Becoming a member in a parish of the Episcopal Church is a very easy process. Having said that, however, there are really two levels of being identified with the Church. As stated at first: joining a local parish is rather simple.
If you are a baptized individual from another denomination and desire to become a member of our parish, all that is required is to have a record of your baptismal date placed on file in our records, and express the desire to become a member. That’s it! We would welcome you on a Sunday of your choice and thank God for your presence in our community and ask for the grace to be loving and supportive of each other through our spiritual pilgrimage together.
If you are a baptized member of a different Episcopal parish and wish to become a member of St. Bartholomew’s, our office would request a letter of transfer to your former parish. Again, very simple, and we would welcome you into our community.
Now things get a little more involved. If you wish to be a member of the Episcopal Church in the United States, our national church, and part of the World Wide Anglican Communion, you need to either be confirmed by a Bishop in our Church or, if you are already confirmed in either the Roman Catholic Church, The Orthodox Church, or the Evangelical Lutheran Church In America, then you only need to be received by our Bishop. Reception is a formal acknowledgement of your baptism and confirmation and a welcoming into this particular communion of Christ’s Church. It is customary for someone who wishes to be confirmed or received to be prepared by a series of classes. If you are interested in being confirmed or received, contact Fr. Seth to schedule a time for a more in depth discussion.
There is a final option and one, which a number of folks in our community opt for. Some people simply enjoy our community and our way in which we express our faith through worship, service and stewardship, but they do not wish to break their ties with the tradition in which they were raised, or they simply are not ready to become a full member of the parish. In that case, we welcome all who wish to worship and serve with us, but there are limits to the degree that these individuals can serve in official capacities. Serving on the vestry of the parish, (our governing board) would be dependent on being a confirmed or received member of the church. Besides being able to serve and vote on particular parish or national committees, you are welcome to be a vital part of our parish life.
Whether or not you are a member of the parish, a confirmed Episcopalian or worshiping sojourner, part of being in community would include taking responsibility for the financial viability of the parish. Each year we encourage our fellowship to consider a pledge to the parish to ensure that we can continue our ministry and seek ways of serving our community through outreach and service. This web-site, for example, is made possible by the thoughtful giving of individuals that wish to extend our ministry into the wider community and make our faith more accessible.