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Membership in the Church Community

The New Testament Scriptures are saturated with examples and stories of people committing to the local church. Today, we call this membership. To be a member of a church is to make a public promise to live according to God's Word and to support the work of the congregation. The church body also promises to support and care for members as a unified local worshipping community. In the Bible this is called a covenant, an agreement in which both parties make commitments to one another. A public promise, or covenant, is, according to the Scriptures, the basis for much of society; marriage, citizenship, and church membership are all relationships of accountability.

Membership in a church is not like membership in a social club or other organizations. Most organization members are consumers; the organization exists to serve them. The church is a completely different community; here membership means ministry and service, going from being a consumer to becoming a contributor, sharing God's love and care to others through giving of your time, talents, and resources. At Trinity Church, we commit to being a church not for ourselves, but for others.

We therefore encourage all those who call Trinity Church their home to become official, participating members.

Membership Terminology

Communing members are baptized Christians who have made a public profession of faith in Jesus Christ and have, by affirming the membership vows, publicly affiliated with Trinity Church. Only communing members in good standing have the right to vote in church meetings.

Non-communing members are those who have been baptized (usually in infancy) but have not yet made a public profession of faith in Jesus Christ. In Trinity Church, we use the term confirmation refer to this rite by which those baptized in infancy publicly affirm their faith. (Each year, the church offers a confirmation class, aimed particularly at children in the fourth & fifth grades.)

Associate members are baptized Christians who have made a public profession of faith in Christ but who are only residing in this region temporarily and who, therefore, wish to keep their membership with their home church. Associate members receive pastoral oversight, but are not voting members of the congregation.

Membership Process

Step #1
Complete the Introduction to Trinity Church course, which is offered multiple times a year, either as a one-day Saturday seminar or as a multi-week Adult Education class. The class is open to anyone who would like to learn more about Trinity Church-participation in no way obligates you to become a member-but the course is required for those pursuing membership.  If you don't see one listed under "News & Events", contact the church office to find out when the next one will be scheduled or to get on the notification list.

Step #2
Fill out a membership application.

Step #3
You will meet with a couple of members of the church leadership for a membership interview. This is an informal, 30-45 minute, conversation in which you will be asked to share how you came to be a follower of Christ and what being a Christian means to you. It also gives you a chance to ask questions. During this interview you will be asked to affirm the Trinity Church membership vows.

Step #4
Celebrating new members. Those approved by the leadership then publicly affirm the membership vows during a worship service. Those who have not been baptized will also receive Holy Baptism at this time. New members, joined by a broad group of Trinity Church leaders, make these public promises before the congregation. Ordinarily, these receptions are scheduled for one Sunday each month.