What Does Membership Mean?
Membership in the Episcopal Church does not carry with it the formal expectations of other denominations. By canon (church law), a "member" is someone who is baptized, receives Communion at least three times a year, and contributes financially to the church on a regular basis.
This seems vague, but it reflects a wider conviction of the Episcopal Church—that of individual readiness and commitment. We each have differing levels of understanding of our relationship with God and with the community in which we worship. We respond to the call to service and fellowship at different rates and depths. In our tradition, the individual seeker decides for himself or herself what membership means, how it will be lived out, and when it is achieved.
Having said that, there are some ways in which we provide guideposts and suggestions. At St. Mary's, everyone is welcome. People are drawn to St. Mary’s for the liturgy, our progressive social stance, and through feeling connected with the community of believers already present.
Membership Takes Many Forms
What is membership? First, it is a conviction of the heart and a commitment to a community of people. It provides a sense of home and belonging. It's a way of establishing roots and encouraging growth in faith and fellowship. There is an interdependence and accountability for what we say we want and will do for ourselves and the community we hold onto.
Members of St. Mary's are expected to attend the services and participate in the activities, supporting events and participating in the leadership of our common life. Members are expected to take seriously their pledge of time, talent and treasure to the work and mission of St. Mary's. Our growth in faith requires action as well as words. That takes several forms, including offering professional skills, financial pledges, and stretching to explore interests and skills that may uncover undiscovered spiritual gifts within each of us.
St. Mary's offers members pastoral care, a positive worship experience, supportive community, a safe place to meet, and the opportunity for a deeper relationship with God. St. Mary’s is a community that bears witness to God's love in all that we do. Everyone is welcome to find a spiritual home here and is supported to explore what membership means and what it calls forth in each person.
Learning More about the St. Mary's Community
We offer visitors and newcomers opportunities to connect with one another—and with long-time members—through coffee hour after each service. Newcomers’ Breakfasts are held one to two times a year to help newcomers from all services meet and connect with one another and with long-term members. In addition, the Rector is happy to make a home visit if that is requested. Find out more.
Membership Classes and Services
Periodically, the Rector conducts classes for adults that provide an overview of the Episcopal Church as well as instruction about the spiritual growth opportunities offered through Confirmation, Reception, or Reaffirmation. For more information, please contact Mother Debbie.