Pooh Reflecting

Pooh Reflecting
Pooh Reflecting

Monday, August 1, 2011

Adult Baptism

I've already mentioned the Church of Christ.  This Church played a big part in my growing up.  I went to Sunday School every week from a very young age - not sure when I started.  Mum, and possibly Dad, taught at Sunday School too.  Then we went to Church for the rest of the morning.

Mr and Mrs Armstrong are the first minister and his wife that I remember.  Her name was Dot, his name was Don????  They had three children I think.

I think they were followed by Brian Dowsett and his wife Margaret.  Brian was known as "Big Red" because of his red hair and he was rather tall.  They had no children when they arrived to take up the ministry, but children followed later.

It was during Brian's ministry that I made my decision to follow Jesus - in the Church of Christ babies aren't baptised or christened.  Rather people make their own decision to follow Christ.  This is (was) done as part of the evening service.  The Invitation hymn was sung and if there was anyone in the congregation who was ready to make their decision they went to the front of the Church.  I was probably a bit younger than most as I was only 11, but it was a big decision for me, and I meant it as sincerely as anyone else.  I was baptised by immersion on 12 April 1964.  The Church had an immersion pool located in the vestry behind the Church proper - there were sliding doors which allowed the congregation to view the baptism.  The floor was removed during the day of the baptism, the pool was filled with water which was then warmed in preparation for the baptism that evening.  The minister and the person being baptised wore white robes, just like in this picture.  Mum and Dad gave me my own copy of the Church Hymn Book on the occasion of my baptism.  After baptism one was able to take communion.

This was the Invitation Hymn on the night I made my decision.

All to Jesus I surrender,
All to Him I freely give;
I will ever love and trust Him,
In His presence daily live.

    I surrender all,
      I surrender all.
    All to Thee, my blessed Savior,
        I surrender all.

All to Jesus I surrender,
Humbly at His feet I bow,
Worldly pleasures all forsaken;
Take me, Jesus, take me now.

All to Jesus I surrender,
Make me, Savior, wholly Thine;
Let me feel Thy Holy Spirit,
Truly know that Thou art mine.

All to Jesus I surrender,
Lord, I give myself to Thee;
Fill me with Thy love and power,
Let Thy blessing fall on me.

All to Jesus I surrender,
Now I feel the sacred flame.
Oh, the joy of full salvation!
Glory, glory to His name!

After Brian and Margaret the Minister was Mr. Pavey (Peter?).  Can't remember his wife's name.  From memory they didn't stay long, but I can't remember who replaced them.

Do I still go to Church?  In short - no.  The Church of Christ in Morwell was very special - everyone was very friendly, and they made newcomers very welcome.  It was just part of what going to Church meant.  When I moved to Geelong to go to teachers' College I went to a Church of Christ there - expecting things to be the same.  I don't know how many weeks I went, but no-one ever welcomed me, spoke to me, or even acknowledged that there was someone new in the congregation.  I continued to go to Church when I went home for the weekend and holidays, but not in Geelong.  My experience in Geelong made me wary of trying again in another Church, so after my marriage I stopped going to Church regularly.  There are times when I feel I would like to go again, but so far I haven't done so.

I was married in the Church of Christ in Morwell, by the then Minister Donald Thomas.  And my first husband's funeral service was conducted by the minister in 1990 (whose name escapes me.)

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