OK, I’ll admit it. I’m not especially fond of those plaques with large decorative words, usually in capital letters made out of wood, that command us to PRAY or BELIEVE or IMAGINE. I’m not sure why. Probably because they are so popular. Or maybe I just wish they said EAT or SKIP or SLEEP instead. Who knows!
Having said that, I’ll also admit that the design of these baptism and profession of faith mementos comes dangerously close to those wooden words. I justify their use because these are events that should be shouted out.
Before You Commit Yourself
Before we get too far, let me remind you that whatever you create or purchase to use as mementos of these liturgical celebrations will likely be used for years. Make sure you are able to—and will want to—keep making whatever it is you come up with for your own church.
Since the early 1970s, Paul Stoub’s woodcut (at right) has been given to new members of Church of the Servant, and Grace Bradford has embroidered bibs for the all church’s baptized babies. Edith Sinnema, a potter from Fellowship Christian Reformed Church in Edmonton, Alberta, creates a baptismal bowl that’s given to a family when their firstborn is baptized and is used for the baptism of all other babies in the family.
Make It Your Own
Creating the memento suggested here is easier than those mentioned above. Design your own imprint or download these from our website (www.reformedworship.org). Use the bypass tray of a laser printer to force-feed heavy watercolor or other textured paper through your printer for the words. After printing, affix a wax seal (sources are available online) or pin a metal cross or denominational logo lapel pin through the paper to dress it up a little and give it some dimension.
If you really want to dress it up, you could mount the printout to an undersized piece of foam board which, in turn, could be mounted to the back of a simple glass-fronted black frame to give the appearance of the certificate floating within the frame.
These events beg to be acknowledged with something special—make it so.