Recently I had an on-line chat with a clergy/comedy colleague, the Rev. Dwight McCormick (check out his blog at http://standuppreacher.blogspot.com) We were discussing the practicalities of, what I like to call, a “Drive-by Baptism.” This is when the family of the child might be coming from another Christian tradition or no tradition at all but, for whatever reason, call the church and ask me to “do the baby thing.” This call results in a lengthy meeting with the parents where I discuss all things theological about faith and baptism. When I inform them that this is a communal event and the congregation will be present for it and no, we will not move worship back to 11am just because your friend, the God-mother, usually goes out on Saturday nights and 10am is just to early for her. Sometimes- this ends the conversation. Sometimes, the family is truly committed to proceeding. I invite (I’m UCC so I don’t command) them to attend at least one or two worship services before the baptism so that can learn more about the church community that they are making promises into on behalf of their child. Sometimes this happens and sometimes it doesn’t.
One such "baptism family" I repeatedly encouraged to attend worship as they were former Roman Catholics who had never attended a Protestant service other than a wedding. Once. A long time ago. In Pittsburg. They must have felt that the Lutheran Pennsylvania nuptials provided them with adequate insight into the world of an average Sunday worship service at a Massachusetts UCC church because they chose not to attend until the day of the baptism.
The father did, however, call about two weeks before the event with a specific question. What is the dress code?
Please refer to the first paragraph of this blog.
I shared with Dwight that it took everything in my power to keep my mouth shut because I was seconds away from informing the man that “You are in luck! That’s Luau Day! Make sure everyone comes in the tackiest tourist shirts and women are encouraged to think grass skirt and coconut bras.”
I’m not serious.
I wouldn’t have said it but this playful imaginary answer led us to imagine what a baptism might have been like on Luau day.
First of all- I would have had to ask the God Father to hold my Mai-tai. (I apparently can’t trust the God Mother with my drink because she is a party girl.) I would really have to replace the font with a “My Little Pony” kiddie pool – complete with slide. And then, of course, the kid would have to go down the slide three times
Because we’re Trinitarian, Silly!
See what I mean – just keepin’ it real……