Children are a gift from God!
Cedar Valley believes children are a gift from God and celebrates parents who choose to raise their kids with godly principles. Dedication is a time of public and personal commitment, where parents make a covenant to teach their kids about building a relationship with Jesus Christ.
REQUIRED CLASS FOR PARENTS
Two weeks prior to each dedication service
9:30 a.m. | Student Center
NO COST OR REGISTRATION
Please note: Parents only have to attend the class one time. If parents have a subsequent child, they won't have to attend the class again before that child's dedication.
Class 1/28/18 | Dedication 2/11/18
Class 4/29/18 | Dedication 5/13/18
The deadline to request a dedication is at least three weeks prior to the desired service.
Expections of Parent(s)
- At least one or both of the parents have made a commitment to having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We recognize that there are many families in which only one parent has come to faith and the spouse that is not yet a believer would like to participate—that is okay.
- Parent(s)/Guardian(s) are regular attenders of Cedar Valley’s Sunday services and are following Christ in their own life.
- Parent(s) align with Cedar Valley's beliefs, purpose and values.
- Parent(s) commit to modeling personal purity and to lead by example in matters of faith and conduct. That means living a life of sexual purity according to God's standards—avoiding pornography, pre-marital sexual relations and living together before marriage. Therefore, parents that are living together and are not married will not be able to participate in the dedication ceremony.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I expect during the ceremony?
During the dedication service, parents express vows before God, their family and the church, declaring their desire to raise their child in a God-honoring way. Because parents are the key role models for their children, they play a primary role in the dedication service.
Parents will be asked to affirm the following commitments:
- Do you receive this child with gratitude, as God’s gift to you and your family?
- Do you commit to creating environments for your child(ren) that are teaching and modeling your Faith?
- For married couples: Do you commit to each other as parents, to creating a stable environment in which your child can mature? Will you make a covenant to strengthen your marriage relationship?
- Do you commit to be parents of personal faith, recognizing your children are more likely to follow God’s path by the model they first observe in you?
- Do you commit to lead a faith-filled home that honors God by modeling personal purity?
- Do you commit to be parents with patience and understanding?
- Do you commit to acknowledging that raising your kids to love and serve Jesus Christ will require time, prayer and God’s help?
What is the biblical purpose for child dedication?
The scriptural root of child dedication is found in 1 Samuel 1:27–28 (NASB), where a godly woman named Hannah prayed year after year for God to give her a child. He answered her prayer and she gave birth to a son, whom she named Samuel. When Samuel was born, Hannah prayed these words:
"For this boy I prayed, and the Lord has given me my petition which I asked of Him. So I have also dedicated him to the Lord; as long as he lives he is dedicated to the Lord."
A New Testament example is in Luke, chapter 2. Following the birth of Jesus, Mary and Joseph took the infant Jesus to the temple and dedicated him.
In both Scripture passages, the parents entrusted their child completely to God. The writings of Moses, found in Deuteronomy 6:5–9, describe God's plan for how a parent should raise up a child:
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates."
At Cedar Valley, child dedication will help you mark this step as you publically express your desire to raise your children with godly principles.
Does Cedar Valley baptize infants?
Scripture provides evidence that baptism follows an individual’s decision to trust Jesus alone for salvation (Acts 2:41, 8:12 and 10:47–48). In the Bible, we find parents bringing their children to Jesus. He held them, prayed for them and told us to welcome them. But He did not baptize them and He did not tell anyone else to baptize them. Cedar Valley believes baptism is for those who have made a personal decision to trust Jesus alone for their salvation, once they have the maturity and ability to understand what that means.
Dedication is not a sacrament; nor does it impart grace or salvation to a child. Salvation comes only through faith in Jesus Christ as each person recognizes their sinfulness and receives forgiveness and eternal life through Him and His work on the cross.
Rather than baptizing infants or children, Cedar Valley encourages Christian parents to dedicate their children. This is a ceremony in which parents formally call upon God’s blessing for their child and publicly commit to raise him or her in accordance with scripture.
Do I need to be a member of Cedar Valley to have my child dedicated?
You do not need to be a member of Cedar Valley Church to have your child dedicated. We do encourage parents to make sure they are calling Cedar Valley their home church. Why? In dedicating your child to God, you are stating that you are willing to partner with God and the church to raise your child in cooperation with God’s intentions. To partner with any church, a parent would be wise to decide if he or she agrees with its beliefs and vision so they can fully participate in their partnership with the church.
At what age can a child take part in a dedication service?
While Cedar Valley does not have a set age requirement for child dedication, the average age for a child to be dedicated is four to eight months old, although many parents dedicate children much older than that, often for the following reasons:
- The parent(s) are new believers in Christ and their children were not dedicated when they were infants.
- The parent(s) are having a younger child dedicated and want to have their older child dedicated at the same time.
Can a single parent participate in a child dedication service?
Yes! Child dedication signifies the commitment of parents (including single parents) to do their best to raise their child to be a follower of Jesus Christ. Additionally, we highly encourage single parents to dedicate their child as they commit themselves to raise him or her without the presence or partnership of a spouse. The decision to dedicate a child is not dependent upon the beliefs of the ex-spouse; however we encourage single parents to discuss child dedication with their ex-spouse. Ideally, both parents—even if not married—would still commit to the dedication of their child to God. We acknowledge that this is often not possible and that it takes extra effort for a single parent to raise a child. As a church, Cedar Valley is committed to supporting single parents in providing a Christian foundation for their child’s upbringing.
Can parent(s) assign godparents?
Although the term “godparent” is not used at Cedar Valley, we do welcome parents to invite friends and family members committed to supporting them. The presence of these significant adults symbolizes their commitment to play a supportive role in the child’s spiritual development. During the ceremony only immediate family members are invited to be on the stage
What should we wear on the day of dedication?
Christening gowns are often family heirlooms with a significant history in the family, and it is fine for your child to wear one. Otherwise, parents and children are welcome to wear whatever makes you feel most comfortable. You will be on the stage, so please choose appropriate attire.
We are open to having conversations with you on any of the above statements.