"Full immersion" - with a helmet and a shovel for now... Rev. Marty Levesque entering baptismal font in All Saints', Waterloo new church. The font will be placed below the altar platform making it the centre of the community: "We want people to experience baptism the way our Lord experienced it in the river Jordan".
By Rev. Marty Levesque
Go big or go home!
This all-out philosophy puts all of one's effort into an enterprise, to experience something to its fullest, to be extravagant.
Go big or go home is a Gen-X philosophy that encourages one to be bold. And it is one taken to heart at All Saints' Anglican Church in Waterloo as we continue through the construction of the new church and the SideWalk Community Centre.
Many years ago, while a student at Huron University College, one of my professors, Ven Jay Koyle, encouraged us to always go big with the sacraments. He advocated that not a little dab would do in baptism, but to make a big splash so to speak. And Jay was not the only mentor of mine that spoke of the abundance of the sacraments frequently.
Both Canon Greg Smith and Rev Rae Fletcher, may they both rest in peace and rise in glory, always taught me that more was better. Help the symbol of the sacrament tell the story of God’s abundant, great, and endless love for the world. Don’t just have a little water or a little bit of oil in baptism but make a holy mess!!
One of the new features in the new church is a full immersion baptismal font, the first permanent full immersion font in the Diocese of Huron (aside from Lake Huron itself). Sitting below the altar platform, the new font is in the centre of the community.
Most fonts find their place at the back of the church, symbolizing baptism as a requirement for entrance into the church and worship of our Lord. Ancient churches even had separate baptistries so that candidates wouldn't even enter the church until ritually joined to the community in the waters of new birth. At All
Saints, we wanted to make initiation into the community of believers a central focus of the community and as such the font needed to be front and centre. We want people who join the community or renew their vows to experience baptism the way our Lord experienced baptism in the river Jordan, fully immersed.
We are looking forward to many years of welcoming newcomers to God's family in the new font and giving praise to God for the many who will renew their vows in the water of new life each year when celebrate St. Jean Baptiste each June.
Rev. Marty Levesque is the rector of All Saints', Waterloo.