Rebirth

There are certain rituals in one’s religious life that are particularly memorable. Baptism is certainly one of them although the person being baptized is sometimes too young to recall anything about the experience. For the parents and family, it is quite a different matter. Other rites like marriage and confirmation happen at a later stage in life. It all adds up to one’s spiritual upbringing. The more the parents adhere to tradition, the more it will have an impact on the child. Adults who come late to baptism have a different perspective. They want to commemorate their newfound faith and believe that symbolic acts will make it more solid. I have been interested in the subject of baptism lately for an article for a periodical and decided to visit a church near my school which baptizes people in the water of an above ground pool.

Apparently this is an oddity. I have not encountered other such places. The church does not have the funds as yet to build a proper baptism pool. This is an important goal for the congregation and people are trying to come up with fund raising ideas so they can stop using the temporary solution of the best above ground pool that we can afford. It doesn’t inspire the people being baptized as much as a real baptism pool. It is more a stop-gap effort by the church because they can’t cease doing this ritual until they raise enough money for the new pool. They are actively looking for a donor to fund their project. It will likely be a member of the church and perhaps a local business person who wants to make a kind gesture and get some good public relations in the community. I am helping to get the word out as best I can. The church newsletter includes an appeal and we have circulated among parishioners as well as local vendors. If we are not successful, we no doubt will apply for a grant or hold some kind of event where we charge admission and have an auction. The total take from the event should be enough to cover building the baptism pool. We will then donate the existing above ground pool to a school in need or a community center for the playground.

It turns out that we did not have to plan a big event which is difficult and time consuming. We did receive a response from several local donors who were willing to split the total cost of the new pool installation. They were willing to pay whatever was necessary to make it a picturesque and well-constructed pool. We wanted to honor these donors with a celebration at the time the installation is completed. We would also mention their charitable nature in our church newsletter. It serves a dual function internally in the church and as a community bulletin. I am sure that these donors will get new business as a result, but this was not entirely their intent. They believed in the necessity of the new pool and the important rituals that would take place.