Friday, December 09, 2005

Baptism overage

Baptism- a most special time in the life of a new babe and the family.
Baptism- a most jumbled time in the life of the church.

It used to be new babies were brought into this world with names like: John, or Nancy, or Ben or Cathy..........Simple to determine boy or girl
Now we face names like Cal, or Ligston, or Brandle. I wonder if parents finally ran through the baby name alphabet- sort of like we did with hurricanes this year and began creating their own versions of Greek/alien names.

When the exciting news is called in or relayed, often it is from the hospital room, the birthing room, the delivery room, the car, the birthing center, the side of the road, and the level of excitement overrides all specs like sex of baby. It just doesn't seem like an appropriate time to ask about the sex, even thought it is an obvious question, and to tell you the truth, even when the first words out of the caller's mouth are "It's a Boy", or "It's a girl!!!" when the name is so out of the ordinary, it sometimes just cancels out the previous information.
"It's a boy!!"
" Wow!! that's great, Bill!!" (see, Bill's mom and dad obviously pulled from the Random house book of names, or Dr. Spock's )
"Yep, and we've named our baby Reynolda"
" Wow. Like the foil?" (Did they really name their first born child after food wrap?)
" No. Rey NOLD a"
" Oh, yeah. of course. I get it now. Congrats, buddy, DAD." ( NOLD? What the heck is that?)
and then writing it on the white board at church, someone approaches.
" Oh, great. That is so exciting. Was it a girl or a boy?"
Complete blank- out. I have no clue. None. So I answer with, "Yeah, isn't that great?"

Another trap to watch out for is numbers. Sometimes, I think the congregation harbors rabbits.

When people call to schedule their child's baptism, I try to accomodate them with the date of choice, time of service preferred, blah blah blah... But there is a limit to how many babies can be sprinkled or dipped in one hour. I made the mistake of being pulled into the cyclone of dipping requests and ended up one Sunday scheduling 5.

Yes, 5. I later heard that the 11:00 service was over sometime before dusk, but that several church members had ordered pizza delivery by then. Also, so many family members attended that half the congregation had to be seated in the lobby and on the grounds. I think the water ran out too. One family left with someone else's sprinkled youngling. It was a service to remember. and a lesson for this church chick and now, for you.

After recovering from the fun and frenzied stories from that carnival day, I found myself trying to think of a way to improve the system. I mean, if you want your baby blessed on this or that Sunday, by golly why shouldn't you be able to be accomodated? So, I thought and I thought and I thought. and then it came to me. Well, I'm pretty excited about this time saving idea, I must say.

Sometime next week, a baptism Zip line will be installed in the Balcony, so we can shoot the bundles right down the center aisle. It will save the walk with the preacher, and the swooping ride should muffle some of the cries that often are voiced by babies being carted around by robed strangers. I'll let you know how it goes.