"When we receive new members at our church, we sing this refrain: “No longer strangers; we’re sisters, brothers, friends.” Shedding fear empowers us to not only take in the stranger, but to show kindness that delivers us into friendship together. And friends love each other like one of their own out of instinct. That, I believe, is what the kingdom of God looks like."
-Rev. Dr. Dan DeLeon
Joining Friends Church
In our tradition, joining the church matters. To prepare for that event, there are quarterly Inquiry Classes where you will meet with the pastors and church leaders. When you are ready and the time is right, new members will be invited, during Sunday worship, to make a commitment to God and with our faith community.
There are important practical issues associated with being a member. When you join a church, you become a voting member of the church. Members vote on the church’s Statement of Faith and Mission (budget) each year, they vote on which of the members should serve as key leaders, and they even vote on whether to call a new pastor.
When you join, you make a connection, you join a community and make a covenant. A covenant is an exchange of holy promises. In making a covenant we promise to serve God together. It’s not just new members who join the church. Rather, everyone—new members and existing members—joins one another. As we make our promises to one another we remember God’s promises to us and promise to serve God as best we are able. In the Bible, God makes covenants with people all the time. Since we believe that God is still speaking, we still believe that the holy promises we make to each other matter.
This is a significant decision.
Your Faith Background
When new members join the church, we often give thanks for every place that has ever been your spiritual home. When you join a church, you do so at one moment in time, and that does not take the place of any other church. When you join a church, you are not saying that this church is superior to all others. But you are saying that while you are here, you will be an active part of this congregation.
Worship is open to everybody, at any time, and you can worship in all sorts of places, not just this church. Joining the church is different from worshipping God. You can praise God on a mountaintop or while the plane lands after a bumpy flight. You can gather with a group of people in church or on a lakeshore to worship. But when you join a local church, you are saying that you have chosen this community of faith to be your spiritual home at this time. When you join, you tell the community, “I’m in,” and they in turn make promises to support you on your faith journey together. One of the things they will promise is to join you in the amazing adventure of prayer. You will now be part of something larger than yourself and your own private journey.
What am I agreeing to when I join Friends Church?
You will be asked to participate fully in the life of the church through worship and serving others. And should some situation make it impossible to be with your church physically, stay connected by attending through online worship, by prayer, and in service. Serving others, as you are able, is an essential and rewarding component of church life.