How to Become a Member

Want to become a member?

We often get asked what needs to happen in order to “join” Christ Church. The short answer is you just need to show up! We welcome anyone and everyone to join us for worship on Sunday mornings or at any of our church activities. We believe that first and foremost, membership in the Church means being part of a community that is drawn ever more deeply into relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

For those who are interested in making a formal commitment of membership to the Episcopal Church, and Christ Church in particular, we have put together a brief summary of how the Episcopal Church defines the terms of membership. If you still have questions after reading this page, please feel free to reach out to one of our clergy members and they will be happy to talk to you.

Who is a Christian?

A Christian is any person who has been baptized in any Christian church.

What is Baptism?

The sacrament of Baptism is the initiation rite into the Christian Church. To be baptized, as an infant, child or adult is to become a full member of the church with access to the sacraments.

Who may receive Communion?

At Christ Church and throughout the Episcopal Church, any baptized Christian, regardless of age or denomination, is welcome to receive Communion.

Who is a member of the Episcopal Church?

A person is a member of the Episcopal Church if they have been baptized, in an Episcopal church or another Christian church, and the baptism has been recorded in the records of the church. A person may also become a member of the Episcopal Church if they are confirmed or received by a bishop. There are particular relationships between church denominations  ( Lutheran and Catholic) that make reception an option in the Episcopal Church.

What is Confirmation?

Confirmation is a sacrament of the Church. It is an informed profession of the faith that may be made by teenagers or adults. To be confirmed is to outwardly proclaim your choice of the Episcopal faith and tradition. It involves the laying on of hands upon the head of a person by the bishop.

What does it mean to be “Received” into the Episcopal Church?

If you have been confirmed in another liturgical tradition (such as  Lutheran or Roman Catholic) you are received into the church rather than confirmed. A person is received into the Episcopal Church by a bishop.

Why officially join the Episcopal Church?

We believe that God speaks to people in a variety of ways and that no one particular expression of this faith is “right.” For Episcopalians, this way of relating to the divine balances scripture, tradition, and reason. The Episcopal Church is a sacramental and liturgical form of Christianity that respects the ancient nature of the church yet allows room for a prayerful discussion of theology.

What is a Letter of Transfer?

If you are a member of another Episcopal parish and would like to transfer your membership to Christ Church, please contact the parish office. There is a special form we send to the former parish that “transfers” membership to Christ Church.

Who is a member of the Episcopal Parish of Christ Church?

An “official” member of Christ Church is a baptized person who requests to be placed on the membership rolls of this parish. If you are baptized, confirmed, or received at Christ Church, you automatically become a member. A person who is a member of another Episcopal church can transfer their membership to Christ Church through a Letter of Transfer.
We call a “member” one who makes three communions a year and is “known” to the treasurer. There are many ways other than financial gifts to give to the community. We consider gifts of time and talent every bit as important as a financial commitment.

What if I don’t want to officially join the Episcopal Church or Christ Church?

That’s totally okay. We consider our parish family to be a wide net of individual beliefs and situations and while we encourage people to seriously consider official membership, it is not a requirement to partake in the life of the community. According to the canons (governing laws) of the Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Southern Ohio, the only thing non-members may not do at the parish level is serve on the Vestry, vote at the annual parish meeting, and serve as a chalice bearer or Eucharistic Minister.

Is the Parish Directory an official roster of parish members?

No. The Parish Directory is an unofficial list of people who attend Christ Church on a regular basis. It is never fully complete or up-to-date since people join the community, move, or leave the parish at various times for a variety of reasons. The directory is published and updated regularly. If you would like to be included or amend your entry, please contact the clergy.

What about pledging?

Giving money is not a requirement for membership at Christ Church. We believe that stewardship of our financial resources is an integral part of being a Christian, and we rely on the generosity of our community to support our common ministry and pay our bills. Our congregation does not receive regular financial assistance from the Diocese or the National Church. In fact, it’s quite the opposite: we pay a yearly apportionment to the Diocese of Southern Ohio  to support the mission and ministry of the larger church and are often the beneficiary of diocesan relationships, grants and programs. At Christ Church we generally receive more than we contribute for our common good.

What is expected of members of Christ Church?

We expect members of this parish community to strive to lead a life of faith. This means sharing the joy of corporate worship as regularly as possible; recognizing that God is the source of all that we are and all that we do; being tolerant of one another and respecting the dignity of every human being; understanding that we don’t have all the answers about faith but we’re always seeking to learn from God and one another; offering of ourselves to the church through our talents, time, and financial resources; helping to spread the message of Christ’s love in whatever way is possible for you.