Join the Parish
Joining Christ Church
It is very easy to be a member of Christ Church. If you attend services at Christ Church and have a baptism on record with the office, you are considered a member. If you want to become an Episcopalian or want to be eligible for things like serving in certain leadership roles, there is a bit more required. Christ Church is in the process of putting together a series of brief introductory courses to learn about Christ Church and the Episcopal Church. These are appropriate for anyone who is interested in joining the church. These courses will be held on Sunday mornings before or after worship services, and will be led by various persons including the clergy.
Once you decide you want to join Christ Church, you’ll want to speak with a member of the clergy about your desire to join the Church. They will talk to you about your spiritual journey and where you think you’re heading. Together you will discuss your spiritual needs and hopes, as well as discern if there are ways that you might live out your own gifts in the context of the parish. There will also be a couple of times during the year when new members are recognized and celebrated on Sunday mornings, which you would participate in.
There are classes offered throughout the year that you might be interested in as a new member of the parish. One is a Faith 101 course on the basics of Christianity. Another is EC 101, a course on the basics of the Episcopal Church. A third is our Spiritual Practices session. These courses are offered throughout the year at different times. Contact the office for more information and to find out when the next courses are scheduled. In order to participate in certain levels of leadership, or to vote in parish elections of any kind, a person must be a member of record, and have demonstrated faithful participate in the full life of the church. They should also “be known to the treasurer”, which means that they have offered some form of financial support to the mission of the parish.
If you are an Episcopalian who belonged to an Episcopal parish somewhere else, you would ask to have your Letter of Transfer sent to Christ Church. If you speak with someone in the office, we can help with that process as well.
Joining the Episcopal Church
While anyone who worships in Christ Church is a member of the parish, becoming an Episcopalian involves a sacramental act at the hands (literally) of a bishop. We still follow an ancient practice of the laying on of hands by a bishop as an initiation rite. This generally takes two forms: Confirmation and Reception.
Confirmation is a rite of initiation that involves an adult public affirmation of faith, after which the bishop says a special prayer while laying his or her hands on the person. Reception is for those who have made an adult public affirmation in another Christian tradition, who then want to join the Episcopal Church. The bishop will still lay hands on a person seeking reception into the Episcopal Church, although with slightly different prayers.
If you desire to be Confirmed or Received, you will need to participate in a six-week course of preparation before the Bishop’s visit to Christ Church. We call this course EC 101, and it covers the basics regarding things like Episcopal Church history, scripture, worship and mission. Sessions are led my members of the clergy, and generally meet in the evening. Check with the office to find out when the next EC 101 course will be offered.