How to Join Emmanuel

Membership in The Episcopal Church

 

Basic Membership Requirements

 

The parish register of an Episcopal Church is the book where baptisms, confirmations, marriages, burials are recorded. Sometime you will hear it referred to as "The Green Book." The Episcopal Church has canons that define when a person is considered an official member of this church and his or her name entered into the parish register. To be included as an official member of Emmanuel and entered in the parish register a person must be either: · baptized (at Emmanuel or proof provided of baptism in another church no matter which denomination) OR · confirmed or received (at Emmanuel or proof provided of confirmation or reception in another Episcopal church by letter of transfer). Confirmation is a sacramental rite of the church 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. A person who is already baptized into a church that recognizes apostolic succession, such as the Catholic or Lutheran Churches, may be "received" into the Episcopal Church. Once a person’s name is entered into the parish register, it remains there until death, unless a letter of transfer to another church is requested. Members are either Active or Inactive. Members become inactive when: · He or she has not attended for more than a year and has not contributed either financially or in service to the parish; or · He or she attends another church, but no request for transfer has been received; or · He or she attends a church of a different denomination and no longer gives to this church or participates in this church’s worship.

 

Requirements to Vote in Parish Elections,

 

Serve on the Vestry, and

 

Serve as a Diocesan Delegate

 

In the Episcopal Church it is not often that the parish, as a whole, vote on issues. Those times include voting for our vestry, the governing body of the local church, and voting for those persons who will represent our church at the Alabama Diocesan Convention. In order to vote in parish elections, serve on the vestry and serve as a delegate from Emmanuel to the diocesan convention, a member of the church must meet higher standards of participation in the life of the church. Those six requirements include:

 

1. Confirmation or Reception into the Episcopal Church; and

 

2. Being over the age of 16; and

 

3. Being a communicant, which is a person who has taken communion at least three times during the last year; and

 

4. Being canonically resident in this parish (having proof of confirmation or reception in this parish register); and

 

5. Being physically present at the parish election; and

 

6. Being known to the priest and treasurer to be a regular contributor to the support of this parish program (either by service or financial contributions).

 

Working Out the Details

 

You are welcome to participate in the life of Emmanuel whether you choose to become an official member or not. There are many choices concerning participation, and being involved at the level a person feels comfortable is important. If you do choose to become an official member of the church, you need to do the following, depending upon your current church affiliation:

 

If you are not baptized and wish to be (or if your child is not baptized and you wish for him or her to be) speak with our priest about making arrangements for baptism.

 

If you were baptized in another church which is not an Episcopal Church, you will need to ask Emmanuel to help you obtain proof of baptism so that you can be added to the parish register as a baptized member of Emmanuel. If you were baptized in another denomination, it is not necessary to formally move your membership from that denomination to an Episcopal church.

 

If you have not been confirmed or received and wish to be, speak with our priest about attending confirmation classes (usually in the Fall) to prepare the candidates for confirmation/reception when the bishop visits.

 

If you were baptized and/or confirmed in another Episcopal Church, you will need to ask that Emmanuel request that membership be transferred from that church to Emmanuel (referred to as "moving your letter").

 

Help Joining Emmanuel

 

We recognize that you are a person sent by God to enrich our lives, and we want you to feel welcomed in the spirit of God’s love. Let us help you obtain documentation for membership. Please contact us at the Parish Office at (334) 745-2054 or email us at emmanuelopelika@bellsouth.net

 

 

Welcoming Prayer

 

Holy Spirit living within us, guide our hearts and minds as we welcome today all those who worship with us at Emmanuel. Give us discerning hearts so that every one who crosses our threshold feels welcomed in the spirit of your love. Help us to recognize each person as an individual sent by you who will enrich our lives. And most of all, O God, let this be a place of love and acceptance of all your children; in the name of your Child, our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

 

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Joining Emmanuel

 

 

 

We invite you to consider making Emmanuel your church home.  One of the more confusing points is the difference between becoming a member of a parish and being confirmed or received into the larger church.  Baptism is a prerequisite to both.

 

 

 

The waters of Holy Baptism are how all of us join in God’s one holy Church.  As Episcopalians, we believe that Holy Baptism is full initiation by water and the Holy Spirit into Christ’s Body the Church.  The bond which God establishes in Baptism is indissoluble (The Book of Common Prayer, p. 298).

 

 

 

Baptism

 

In our tradition, Baptism is offered to infants and younger children, as well as adults.  We celebrate baptisms in the context of the parish’s Sunday morning worship at the Easter Vigil (in late March of April), the Day of Pentecost (in late May or early June), the Sunday after All Saints’ Day (the first Sunday of November), the Feast of the Baptism of our Lord (early January), and on the occasion of a bishop’s visitation (varies).  Please contact Fr. Matthew at the parish office if you are interested in preparing for baptism or sponsoring an infant or younger child for baptism.

 

 

Membership

 

Who?

 

Any baptized person may decide to join Emmanuel.  We periodically offer a Newcomer’s Class, but it is not a prerequisite to joining.

 

                How?

 

If you are ready to join – or interested in discussing membership – contact the rector.

 

                What?

 

The information we ask for is very basic: dates of birth for you and family members, your anniversary date, if married, name and location of your last church of membership (if applicable), when you were baptized and confirmed (if applicable).  We will take care of transferring membership from your previous church.

 

                When?

 

Even though we have certain days when new members are welcomed during the service, you can join at any time during the year.

 

                Why?

 

At Emmanuel we think of membership in the church as a commitment to our common journey of faith.  While there are no specific requirements members, we believe that certain commitments will strengthen your spiritual life and our common life together.

 

·         We believe that the regular participation in worship will nurture you and will nurture our common life.  Participation in the fellowship of word and table links us to Christ’s body.  If long term illness makes this impossible, the parish offers regular home communion.

 

·         We believe that every Christian is called to service and fellowship, and that finding your place at Emmanuel enhances your life and the life of the world.  There are many ways to get connected to the community and ministry of Emmanuel.  We can help you become as involved as you would like.

 

·         We encourage every member to make a financial pledge to our common life.  Your gifts make our community more able to live out its mission and ministry.

 

 

 

Know that all are welcome in this place.

 

 

 

Confirmation/Reception

 

(Adults)

 

Those who come from non-Episcopal traditions may choose to be confirmed or received.  This is always done by one of the Bishops of Alabama who represent the wider Church as opposed to a single parish.  Classes to prepare for confirmation/reception are offered as announced.

 

 

 

FAQ: Who should be received and who should be confirmed?     

 

Reception is for persons who have already made a mature profession of faith, regardless of the denomination.  Most adults will fall into this category.  An exception would be one who has no religious background.

 

 

 

                                         Help Joining Emmanuel

 

We recognize that you are a person sent by God to enrich our lives, and we want you to feel welcomed in the spirit of God’s love. Let us help you obtain documentation for membership.  Please contact us at the Parish Office at (334) 745-2054 or email us at> emmanuelopelika@bellsouth.net

 

                                            Welcoming Prayer

 

Holy Spirit living within us, guide our hearts and minds as we welcome today all those who worship with us at Emmanuel. Give us discerning hearts so that every one who crosses our threshold feels welcomed in the spirit of your love. Help us to recognize each person as an individual sent by you who will enrich our lives. And most of all, O God, let this be a place of love and acceptance of all your children; in the name of your Child, our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

© 2020 by Emmanuel Episcopal Church Opelika. all rights preserved.

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