Becoming a Member
“So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another…”
Christ Church, Cooperstown welcomes all who are drawn here for worship, learning, service, sight-seeing, or just in search of a peaceful place to sit and rest. So what does it mean to become a member?
Of course, membership in the Church Universal is ours by the grace of God, through faith in Christ Jesus as the crucified and risen Savior, and with the outward and visible sign of Baptism with water in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Episcopal Church joyfully welcomes all who have been baptized, in whatever church or denomination, to participate fully in the life of our local congregations. If you have not been baptized and feel the Lord calling you to this important sacramental milestone here at Christ Church, please contact the Rector to discuss upcoming baptismal dates and the preparation process.
If you are interested in membership at Christ Church, the best place to start is in worship, especially on Sundays. The Christian faith is not a solitary pursuit, and the first step to becoming a member of this Parish is simply showing up and getting to know fellow parishioners. Come to church, take part in Bible study, join in fellowship and service activities, and pray about whether this place might become a spiritual home for you and your family.
Additionally, baptized, active members of Christ Church are expected to engage in the discipline of giving. Stewardship of our money—returning to God a “tithe,” or a tenth of our income, in acknowledgement that all we have comes from him—is as important to the living out of the Christian life as prayer, Bible study, and attendance at worship. Christ Church is blessed with beautiful, historic buildings that are filled with lively, life-giving activities. The tithes and offerings of our members make the maintenance of those buildings and the continuation of those activities possible. Members of this Parish give generously and joyfully in support of Christ Church and its many ministries.
One further step of membership in the Episcopal Church (and therefore the Anglican Communion) is the sacramental rite of Confirmation. This step is open to all people ages thirteen and older. As the Bishop lays his hands on the heads of the confirmands and prays the special grace of the Holy Spirit to strengthen and sustain them, those baptized as infants claim as their own the promises of membership once made on their behalf. Those who were confirmed at an earlier time in another denomination are received into the fellowship of this Church by the same action. Confirmation is not required for active membership in this Parish, but is required for serving as a Warden, the chief lay leader of the congregation. Confirmation classes are usually offered once a year, in anticipation of the Bishop’s scheduled visit.
If you are interested in learning more about becoming a member of Christ Church, or you would like more information about Baptism or Confirmation for yourself or a family member, please contact the Rector.