Communal baptism planned to mark four churches' unity


January 11, 2002|By Peg Adamarczyk | Peg Adamarczyk,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

CLERGY FROM FOUR churches in the Pasadena area will bring baptismal water to mix into a communal font Sunday as part of an effort to enhance dialogue between the churches and their congregations.

The Pasadena Ministerium's community celebration of baptism at Our Lady of the Chesapeake Roman Catholic Church coincides with services marking Jesus' baptism and the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which is observed every January by churches around the world.

The theme for this year's observance is "With you is the fountain of life" (Psalms 36:9).

To reinforce shared beliefs, local clergy will be offering those attending an opportunity for an ecumenical baptismal service. They will share the baptismal water in the communal font for use at the baptismal and blessing service. Those already baptized will have the opportunity to share in the celebration by renewing vows made by them or for them at their baptisms.

The Rev. Perry Miller of Mount Carmel United Methodist Church explained that though the celebrating of Holy Communion, Mass or Eucharist together is not permitted by all denominations, baptism is.

"Each of our denominations has long taught that baptism is into the one church, not into a specific denomination. That's why when folks change denominations they don't have to be rebaptized," he said.

Clergy participating in Sunday's service will include Deacon John Rafter from St. Jane Frances de Chantal Church, the Rev. Robert Stevens from Emmanuel Lutheran Church and the Rev. Brian Rafferty from Our Lady of the Chesapeake, and Miller.

Miller said Sunday's service will be beneficial to couples dealing with a denominationally mixed marriage and the baptism of children.

"People who are struggling with that question are especially encouraged to attend," he said.

Rafter said, "It should be a truly wonderful opportunity of interfaith prayer and sacramental celebration."

Our Lady of the Chesapeake Roman Catholic Church is at 8325 Ventnor Road. Information: 410-255-3677.

Sports registrations

A hint of spring for housebound kids and parents is on the horizon this month. The Northeast Recreation Association, a group of local sports organizations, will be holding its sign-ups for spring and summer sports leagues from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 19 and 26, and Feb. 2 at Sunset Elementary School, 8572 Fort Smallwood Road.

Sports groups participating in the sign-ups include St. Jane soccer, Riviera girls softball, Pasadena clinic baseball league, Havenwood baseball and softball, Riviera Little League, Riviera clinic baseball and Buccaneers lacrosse.

John Warner, new president of the association, said that unlike in prior years, there would be no snow dates for registration. He said some of the groups assess late fees for registrations after the three Saturday sign-up sessions.

Warner also encouraged parents to bring a copy of their child's birth certificate to registration.

Information: 410-437-2787.

Guest readers wanted

George Fox Middle School is looking for volunteers for its guest reader program at the Outing Avenue School.

Carol Maid, Fox reading resource teacher, said volunteers can read on a regular basis or for special occasions. The guest reader program is held from 7:55 to 8:35 a.m. Friday mornings.

Readers can share a story from a favorite book or read poetry. If you haven't a clue what would appeal to the teens, Maid and her colleagues can help with selections.

In addition to Friday guest readers, Maid is looking for volunteers to participate in Read Across America Day on March 1. Read Across America Day is a national event involving millions of readers and pupils in celebrating the birthday of children's book author Dr. Seuss.

"Our success with this program has been great. Readers are surprised at how much the students enjoyed their visits," she said.

Information: 410-437-5512 during school hours.

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