I was about 10 years old when I was in the first church service where I remember a baptism taking place. I have this vivid picture of looking up to where the pastor was with the family and the child who was being baptized. The energy in the room was so positive. If you had no reference for what was about to happen you would still be able to tell that what was happening was incredibly important. The pastor was holding this little boy, about 1 ½ years old, just outside of the reach of his parents. Before the blessing, the pastor asked all of us if we would love this child and help him grow in his life of faith whenever we saw him. I said, “Yes,” along with everyone else. From that point forward, whenever I saw this young child, I remembered I was there when he was brought into the body of Christ. In that moment he and I were joined together in the greatest family the world has ever known.

I invite you to join with us in worship this Sunday, when we  add to this great family once again. At both 10 a.m. worship services this week, we get to bring children into the body of Christ through the holy sacrament of baptism. Baptisms are wonderful moments for the individual and the congregation and are life-changing for all involved. Our call to baptize is something put upon us by Jesus. Jesus calls us to “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19) and baptism is the formal means by which we do this.

Baptism is “an outward and visible sign of an inward and invisible grace.” It is an acknowledgment of the ways that God is already working in our hearts, which is changing who we are into who God is calling us to be. Within our own tradition, the United Methodist Church, we take this to mean we should baptize all people and nobody should be turned away because of God’s love for us all. This understanding leads us to baptize into the faith not just adults, but also children of any age, with the understanding that the adults in their lives will help to raise them in the light and love of Christ within the church. I cannot wait to see you this Sunday as we add to our family together.

Many Blessings,
Pastor Stuart


(Please note, masks are required during all services as well as inside all St. Mark’s buildings.)

Join us for worship:

  • 8:30 a.m. Traditional service with choirs in Sanctuary and child care in Rm 15
  • 10 a.m. Modern worship service with Praise Team in Fellowship Hall
  • 10 a.m. Traditional service with choirs in Sanctuary
  • 10 a.m. Youth and children’s Sunday School and child care
  • 10 a.m. Livestream premieres on YouTube and Website

To access our pre-recorded service:

  • From the main menu on our website click “Worship.”  -OR-
  • Go to YouTube and search for UMC St. Mark’s Oro Valley or use this link.