptized; baptism is an integral part of the profession of faith.
In the United Methodist Church, baptism is offered to all, regardless of age. Baptism serves as a rite of passage into discipleship as well as into the church. In the case of infants and those unable to answer for themselves, parents or other representatives vow to do all in their power to nurture the baptized person in the faith until the time when they are able to profess their own faith. This transition is effected in a process called “Confirmation.” Upon baptism, a child becomes a “Baptized Member” of the church.
United Methodists do not rebaptize. We understand baptism as a covenant initiated by God and thereby ever in effect. In the case of those feeling the need to recommit themselves to the faith, we have a “Re-Affirmation of the Baptismal Covenant” in which we are invited to renew our vows, recommit ourselves to Christ, and remember our baptism.
Confirmation is the logical conclusion of infant baptism. It is the process whereby the baptized child transitions from being under the spiritual nurture of their parents to professing faith on their own. Correspondingly, upon professing their faith, the “Baptized Member” becomes a “Professing Member” of the church.
To learn more about Becoming through Baptism and Confirmation, check out This Is Your Baptismal Liturgy or speak to the Pastor.