JOINING ST. PATRICK’S
Joining St. Patrick’s is easy. Everyone is welcome to attend all services, events and classes. All who seek Christ are welcome to receive the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. There are many ways of participation and membership here: some people prefer to participate in activities and services without formally “joining” the church, and you are welcome to do just that; however, the following information is offered for those who seek membership in a “formal” way.
Three times each year, generally in January, June and October, we offer a “Welcome to the Episcopal Church” class. This class is designed as an introduction for newcomers to the Episcopal Church and as a refresher course for long-time Episcopalians.
BECOMING A MEMBER
There are a number of ways to become a member at St. Patrick’s. You may be baptized at St. Patrick’s (if not already baptized), be sponsored for confirmation by St. Patrick’s (or sponsored for reception if already confirmed), or have your baptism recorded in the parish register. A confirmed Episcopalian may have his or her membership transferred by letter from a previous parish. Children of parishioners are also considered to be members.
One need not have a registered affiliation in order to be considered a member of St. Patrick’s. Any person who considers St. Patrick’s to be his or her spiritual home by participating in worship and contributing financially to the ministries of the church is a member of the parish. Usually, that is expressed unofficially by having one’s name added to the parish directory.
If you have any additional questions about membership, please ask a member of the clergy or Suzanne Shepherd, who will be happy to meet with you to answer your questions and to discuss your particular situation.
Any person already baptized can be registered as a baptized member of this church. “Holy Baptism is full initiation by water and the Holy Spirit into Christ’s Body, the Church.” (Book of Common Prayer, p. 298) The Episcopal Church recognizes as valid any baptism administered with water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
If you were not baptized in an Episcopal Church, simply write or call the church office, enclosing a copy of your baptismal or confirmation certificate, and ask to be registered as a baptized member. If you do not have a certificate, please provide us with details of when, where and in what denomination you were baptized.
If you would like to be baptized or have a child baptized, please speak with the Rector. St. Patrick’s celebrates Holy Baptism four times each year: at the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, the Great Vigil of Easter, the Feast of Pentecost, and All Saints’ Sunday.
Adults are prepared for baptism through participation in Journey in Faith. Parents and godparents of infants and children are required to attend baptismal instruction classes as designated by the Rector. Children of school age are prepared for baptism through regular participation in Sunday School.
TRANSFER OF MEMBERSHIP
If you are currently a member of an Episcopal or Lutheran church, we can request a membership transfer for you. Please notify the parish administrator if you would like to change your membership to St. Patrick’s. If you are currently a member of the Catholic Church, you can be received into the Episcopal Church by the Bishop at his annual visit. We suggest that you attend Journey in Faith as preparation and introduction to the Episcopal Church. If you are a member of a church which is not in Communion with the Episcopal Church (i.e., Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, etc.), you can become a member upon request or by administrative transfer.
CONFIRMATION, RECEPTION AND REAFFIRMATION
Members of the church who were baptized as infants may choose to be received by a bishop in the historic succession (Roman Catholic affirm their faith as adults through the rite of confirmation by the Bishop.) In addition, those who have been confirmed in other denominations (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, or Eastern Orthodox) may be received into the Episcopal Church by the Bishop. Those who have been baptized and confirmed in the Episcopal Church and wish to recommit themselves to the life of faith may choose to reaffirm their baptismal covenant with the Bishop.
Journey in Faith is a nine-month comprehensive program which includes preparation for those who wish to make an adult Christian commitment (confirmation, reception or reaffirmation) in the presence of the Bishop and the community. This program begins in September each year and meets on Wednesday evenings and is led by a team of former participants who will help you on this spiritual journey in examining your faith and obtaining an even deeper relationship with God.
All Christians are called to contribute a portion of their time, talent, and treasure toward the work of the Church. The easiest way to give to the church is to become involved with one of our specific ministries and to make a financial pledge. Pledging is crucial in enabling us to plan our ministries in advance; it provides a stable financial base for the support of our programs. Pledging also reflects our prayerful response to God’s call to be good and faithful stewards of our material possessions.
Every fall during the Stewardship Campaign, members are asked to make their pledges. Those joining the Church during the year can pledge at any time by filling out a pledge card and giving it to the church office. Pledges can be paid weekly, monthly or annually, in cash, check or transferred stock. We also offer the convenience of payment online with debit or credit cards. The size of the pledge is less important than your willingness to commit a definite amount toward the support of God’s work in this church.