Synod worshipers immersed in remembrance of baptism
Written by Jeff Woodard June 29, 2009
It's one thing to orchestrate a plan that clicks. It's something else when it stirs your soul.
"I felt like I was worshiping, and I was back there giving cues," said Rev. Scott Ressman, staff convener for yesterday's General Synod 27 worship service in the Plenary Hall of DeVos Place. "I couldn't be more pleased. It's just amazing to get all these talented performers together, and then have the Holy Spirit intercede and make it more than we could have imagined."
Ressman – Minister for Worship, Music and Liturgical Arts for the UCC's Congregational Vitality and Discipleship Ministry Team of Local Church Ministries – was awash in putting together programming pieces. A myriad of singers, dancers, musicians and speakers blended in a service that flowed on several levels.
"We really fought to have the waterfall in there and the children playing it," said Ressman. The service began with a call little ones and their parents to gather around the immersion pool and three-tiered waterfall onstage. Moms dipped babies' feet. Toddlers tested the water, first with a single finger, then their whole hand. A young boy in a red striped shirt wetted both hands and slowly ran them atop his head one at a time – one on each side of the part in his hair – as if to baptize himself. Worshipers sang .
The "Baptism Remembrance Rite" near the conclusion of the service saw ushers dipping small pine branches into large water-filled cups and spritzing congregants.