How to Join:
The Membership Committee organizes the joining process at First Congregational Church. Every Sunday, the Attendance Pad is passed during the worship service to record all attendees and communications to the office. It has a box to check if someone “wishes to join”. An invitation to the next Inquirer’s Class is sent from the church office to anyone who checks the box and wishes to join. You don’t need to have received an invitation to come to this class, it is open to everyone.
What is the Inquirer’s Class?
The worship bulletin cites the next Inquirer’s Class in the Welcome section of the bulletin insert. This class is for people who simply want to know more about the church and/or who want to learn how to join. The Inquirer’s Class takes place on the 3rd Sunday of each month, 9:45 am in the Upper Elevator Lobby, and is led by members of the Membership Committee. Inquirers are asked to sign in important contact information. This way, we can invite you to the next step, New Member Orientation. On the sign-up sheet you may indicate if you would like to receive the church’s monthly newsletter, The Communicator, by e-mail in addition to the weekly informational Email Blast.
What is New Member Orientation?
New Member Orientation is scheduled three times a year – June, October and January.
During the orientation:
- you will meet others interested in joining, the Moderator, Director of Financial Ministries, the Pastors, and the Membership Team
- We have a light lunch
- learn more about our denomination, the United Church of Christ
- take an historical tour of the church.
- The New Member Joining Ceremony is introduced and explained.
What is the New Member Joining Ceremony?
The New Member Joining Ceremony takes place two weeks later, following at the 11:00 am service. New Members are asked to come at 10:30 am to receive a Nametag and have their photograph taken. New Members sit together in the Sanctuary. During the ceremony, a member of the Membership Team will introduce New Members as they come to the Chancel steps. New Members are asked to stand and to answer several questions (see below). At the close of the ceremony, the Congregation welcomes the New Member with a greeting and a certificate of membership.
Questions for New Members:
- Do you desire to affirm your baptism and to say, ‘Yes, I want to participate in the faith and family of Jesus Christ?’ If so, please say ‘I do.’
- Will you resist the powers of the world which demean people and harm the earth, and do you desire the freedom to be fully yourself in Christ? If so, please say “I do, strengthened by your prayers.”
- Will you strive to deepen your understanding of what it means to follow Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior? If so, please say “I will, relying on the Holy Spirit.”
- Will you attempt, by the grace of God, to follow in the way of Jesus as his disciple, to resist oppression and violence, to show love and justice, and to embody the work and word of Jesus Christ as best you are able? Please say, “I will, with the help of God.”
- As a member of the church of Jesus Christ, do you intend to grow in the Christian faith, joining in the dynamic movement of God’s people in this local congregation and as part of the global church by sharing in its joys and sorrows, listening to and learning from people older and younger, and by sharing your own gifts and perspectives so that together we may celebrate Christ’s presence and serve this community and the world in Christ’s name? If so, please say, “I do, by God’s grace.”