Exploring Church Membership

 

 

 

 

 

Ways of Becoming a Church Member

 

Baptism/Confirmation or Baptism/Profession of Faith

In the United Church of Christ infant baptism is commonly practiced and symbolizes the church's belief that God loves the child and is at work in the child's life.  Parents and sponsors promise to see that the child experiences life in the church and to insure that the child has an opportunity when older to receive instruction in the Christian faith and through confirmation to make his or her own decision to be a follower of Jesus Christ and a member of the Church.  The culmination of confirmation is the acknowledgement by the person that God has called her or him to be a Christian and member of the Church, and the same acknowledgement by the congregation and their acceptance of the person into membership.  There is usually a span of 12 to 14 years between an infant's baptism and the formal welcome into membership in the chruch at confirmation.  For the person not baptized as an infant, baptism and membership occur simultaneously.  That person, having felt the call of God to be a Christian and church member and having undergone instruciton in the meaning of church membership, professes his or her faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior in the baptism and is received into membership.

 

Reaffirmation of Faith

Membership in a ocal church carries with it certain responsibilities. For a variety of reasons, there are occasions when people are unable or choose not to fulfill their membership responsibilities.  Often this results in people being dropped from the membership roles of a local church.  Later many of these people seek to renew their membership in a church.  The church receives these people upon a reafffirmation or reprofession of faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

 

Letter of Transfer

Membership in the Church Universal is always made real and concrete through membership in a specific local church.  When members move or seek to change the place of their local church membership, they transfer membership.  The usual procedure is for the church where membership has been held to send a letter to the chruch where the person plans to affiliate certifying that the person is a member in good standing and releasing that person for membership in the new congregation.

 

Membership Vows

 

Vows of the candidates for Membership

 

Friends, do you confess your faith in Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, and make him your example, and take for your rule of life his words: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. And...thy neighbor as thyself.

Pastor:

 


 

I do

Response:

 

In the presence of God and these witnesses, do you give yourself unreservedly to God's service, and take this to be your church?  Ever mindful of the welfare of your fellow members, do you promise to walk with them in faithfulness and Christian love? And do you promise that, so far as able, you will attend the services of this church, observe its sacraments, share in its work, support, and benevolences, and endeavor to make it a fruitful body of Christians?

Pastor:

 

 

 

 

I do.
Response:
 

 

Vows of the Congregation

 

Do you, the members of this church welcome and receive these new members into this fellowship of faith so that we may walk together in the paths of Christian love and growth?

Deacon:

 

 

We do.

Response:

 

 

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