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 Dear friends,  

What a joy it was this past Sunday to stand and reaffirm our baptism together! It is a gift to remember that we are claimed as God’s own, and that our daily lives are about reaffirming our baptism. Day after day we claim the promises of salvation and new life that were made that day when water was placed on our heads in God’s name. For most of us at Grace (including this Presbyterian who was baptized in the Roman Catholic church at 6 weeks old) the promises were made on our behalf, by parents or guardians who loved us and wanted us to grow up always knowing that we belong to Christ. But whether we were baptized as infants, toddlers, teens, or adults, the promises and claim of baptism are the same: we belong to God. Our calling is to live that way.  

Turns out that baptism is the easy part! Living as baptized people who show others who Christ is by our daily actions is the harder part. How does it affect our daily interactions with others, especially those who we do not like? How do we hear news of the invasion of Ukraine differently as people who have been baptized in Christ’s name? How do we share the good news into which we were baptized, when we are part of a denomination of people who would prefer to do most anything else than speak of our faith? How do we live that faith so compellingly that people can see that there is something about us that is different, that we are following the Prince of Peace, even Jesus of Nazareth?  

On Sunday, we saw Barbara Artuso and Jim Barry claim their baptism in a very particular way. They made the commitment to live out their baptisms with the community of people we know as Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church. They did so with full knowledge that Grace is in a time of transition and change, and may look different in 2 years than it does right now. And still they joyfully put down roots and made the commitment to be part of this journey with you.  

Thanks be to God for their commitment! May we all be as courageous and committed in how we live our faith today!  

Grace and peace,
Pastor Kim