Six times a year (next one is this Sunday, August 18), at the end of each of our Sunday worship services, we hold a very special and brief ceremony for those who would like to join the church, together, as one big group.
Why would you want to join a church with a bunch of people you don’t know?
Well here are a few good reasons — and we’re pretty sure you’ll discover even more!
It’s a celebration of community. Whether you come forward to take your FUMCFW membership vows alone, just with your family, or with a group of strangers, this is a moment of new beginning — a celebration of becoming part of the FUMCFW community of faith. Meeting others on this same path at this same point in time provides a natural connection with other new members — common ground right from the very beginning!
It’s less stressful. Unless you’re someone who loves the limelight — and even if you are — coming down front after worship to join the church, alone or with just your family, in front of hundreds of people can be intimidating. Yes, they’re your new church family, but since you don’t know them yet, it can be overwhelming enough to put joining the church off indefinitely! Joining with a group of likeminded others offers the comfort of company as you take this big step together.
It’s both public and private. When you join our church, part of taking your membership vows includes being asked if you will support the church with their prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness. And then, the whole congregation affirms your acceptance of these membership vows and welcomes you into our First Church Faith Community. The importance of this public celebration is significant; being part of a group taking these vows together offers a certain amount of comfort in numbers even as you make this very private commitment.
The most important thing about becoming a member of FUMCFW is that together, as a church, we are the Body of Christ in our world today. Every person’s involvement in the life and work of the church strengthens this body — and being part of a community of new members who join together even further strengthens this process and empowers greater participation and sense of belonging from the very beginning!
And then the celebration continues!
Immediately following our Churchwide Join Day ceremony, held at the end of all services on that Sunday, all the new members from each service will come together to a special New Member Reception in the Room 350 from 10:30 – 11:00 am. Regardless of which service you choose for taking your membership vows, all who join FUMCFW together ono Churchwide Join Day will have an opportunity to meet one another and visit with clergy, staff, and other members. Those who join at the 9:30 am services will come to Room 350 after they join in the service, and those who plan to join at the 11:00 am services will come to the reception before the service in which they join.
“This reception is a really fun and meaningful event for everyone involved,” says Dr. Mike Marshall, FUMCFW Director of Leadership Development. “Regardless of which service you join in — and whether you’re a single person, part of a family or a larger group, you will get to meet and visit with others who are joining in all of our Sunday morning services. I think it’s really fun to see this combination of people who have joined and the mixture of church members, staff, and clergy who stop by to say “Hi” and extend their own personal welcome. It’s a very good thing!”
If you have questions either about the FUMCFW Churchwide Join Day or the New Member Reception, please contact Lisa Helm, Director of Welcoming Ministries, at 817-339-2403 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.