The new baptismal font was dedicated on August 6, 2017.
Since 1898, Immanuel Lutheran Church has baptized 1876 people. The oldest person baptized was Donna Murphy who was 84 years old.
The Lundquist family donated the original baptismal font in the 1950’s. It has been modified over times. Twenty years ago, Judy Nakamura introduced the current scallop shell bowl. It is a symbol of baptism generally, and especially of the baptism of Christ. The three droplets remind us of the Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit † – into which Christians are baptized. This imagery is kept in the banners and the communion rail.
The Baptismal Bowl and Pitcher
Jim and Terry Gundersen of “Goose Bay Hand Blown Glass” in Townsend, MT hand crafted the glass bowl and pitcher. The glass bowl “ripples and flows” to imitate living water.
If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water…..The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.”(John 4:10, 14)
Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, ‘Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.’” (John 7:37-38)
The bowl’s base integrates the colors of the church seasons which follow Jesus’ birth, life, death, resurrection and sending of the Spirit. The colors signify God’s faithful promises to us throughout the seasons of our own life of faith.
The waters of baptism are a visible sign of God’s grace to which we cling for the assurance of God’s promises of forgiveness, the gift of the Holy Spirit, and eternal life. The water is poured out from the pitcher for all to see, hear, and touch.
The Eight-Sided (Octagonal) Stand
Mick Hanson designed and built the top of the eight-sided stand. It imitates the design of the communion rail and the floor cross of the font; both made by Ken Swanson. The metal stand is from the original font.
In the early church, fonts and baptisteries often were octagonal to symbolize God’s new creation through the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the 8th day. In Genesis, God created the earth in seven days. God raised Jesus from the dead on the “first day of the week,” the day after the Sabbath, or the 8th day. Those baptized in the faith of Jesus Christ are part of this new creation, and we worship God on Sunday, the 8th day, the first day of a new week.
“If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
We have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might live a new life. (Romans 6:4)
The octagon recalls other major Biblical events. Through Noah’s ark, God saved eight people from the chaos and death of the flood waters; now God saves us from chaos and death through baptism. According to the Mosaic Law, circumcision, the sign of God’s covenant with Abraham (which parallels Baptism as initiation into God’s family and a sign of God’s promises) was to be performed on the eighth day.
Saint Augustine described the eighth day as
““everlasting…. hallowed by the resurrection of Christ.”
Saint Ambrose explained that baptismal fonts are octagonal
““because on the eighth day, by rising, Christ loosens the bondage of death and receives the dead from their graves.”
Recording of the Service: Dedication of baptismal font and baptism of Adrian Kohlberg
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