I am ecstatic that this week in worship we will celebrate the Sacrament of Baptism of my daughter Erin Katherine Mantler. Both of my grandmothers were named a version of the name Katherine. One was spelled Kathryn and the other I think was spelled Catherine. We decided to merge to the two to honor both sides of my family, while getting to the spelling of the name we liked. I think one of the reasons we baptize our children is in part to honor all the saints that have gone before us that have passed on their faith to us. We are called to pass our faith to the next generations as well.
Pastors and their families are in a unique position. As pastor, I am a leader of the church, but I am not a member of the church. We are told that Annual Conference, the gathering of clergy and laity, is really our church. The bishop is my pastor for when I need one. In essence, the other clergy is my church. This is, in part, why my colleague and friend Rev. LyAnna Johnson, pastor of Simple Church – Worcester, will be the celebrant over Erin’s baptism. She represents my true church.
At the same time, my children will most likely always be part of the churches I serve. They will be taught Sunday School by church members. They will be loved and cherished hopefully like any other child of the church.
Since my wife is an Episcopal, this week’s worship will include elements from her tradition. This means that the Sharing of the Peace of Christ is part of the baptism liturgy. In addition, for her it is not really church with out celebrating Communion, so therefore we will include the Eucharist. While I expect service to run long, it will be worth it!!!! Please join us as we welcome Erin into God’s love and the Church.
Peace be with you,
Pastor Ken Mantler