Our faith is communal, and we deepen in our relationship with God by committing ourselves to a particular community of believers. In that community, we study God’s word, receive the Sacraments, and support one another in good and times and bad. Becoming a member of a church is, in one sense, a mere formality. But it also should be the gateway to a deeper commitment, as we grow together in our life with God. It’s important to say that we welcome you to participate in worship, classes, fellowship activities—all the different programs we offer, even if you’re not ready to become a member of the church. We believe that God will show you when the time comes for a deeper level of commitment. Take your time, and ask lots of questions. We believe that we have something to learn from everyone who comes to us.
There are several ways into membership at Saint Francis.
Baptism is the first and most important way that we begin our relationship with God. At Saint Francis, we baptize infants, children and adults. We believe that in Baptism we begin a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, and we receive forgiveness, new life, and the gift of God’s Holy Spirit. When we have been baptized, we also are invited by Christ and His Church to receive Holy Communion and the other Sacraments of the Church. We prepare for baptism by learning more about the Christian faith and life, through a series of conversations shaped by your particular needs and experience. If you would like to be baptized or to present a child for baptism, contact the church office to set up a time to speak with our priest.
For youth and adults who have already been baptized, confirmation is the way we enter into full membership in the church. We believe that God works in a powerful way in confirmation to fill us with the Holy Spirit, and to equip us for following Christ in the world. Before we are confirmed, we prepare by participating in a course that explores the basics of the Christian faith and the particular traditions and practices of the Episcopal Church. When the course is finished, those who feel prepared participate in a confirmation service, led by our bishop, Mariann Budde, at the Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul (commonly called The National Cathedral). Those who have been previously confirmed in the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches also participate in the same class but are received by the bishop at the confirmation service. Father Mark Michael will teach a class for adults and youth who are preparing for confirmation, and the next one will begin in early spring.
Those who have been previously baptized and confirmed in an Episcopal or Anglican church become members of Saint Francis by having our church request a letter of transfer from the last Episcopal or Anglican congregation where you were an active member. Our rector will then meet individually with you to talk about how you feel called to share your talents and abilities in this congregation. We formally receive people into membership who have transferred in at several times in the year.