DUBLIN BAPTISM - WHEN TWO CHURCHES MET IN A THIRD
26th October 2017
How do you solve the problem of a shortage of baptismal fonts in a city where the Seventh-day Adventist Church is growing? In Dublin, the solution is to squeeze a little tighter into the Ranelagh church, the only Adventist-owned church building in Dublin, and the only available baptismal font. The other churches in town worship in rented places and book this one for special services ‒ such as the baptism that happened on Sabbath 14 October 2017. No wonder the building was filled to the brim as two other congregations – the Romanian church and the Dublin West church ‒ gathered there
The three baptismal candidates, Jeni Cretu, Adina Pârvan and Martha Tănăsoaia gave moving personal testimonies in answer to the question, “Why do you want to be baptised?” This was not the only question they were asked on the day. The usual thirteen questions of the baptismal vows were also asked, although the procedure was a bit different. The questions were not only answered in the affirmative by the candidates, but also by the audience. Thus the soon-to-be baptised ladies realized they are not at all alone in this journey. They are becoming part of a much larger family.
The baptismal program included singing and praying, reciting a poem, preaching and special music - both in Romanian and English - by soloists, a choir, and small groups. The short sermon was based on Matthew 3:11 in which pastor Christian Salcianu explored three different kinds of baptisms: one by water, one by Holy Spirit, and one by fire. Pastor Christian challenged the audience to look far beyond the baptism by water, which was to be performed that day. Many confirmed they felt the baptism by fire – fire of persecution, suffering, ups and downs in their Christian life. Towards the end, all were invited to be open to the baptism with the Holy Spirit, as following into the footsteps of Jesus.
When the last point of the baptismal vow was read and confirmed: deciding to become a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, a worldwide movement; the congregation celebrated. The Dublin Church exemplifies this worldwide movement that is made of all races, cultures and languages. Not surprisingly for Dublin there were in the audience people of more than 14 nationalities, coming from four continents: Romania, Moldova, Croatia, Hungary, Ireland, Russia, Nigeria, Kenya, Brazil, Portugal, Germany, Philippines, USA, Jamaica and more.
Just before the baptism, their names were voted as accepted into the church and Heather Haynes, the new Bible worker in the Irish Mission, prayed a special blessing upon the three candidates. After the baptism the three sisters were officially welcomed into the membership of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
The event was a good opportunity to make an appeal and announce two more baptisms that will take place in near future, in November and in January. The churches in Dublin are growing, yet there is still this great need of a second building, and the bonus of having an additional baptismal font in the capital city. Prayers for the Irish Mission and the challenges of a growing and developing church.