shadow-ornament

St Mary's

But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God’s instruments to do God’s work and speak out, to tell others of the night-and-day difference God made for you— 1Peter 2:9

Welcome! We are glad you are seeking information on how to join the church....

+ Attending

The most important step to joining the church you have already made. You are joining us in worship. We are glad you are here and whatever it is that has been stirring in you to take this step God meets you here. You have already heard from being in worship that wherever you are in your journey you are welcome to receive at God’s altar.

+ Sacrament of Holy Baptism

Becoming a member means you want to make this church a place where you can live into and live out your relationship with God. Baptism is the first step on this intentional journey. If you desire to be baptized please contact the church office and schedule a time to talk with the rector. If you are a baptized Christian you need not become an Episcopalian to become a member of St. Mary’s. You are invited to be a member of this faith community and begin participating in our life together. If you give us your contact information you can begin to receive a monthly newsletter and weekly email news.

+ Welcome Rite for New Members

When the time is right you may want to publicly acknowledge your membership by participating in a Welcome Rite (below), which is offered, quarterly for any baptized new member.

St. Mary’s Welcome Rite

Presenter: I present these baptized persons who are joining this parish.

The Celebrant invites the new members to introduce themselves to the congregation.

Celebrant: Do you renew your commitment to Jesus Christ?

Answer: I do.

Celebrant: Will you seek to be faithful in the worship of God and participate in the life of this community of faith?

Answer: I will, with God’s help.

Celebrant: Will you participate in a life of service to those who are poor, outcast, or powerless?

Answer: I will, with God’s help.

Celebrant: Will you strive to recognize the gifts that God has given you, and how they might be used in building up God’s realm?

Answer: I will, with God’s help.

Celebrant: Will you commit your time, gifts, and financial resources to this parish, and to its ministry in this community and in the world?

Answer: I will, with God’s help.

Addressing members of the congregation

Celebrant: Will you support these persons in their new life in this parish?

People: We will.

Celebrant: Let us pray.

Blessed are you, O God our Maker, for you form us in your image and restore us in Jesus Christ. Bless these new members of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church. Strengthen their union with the whole body of Christ as they join us in our life of praise and service; through our Savior, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.

Celebrant: Let us welcome these new members of this community of faith.

People: We recognize you as members of the household of God and welcome you as members of this congregation. Confess the faith of Christ crucified, proclaim his resurrection, and share with us in his eternal priesthood.

The service continues with The Peace.

+ Pledging

Offering to God from our financial resources is a way in which we vow our lives to God. Not to the church, but to God. This commitment helps us week by week acknowledge that our personal security is not centered in what financial treasure we have but in God. Having this treasure we seek to serve God by serving others and building God’s household on earth. Pledge cards and envelopes can be obtained through the church office.

+ Joining the Episcopal Church

Many members of St. Mary’s are not Episcopalians. But those who come to us from other traditions often seek membership in the Episcopal Church. Once a year an Adult Inquirers Class is offered to prepare adults who:

+ Desire to be baptized
+ Have been baptized or confirmed in any Christian church and desire to become an Episcopalian.
+ Are an Episcopalian and your journey has taken a deeper path, and you desire to reaffirm your faith in a public way.
+ You simply want to know more about or refresh your knowledge of the Episcopal Church.

Please call the church office to sign up for this engaging discussion of the Episcopal tradition.

+ Letter of Transfer

If you are already an Episcopalian and have been a member at another Episcopal congregation it is customary to transfer your membership to your new parish. This is done by calling your former parish and requesting a “letter of transfer”.