Awakening to Baptism

The Great Fifty Days of Easter — Series Overview

Fourth Sunday of Easter, Year A

As we consider what it means to awaken to baptism, consider that baptism is not a singular event for any of us. Baptism is a way of life.

(Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month)


The main baptismal font is front and center, in view of all.

During the singing, worship leaders and others process with large bowls of water to be placed on stands around the worship space.

“The Lord Is My Shepherd” CCLI# 180857
“I Will Trust in the Lord” United Methodist Hymnal, 464


“Here, O Lord, Your Servants Gather” United Methodist Hymnal, 552
“Rise to Greet the Sun” United Methodist Hymnal, 678

Prayer of Illumination

In you, O God, is our trust.
And we shall never trust in vain.
Lead us and guide us in your truth.
Your word is truth.
Open every pathway of perception,
that we may know and follow in your way. Amen.


Book of Worship 471


Reading John 10:1-10

Sermon Awakening... to Baptism

Reaffirmation of the Baptismal Covenant


All standing in body and/or spirit.
Sisters and brothers in Christ:
through the sacrament of baptism
we pass as through a gate
from death to life,
from confinement to freedom,
from danger to safety,
from contamination to cleansing,
by water and the Spirit,
by prayer and the laying on of hands.

Today we come to these waters
in grateful remembrance of all God has done for us
by bringing us through the gate of baptism,
and to renew our commitments
in each other's presence
and with each other’s touch,
to Christ who has raised us,
to the Spirit who has cleansed us,
and to the Creator who is making all things new.


And so I ask you, will you turn away from the powers of sin and death?

We renounce the spiritual forces of wickedness,
reject the evil powers of this world,
and repent of our sin.

Will you let the Spirit use you as prophets to the powers that be?

We accept the freedom and power God gives us
to resist evil, injustice, and oppression
in whatever forms they present themselves.

Will you proclaim the good news
and live as disciples of Jesus Christ,
watching over one another in love?

We confess Jesus Christ as our Savior,
put our whole trust in his grace,
and promise to serve him as our Lord,
in union with the church which Christ has opened
to people of all ages, nations, and races!

Will you be living witnesses to the gospel,
individually and together,
wherever you are,
and in all that you do?

We will remain faithful members of Christ's holy church
and serve as Christ's representatives in the world.

Will you receive and profess the Christian faith as contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments?

We affirm and teach the faith of the whole church
as we put our trust
in God, the Father Almighty.
in Jesus Christ, his only Son.
and in the Holy Spirit,
one God now and forever.


The Spirit of the Lord is with us.
Even so, come Lord Jesus!

Let us pray.

Shepherd of our souls,
we give you thanks.

Your justice never fails.
Your mercy is everlasting.
You lead us into green pastures,
and bring us back safely to the sheepfold.
You restore our souls.

When we have wandered and strayed,
you forgive us, and lead us home.

When we have polluted our lives,
or failed to resist evil,
or failed to confess your name and your way,
you cleanse and correct us.

When we are threatened by enemies,
without or within,
you protect us from harm,
known or unknown to us.

The pastor offers gestures of calling upon the Holy Spirit to come upon the people and the water.

The people are invited to offer the same gestures as they respond.

So now, in these moments,
come upon us, Holy Spirit!
Come upon us, Holy Spirit!

Come upon these waters.
Come upon these waters.

Let these waters be to us a sign of your mercy.
Let these waters renew our hunger for righteousness and justice.

Let these waters declare to us the resurrection power of Jesus.
Let these waters make us long for your coming reign.

Most Holy God, Abba, Creator!
Glory to you!

Jesus Christ, Gate of Life, Lord!
Glory to you!

Spirit of fire, Spirit over the waters, Spirit of holiness!
Glory to you!

Eternal God, One in Three and Three in One!
All glory is yours, now and forever. Amen!

All who are baptized and have renewed their vows are invited to come to one of the fonts to use the water as each sees fit. Then another at the font lays hands on their head and says:

Remember you are baptized, and be thankful!

Persons may place their offerings in baskets near the fonts after using the water.

Music during Reaffirmation and Offering
“Come to the Water” W&S 3114


(Choir/Ensemble) “Come, All of You” UMH 350
“Touch the Earth Lightly” W&S 3129


Deacon or Pastor:

Gate of the Sheepfold,
you have opened the way for us to enter your fold,
and you continue to call us, care for us, and send us.
We hear your voice,
and we rejoice.

Guardian of our way,
you warn us of danger
and defend us from harm.
Thank you, our Guardian.
We hear your voice,
and we trust you.

Jesus, Good Shepherd,
you have called us by name
and called us to follow you
into good pasture.
Thank you, Good Shepherd.
We hear your voice,
and we follow.

The gifts collected at the various fonts may be brought to the Lord’s Table, lifted high, while all sing:

Doxology CCLI #4255578 OR
Doxology UMH 94 OR
Doxology (Asian-American) BOW 180


The Great Thanksgiving BOW 66-67

Music During Communion
“The Bread of Life for All Is Broken” UMH 633
“Dear Lord, Lead Me Day by Day” UMH 411

Thanksgiving after Communion UMH 11


“Love Let Loose” CCLI # 7045834
Watch on YouTube:


“Christ Loves the Church” UMH 590

Deacon or Pastor:
Jesus, the Good Shepherd,
calls you by name
and sends you into the world.

Jesus, our Guardian and Gate,
protects you on the way,
and with each other’s loving care
restores what the thief would take from you.

Jesus, into whose death and resurrection
we have been baptized,
continues to offer us new life in the Spirit,
as we go.

So go in peace,
filled with the love
and abundant life
of the Risen Christ.
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Thanks be to God. Alleluia! Alleluia!

In This Series...

Second Sunday of Easter — Planning Notes Third Sunday of Easter — Planning Notes Fourth Sunday of Easter — Planning Notes Fifth Sunday of Easter — Planning Notes Sixth Sunday of Easter — Planning Notes Seventh Sunday of Easter — Planning Notes Pentecost 2017 - Planning Notes


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In This Series...

Second Sunday of Easter — Planning Notes Third Sunday of Easter — Planning Notes Fourth Sunday of Easter — Planning Notes Fifth Sunday of Easter — Planning Notes Sixth Sunday of Easter — Planning Notes Seventh Sunday of Easter — Planning Notes Pentecost 2017 - Planning Notes