The actual water baptism is going to be held Sunday, Sept. 29, at 10:30am, during our annual Celebration Event at the Alameda Fairgrounds.

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1 Dear baptism participant, Thank you for responding to our request about being baptized. We are very excited to see you make this decision. When Jesus was baptized he said, I must do what is right. By taking this step, you are doing the right thing. Way to go! Here are a few details that you need to know: We will be conducting a required Baptism Class for all those interested in baptism. The dates, times, and locations of the class are listed below. You may register for a class at Alamo campus: Sept. 15 at 5:30pm Sept. 22 at 5:30pm *All classes are located in the Video Café San Ramon campus: Sept. 15 at 11:30am Sept. 22 at 11:30am *All classes are located at Gale Ranch Middle School in the courtyard The actual water baptism is going to be held Sunday, Sept. 29, at 10:30am, during our annual Celebration Event at the Alameda Fairgrounds. Our belief is that baptism is a spiritual decision and not one of tradition, therefore, if you have children who would like to be baptized, it is important that your child has a full understanding of right and wrong and has a concept of salvation. We feel children around the age of ten or above usually grasp both these concepts. Enclosed is a baptism packet. We ask that you read through this packet prior to attending our water baptism class. Complete the Baptism Testimony by writing a paragraph or more describing how and when you decided to trust Christ alone for your salvation. Please bring your completed Baptism Registration Form and Baptism Testimony to the class if you can. If you need assistance writing your testimony, we would be glad to work with you. Also, please be prepared to have your picture taken at the baptism class. God bless, Gary Jones P.S. If you have any questions, please call the church office at (925)

2 For Those Considering Baptism. We are so glad that you are considering baptism. Please take some time to review the information in this packet. If you have any questions, feel free to call the church office. We would be happy to help you. WHAT IS BAPTISM? The Wedding Illustration Imagine a wedding. The bride and groom stand side-by-side in front of the church. They take turns promising till death do us part. These two young lovers don t look any different on the outside, but in just a few minutes they will be married, united for life by invisible cords. Signifying that unseen union, the bride and groom exchange rings. These bands of gold tell the world they are now married. They identify the couple as husband and wife. Imagine that an unmarried couple is watching. They decide that they want to get married too. So, they give each other rings. No commitments, no vows are made, just the symbol of union. As they walk out of the church right behind the last groomsman, their hands, like those of the bride and groom, bear the accepted token of lifetime love. But, only the couple that has made the commitment to each other is really married. Symbol is substance. Marriage depends on a commitment, not on bands of gold. The same is true of becoming a Christian. What may outwardly identify you as a believer does not make you one. The wedding rings do not marry the couple. They are fitting symbols, but without the reality of commitment, a ring-like baptism is void of meaning. Biblical Passages Concerning Baptism Of course, the real significance of baptism cannot be defined merely with the analogy of a wedding. At New Life Church, the Scriptures are the source of our beliefs. In Mark 1:9 we see that Jesus was baptized. In Matthew 28:19-20 Jesus commands his followers to go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit Baptism is one means by which followers of Christ are identified. In passages such as Acts 2:41, 8:12, and 10:47-48 it is evident that baptism follows an individual s decision to trust Christ alone for salvation. Baptism was never intended to provide salvation for an individual, but rather to publicly identify a person with Christ. In Romans 6:1-11, the apostle Paul explains how the immersion mode of baptism identifies the believer with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Going under water pictures Christ s death and coming out of the water illustrates His resurrection. You do not have to be baptized to have Christ, any more than you must exchange rings to be pronounced man and wife. But if the inner commitment to trust Christ alone for salvation has been made, then the outward symbol of baptism should be as valued and as visible as the gold ring on a newlywed s finger.

3 A Word Concerning Infant Baptism If the purpose of baptism is to publicly identify a believer in Jesus Christ, the questions may well be asked by some, What was the significance of my baptism as a baby? In the Bible, we find parents bringing their children to Jesus. He held them and prayed for them and told us to welcome them. But he did not baptize them, and He did not tell anyone else to baptize them. Baptism is for those who have made a personal decision to trust Christ alone for their salvation. If you were baptized as a child, it was the intent of your parents that you would one day be a follower of Christ. By being baptized now, you are making your own decision and not following a tradition for tradition s sake. Also, if you would like to have your child baptized, we feel at New Life Church that baptism requires a maturity level, so that the individual being baptized acknowledges and understands what Christ has done for them, and, also, understands the significance of baptism. New Life Church encourages Christian parents to present their children for the ceremony of Dedication, whereby God s blessing is formally invoked upon the children, and the parents publicly commit themselves to raise the children in accordance with the teachings of scripture. Statement on Baptism While recognizing other churches the right to practice infant baptism if it conforms to their theologies, the congregation of New Life Church understands the scripture to teach that only professing believers qualify for baptism. Scriptural teaching on baptism may be summarized as follows: 1. Baptism is an act of obedience to the command of Christ, fulfilled by individuals who have subjected themselves to be lifelong Christ followers. 2. Baptism symbolizes the spiritual cleaning through divine forgiveness and newness of life experienced by believers by virtue of their identification with Christ in His death and resurrection. 3. Baptism provides an opportunity for believers to make a formal profession of their faith before the church. Am I Ready To Be Baptized? Baptism is for believers. A believer is someone who has realized that their sin separated them from God. They have given up all efforts to reach God through good works or religious activity. They have concluded that Jesus Christ s death on the cross for their sins is the only thing that can bridge the gap between them and God. A believer is someone who has decided to trust Christ alone for their salvation. If you have come to that point in your spiritual journey, then the answer is yes, you are ready to be baptized. Just as the bride and groom tell of their love for one another through the symbol of rings, you should also want to show the world through baptism of your union with Christ. Let the invisible miracle that s happened in you show through the sacrament, he ordained for you.

4 CELEBRATION WEEKEND LOGISTICS TO KNOW: What to bring to the actual water baptism: 1. Please come dressed for the baptism. Please be modest. (Shorts, flip-flops, and t-shirt.) 2. Bring whatever else you want or need after the baptism - i.e. hair dryer, plastic bag for wet clothes etc. 3. Bring a towel and change of clothes to change into after you are baptized. There is a changing room for the men and one for the women. How is it going to happen? 1. Arrive 45 minutes before the service. 2. Before the baptism ceremony, you will check in with the staff member that is overseeing the baptisms. 3. You will receive your baptism t-shirt (supplied by the church), name card, certificate of baptism, baptism number & side assignment card, at this time. 4. Take your personal items to the changing room you will use after your baptism. On the stage side that you are assigned, place your towel on the rack using the hanger with your number on it. 5. All baptism participants will gather 30 minutes prior to the service to walk through the details of the service and answer any questions. 6. Stay in the area designated by your assisting staff member. You will be placed in the order of baptism and need the card with your number and your name written on it. 7. A staff member will be behind the scenes with you and prompt you for when you should go for your turn to be baptized. 8. You will hand your name card to the assisting staff member. 9. At that moment you will proceed to the baptism pool. Someone will be there to assist you if needed. 10. The pastor baptizing you will ask if this decision to be baptized is your profession of faith in Jesus Christ. You will answer, yes. 11. Then you will place your right hand on your left arm and hold your nose with your fingers of your left hand. The pastor will proceed to dunk you under the water and bring you back up. 12. Take your time as you stand and enjoy the moment. 13. Exit the pool on the opposite side you entered. 14. Get your towel from the rack with your numbered hanger. What do I do afterwards? Go change your clothes in the appropriate changing room and come back out for the rest of the celebration with friends and family. Video/pictures: Feel free to have friends or family take pictures or video. Certificate: Each water baptism candidate will receive a water baptism certificate. We will spell your name as to how you complete your registration form. Have fun! Celebrate this time of baptism as you have made the most important decision in your life and that is to follow Christ.

5 BAPTISM REGISTRATION FORM PLEASE PRINT Name: Address: City: State: Zip: Home Phone: Work Phone:

6 PHOTO RELEASE FORM NEW LIFE CHURCH I give New Life Church permission to publish in print, electronic, or video format the likeness or image of myself. I release all claims against New Life Church with respect to copyright ownership and publication including any claim for compensation related to use of the materials. YOUR NAME (Please print) YOUR SIGNATURE (Parent/Guardian Signature if Under 18) DATE

7 Baptism Testimony Name Date 1. Write down a sentence or two that describes your life before coming to Christ. 2. Write a couple of sentences as to when, where, how, or why you committed your life to Christ. 3. Write down a sentence or two that describes how your life has changed since making the decision to follow Christ. 4. Write down a few words of gratitude to someone who helped your decision for Christ. Here are a couple of examples of baptism testimonies: My name is -I grew up in a Christian home, but when I turned 16 I got serious about my walk with Christ. Recently at a summer camp, I made a complete dedication of my life to the Lord. I am excited about his plan for my life, and intend to live for Jesus the rest of my life. I want to say a special thank you to my parents who set a great example for me, and to my friends in the youth group who prayed with me. My name is --I grew up in a dysfunctional home and went from there to making some bad choices. Recently I went through a divorce and one of my friends invited me to NLC. Over the past few months I have opened my life up to Christ. He has brought so much joy and healing to me that I can hardly believe it. I am a new creation. Every day I am excited about the new things He has for me. I want to say a special thank you to my Starting Point group for all their prayers and support. Bring your testimony to the water baptism class.

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