You do not have to join the parish in a formal way to worship, attend classes, participate in activities, and financially support the ministries of the parish. All baptized persons, adults and children, are always welcome to receive Communion. We invite you to consider becoming a member of St. Paul’s. There are several ways to do this, please read on.
If you are a member of another Episcopal congregation, or were ever confirmed in an Episcopal Church, you can transfer your membership. Provide our parish office (434-295-2156) with the name and location of the church and the approximate dates of your membership or, if you were confirmed there, the approximate date of confirmation, and we will send for a letter of transfer, or you may wish to contact your previous parish yourself. (The office has a directory of all Episcopal Churches, with addresses and telephone numbers.)
If you are a confirmed Anglican from, for example, the Church of England or the Nippon Sei Ko Kai (Episcopal Church in Japan), provide the parish office with your birth date and place, baptismal date and place, and Confirmation date, place and bishop.
If you were baptized with water in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, in any Christian denomination, you may become a “baptized member” of St. Paul’s Memorial Church. Just provide the parish office with your birth date and place and your baptismal date and place.
Call the parish office or speak with one of the clergy to arrange a baptism. Baptisms are done at regularly scheduled services on Sundays and the feast days specified by the Book of Common Prayer (Baptism of Our Lord, Easter Eve, Pentecost, and All Saints). Anyone baptized at St. Paul’s Memorial Church is a “baptized member.”
The Book of Common Prayer defines Confirmation as “the rite in which we express a mature commitment to Christ, and receive strength from the Holy Spirit through prayer and the laying on of hands by a bishop.” Youth and Adult Confirmation classes are offered each winter. Any baptized adult, and any baptized youth in eighth grade or higher, is eligible. Persons who have been confirmed in another denomination by a bishop in the apostolic succession (most often Roman Catholic or Orthodox) are received by the bishop rather than confirmed. Those who have been confirmed or received are classified as“confirmed communicants.” Speak with one of the clergy if you are interested in confirmation or reception.
The Book of Common Prayer says that the duty of all Christians is to “follow Christ; to come together week by week for corporate worship; and to work, pray,and give for the spread of the kingdom of God.” Most members make an annual pledge of financial support, either during the fall stewardship campaign or at anytime during the year. Call the parish office at 434-295-2156 for a pledge form or offering envelopes.
A member in good standing is one whose baptism is entered in the parish register (through one of the means described above), who worships regularly, and who is a contributor of record (by pledge or other identifiable financial contribution) to the general support of the parish. Only confirmed adult communicants in good standing may be licensed by the Bishop as lay Lectors (readers), Eucharistic Ministers, and Eucharistic Visitors. All adult communicants in good standing, registered in the particular Church in which they offer to vote, shall be entitled to vote at the election of Vestry members. Only confirmed adult communicants in good standing are eligible to serve on the vestry.
Newcomers’ Orientations are held monthly in the library for people who have recently begun attending St. Paul’s Memorial Church. We also offer Newcomers’ Classes and Fellowship Dinners. For more information, please call the parish office at 434-295-2156.
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