Squirt-gun christening: Aurora Methodists celebrate outdoor baptism

  • Seven-month-old Jackson with his mom, Ivy Walters of North Aurora, greets visitors Sunday, Aug. 16, after being baptized with a water gun at Aurora's Flowing Forth United Methodist Church.

    Seven-month-old Jackson with his mom, Ivy Walters of North Aurora, greets visitors Sunday, Aug. 16, after being baptized with a water gun at Aurora's Flowing Forth United Methodist Church. Courtesy of Al Benson

  • Jackson Walters of North Aurora, left, is baptized with a water gun Sunday, Aug. 16, by Rev. Derek Rogers, pastor at Aurora's Flowing Forth United Methodist Church. From left are Ivy Walters, Jarrod Walters and sister Noelle Walters.

    Jackson Walters of North Aurora, left, is baptized with a water gun Sunday, Aug. 16, by Rev. Derek Rogers, pastor at Aurora's Flowing Forth United Methodist Church. From left are Ivy Walters, Jarrod Walters and sister Noelle Walters. Courtesy of Al Benson

  • The Rev. Derek Rogers, right, pastor at Aurora's Flowing Forth United Methodist Church, Sunday, Aug. 16, baptizes 7-month-old Jackson Walters of North Aurora. From left are godparents Susie and Ben Sterk, Bristol, Wis.; Jackson's parents Ivy and Jarrod Walters and sister Noelle Walters.

    The Rev. Derek Rogers, right, pastor at Aurora's Flowing Forth United Methodist Church, Sunday, Aug. 16, baptizes 7-month-old Jackson Walters of North Aurora. From left are godparents Susie and Ben Sterk, Bristol, Wis.; Jackson's parents Ivy and Jarrod Walters and sister Noelle Walters. Courtesy of Al Benson

 
Submitted by Flowing Forth UMC
Posted8/19/2020 9:00 AM

Noelle Walters poured a bowl of water Sunday, Aug. 16, for brother Jackson's baptism.

But Jackson, 7 months, and Noelle, 5, were surprised when Rev. Derek Rogers, pastor at Flowing Forth United Methodist Church, practiced social distancing and shot water with a toy gun on the infant's head instead of sprinkling or pouring.

 

Due to COVID-19, the church holds online and drive-in worship in Aurora Christian School's parking lot in Aurora.

The baptism ceremony included a liturgy of promises by adults to renounce evil and accept God. The infant's sponsors, parents Ivy and Jarrod Walters of North Aurora and godparents Susie and Ben Sterk, Bristol, Wis., made the promises on behalf of Jackson.

Rev. Rogers concluded the ceremony by presenting gifts to the family, including a storybook Bible.

Methodists contend that infant baptism has spiritual value for the infant and that baptism in water is symbolic.

Flowing Forth UMC holds an online and drive-in worship service at 10 a.m. Sundays at Aurora Christian Schools, 2255 Sullivan Road in Aurora. The public is invited.

Call (630) 239-2321 or visit flowingforthumc.org for more information.