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Join the church

Why become a “member?”

Some people don’t like the idea of “joining” a church since it seems to make being a part of a church seem like joining a museum, or a club, or a gym.  We believe that becoming part of our faith community is a natural step in affirming your growth as a Christian.  Personal transformation through Christ doesn’t happen by osmosis.  You have to seek it out and that’s best done for most people as part of a Christian community – as has been born out over the last 2,000 years or so…     

 

It begins with the commitment:  to study, to prayer, to recommit and rejuvenate your faith through regular attendance at mass; and to serve Christ in others both within the church and in the world outside our church walls.  It’s also a commitment to a particular community, to a particular church family that will love and support your Christian growth.  It means that you have sisters and brothers, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, and grandparents—all in the love of Christ:  we call it the Communion of Saints, the gathering of all faithful people from every time and place, whom we believe dwell with God in heaven but whose presence we can know through the Holy Spirit.

 

Joining All Souls enables you to call upon the church and its sacraments.  When you have a problem, in addition to your friends and “family” here at church, there is a priest to whom you can turn.  The parish clergy also have relationships with counselors, therapists, psychiatrists, centers for rehabilitation and healing, and know of many other resources that might provide support during times of stress or challenge.

 

We encourage everyone at All Souls to strive to be a Communicant in Good Standing.  This means three things:

  1. You attend mass regularly: Practice makes perfect.

  2. You give back to the church your time and talent; and you pledge part of your financial resources, as you are able, as part of the annual stewardship drive:  This is both a spiritual discipline and a demonstration of true ownership.  

  3. You share with us the date of your baptism or you get baptized (see below):  Provide an outward and visible sign to everyone else of your profession of faith and your commitment to it.

 

 

 

 

How Do I Proceed?

 

“I’m already an Episcopalian.”

 

Simply contact our parish office, give Mary Beth Howard, the parish administrator, (office@allsoulsdc.org) or Barry Huber, the volunteer membership secretary (membership@allsoulsdc.org) the name of your previous church, and we will do the rest.  We will let you know when we’ve received your letter of transfer and will welcome you formally.

 

 

“I was baptized, but not in an Episcopal Church.”

 

If you have received a Christian baptism, but not in an Episcopal Church, simply obtain a letter from a former church that states when the baptism took place and who administered the sacrament.  A photocopy of your baptismal certificate also works.  If you can’t produce a certificate or letter but are sure you were baptized and/or cannot remember the date, please talk to the Rector.  Normally this enables you to choose a baptism date.  Should you wish, you can also be received or confirmed by the Bishop at the Cathedral at one of the four or five yearly services there, or when the Bishop makes her visitation to the church every few years. If do you go to the Cathedral, the Rector of All Souls goes with you and presents you to the Bishop.  

 

 

“I’m Roman Catholic.

 

First of all, please know that you are always welcome to receive Holy Communion at All Souls.  If you would like to unite formally with the parish, simply provide evidence of Christian baptism:  a copy of your baptismal certificate or a letter from a former parish.  Roman Catholics are “received” into our parish.  If you are unable to provide that, then you may talk to the Rector and choose a baptism date as someone coming in from another denomination might do.

 

 

“I’ve never been baptized.”

 

Then get ready for a life-changing celebration!  You will be led through a process that allows you to ask your deepest questions, to search with others for answers and to be baptized at either our 8:30 a.m. or 11:00 a.m. Masses.  Please speak to the Rector for more information and to get started. 

 
Last Published: April 8, 2016 12:19 PM
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