Chaplain Johnson also explained that as baptism is a way of showing faith is a part of your life, doing so in the ship’s bell is also a way of showing you are part of the crew. He saw this desire from Scripp as an opportunity he was seizing to take ownership of his faith in conjunction with his commitment to the ship and crew.
Not only was the bell significant, but the place was also unique. The significance was not lost on Chaplain Johnson. “To my knowledge,” he said, “Scripp is the only U.S. Sailor to ever reaffirm their baptism in the Faroe Islands.”
Since it is a reaffirmation and not an original baptism, Chaplain Johnson said Scripp’s name will not be inscribed in the bell. However, the significance remains. On May 15, aboard USS Ross in port in the Faroe Islands and with a few close friends as witnesses, Chaplain Johnson re-baptized Scripp in a ceremony following the tradition of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America using the ship’s bell. After the baptism, he prayed over Scripp and gave him a small bottle of water from the bell as a memento.
Scripp said reaffirming his baptism in the Faroes, a place he had hardly heard of before arriving there, was unique and memorable. Though the significance of the bell and the location made Scripp’s reaffirmation unique, the tradition also has a long history connected to it.
“The bell is a way of connecting faith with life and history,” said Chaplain Johnson, “We’re connected with this long history that’s larger than ourselves.”
Diving into the waters of baptism
— U.S. Navy (@USNavy) May 30, 2021