There’s a new trend for faith- and community-based organizations to get together and pray together at baby showers.
And for some, those prayers are a big part of a baby’s life.
“It’s a way for people to connect with God,” said Sarah Kincaid, a New Jersey-based religious consultant who helped a local faith-and-community group meet the baby shower needs of two babies.
The New Jersey Baby and Toddler Association, which was formed in the mid-1980s and has been helping to run baby showers in the Garden State, has found that about 60 percent of the babies born there last year were born to faith-affiliated families.
The organization has also seen a surge in baptisms for faith babies.
Kincamid said it can be difficult for faith parents to make those kinds of decisions for their faith babies, but the association’s president, Bethany Givens, said the process is simple and that faith-baptisming has been “the most effective form of birth control that has been shown to prevent pregnancy in faith-filled families.”
“Faith is not a choice,” she said.
“Faith can be expressed in a lot of ways, and we don’t want to restrict anyone from expressing their faith.”
The association’s website says its aim is to “promote a love of God and family that is grounded in the knowledge that God cares for all who are born in this world.”
Its website even provides a list of ways faith babies can feel loved and cared for.
Givins said it’s the faith that gives her faith-infused babies the joy they need, and she has a prayer book she has used since the beginning of their lives.
The group also offers baby showers for faith baby parents who don’t have children themselves, such as a special family day in which the babies are baptized and are given a baptismal certificate.
“The baptismal certificates are very important because they are an indication of what the child is about,” Givans said.
The birth certificate helps families determine what to expect in the future, and the certificates are signed by the baby’s mother.
But faith-related groups aren’t the only ones looking to have faith babies baptized.
Faith parents can also have faith-birth certificates sent to their faith baby, even if the babies aren’t expecting the baptismal ceremony.
Faith-babies who are baptized are also eligible to receive a religious certificate that shows the faith baby is in God’s grace.
Kancmar said that faith parents can ask to have a baby baptized by their faith child.
“If you’re a mom and a mommy are in a relationship and it doesn’t work out, they can have faith,” Kancmarsaid.
“You don’t always have to have it happen, but it’s an option.”
Givs said that for some faith parents, the process of getting a baptism certificate isn’t as important as the decision to go through the birth process.
She said the group doesn’t offer any services to baptize faith babies but does work with faith parents who do need it.
“I can help with any questions that parents have,” she explained.
Giannades said it takes about five minutes to obtain a baptism certification.
She noted that the process can take up to four months for a birth certificate, which can take a little more time to process than the time a faith parent would normally spend on their faith-formation process.
“We do work with people in need, so we’re very happy that it can take so long,” she added.
Gincaid said faith-parents can be the “voice of reason” in deciding whether to baptise their faith or non-faith babies.
“For parents who feel like they’re losing their baby, or have a fear of losing their child, there’s really no better way to have that conversation with your faith parents than by talking about that baby,” she noted.