A few weeks ago, the boundaries of our church congregation were redrawn and we are actually now attending a church in a new building with mostly new people. Overall, I like newchurch a lot, even though I feel I need to step up my wardrobe and I tend to spend an inordinate amount of time trying to calculate in my head just how many pounds of hair gel are in a room at any given time. But the pros outweigh the cons. It's like four minutes from my house rather than the twenty we used to have to drive (big pro). The redistribution bumped up the membership numbers, so there are more people to fill the callings in our layministry, which means I have less to do on Sunday (bigger pro). And there are a lot more children of varied ages. In oldchurch there were like two dozen kids between the ages of birth and three years, a dozen from three to eleven, and maybe two from twelve to eighteen. This concerned me as my kids started to get older; things are better in our new ward.

In our church people are baptized - at the earliest - at age eight. We tend to think that's about the time that they can start to become responsible for their actions and sincerely repent when they know they're done something wrong. I'm sure not every eight year old kid completely gets it, but it's a good place to start teaching. We also baptize by immersion in our faith... meaning the baptiz-ee goes completely under the water for a second and brought back up again by the baptiz-er. Basically it's all about symbols. A symbol of the death and resurrection of Christ, a symbol of sins being washed away, a symbol of the eight people who were saved by water on Noah's Ark, etc. That may be oversimplifying it all just a bit, but you get the idea.

The Dormouse has attended a few baptisms in the past, but she's now seven and at an age where her peers are getting baptized, so it's starting to become more of a regular thing for her. She's starting to think about it more since it's something her friends are doing and it's become more real to her. We attended one such event last Saturday. One of The Dormouse's close friends from oldchurch turned eight this week and her family invited us to her baptism.

After the girl was baptized and we were all waiting for her to dry off, change clothes and close the meeting, The Dormouse started asking me some questions about baptism:

"Mom, some churches baptize by sprinkling water, right?"

"Yep. We baptize using immersion. But other churches do different things. In some churches, the priest just rubs a drop of water on the baby's forehead with his thumb, some people dip the head in water, and in some churches, they sprinkle the water on the forehead."

"Yeah... I'll bet they do that in France."