Rev. Peggy  McDonagh
January 28, 2019
Rev. Peggy McDonagh
Minister of Congregational Operations and Worship

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Passage

Luke 3:21-22 -- " And a voice came from heaven: "You are my Son, whom I love, with you I am well pleased."

A synopsis of Rev. Peggy's reflection, January 27, 2019:

The baptism/ confirmation of Wendy and Nancy, adults in our congregation, was the theme of Rev. Peggy's reflection today entitled, "Baptism, a Courageous Act). She stressed the importance of the transformative message of love that is the root of our Christian faith. As well, she expressed her gratitude for the St. David's community, "for the shape of our theology and faith that upholds us... the incredible blessing it is to belong to a community of faith in which we are free to examine our beliefs, learn from one another, demonstrate God's love through our actions and words of welcome, understanding and support, and to exist in a place of freedom in which we can be who we are and be accepted." 

She referred to baptism as a proclamation of our willingness to ... "uphold a faith that seeks to love self, others, God and creation and to nurture and create more loving connections with one another... Baptism (in the ancient Christian Church) was a ritual of inclusion and a collective act of acceptance." She went on to explain that Jesus was not baptized in isolation... He, like his followers, would rise from the water and rise above injustice (no longer under the power of sin and death and hatred and racism). For Jesus and his followers, the courageous act of baptism was "a visible sign ... to engage the world with all its political and social corruption, its uncertainty as well as its delight and celebration, ... shining a light of love in the darkness of a world that had lost its compassion and ability to treaet others equitably." 

Referring to an article by A. Daugherty, Senior Minister of Pine Street Church in Colorado, he suggests that through baptism Christ marks our lives so that we can mark the world. "Promises are made... a commitment to follow Jesus into the world." He suggests that our faith requires us to live continuously in such a way that all people ... feel that they are drenched in God's love -- not just the entitlement of the few but the empowerment of all to live life in the spirit of Christ."

"A simple touch of water on the head, on the heart, tells us that we are welcomed into God's "beloved community" win which we are loved without condition and without exception. She concludes, "May the baptisms today also be an expression of gratitude that the faith we live in this place affirms that we are all beings of light, life and love -- worthy of dignity and honour. Every person has an important place and presence in the beloved ommunity of life and each of us is loved... with a permanent, invisible tatoo of divine love. It is up to each of us to decide how we will leave the same mark of love in the world as we walk the path of peace and justice for all God's people."