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Wesleys Take the Web: Baptism

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In this installment of our modern animated series which features the brothers who founded Methodism, John and Charles Wesley take the plunge to explore the deep waters of the sacrament of baptism.

We hope you will watch and share these clips, whether with your confirmation class, new member class, Sunday school group or in other settings. Some suggested discussion questions are below.

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John Wesley: C'mon brother. Jump in. The water's nice and warm.

Charles Wesley: Of all the things Mother taught us, John, swimming wasn't one of them.

JW: But you can't just sit at the edge forever, Charles. At some point, you have to commit. You have to take the plunge.

CW: Are we still talking about swimming?

JW: Yes... And no. Floating in this water has me thinking about baptism.

CW: Really? This isn't just another teachable moment?

JW: Think about it. Baptism "is the initiatory sacrament which enters us into covenant with God."

CW: What?

JW: Baptism is our entrance into the life of the church. It's like wading into the shallow end. We're in the water, but can always go deeper.

CW: (Frightened) Deeper?

JW: Yes, deeper. Baptism is the first step of a lifelong spiritual journey.

CW: Is that why we baptize babies?

JW: Yes... and no. No matter how young or old we are when we're baptized, we're just getting started. For the rest of our lives, we are to live into our baptismal covenant every day.

CW: And it all starts with getting wet?

JW: Yes. Now jump. I'll catch you.

CW: Alrighty. Cannonball!


See a variety of topics in the animated Wesleys Take the Web series.

These videos were produced as a 21st century follow up to the popular clip known as "Clayride: A Gallop Through United Methodist History." Find out more about the making of "Clayride" from the artists who created that 1984 classic.

This video was produced by United Methodist Communications in Nashville, TN.
Media contact is Fran Walsh, 615-742-5458.
This video was first posted on January 25, 2019.

Suggested discussion questions:

What do you remember about your baptism? If you don't remember it, what has your family told you about that day?

How does your church perform most baptisms: immersion, pouring, sprinkling?

Quoting his "A Treatise on Baptism," John Wesley says that baptism "is the initiatory sacrament which enters us into covenant with God." What does that mean? How can a baby enter into a covenant?

John is trying to convince Charles that baptism is just the beginning. What are some of the ways we can go deeper in our faith? What do the brothers mean by a "lifelong spiritual journey?"

In the video, the pool is labeled "life of the church." How are these two things similar?

John promises to catch Charles if he dives into the pool. Who are some of the people who continue to support you in your spiritual journey?

Charles chooses to "cannonball" into the pool. In many ways, whenever we deepen our faith – baptism, confirmation, a mission trip, etc. – it is a "leap of faith." What will you do to jump into the deep end of your spiritual journey?

Bonus: Early in the video, Charles references "all the things Mother taught us," in a response to John.

  • Learn more about Susanna Wesley and her influence on her children.
  • Who first taught you about Jesus? How has that person helped you become who you are today?

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