Close to Nowhere
Lucas Shepard Chalk, 6 months old, son of Tim and Merideth (Collins) Chalk, was baptized at Free Springs United Methodist Church Sunday morning, July 9.
Merideth was also baptized at Free Springs when she was a baby (as was younger sister Remy). Watching my great-grandson be baptized at the same altar was wondrous and awesome.
Sunday, along with Shepard, Makenzye Grace, 7, and Layla Nell, 3 months, were also baptized. They are the daughters of Joey and Felicia Terrill.
Joey, while some years older than Mere, also attended Free Springs as a child. I even have pictures of Joey and Mere as children at the altar for children’s moment when Mere was about 2ish and Joey was around 10ish.
Now, I have pictures of Joey and Mere again, along with their spouses and their children, at the altar of Free Springs.
And in the congregation was another young man that was a baby at Free Springs, Brock and his family. He and his brother Cody were babies there and their grandmother, Mary, is still an active member. Their Sunday school teacher, Miss Jane, was in the congregation, along with other members who knew Joey and Mere and Brock and Cody as babies.
There were lots of family and friends scattered in the congregation too. Four of Mere’s high school best buddies were also there.
It was a happy and blessed day.
As Methodists are prone to rituals and readings (I love them) our wonderful pastor, Rev. John Maki, had printed out a special program for each family and the congregation.
During the readings, parents promise to live their lives as a Christian example to their children and bring them up in the church.
The child is “named” and baptized (neither of the babies cried) and then it’s the congregation’s turn.
As a congregation we promised to love and care for the children, “surround them with steadfast love,” and encourage and teach them in their life and faith.
The final closing prayer asks God grant the children to grow in grace and in knowledge and asks that they will ever be children of God, and to guide Tim and Merideth and Joey and Felicia in loving care and help their families grow into a life of faith.