Last night, I had the opportunity to sit down with the elders of Central Reformed Church and transfer my membership there.
I’ve been meaning to do it for a while, as I’ve been attending there for about three years, but I’d just never gotten around to it–but I do think that membership in a church that you attend is important, both for you and for the general fellowship at that church. It gives you more of an identity, and with that identity comes added responsibility and connection.
In many ways, it feels like the end of an era, and it is–I was born and baptized into the Harlem Reformed Church family and made Confession of Faith there in 2001 as a teen. Now I live in a different city and worship with a different set of believers–but isn’t it cool that we are all still worshiping the same God? There is definitely some sadness in “officially” leaving Harlem. I LOVE that church family and the worship and teaching there. But I can always go back and know that I am welcome and loved, and I will go back on occasion.
Anyway, I had to answer a question on my faith last night from the elders, and since I can’t find that liturgy on the internets anywhere, I did come across the questions I answered to first become a professing member at Harlem. Here’s that liturgy, from the RCA.
Do you believe in one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; and
do you confess Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord?
Do you accept the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments
as the only rule for faith and life?
Do you, relying on the grace of God, promise
to confess Christ publicly before others,
to serve Christ daily, and
to walk in Jesus’ way?
Do you promise to exhibit the joy of new life in Christ;
to share fully in the life of the church;
to be faithful in worship and service; and
to offer your prayers and gifts?
Do you promise to accept the spiritual guidance of the church;
to walk in a spirit of Christian love with this congregation; and
to seek those things which make for unity, purity, and peace?
The answer for me, of course, is “I do.”
I love it when new members are received into the congregation. Not only is the congregation asked to support the new member, but hearing these questions again is an important reminder of what I believe, why I believe it, and what my role is in the church.
I’ll stand up on Sunday and be introduced as the newest member of Central Reformed Church, and I’m delighted to do so. Now I really have to make it a priority to participate–to learn, to teach, to worship, to tithe, to seek peace, and all that good stuff. But that’s a natural extension of my faith in Christ, so it *should* come pretty naturally anyway. I’m excited to continue to see that ways that Central will grow and strengthen me, and I’m excited to see how I can participate and contribute to this new family of mine.