Membership in a congregation like St. Dunstan’s Church is our response to evil and disaster. Membership is our way of supporting one another and committing ourselves to Christian Discipleship. These five ideas capture the essence of what it means to be a member. If you pay attention to all five you will get the most from your participation and you will make the biggest difference with your life.
- Show Up. That means come to worship, join in our feeding ministries, participate in social events, take advantage of the educational opportunities and generally participate in the life of the congregation. You don’t have to be sure about God or your faith to show up. In fact, the best thing you can do if you are skeptical is to show up and talk about your doubts. Ask your questions. Or, you can just come and be a part of a community of people committed to hospitality to the stranger, caring for one another and social justice in the world.
- Pledge to support the church. Your pledge level should be a proportion of your gross income rather than a dollar amount. Proportional giving places your support of the church in the context of your whole life. The standard for pledging is the tithe (10%) and everyone is encouraged to work towards a tithe if they are not already there. The tension and struggle that this causes are healthy because they make us look at our priorities in life in a spiritual context. Tithing opens our heart and eyes to experience abundance.
- Practice Christianity in your life. Keeping Christian practices is the way we live Christian lives. This means saying grace at meals, praying regularly, participating in Bible study, prayer and fellowship groups during the week, and generally taking your spiritual growth seriously. Hospitality is a key Christian practice. Offer generous hospitality to your friends, in and out of the church, and especially to the strangers you encounter. Invite people to come and be a part of your congregation. Being a neighbor is something we do for one another, stranger and friend alike.
- Work for the good of your church. That means you contribute your time and talents to building up the Church. That might be joining the choir, working on the Altar Guild, serving on the vestry, teaching in Sunday School or any number of other volunteer activities that make up the life and vitality of a congregation.
- Work in the world through the church. The final element of membership is to work in the world serving the poor and needy through your church. That means participating in our Community Dinners ministries, supporting the St. Agnes Guild’s outreach ministries, or some form of public service that you connect to through your church or that you bring to the church so other members can participate.
Yours in Christ,