Sometimes we think of membership like being a member of the Auto Club or the Country Club where we pay for services and privileges. Church membership is different. The apostle Paul used the image of a living body: “For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body-Jews or Greeks, slaves or free-and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.” (I Cor. 12:13) In this biblical sense, to be a member is to be part of a living organism–a vital community animated by the Spirit of God to love and to serve. Paul’s statement also points to the inclusiveness of the church: anyone may make the journey into life in the church.
We hope that those who want to join Jefferson will stand in front of the congregation and make their pledge to be loyal to the life and ministries of Jefferson United Methodist Church and to promise to uphold the local church with your prayers, presence, gifts*, service and witness, while we also renew our pledge. You will then be greeted! If you are not comfortable coming in front of the congregation, you are welcome to meet privately with a Pastor.
Baptism and Membership
You can become a member of the body of Christ, the church, by being baptized into it or by reaffirming your baptism. Baptism is a ritual made up of questions and promises, prayer, and washing.
Baptism initiates a covenant of relationship between God and the baptized person and between the church and the person. When you are baptized or affirm your baptism, the congregation enacts God’s grace toward you and welcomes you into the community of faith. As a response to God’s gracious initiative, you will be asked to pledge (see above). As a baptized Christian, you will be part of the universal church and part of a particular community of Christians where you are known and watched over in love.
Other Ways to Join
Since all that seek to be members come with different experiences and backgrounds, there are a number of pathways to follow in becoming a member of Jefferson and The United Methodist Church.
If you were baptized as an infant or young child and have not made a profession of faith and been confirmed, then you will prepare to reaffirm your baptismal covenant. You will want to have a conversation with the Pastor.
If you are a member of another part of the church (such as Catholic, Baptist, Presbyterian or Lutheran), then you will want to prepare to transfer your membership from that church to Jefferson, we will mail your previous church the request and you will be asked to pledge (see above)
If you are a member of another Christian church that does not transfer membership, you will want to prepare to make a profession of faith and be received as a member.
Methodists from other churches will transfer their membership and make a pledge to Jefferson.
*Find your spiritual gifts online!