Bluff Point United Methodist Church
Sunday, March 18, 2018

01-22-14 Article

Caption:  Nathanael Eck and Ruth Andersen at the Christmas Eve baptism of their daughter Madaline Grace Eck

BPUMC Article for 01/22/14 by Joyce L. Wiedrich

Do you recall your baptism?  Many of us do not, as in our Methodist faith most of us are baptized as infants. 

Pastor Judy used the scripture reading of Matthew 3: 13-17 to facilitate a picture of Jesus coming to the Jordan River to be baptized by John.  John at first seemed confused, thinking that Jesus should be the one baptizing him, but John proceeded, at the request of Jesus to baptize him.  At that moment in time scripture reveals that the heavens opened up.  The spirit of God descended onto the shoulder of Jesus in the form of a dove, a symbol not only of peace, but of purity.  How joyous to imagine that sight, and the heavenly voice of God as he affirmed and proclaimed Jesus as his beloved son whom he was so proud of.

On Christmas Eve 2013 we had a rather unique and touching opportunity in our church to witness the baptism of Madaline Grace Eck, along with her parents, Ruth Andersen and Nathanael Eck.  She is the 7th generation in Ruth's family to belong to Bluff Point UMC.  Her baptism added a special touch to the Christmas Eve story of Jesus's birth.

In baptism, our parents, family and church made a covenant to follow the example of Jesus our Savior, and to help us grow in the practice of his ways.  Baptism brings to us the symbol of washing away old ways in an old life.  In our church we are only baptized once, but it is fitting to think of a new beginning for this new year, in which we can strengthen our relationship with Christ and with others,  tossing away meaningless and negative practices.  Having a faith based community at Bluff Point UMC gives us many opportunities to pray and share with others and reaffirm and live our faith with Christ as a New Years resolution we will actually keep!

I will be addressing through the year some of the many faith-based missions that our church actively supports.  One of these important ministries is our prayer shawl ministry.  Several years ago Nancy Wilmott shared with us a plan for this project.  Nancy is now in heaven, but this ministry is ongoing.  Beautiful shawls are knit or crochet by members who pray for comfort and healing for the recipient as they diligently complete their project.  We pray for this chosen recipient in our Sunday service, as the shawl is passed through the pews for individual blessings from the congregation members.  We have given nearly 300 shawls to those in need, seriously ill, grieving, and needing comfort.  What an empowering ministry of hope, strength, and healing.

We welcome all to come and worship with us and share the joy of participating in some of our missions.  It warms the heart to share our faith with such a loving church family.