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Bishop’s Note – 2019 BCP – The Baptismal Exhortation

Dear Friends,
A very blessed Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe to you all! You may not be aware, but in the nine years following the apparition of Our Lady to Saint Juan Diego from December 9-12, 1531 9.5 million people in Mexico came to faith in Jesus Christ. This feast day marks the greatest evangelism explosion in history. It is appropriate therefore that we continue our examination of the Service of Baptism from the 2019 Book of Common Prayer.
Last week we looked at the Opening Acclamation. After the acclamation, the service continues with the reading of scripture and the sermon. Following the sermon, the candidates and their sponsors are presented. The role of the sponsor or godparent is vitally important. This person should be a believer, committed to Christ, and demonstrably living out their faith. When the candidate is a child or younger person, the parents serve as the primary sponsors. It is important that the parents live out their faith, as their Christian witness will form the basis for their child’s faith. In addition, godparents are chosen to assist the parents in raising the child in the faith. It is important that the godparents, in addition to demonstrating the faith, serve as accountability partners to the parents and child. It always breaks my heart when parents choose a family member or friend out of a perceived social responsibility as opposed to a demonstrable faith. It also breaks my heart when in preparing candidates for Confirmation or Marriage the candidates have little to no relationship with their godparents.
The following instructions and exhortation from the 2019 Book of Common Prayer are clear, direct and grounded in the scriptures.

The liturgy continues with the appointed Lessons. Following the Sermon, the Candidates with their Sponsors stand before the Celebrant.


The Celebrant then says to the People
Dearly beloved, Scripture teaches that we were all dead in our sins and trespasses, but by grace we may be saved through faith. Our Savior Jesus Christ said, “Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God”; and he commissioned the Church to “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” Here we ask our heavenly Father that these Candidates, being baptized with water, may be filled with the Holy Spirit, born again, and received into the Church as living members of Christ’s body. Therefore, I urge you to call upon God the Father, through our Lord Jesus Christ, that of his abundant mercy he will grant to these Candidates that which by nature they cannot have.

I pray your worship is blessed on Sunday as you light the third candle on the Advent wreath representing joy!
Bishop Menees

San Joaquin Anglican
December 17
Geographical Deanery Clericus Meetings

December 22
Bishop @ Epiphany

December 24-26
Office Closed for Christmas

December 31 - January 1
Office Closed for the Feast of the Circumcision and Holy Name of our Lord Jesus Christ

January 17-18
Anglican for Life Symposium

January 18
One Life LA

January 25
Walk for Life West Coast

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Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin · 1300 East Shaw Avenue #123 · Fresno, CA 93710 · USA

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