Congratulations and welcome! We are delighted that you are considering celebrating your family member’s baptism at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Granite Springs, NY. We welcome you to our community! We hope the following information will be useful to you as you plan for this wonderful sacrament and day of celebration.
At Good Shepherd, baptisms are a joyful part of our community life. You do not need to be a member – or to become a member – for us to support and to celebrate your baptism.
We typically celebrate baptisms during our main service of the week, at 10:00 am on Sunday. This is a said service with Holy Eucharist, hymns, choir, and congregational singing. It is usually about an hour long. Note that in the Episcopal Diocese of New York, all persons who seek a deeper relationship with God through the Holy Eucharist are invited to receive; we do not limit participation only to those who are Episcopalians. All are welcome.
The first step in baptism planning is to set up a meeting with our priest and rector, The Rev. Hal Roark. Your family and Fr. Hal will get a chance to get to know each other, as well as discuss what to expect and any questions you may have. At this meeting, Fr. Hal will give you a tour of our campus and provide you with a copy of a baptism service. Together, you will walk through the service in our sanctuary so you will know exactly how the service will proceed, where everyone will sit, who does what, etc.
On your baptism day, you may also use our Parish Hall and other facilities for a reception for your family and guests; there is no extra fee for this. Before you arrive to meet with Fr. Hal, consider different dates that might be convenient for you and your guests, especially those traveling from out of town. When you are ready, contact our parish office at 914-248-5631 or firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a mutually convenient time to meet.
Meeting with Fr. Hal to inquire about baptisms at Good Shepherd does not obligate anyone to anything; this is a free, exploratory meeting and we support you in whatever you decide. We believe that Christianity is essentially invitational and supportive, not directive and pushy. We seek to live out this spirit in all that we do, including supporting families in their baptismal planning.
So here it is what is required for baptisms at Good Shepherd:
- Schedule a meeting with Fr. Hal to discuss the feasibility of your family’s baptism at Good Shepherd.
- If you decide to celebrate your baptism at Good Shepherd, confirm a final date so we can add it to our master calendar.
- Plan to attend at least one Sunday 10:00 am service before the date of the baptism. This will allow you to get a feel for the service and the community. Please attend coffee hour afterwards. We invite all families who are celebrating a baptism at Good Shepherd to consider making our vibrant parish your spiritual home. You are welcome here.
- On the day of the baptism, please make sure all parties in the baptism arrive at Good Shepherd by 9:15 am. This time allows everyone to get situated and any final details to be discussed, so that everyone will know what to expect before the 10:00 am service begins.
- Our 10:00 am service is followed by a joyful coffee hour each week. Please plan to attend coffee hour on the day of the baptism. Consider bringing a festive cake for the community to share with you and your guests in the celebration of your special day. This is not required but is often something the families like to do to share in the celebration.
- There is no set fee for baptisms at Good Shepherd. Families are encouraged to donate whatever they feel is appropriate. Money is never a barrier for anything we do at Good Shepherd – field trips, social events, educational opportunities, parish activities, and even baptisms. We appreciate anything you donate and use it to support over 30 ministries in the church, including Sunday School, Youth Group, Seniors Group, Outreach, Boy and Girl Scouts, Alcoholics Anonymous, and many others.
Click here for the Baptism Planning Sheet, which describes the information we request in order to make preparations for the baptism.
Congratulations again on your upcoming baptism celebration! And thank you for considering Good Shepherd.
On behalf of the staff, and the Community at Good Shepherd,
God’s blessings on you and yours,
The Rev. Hal Roark