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Church delivers river baptisms

Fri, Jun 24th, 2011
Posted in Faith & Worship

Root River Community Church in Rushford is home to an interesting and old-fashioned tradition: river baptisms.

On Sunday, May 16, Root River Community Church began its weekly service as usual. Walking into the church before the service started, everyone congregated in the lobby, including the Pastor, and any first-time guests were spotted and welcomed immediately (including myself). Individuals new to the church were offered heartwarming gifts; a Root River Community Church mug, a pen, and a business card.

A few minutes before 10:30 a.m. the doors to the service were opened. There were no pews, but instead, comfortable chairs. I noticed there were only a few Bibles, as well. When the Praise and Worship Service started we were greeted with a live band made up of church members.

The band instruments included the keyboard, a guitar, bass, drums, and three vocalists. The songs that they played were upbeat and contemporary, and the words to the songs were projected on the walls for those who didn't know them. The members of the church danced and sang along to the music, some standing with arms open to the sky.

After a few songs and words, the Pastor, Reverend Peter Enns began his sermon. He then welcomed new members to the church and sent the children to Children's Church, a section made for children ages three to eleven. The service continued and Pastor Enns began his topic for the day; "Why Should I Not be Baptized"

In the midst of the topic for the day, Pastor Enns said that he would be performing three baptisms, one the last of his sons, then he continued to finish his speech for the day. The band played again, and we sang along. We then proceeded to file out of the church and down to the Root River, about a two to three minute walk. Pastor Enns, now in shorts, the first out of the "to-be-baptized", and two helping members entered the water, which I can only imagine was freezing. One by one he then baptized the two members and his son in the river.

We walked back to the church and I got a chance to speak with Pastor Enns. He said they've done baptisms in the past and will be likely be doing more in August. The church itself was built in its current location in 2005. It's first service was held on June 5, 2005 with no carpeting. Then in 2007 the church flooded and they had to redo the lower part of the building.

The church is very relaxed, light-hearted, and welcoming, and with all the church has been through, the good and the bad, I've seen nothing but kindness from everyone there."It's all about the people," says Enns. If interested for more information, Root River Community Church has a website at www.rootriver.org.

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