Becoming a Member
Becoming a Member of First Presbyterian Church
Becoming a member of a congregation can be one of the most transforming experiences of a person’s life. We respect all persons in the decision-making and adjustment process. We want to honor this process by providing information about the Presbyterian approach to Christian faith and life by refraining from any form of pressure or manipulation.
The Presbyterian Way of Life
Most people who become Presbyterians as adults are switching to this tradition from other forms of Christianity. Often they see in the Presbyterian way of life…
• a full and thoughtful approach to faith that holds fast to timeless Christian truths while also looking at new forms of understanding that are always emerging,
• a respect for all Christian traditions,
• church governance that relies on group decision-making,
• and an optimistic engagement with the secular world that sees God at work in all areas of life.
Becoming a Member
Membership in First Presbyterian Church involves an active relationship with God and with this particular group of Christians. Membership typically entails:
• Taking part in the friendship and worship life of the congregation
• Supporting the church’s work through time and financial giving
• Participating in the leadership of the church
• Living faithfully at home, work, school, and community
There are four ways that people enter the membership of First Presbyterian Church:
• Baptism and Profession of Faith: this is for people becoming Christians and entering a church for the first time.
• Profession of Faith: this is for baptized persons who have never united with a church as a member.
• Reaffirmation of Faith: this is for church members of any church who have become inactive in their former church and wish to become active members of First Presbyterian Church.
• Letter of Transfer: this is for members of Presbyterian (or similar) churches who are currently active and wish to switch their active status to First Presbyterian.
New member classes are designed to give prospective members an introduction to Christian discipleship and this congregation.
The New Member classes include the following topics:
• An introduction the Christian faith and plenty of opportunity for participants to ask questions.
• A brief history of this congregation and a tour of our facilities.
• An introduction to our church’s governance and programs.
• Time to talk with the pastor.
The Process of Joining First Presbyterian’s membership
• Let the pastors or an elder know that you would like to become a member,
• New members ordinarily attend the New Member Classes
• Near the end of the class, new members will meet with the church’s officers (the Session) to get to know one another. The Session will receive new member candidates formally by including their names on the membership role.
• At a service of worship new members will be introduced to the congregation and given opportunity to acknowledge their Christian faith and be welcomed into the church family.