Membership

Why become a member of Southminster Presbyterian Church?

  • Southminster welcomes all to the fellowship of Jesus Christ and to participate in our faith community.
  • We are a caring community who we believe lives out the Gospel message to go out and spread the Good News of Jesus Christ.
  • Southminster has persons of all ages from children to senior citizens.
  • Southminster offers a worship service built on the principal of using worship music and worship styles every Sunday that show equal respect for spiritual preferences of all generations. Every Sunday you will hear and sing music from many different styles and eras.
  • Southminster offers opportunities for mission locally, nationally and internationally.
  • Christian education is offered for all ages from children to adults.
  • Opportunities for fellowship include coffee hour on Sunday, church picnics and dinners, and special occasions such as the Santa Lucia Festival of Lights.

The Book of Order of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) states that one becomes an active member of the church through faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and acceptance of his Lordship in all of life. Baptism and a public profession of faith in Jesus as Lord are the visible signs of entrance into active membership of the church.  Persons may enter into active church membership in the following ways: by profession of faith, reaffirmation of faith in Jesus Christ, or transfer of certificate from some other church.

How do I or my family become members?

Contact the church office at 262-547-5100 or by e-mail. Indicate on the weekly attendance sheet during the Sunday service that you would like to be contacted about membership.  Persons who are interested in membership will meet with the Pastor to explore what membership at Southminster means. The Session of the church will meet with candidates for membership to examine their readiness for active membership. Once accepted by the Session, candidates will then be presented to the congregation at a service of worship where they will be asked to profess their faith publicly. New members are accepted several times a year. Prior baptism is required for membership but baptism can be arranged before the profession of faith.  A confirmation class is conducted yearly starting in the fall and extending to the spring. Guided by adult confirmation partners, the youth examine their faith and take part in activities meant to grow their faith. At the end of the year, they are examined by the Session and are accepted into membership of the church. They profess their faith publicly at a service of worship.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A CHURCH MEMBER?
From the Presbyterian Book of Order and the Southminster Mission Manual:

In Jesus Christ, God calls people to faith and to membership in the Church, the body of Christ. Baptism is the visible sign of that call and claim on a human life and of entrance into the membership of the church. The baptism of children witnesses to the truth that God’s love claims people before they are able to respond in faith. The baptism of those who enter the covenant of membership upon their own profession of faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior witnesses to the truth that God’s gift of grace calls forth a response of faithfulness. Thus, the triune God, incarnate in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, gives to the Church not only its mission but also its understanding of membership.

A congregation shall welcome all persons who trust in God’s grace in Jesus Christ and desire to become part of the fellowship and ministry of his Church (a foundational principal to Presbyterians). No person shall be denied membership for any reason not related to profession of faith. The Gospel leads members to extend the fellowship of Christ to all persons. Failure to do so constitutes a rejection of Christ himself and causes a scandal to the Gospel.

Persons may enter into active church membership in the following ways:
Public profession of faith, made after careful examination by the session in the meaning and responsibilities of membership; if not already baptized, the person making profession of faith shall be baptized;
Certificate of transfer, when a person is a member of another Christian church at the time of transfer;
Reaffirmation of faith, for persons previously baptized in the name of the triune God and having publicly professed their faith.

WHAT ARE THE EXPECTATIONS OF CHURCH MEMBERS?
Membership in the Church of Jesus Christ is a joy and a privilege. It is also a commitment to participate in Christ’s mission. A faithful member bears witness to God’s love and grace and promises to be involved responsibly in the ministry of Christ’s Church. Such involvement includes:
proclaiming the good news in word and deed,
taking part in the common life and worship of a congregation,
lifting one another up in prayer, mutual concern, and active support,
studying Scripture and the issues of Christian faith and life,
supporting the ministry of the church through the giving of money, time, and talents,
demonstrating a new quality of life within and through the church,
responding to God’s activity in the world through service to others,
living responsibly in the personal, family, vocational, political, cultural, and social relationships of life,
working in the world for peace, justice, freedom, and human fulfillment,
participating in the governing responsibilities of the church, and reviewing and evaluating regularly the integrity of one’s membership,
and considering ways in which one’s participation in the worship and service of the church may be increased and made more meaningful.

ARE THERE CATEGORIES OF MEMBERSHIP?
The membership of a congregation of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) includes baptized members, active members, affiliate members, and friends of the Church.

Baptized Member

A baptized member is a person who has received the Sacrament of Baptism, whether in this congregation or elsewhere, and who has been enrolled as a baptized member by the session but who has not made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Such baptized members receive the pastoral care and instruction of the church, and may participate in the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper.
A baptized member may be a child or an adult.

Active or Confirmed Member

An active member is a person who has made a profession of faith in Christ, has been baptized, has been received into membership of the church, has voluntarily submitted to the government of this church, and participates in the church’s work and worship. In addition, active members participate in the governance of the church and may be elected to ordered ministry (see G-2.0102). Active members shall regularly, after prayerful consideration, recommit themselves to the disciplines and responsibilities of membership outlined in G-1.0304. The session shall have responsibility for preparing those who would become active members of the congregation.
Affiliate Member

An affiliate member is a member of another congregation of this denomination or of another denomination or Christian body, who has temporarily moved from the community where the congregation of membership is situated, has presented a certificate of good standing from the appropriate council or governing body of that congregation, and has been received by the session as an affiliate member. An affiliate member may participate in the life of the congregation in the same manner as an active member except that an affiliate member may not vote in congregational meetings or be elected to ordered ministry or other office in the congregation.

Friend of the Church or Other Participant

Persons who are not members of, or who may have ceased active participation in, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) are welcome and may participate in the life and worship of this church and receive its pastoral care and instruction. The invitation to the Lord’s Supper is extended to all who have been baptized, remembering that access to the table is not a right conferred upon the worthy, but a privilege given to the undeserving who come in faith, repentance, and love (W-2.4011). Confessing members of other Christian churches may present children for baptism, in conformity with W-2.3014.

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