How do I become a member of Saint Mark’s?
You have already taken an important step – your journey has brought you to ask this question! Hopefully you have been worshipping at Saint Mark’s, and already feel part of the community in some way. We are delighted you wish to know more.
This webpage is intended to answer many questions – but we hope you will contact us in person very soon.
Click here to download our membership information form.
Click here to complete the membership form online.
Click here to tour the inside of our church building via Google.
What is “Membership”?
Since biblical times, membership in the church has been defined through Baptism. Today is no different. Holy Baptism remains full initiation by water and the Holy Spirit into Christ’s Body, the Church. Once baptized, you are a full member of the church community and take your place among a wonderful heritage of faithful people that stretches back to the first apostles of Jesus Christ.
The Episcopal Church—of which Saint Mark’s is a part—recognizes baptism that has taken place in other churches, as long as they were done with water in the “Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” We welcome and recognize you as fellow brothers and sisters of Christ.
There are many ways in which people unite with a local church.
Each way is dependant on living out our baptismal faith in our lives. The “Via Media” program (offered every eight weeks) is an excellent way to get to know a little more about Saint Mark’s and The Episcopal Church. Another way is to begin participating in the rich worship and program life of the church where you can meet other folks trying to meet the ups and downs of life with Christ.
Once you feel prepared, you may enter the church through Holy Baptism, Confirmation, Reception, Letter of Transfer, or simple “Declaration”. Each depends upon where you are presently in your religious affiliation. While this may sound complicated — it really isn’t.
Let’s begin by finding out what is right for you…
I have never been baptized.
You are invited to begin taking classes (or private instruction) in preparation for Holy Baptism. These classes are taught by a priest, or a lay leader in the parish. They will discuss the Christian faith and life as expressed by the Episcopal Church, a member of the world wide Anglican Communion.
Click here for more information about Baptism at Saint Mark’s.
I have already been baptized
Your baptism by water in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit is valid regardless of where or in which Christian Church you were baptized. You become a member of Saint Mark’s when your name is recorded on our parish list of baptized persons. Simply call the office or mention your request to a member of the clergy. This is membership by Declaration.
You are invited to begin taking classes for Confirmation. Confirmation is a mature public affirmation of one’s baptismal vows. Through the laying on of hands by a bishop, the Holy Spirit is asked to strengthen and direct a person’s life and ministry. It is not a requirement for membership in the church. Confirmation classes are taught several months before a bishop is scheduled to visit.
What if I have been baptized and confirmed in another Christian Church?
You are invited to join other adults who are preparing for Confirmation and become better acquainted with the Episcopal Church. If you have been confirmed by a bishop in Apostolic Succession (such as Roman Catholic, Russian or Greek Orthodox and others) you may be Received into the Anglican Communion by a bishop. If you were confirmed in another tradition, you may chose to be united with this fellowship in confirmation.
It’s been so long…
If you have been apart from the fellowship of the church for a while, you may wish to renew your Baptismal Covenant through Reaffirmation. A priest would be happy to discuss this with you. Reaffirmation also takes place when a bishop is present.
What is expected from Church Members?
Christians strive to follow Christ’s first commandment “to love God with all our heart, mind and soul—and to love our neighbor as ourselves” The church believes this includes striving toward:
- Regular attendance at weekly worship.
- Continuing study of the Holy Scriptures and matters related to the Christian faith.
- Faithful financial stewardship. Pledging and regular giving to support the mission. Holy Scriptures uplifts the tithe (or 10% of income) as the standard of giving. Consider tithing or working toward this goal.
- Faithful stewardship sharing time and talents through parish programs and outreach to the community.
- Though not required for membership, Confirmation is encouraged. It is expected of all adult leaders of the parish to have made this public affirmation of their faith.
What do I do next?
- Continue in the fellowship of this community by worship and prayer.
- Participate in opportunities for Christian Formation such as Adult Forum, Enrichment Groups, and Lay Liturgical Ministries.
- Become part of the Saint Mark’s secure online directory by sending in a membership form. Click here for a membership form.
- Speak to a parish minister about what next step might be right for you.
- Ask questions! Get involved! We are glad you are here!
Whoever you are,
and wherever you may be on the journey of the spirit,
the Episcopal Church welcomes you.