Exton, Pennsylvania

Membership

FAQ

Who can become a member?

Anyone! No matter who you are, or where you are on life's journey, you are welcome to become a member of St. Paul's United Church of Christ

Are there certain things I have to do before I can become a member?

No. In the United Church of Christ, we believe in testimonies of faith rather than tests of faith. We understand that faith is a dynamic reality in the life of each person, and that each person's relationship with God is shaped by different experiences and emphases. Anyone with a desire to follow Christ may join the church. Our members come from many different places and traditions, and we give thanks that God has brought us together to be partners in Christ's service.

What is expected of church members?

Membership involves a promise to participate in the life of the church. This will mean different things for different people, so each member is expected to discern how she is able to share in the worship, work, and outreach of St. Paul's UCC.

Why should I become a church member?

Becoming a local church member is a meaningful way to profess your commitment to love and serve God in community, and your desire to walk with others in the journey of faith. Local church membership is not like an initiation rite or a club membership — we believe that each baptized Christian is already a member of the universal Church. Instead, it is an act of affirmation, a time for a person to re-affirm her baptismal vows, and for the congregation to affirm its commitment to love and support each person in the church.

When and how does the church receive new members?

We receive new members four times a year. New members are received as a part of Sunday morning worship. During the worship service, the new members are invited to stand with the pastor for a few minutes for a brief program of affirmation.

What is the difference between membership and friendship

Our church community consists of both members and friends. We all belong to the same body of faith, but according to our church constitution there are certain roles that only members can assume. Only members can serve on the consistory, our church's governing body. And when decisions are made at congregational meetings, everyone has a voice, but only members are authorized to vote.

So how can I become a member?

Just tell the pastor that you are interested in joining. Prospective members are encouraged to attend an inquirer's meeting before joining, but the pastor is also happy to visit with prospective members at church or in their homes.

What if I haven't been baptized?

Infant baptism is the standard practice in the United Church of Christ. But when a person who has not been baptized wishes to become a member, it is customary for that person to be baptized either on a prior Sunday or on the Sunday when they will join the church, directly preceding the reception of new members.