Take the Next Step: Become a Member

Why membership?

Becoming a member of the church is an important decision—and a joyful one! It is the next step to take in deepening your faith in Christ and commitment to his ministry in the world. Joining the church does not mean having all your questions answered. Faith is a pilgrimage; one need not wait until every doubt is resolved. Nor is membership about being blameless or worthy. It is about desiring to grow in God’s grace within a community of believers, recognizing that we all are given gifts and abilities to share in service to God and neighbor. Membership is a next step in believing.

Specifically, to become a member is to:

  • take part in the life and worship of the congregation;
  • lift one another up in prayer, mutual concern, and active support;
  • study Scripture and the issues of faith and life;
  • support the ministry of the church through the giving of money, time, and talents;
  • stretch your faith, try something new: serve meals to the homeless, go on a mission trip, help out in the youth program, join the choir, take on a leadership role.

What is the membership process?

An Inquirers Luncheon after church on a Sunday, along with a follow-up visit with a pastor. Prospective members then meet with the session (governing body), and are commissioned (introduced to the congregation) during a Sunday service. At the luncheon (held quarterly), you will learn more about our beliefs, our denomination – the Presbyterian Church (USA), and the programs, ministries, and mission of First Presbyterian Church. Discussion and questions are encouraged. The follow-up visit with a pastor provides further time to get acquainted and pursue topics of interest. Meeting with the session is an opportunity to share faith stories and meet church leaders. The Sunday commissioning is the congregation’s opportunity to celebrate and pray for new members.

What about my children?

Children and youth are welcomed, loved, and supported at First Presbyterian Church. Baptism of infants, children, and youth (and adults) is encouraged as a sign that we belong to Christ, that we are joined by grace to God’s good promises. When one or both parents become members of the church, children may be brought for baptism.

 How do I sign up?

Call or email Michelle Martinez (805/687-0754, ext. 101, [email protected]), Program Assistant for Membership to learn about upcoming dates for Inquirers Luncheons and to register.