Allan L Purtill
The purpose of this project is to study the ways a congregation can prepare families for infant baptism so that participation of these families in congregational life increases. The study will demonstrate the relationship between preparation for baptism and participation in congregational life. Research considers a theological history of baptism in the early church, and a case study of Hopewell Presbyterian Church's baptism records and data from a congregational survey on baptism beliefs and practices. The project proposes that congregations invest in forming relationships around children and their families prior to baptism in order to increase active participation.