— Acts 2:45-47
— Acts 2:45-47
Church Council is always looking for people who are eager to offer gifts of leadership, so if you would like to meet new people and participate more fully in the church’s life, we’d be glad to have you join us. Some people like to help the church by doing something about which they already have some expertise. Others like to try something they have never before done and to enjoy a new learning experience. Whichever suits you, we have opportunities to get involved.
But we don’t want to put any pressure on you! Some people like to attend on Sunday morning, and aren’t ready to join in the work of the church. If that’s you, then don’t worry! We try not to pressure anyone into doing something with which they’re not comfortable. There are times in life when we just need the services the church provides and aren’t in a place in life where we’re able to give a lot. That’s okay with us.
We are very glad for every person who attends worship services at Fonthill United Church and who takes part in the life of our faith community. Everyone who comes enriches the life of our congregation and we hope that you feel welcomed and accepted. When people have come for a while we invite them to become full members of Fonthill United Church. “What does that entail?” you ask. Church membership has both a legal aspect as well as communal and spiritual dimensions.
First legally, the United Church recognises every baptised person a member of the church, regardless of where that baptism took place. Presuming that you were baptised, you already belong as a baptised member. (If you have not been baptised, then we hope you will give us the opportunity to baptise you.) In addition to baptised members, the United Church also recognizes those people who have confirmed their baptism by professing their faith as “full members.”
Legally, the difference between “baptised members” and “full members” is that full members get to have a say in all matters of church life. United Churches make decisions democratically but you have to be a full member in order to vote at meetings or to sit on the governing body we call the Church Council. If you have been coming and contributing, we believe you deserve a say in what we do and we want to open the door for you to serve in a leadership role.
Second, and perhaps more importantly, church membership has a communal and spiritual dimension to it. By joining a congregation you say, “I belong here. I’m with the people who are trying to follow Jesus’ teachings in their lives in this community. I want to participate in the spiritual legacy of the Christian faith, and seek to be faithful to it in the way I live.” You can put your own words to it but joining a church is a way of identifying yourself as a Christian, however you define it.
When people have been members in other congregations, we send for their certificates of transfer, and membership is automatic. Sometimes when people join us, it is the first time they have ever joined a church, and we celebrate that too. Periodically, we have New Members Orientation events and then introduce the new members to the congregation during a service of worship.
We welcome all who want to affirm or reaffirm their faith by becoming members of the church. You do not have to believe specific doctrines in order to become a member of the United Church of Canada. Just be willing to follow in the path of Jesus, and to be part of this faith community. If you are interested in becoming a member of Fonthill United, the minister would be glad to welcome you.