One of the things I've enjoyed about Covenant Community is doing outdoor baptisms.
A lot of people don't realize that we United Methodists actually do baptize by immersion. It's not just for Baptists anymore. We probably still do most of our baptisms by sprinkling or pouring, but we will baptize by immersion if a person requests it.
At Covenant, a lot of people request it. So many that once or twice a year we do an outdoor baptism. This past Saturday we baptized a lot of the young people who were confirmed as church members the next day.
We did the baptism in the Swannanoa River, behind the ABCCM Veterans' Restoration Quarters. AND BOY WAS IT COLD! The temperature on Saturday morning was in the 40s, and by the time of the baptism it had only risen to the low 50s.
I'm sure glad Kevin Olrich, our director of Student Ministries, was there to assist me. First, I needed him to take my by the hand and drag me out into the freezing water. I don't think I could have forced myself to go out there! Then, I needed his help immersing people in the swift current. (The river had been swollen by the recent heavy rains.)
Despite the cold, it was a great day, and I'm really glad I got to be a part of it.