In today's world, you can be a member of nearly anything and everything: Amazon, Netflix, AARP - the list goes on and on. It can be confusing then to talk about church membership. While you definitely get something in return for being a member, we don't charge an annual fee.
At St. Paul's, membership has both practical and faithful components. Practically speaking, St. Paul's is a registered non-profit with the state of Illinois. In that capacity, we occasionally vote to make financial decisions and who to call to leadership. Only members of St. Paul's get the chance to vote when those moments arise.
However, the heart of membership has more to do with your faith journey than voting privileges. Choosing to become a member is like making a grace-filled promise with the church and God, declaring that you want to walk with us in spiritual growth, fellowship, and service in such a way that we might know you by name. In a world that can so easily discard everything from clothes to relationships, membership is a small way of saying we're going to stick it out with one another even when - especially when - it's hard.
Some folks visit St. Paul's and want to join right away; others need even a few years before they're ready. Take your time; it's a personal decision. You may have to be a member to vote, but you don't have to be a member to participate in the life of the church. Wherever you are on life's journey, you're welcome here.
Check the newsletter for New Member gatherings throughout the year or contact Pastor Liz to talk membership anytime.
[From Membership written by Rev. Alex Shea Will, Area Conference Minister for the Southern New England Conference of the UCC]