Today, we celebrate the baptism of Justine Estelle Chan. As we do so, we remember our own baptisms and give thanks!
Baptism is one of two sacraments that we celebrate as Methodists (the other is communion). In a sacrament, God uses common elements - in this case, water - as means or vehicles of divine grace. Baptism is administered by the church as the Body of Christ. It is the act of God through the grace of Jesus Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit.
Understanding the practice as an authentic expression of how God works in our lives, we strongly advocates the baptism of infants within the faith community: "Because the redeeming love of God, revealed in Jesus Christ, extends to all persons and because Jesus explicitly included the children in his kingdom, the pastor of each charge shall earnestly exhort all Christian parents or guardians to present their children to the Lord in Baptism at an early age" (2012 Book of Discipline). Children can then confirm (or not) this decision for themselves later in their growth in the ritual of Confirmation.
We wholeheartedly celebrate and welcome Justine and hold the Chan-Samjee family in our prayers.
Justine Estelle Chan is just shy of 9 months old today. She was born in July of 2016 to proud parents, Aaron Chan and Anne-Sophie Samjee, and thrilled grandparents, Steve and Laura Chan. Justine is the younger sister of Victor. The Chan-Samjee family currently live in Geneva, Switzerland but are awaiting word of a possible move later in the year (Thailand and Chile are in the running!)
Justine is curious and adventurous at this stage of development. Aaron and Anne-Sophie pray that her love of learning and adventure will never end, whether it be in her faith journey or in their many travels. Although this is her first trip to California, it should be the first of many, and she is already becoming a good traveler having already visited Spain and Scotland. Justine's name means "justice" which is paired with her brother's middle name Olivier, a symbol "peace." So far they get along together well like "peace" and "justice". We pray that both continue to live up to their names.