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    Membership Information

Are you interested in becoming a member of Holy Family?  We hope this information will help you understand what is involved in the process.  For more information, please contact Mother Mary.

How can I become a member of the Church of the Holy Family?

Information on Going 4th Sundays.


Question:  How can I become a member of the Church of the Holy Family?

Answer:  The following are the rules for being considered a member of the Episcopal Church:  "All persons who have received the Sacrament of Holy Baptism. . . and whose Baptisms have been duly recorded in this Church, are members thereof."
(Canon I.17.19a) Constitutions and Canons of the Episcopal Church, 2003)

The congregation where your baptism is recorded is the parish where you are a member.  You keep on being a communicant of that parish if you have received Holy Communion at last three times in the past year.  You keep on being a communicant in good standing if you "have been faithful in corporate worship, unless for good cause prevented, and have been faithful in working, praying, and giving for the spread of the Kingdom of God."
(Canon I. 17.3)


Question:  What you've said so far only tells me how to become a member of the Episcopal Church, not how to be a member of Holy Family.  And, by the way, what does it mean to have your baptism "duly recorded"?

Answer:  Every Episcopal parish keeps a Parish Register.  It records all baptisms, confirmations, weddings, and burials that take place at the church.  It also records the names of any person who joins the church, along with the particulars of his or her baptism, to the extent that these are known.  If you move from one parish or church of another denomination to Holy family, you should tell your former parish that you are moving, and ask for a "letter of Transfer" to the Church of the Holy Family.  Vickie Hall, our secretary, can help you with this process.  If your previous church has lost records, or if you can't get such a letter for other reasons, it's not the end of the world.  There are provisions for the Rector of a parish to enter your name in the register.


Question:  What does confirmation have to do with this process?  I've heard Episcopalians talk about "confirmed communicants."

Answer: The canons state: "It is expected that all adult members of this Church, after appropriate instruction, will have made a mature public affirmation of their faith and commitment to the responsibilities of their Baptism and will have been confirmed or received by the laying on of hands by a Bishop of this Church or. . . of a Church in communion with this Church."  Being confirmed does not make you a member in better standing, although there are some leadership roles in the Episcopal church that require that you be a confirmed communicant in good standing.  But you may well benefit spiritually from the process of thinking and praying and learning about your faith in Christ in order to "stand up and be counted" as an adult.  Furthermore, at your confirmation or reception into the Episcopal Church, the Bishop lays hands on you and asks God's Holy Spirit to strengthen, defend and empower you.


Question:  How do I decide if I would like to be confirmed or received?

Answer:  I'm so glad you asked!  Join our Explorers' Class, for youth age 13 and above AND adults of any age.  We will meet for a light lunch and instruction from 12 to 1:30 PM for 8 weeks, beginning January 2, 2005.  Bishop Alexander will be at our church on February 27, 2005 to celebrate, confirm, receive, and baptize people in this parish.  To sign up for the Explorers' Class, or to make your membership at Holy Family official by formally transferring your membership, please contact Vickie Hall in the parish office, or speak to your Rector by December 15, so we can order materials and match you up with a mentor.

Going 4th Sundays

If you’re new to Holy Family and you’d like to know more about the Episcopal Church or this parish, join us for our new program: Going 4th Sundays. Every month, on the fourth Sunday, after the 10:30 service, we will meet for two hours for lunch to get to know one another better, to answer any questions you may have about the Episcopal Church, and to cover one of four important topics.

Session I —Book Juggling 101: How do I follow the Episcopal worship service? What are we doing, and why? What else is in the Prayer Book? How does the Episcopal Church fit into the spectrum of Christian denominations in America?

Session II —Mission and Ministry at Holy Family: How do I find a meaningful way to get connected at Holy Family? How do I find a ministry that fits my gifts, talents, and temperament?   What are the possibilities?

Session III—Following Christ: What does it mean to be a Christian? How does prayer work? What do Episcopalians believe about God? Sin? Forgiveness? The Bible?

Session IV—Following Christ as an Episcopalian: How does our church “do business”? How does our parish relate to the Diocese, the National Church, and the Anglican Communion? What kind of a commitment is expected of members?


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Page Last Updated: Sunday, July 17, 2005