Seeking a Non-Religious Baptism

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Non-denominational baptism / spiritual welcoming

April 2010

We would like to have baptism-like ceremony for our 8 month-old son (my parents really want him baptized, we are very non-religious). We've checked out the Unitarian Church in Berkeley but their ministers are unavailable (or not returning emails). We are also in the process of contacting the Unitarian Church of Oakland. However, we'd LOVE RECOMMENDATIONS for anyone else that might be able to perform a baptism kind of service for our son the weekend of May 8th. Ideally, I'd love to do it outside as the gods reside in nature for me but I'm really open to performing the service in an actual church. Can anyone recommend someone that can do this kind of thing? Or recommended a place where we can do this - church or otherwise? I just want a cool minister that is most open to spirituality rather than one type of religion and that represents a church that welcomes EVERYONE regardless of creed, orientation, etc. We are desperate! Oh - and my parents are pretty adamant about having a ''baptism certificate'' at the end of it. Thanks for the help Nadia

It sounds like a Unitarian Universalist church would be a good place for your son's ceremony. You can try contacting the minister at the Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists - located at Cedar and Bonita. Rev. Ben Meyers minister [at] office phone: 510-841-4824 Beth

My friend had the same concerns about a wedding ceremony and discovered the Celebrant Institute. Basically, a celebrant works with you to design your ideal ceremony for your occasion and then performs it. My friend's wedding ceremony (in NY) was very nice and exactly what she wanted. You can check out and call 973-746-1792 or email info [at] for celebrants in CA. Bernadette

Name Blessing/Child Blessing - non-religious

March 2006

We would like to celebrate the arrival of our adopted son in our family and circle of friends and community with a name/child blessing ceremony. For a few reasons we want this to be a less christian/religious baptism, but more a celebration of life and family. Any ideas or recommendations on who would perform such a service? Any churches that are more liberal and open? Thanks celebration-of-life Mom

While i've been a very lazy UU since going off to college, and so have no real experience with the local churchs, i would reccomend you look into the Unitarian Universalists , there are several churchs and meetinghouses in the area, and they're the most liberal, open, supportive group i know of in fact now that i'm having a baby, i've been thinking about going again (since i'll have no choice but be awake on sunday mornings now...) because i really feel i benefited from the community growing up. they're spiritual, but not religious in the traditional sense, and really encourage people to work out their own belief system in a supportive environment... elzza

I recommend you contact Eileen Walsh, who has studied and created rituals for all kinds of life passages. She has worked a great deal with various churches but she does not represent any organized religion and is completely comfortable with creating blessing ceremonies that don't invoke religious themes. She will work around what you most cherish and value for your child. Also, she's a grandmother of three and she's great with kids (and adults too!) For more information, go to: Good luck and congratulations! Deirdre