Membership in the Episcopal Church

The Episcopal Church has both formal and informal types of membership. Before describing them, we want you to know that there are many people at Good Shepherd who fit into each of these categories – so wherever you find yourself, know that you are welcome and that you belong.

Informal membership at its most basic level is someone who would say “Good Shepherd” when asked by a friend if they have a church home. Beyond that simple association, it can be a Visitor who has decided to make Good Shepherd his or her church home by returning the membership information in the Visitor Packet. They are then listed in the Parish Directory and have a nametag on the bulletin board.  Additionally, and regardless the length of their involvement, they regularly attend worship, are involved in one or more programs and ministries of the parish, and give of their time, talent and treasure.

Formal membership takes several forms. The sacrament of baptism is perhaps the most common formal act of belonging for Christians. We do not believe you need to be baptized a second time, nor do you need to have been baptized in the Episcopal Church. We recognize the sacrament of baptism in other Christian denominations. Baptism is also a requirement for persons desiring to be confirmed. In some instances, adults may be baptized and confirmed during the same service.

Full membership in the Episcopal Church is someone who is an “Enrolled, Confirmed, Communicant in Good Standing.” The Canons (formal policies) of our diocese define this as a person who:

1. Is enrolled in the records of the Parish.

2. Has been confirmed by a Bishop of the Episcopal Church or a Bishop of a Church in communion with the Episcopal Church, or has been received into the Episcopal Church by a Bishop of the Episcopal Church; and,

3. Is a communicant in good standing by being faithful in corporate worship (regular Sunday attendance), unless for good cause prevented, and has been faithful in working, praying and giving (a sacrificial and regular annual financial commitment) for the spread of the Kingdom of God.

A Letter of Transfer is used when a person is already a enrolled, confirmed, communicant in good standing at another Episcopal Church.

For additional information, pick up “Membership in the Episcopal Church and Good Shepherd Parish” brochure from any of the Literature Kiosks in the hallways.