Joining St. Luke’s
At St. Luke’s all persons are invited to participate fully in the life of the congregation. You do not have to be a formal member to join the choir, participate in Sunday school, attend a class or fellowship event, receive communion, request pastoral care for yourself or others, or invite others to church. The only activities reserved for formal members are serving on the vestry (the governing body of the congregation), serving as delegates to our diocesan convention, voting at our annual parish meeting held each January, and entering the ordination process.
At some point in the journey, however, we hope that you will choose to establish a formal connection with the congregation. This path is through enrollment of baptism. The sacrament of baptism makes us Christian, not part of a particular denomination or group, but part of Christ’s universal church. In baptism, we turn away from sin and toward the love of God. With God’s help, we commit ourselves to community repentance, proclamation, love, and justice.
If you have not been baptized, the first step in joining St. Luke’s is to prepare for baptism by talking with the Rector. Baptism is offered on the first Sunday after the Epiphany in January (the Feast of the Baptism of our Lord), at the Great Vigil of Easter (the night before Easter Sunday), on the Day of Pentecost (usually in May or June), at our celebration of All Saints’ Sunday in November, and on select Sundays during the summer and early fall.
If you have already been baptized and wish to connect with St. Luke’s, we simply ask you to enroll your baptism here by signing a form to declare your desire to register your baptism with this congregation. This process is sometimes called “letter of transfer” and is a standard practice in many mainline Protestant congregations. Baptized members who are enrolled at St. Luke’s are encouraged to live out their baptismal vows by participating in worship, engaging in opportunities for growth and service, and making a financial pledge to support the collective ministry of the congregation. A request for a letter of transfer and/or enrollment of baptism can be made through the Parish Office.
In addition to enrollment of baptism, you may choose to receive the rites of confirmation, reception, or renewal of baptismal vows.
Confirmation is a rite offered by the bishop in which persons age sixteen or older who were baptized at an earlier age make a public affirmation of their baptismal vows.
Reception is offered for those who were baptized and confirmed at an earlier time in a denomination other than the Episcopal Church. While baptism makes us Christians, confirmation and reception make us Episcopalians and signal our intent as mature Christians to grow and serve in this communion of Christ’s church.
Renewal of baptismal vows is offered for those with prior experience in Episcopal settings who are renewing their faith and commitment.
Our bishop offers confirmation, reception, and renewal through deanery confirmation services at which several congregations come together in a celebration of shared ministry.
Opportunities to prepare for confirmation, reception and renewal of baptismal vows are offered later winter / early spring.
The process of joining St. Luke’s Church might sound complicated because people who come from different backgrounds may follow different paths. The more important question, though, is not one of joining but belonging. We want you to belong before you join. So, worship with this congregation. Join a class or ministry group. Schedule a meeting with the Rector. Come to Coffee Hour. Get to know other parishioners.
Become part of this diverse community of worshipping Christians where all are welcome at the Lord’s table in worship and celebration. Striving for justice and peace, we seek to serve Christ in all persons through outreach, fellowship, study and prayer.