It's always interesting to see how other churches do things. This morning we went along to Woodville Road Baptist Church, AKA Woody-Bap, to the dedication of my friend Justin's baby boy, Jacob.
All-in-all it was a good service. The music was polished and lively. The guy co-ordinating the meeting explained that sometimes people got a bit excited during the singing, so don't get too freaked out, and the dedication was very nicely done. It was the first time I've been to a dedication where the parents gave a bit of a testimony during the service. Justin and Annabel talked about their journey to becoming parents - a journey not without it's struggles - and concluded they had learned much about trusting God during their experience. It was challenging stuff.
The speaker then gave a talk focussing on the characters of Jacob and Thomas as baby Jacob's middle name is Thomas. He talked about struggling with faith and believing anyway, which ties in nicely with his parents' testimony. I felt it was an excellent way of wrapping the service around the baby who was being dedicated, without excluding anyone from the message.
For the Anglicans/Catholics/agnostics/unbelievers who read this blog, a dedication is a non-conformist baby-naming ceremony in churches where they don't do christenings. It's one of the ways Baptists et al try and show that they're just as good as a 'proper church'. (NB - as a non-conformist by choice, I'm not saying that n-c churches aren't proper churches, but it does seem n-c churches sometimes do things out of a sense of inferiority...)
So, to conclude, I enjoyed the service. It helped that I knew a few people there and could catch up with friends too. But generally, I'd give Woody-Bap a favourable review, if I was the kind of sad person who went round reviewing churches.