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TO CREATE YOUR OWN WEDDING MAGIC LET YOUR WEDDING MATCH YOUR STYLE. Chris and Kyle are big Dr. Who fans and the TARDIS was on the guest book canvas that was to be framed after the wedding. (photo by Hannah Woodard Photography)






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A Sweet Baptism Ceremony at Ebenezer Church Beach on Jordan Lake

Children are a natural extension of love and - lucky me - I often get to be a part of celebrating the love of parents for their children and their desire to baptize those children into the church. Because I feel so connected to Nature as a reflection of God, it is always extra special to me when those ceremonies take place outside.

Leah and Josh contacted me for a ceremony for their adorable (!) little Noah and they wanted it to take place at Jordan Lake, at the serene and beautiful Ebenezer Church Beach area. I had never been to that part of the lake before and can definitely recommend it highly for others who might want to christen their children there. (Or even just go there for a picnic.)

Mother Nature was smiling on us that day - it was a beautiful sunny-crisp morning and a perfect amount of shade was provided by the trees that lined the shore.

It was a very small, intimate ceremony, with only immediate family and friends in attendance. Said attendees also doubled as the ceremony’s paparazzi and I have them to thank for the photos used here today.

Josh’s father had passed and to include him in the ceremony, Josh had brought some of his father’s ashes to sprinkle around us as the ceremony began. I cannot begin to describe the sweet tenderness in the air as Josh sprinkled the ashes into the water, while Leah and Noah stood by. Very moving.

I always ask the parents of the child if there are any special readings they would like included and if they would like to speak their prayers and wishes for their child during the ceremony. Leah and Josh asked me to read the lovely poem they had chosen entitled,  “From God with Love.”

Children are a blessing sent from God above
For us to care and nurture and most of all to love.

God calls us to be parents and gives us all the tools
And when we feel like giving up, our strength He will renew.

Children are a gift from God that He so freely lends
To make it through the childhood years, on Him we must depend.

He must have a presence, you see it must take three
The parents, child and Christ at the center of the family.

From childhood days to a child full grown
Their joys and hurts are a parent's own.

Times of joy and laughter and those times of tears
The times spent raising a child are surely the best of years.

There comes that time in life when a child will leave the nest
We must send them off with love and a prayer and leave to God the rest.

We've shared the Word of God, we've taught them right from wrong
Now it's time to let them go and let them write their song.

There are many paths a child can take, they will remain unknown
But rest assured that in the end, they all lead back to home.
            _ author unknown

They both also read what they had written to Noah of their hopes and dreams for him in his life. I am always touched by the sincere love and caring that is expressed in this part of the ceremony.

Next came the pledges of the Godparents for the care of Noah, should the need arise.

For baptisms that I minister, I ask the parents to bring water to the ceremony, over which they have prayed, placing their prayers of love for their child into the water. That becomes the water we use for the baptism. In this case, Leah and Josh wanted to use the lake water, which was absolutely perfect, particularly as Josh’s dad’s ashes were now in the lake.

We took a few moments while Leah and Josh prayed over the water and then we began the actual baptism portion of the ceremony, using the water they had blessed with their love. 

The ceremony completed, I invited everyone forward to greet the happy family.

After all the hugs and kisses, there was one last thing to do - to put the baptismal water back into the lake. Josh chose to add it back in the same place he had put his father’s ashes. How fitting.

Then Noah decided to play in the water a bit, which also seemed very fitting.

Next was the signing of the baptism certificate.

Notice the lovely white blanket used on the table. It had been made by Noah’s Great-Grandmother, so even though she was not there in person, she was still there with us in Spirit.

Leah and Josh, it was an honor to minister the sweet baptism of your son. With all the love in evidence between you, your family and friends, and the beauty of the day, it was a gift to me to be able to be a part of that special moment in your lives.


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