Thanksgiving Baptism on Prince Edward Island

    “Thanksgiving Baptism on Prince Edward Island,” New Era, Apr. 1975, 30–31

    Thanksgiving Baptism on Prince Edward Island

    Branch members’ cars slowly follow each other convoy-style down farm lanes past stubble fields toward the beach cliffs. It is a cold Canadian Thanksgiving day, but that isn’t unusual for Prince Edward Island. In a few months occasional Greenland icebergs will further chill the air and water as they lie grounded offshore waiting to melt free.

    Everyone scurries to the protection of the cliffs above the beach, and once they are out of the wind, families gather together and wait for the service to begin.

    Every family in the Summerside Branch turns out for the baptism of John Simon and Mary Pearl Keeping. It isn’t long before the field looks like a parking lot. Even 90 miles isn’t too much of a drive when you can welcome a new family into the Church.

    Brother and Sister Keeping carefully make their way down the rocky cliff to the beach below. They want to be baptized in the sea on this Thanksgiving day.

    Occasionally lobster traps break loose and are washed ashore. One such trap is used for a music stand and another one serves as a chair during the confirmation service.

    Everyone, including the children, feels a special spirit as the group sings and prays together in a short service before the baptism.

    The water is shallow, and it takes several minutes of walking through breakers before the baptismal party reaches water deep enough. The Keepings say they do not notice the cold of the air or the water. After they are baptized, friends lovingly wrap them in warm blankets before they are confirmed members of the Church.