Bottled Water for Baptism?

Baptism is a sacred tradition in the Christian faith. It signals what many Christians would call a “rebirth.” In some circles, this rite is performed by sprinkling a tiny amount of water on a baby’s head. In other circles, people of all ages are dunked in water before a crowd of witnesses as a testimony that they have been reborn – called to experience a new kind of life. No matter how the baptismal ceremony is conducted, it always involves one thing: water.

Water is essential to life. The average person cannot survive more than a few days without it. Water makes up 90 percent of the human body. More than two-thirds of the earth is covered by it. If baptism signals new life and water is life, it follows, then, that water is essential for baptism.

If water is essential for baptism, how did a small church in Godfrey, Illinois survive without water for 163 years? The same way anyone survives in an emergency situation where there is no water: by using bottled water.

Ironic, isn’t it?

Bottled water is not exactly in the business of preserving life. Bottled water companies make millions of dollars packaging and selling a naturally-occurring resource that is otherwise, basically free. Yes, water is essential to baptism and to life, but for every bottle of water that’s made, twice as much is used in the production process.  Eighty percent of plastic bottles end up in landfills or oceans, polluting the environment. And contrary to popular belief, bottled water is no more pure than tap.  Plastic bottles contain toxic chemicals that often leach into water.

It seems contradictory to perform a baptismal ceremony – a sign of new life – using a product that is anti-life in so many ways. What do you think?

Thankfully, the church recently acquired a water line. Attendance has improved since then.  I must say, I’m not surprised.

The Famous New York Baking Water Corp.

Famous New York Baking Water Corp.If asked to list the ingredients of a well-made New York-style pizza, most would begin by rattling off the usual suspects: a hand-tossed crust, a delicious tomato sauce and fresh  mozzarella. Few would start by mentioning the one ingredient that many insist is critical in making a New York-style pizza pie: the water.

New York City has long been praised for its water. Last year, we wrote about a company called Tap’d NY, which was openly bottling New York’s tap water for sale. And, perhaps not surprisingly, people were buying it.

Now, many restaurants outside of New York are using the same water to make their pizza, bagels and breads, thanks to the Famous New York Baking Water Corp. The company has created a water filtration system that yields water with a similar profile to New York’s acclaimed water, which is then used by bakers and chefs to produce foods similar to those found in New York.

The water can also be used in sauces, soups or other dishes that aren’t exclusively thought of as “New York” foods. The company claims that the water is similar to New York’s water from a century ago, “before pollutants and contaminants invaded the water supply.” Now, the company says, restaurateurs can use this same great-tasting water without worrying about contaminants and impurities.