The Uniting Church in Australia’s National Working Group on Doctrine produces a range of discussion papers (DocBytes) on topics of significance to the church. Worksheet 4 on Baptism states:
The Uniting Church acknowledges that Christ incorporates people into his body by Baptism. In this way Christ enables them to participate in his own baptism, which was accomplished
once on behalf of all in his death and burial, and which was made available to all when, risen and ascended, he poured out the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Baptism into Christ’s body initiates people into Christ’s life and mission in the world, so that they are united in one fellowship of love, service, suffering and joy, in one family of the Father of all in heaven and Earth, and in the power of the one Spirit.
The Uniting Church will baptise those who confess the Christian faith, and children who are presented for baptism and for whose instruction and nourishment in the faith the Church takes responsibility. (Basis of Union Para. 7)
Going under water and coming up signifies that a newly baptised person is incorporated into the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The person may be immersed in water or have water poured over them. The meaning is still the same. From this time forward, the person is a member of the one, holy, catholic (universal) and apostolic church: the body of Christ, the communion of the Holy Spirit, people of God.
To download a copy of this and other DocBytes visit http://www.assembly.uca.org.au/theology/doctrine-resources-and-publications.
If you are interested in a baptism for yourself or someone else within the Uniting Church, contact your local Uniting Church congregation or contact the Uniting Church Centre on (08) 9260 9800. You can search for your local congregation in the search function on the right hand side of this page.