A person becomes a member of Christ’s church through Baptism. At Grace Lutheran, we baptize infants, children and adults as Scripture teaches, “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Baptism is a spiritual birth which gives us identity as a child of God in the church, which the Bible also calls “the body of Christ”. Baptism is also a “heavenly washing”, the “forgiveness of sins”. One is showered in God’s Grace at baptism. Baptism is also a covenant/promise whereby we take our new life in Christ to heart.
At the time of baptism, that person becomes a member of our congregation. Infants and young children are baptized if their parents or guardians are members of the congregation and the parents or guardians promise faithfully to bring the child to worship in God’s house, to teach the child the Lord’s prayer, the Creed, and the Ten Commandments, to give the child the Holy Scriptures, and to provide for the child’s instruction in the Christian faith. Older children and adults are baptized after a period of instruction by the pastor.
Adults who have already received Christian baptism join our congregation after participation in the Life & Faith Class. There are three significant reasons why we ask every incoming member, regardless of background or current church membership, to participate in this class.
1. We want people to know what they are getting into. It would be unfortunate if someone joined our church and two months later lamented “I didn’t know it was like this.” On the other hand, informed new members are the most likely to be comfortable with the church and enthusiastic about serving Christ through this congregation.
2. The class is an ideal place to begin to meet people and to feel more at home.
3. The Life & Faith Class gives incoming members an opportunity to get to know the pastor, and gives the pastor an opportunity to become more familiar with them. It’s been found that this gives new members more confidence to approach the pastor in the future with joys, concerns, questions or ideas.
4. We offer the Life & Faith Class several times a year: In the fall, when we begin our regular programming after Labor Day, and in the winter, generally around February and March.