So … how does one become a member of Emmanuel Church? Well first, please know that you do not have to join the parish in a formal way in order to worship, attend classes, serve in one of our Outreach ministries, or participate in social activities. You may also donate support for the ministries of the parish without becoming a member. And all baptized persons, adults and children, are always welcome to receive Holy Communion.
However, we invite you to consider becoming a member of our parish and working with us to help God to heal the world. This is an incredible time of growth and renewal in our congregation, and we welcome anyone who would like to be a part of our life together. By joining with us at Emmanuel, you are joining yourself with God’s unique expression of love and healing found in our community.
Why should I become a member of Emmanuel?
Christian life is most fully realized in the context of community. It can be relatively easy to love God and our neighbor when we are out alone in the midst of nature or while listening to music, or in solitary meditation. However, the real work of Christianity involves joining with a group of people who are committed to living a faithful life and to making a difference in the world. We pray together, we learn together, we struggle together, we rejoice together, and we support one another in difficult times. By becoming a member of Emmanuel Church, you commit to sharing all of this with this community – and you declare that this commitment to God’s church is, in fact, a serious reality in your life.
What does being a member of Emmanuel require?
Our members are asked to attend worship regularly, to participate in the Sacramental life of the parish, and to find ways to donate of their time, talent, and treasure to help us carry out our work.
What if I am coming from another denomination or church?
If you are seeking to join the Episcopal Church from another Christian church or denomination (Roman Catholic, Congregational, etc), and if you have been baptized with water and in the name of the Trinity, you may become a baptized member of the Episcopal Church by having your birth date and place and baptismal date and place duly recorded in the register of Emmanuel.
What if I have not been baptized?
If you have not been baptized, contact the parish office or speak with one of the clergy to arrange a baptism. Baptisms are done at regularly scheduled services publicized in the bulletin. Anyone baptized at Emmanuel is a baptized member.
What about Confirmation?
Leadership in the Episcopal Church is reserved for those who have made an adult commitment to Jesus Christ. Confirmation is the sacramental rite that is offered for those who were baptized when they were too young to make such a commitment. Through the sacrament, the Confirmand receives strength from the Holy Spirit through prayer and the laying on of hands by a bishop. Any baptized person who is at least 16 years old is eligible to begin the process towards Confirmation.
What if I am presently a member of another Episcopal parish?
If you are presently a member of another Episcopal parish, you will want to transfer your membership. Please provide our parish office with the name and location of the church and the approximate dates of your membership. If you were confirmed there, provide the approximate date of your confirmation. We will then send for a letter of transfer, or you may wish to contact your previous parish yourself. (The office has access to the addresses and telephone numbers of all Episcopal parishes).
What about being “Received” into the Episcopal Church, also known as “Reception?”
Persons who have been confirmed in another denomination by a bishop in the apostolic succession (for example, Roman Catholic, Lutheran, or Orthodox) are received by the bishop rather than confirmed. Persons are also received from churches in “full communion” with the Episcopal Church. Confirmations and receptions occur typically at a service in May. Please consult with the Rector if you are interested in either confirmation or reception. Classes for those preparing for confirmation or reception are led by clergy and usually begin six weeks before the actual service.
What is expected of members of Emmanuel?
We expect that you give back to God a portion of the blessings that have been given to you in the form of a pledge and/or donation. We expect that you worship God with our community on a regular basis. We expect you to support and uplift your fellow travelers as we journey towards a deeper faith in Jesus. We expect you to learn from others around you, to lean on others around you, and to serve God’s people in ways that bring you joy.
The fine print…
The canons of the Diocese of Rhode Island, in compliance with state laws governing religious corporations, specify that to be a voting member one must, for six months prior to a parish election, be baptized, a regular attendant at the parish, and a regular contributor to the current expenses of the parish.
A Members Directory will be distributed periodically, including names, residential addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses.
We invite you to consider membership at Emmanuel Episcopal Church. If you have questions about the membership process, please do not hesitate to contact a Rector at the parish office: 401-658-1506.
Many thanks to the websites of St. Paul’s in Yonkers, NY and Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids for their ideas in the construction and content of this page.