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Baptism and inviting parents/relatives

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

By way of a little background while we were both raised Christian, I was raised Lutheran before my family switched to an Evangelical church (think sinner's prayer, baptism by immersion here) so I've been baptized twice - once as a baby and once as a teenager.  Dh was raised Baptist...and all that means.

 

When my oldest was born we were part of a church that did baby dedication with baptism by immersion and delayed until a personal decision was made.  At that time there was quite a bit of controversy as to which family members would attend and who wouldn't attend if so and so was there so we elected not to do anything at all.  Since then my husband left his full-time ministry position at an Evangelical church, switched careers, and our beliefs have changed significantly.  For me it's a bit like coming home.  I've returned to the faith of my childhood.  For my husband this is a HUGE change.  For both sides of the family, however, it's a bit like we've changed religions.

 

It's taken us several years to sort of decompress from the past and find a church/denomination that we feel is a good fit.  We've found a local UCC church that for the first time in a very long time feels like a home.  It's home enough for us to become members...which is saying a lot.  

 

We've spent the last year or so trying decide what to do on the baptism front.  After quite a bit of discussion we've decided to have all three of our children baptized.  My dh doesn't really feel like we need to invite anyone else and that we can just do this as a family.  I've always been sad that I let the controversy discourage me from doing anything when my son was a baby and want to invite family members.  My son (6yo) has stated that he wants to invite my sister, her husband, and my parents.

 

Based upon the short conversation I had with my parents this afternoon I can tell that this is going to be a bit of a problem.  I can only imagine this will be multiplied when it comes to my in-laws.  My dh doesn't really want to deal with the spiritual intervention that he fears will take place once his family (and all the aunts and uncles) finds out and I don't blame him.  On the other hand, I was also thinking about inviting some of my aunts/uncles and cousins (who wouldn't bat an eye and would be very supportive).  I can't shake the feeling that my in-laws would be hurt when they found out that we invited all these other folks, but not them.  

 

So, what would you do?  Would you send them an invitation?  Should I include some sort of a note to discourage folks from wrecking the day?  My children really like our church - my son has really embraced it as his own.  I would hate for someone to mar his enthusiasm (as well meaning as they may be and as urgently right as they think it is that our children "come to faith" as they would define it).

post #2 of 6

Are you planning on having a reception/party afterward?  If you are not then I would not exclude anyone. How much of scene could they make in that environment? And if your children are at home in your church even a few backhanded comments from "well meaning" relatives will mean nothing in the long term.

 

However If you are planning on inviting people back to your home afterwards that is where its gets tricky.  To invite some immediate family and not all is going to cause issues and there will be hurt and/or angry feelings.  Add to that these are your in laws....enough said, LOL. I would tread carefully and have your husband do the explaining.

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #3 of 6

I invited my ex husband (who had moved out only a couple of days before) and his parents.  it was an absolute nightmare.  you can:

 

invite the people you are comfortable with.  If in laws say anything just explain that you didn't think they would want to come.

 

OR

 

invite everyone but be clear that you just don't want to exclude them and understand if they don't want to come.

 

OR

 

keep it a family thing and invite no one.

 

If I had it to do all over again I would stll invite the family but I would be really clear that I totally understood if they did not feel like coming but of course we didn't want them to think they were uninvited.

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

We were planning on having something afterward at our home.  My kids are big on parties and want *everyone* to attend.  The more people, the merrier is their motto.  I think the explaining part was what dh wanted to avoid, but I concur that it would be best if he approached the issue.  I just don't want to pass up on doing the things we've wanted to do just because I'm afraid of the conflict.  It seems like we end up missing out on things as a result.

post #5 of 6

Oh and even though there was quite a scene at the baptism (its sorta infamous at our church.  Any time someone is worried about inviting family they say "don't worry, here is what happened at the P family's baptism.  it can't possibly be worse than that".  )  the in laws got over it quickly.  Or at least no more dramatics.  they keep it to themselves.

post #6 of 6

Personally, I wouldn't invite anyone, but I'm antisocial like that.  For both my kids' baptisms, we had no family at the church with us.  Our families live far away, and they're not particularly religious.  For us, it was nice to just keep it small and in the parish community.  Would your families be upset if they realized afterwards that they hadn't been invited? 

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