Tuesday, June 21, 2011

New Members at Peace

This past Sunday, we were blessed to welcome two new members into our fellowship, as Gabriel and Amy Blair were brought in via the Rite of Confirmation during Divine Service.  These two were an absolute pleasure to work with throughout the catechetical process - diligent in their studies and always bringing lots of questions with them each week.  Pastors love lots of questions, by the way - just not those infamous "quick questions" five minutes before Divine Service is to begin. :)  Anyway, I couldn't be more thrilled that we have now welcomed Gabe and Amy into our church family, although I am going to miss our Mondays together. :( 

On our last Monday together (June 13), Amy came in concerned about the baptism she had received years ago.  In the process of filling out the informational paperwork and Affirmation of Faith, she paid a visit to the website of the congregation where she was baptized and didn't like what she saw there at all.  Turns out, her concerns were justified, as she had been baptized in a Oneness Pentecostal congregation that doesn't believe in the Holy Trinity, but "in one God, eternally existent in three personalities, identified by the work of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit."  They believe that the Trinitarian view of the Godhead is a pagan invention of the early church and adhere to the ancient heresies of Modalism, Monarchianism, and a touch of Arianism.  They are not Christians, but a cult, much like Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, etc.  Anyway, after we took some time to research this and found out that Amy had not received a Christian Baptism, I filled the font, got vested, and baptized Amy in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, per her request, with myself and Gabe bearing witness to the work of our Lord in rebirthing her with water and the Spirit.  Then, we publicly recognized the Holy Baptism at the beginning of the Divine Service on Sunday and the two of them were Confirmed later in the same Service.  A pretty eventful last catechetical session, to say the least, but blessed beyond measure, to be sure.

Some pics of our newest members:

The Blair Family (Gabe, Amy, Gabe Jr., and the girls, Savannah and Farrah, who were Baptized this year at Easter Vigil)

Gifts:  Compact TLSB's with names imprinted from our Ladies' Guild, and a wall crucifix to hang in their home.

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