Skinny dipping in church

Ask me a year ago if we would baptize our child catholic I would have said, "no." In fact, we had been leaning more and more towards non-Catholic churches. We tried out a bunch of other denominations and just weren't finding a good fit or a right community. But, on Sunday Junia will be baptized. Yes, as a Catholic. Yes, by a priest. But that's not how I would say it.

Junia will join a church. She will be raised a Christian. The whole community will welcome her.
Phew, that's more like it!

I feel kind of scared about the whole thing. Sure I'm a little bit on edge about someone else telling where to stand, what to say, how it will be. After all that's usually my job! But my edgy-ness is broader than that. I'm scared that the church will hurt her. I'm scared that she will grow up listening to the voice of God within her, within her community- only to have doors slammed in her face when that discernment makes people uncomfortable. I'm scared that we don't get to stand up and shout, "We aren't doing this because we are afraid of original sin, we aren't doing this because we are scared she's going to hell." Nope. We don't get to correct all the assumptions that people make about baptism. We are having her join a church that is really messed up. We are also having her join a church that can be very life giving (or at least that which it connects you to is life giving) at its best.

I cannot promise you that we will be Catholic next week, next month, or next year.
But right now we are still Catholic and we are for certain Christians.
So we say yes to this community of believers that we have found in our parish.
We say yes to the faith of our ancestors.
We say yes to the 14 years of theological education-

At my child's Baptism

I tell you church that I cannot be solely responsible for this child.
I share her with you so that you may share your faith with her.
I give her over to the water so that you will hold her in the struggles of life.
I lift her up, that you may see all that she can become.

I pray that you will not break her little spirit.
I beg that you will not say no to the God within her.
I plead that you will not stifle her joy and hope.

So maybe this church may know the richness of the spirit.
Perhaps it will find her living within her.


  1. You are so thoughtful about every aspect of this child's life, it just makes me so happy to know what a supportive environment she is in! I wish we could come up to Seattle every weekend, but especially this weekend to support you!

  2. Well come on up then! If you want!!


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