Have you ever wondered why people become members of a church, and of Federated in particular? We live in a culture in which membership in various organizations is no longer valued as it once was. Several years ago, the sociologist Robert Putnam wrote a noteworthy piece called “Bowling Alone” in which he observed that fewer and fewer people joined bowling leagues; that now, when they wanted to bowl, they bowled alone. And the same was true for countless other civic organizations.
So why join a church? Well, on the simplest level, it allows you to vote on matters of importance that come before the congregation. But there are other dimensions to joining the church that are extremely compelling, as well. They have to do with the nature of our commitment to God. When we join a church, we’re saying, “I want to make a commitment to the source of life and grace. I want to make faith a regular practice in my life. I want to rely on God, not just when I happen to feel like it, but in an ongoing, disciplined way.” When we join the church, we are making an investment in our common life. We’re connecting with a group of people who revel in God’s grace and who serve the world in a larger mission. We’re saying: “When I’m sick, someone will be there for me, and when someone else is sick, I’ll be there for them.” We’re saying, “There’s something bigger than I in the world, and I want to be part of it.” We’re saying, “Whatever problems confront us, we can face them together. And we’ll all be better for it.”
When you decide to join Federated, this is what the congregation promises:
“Dear Friends, We stand beside you today. We believe with you. We share your doubts. We choose to live the Way of Jesus with you. We ask that the Holy Spirit may touch us, disturb us, heal us, enliven us, send us and create such joy among us, that the world may say, ‘Behold how they love one another!’”
If you are considering joining, we’d love to have you—you will make Federated better. And we even dare to think that your life will be enriched and deepened, as well. Your connections to each other will be enhanced, and your faith in God will find a new fullness. As Jesus said to the first disciples, “Come and see” (John 1:39).
You are by no means required or expected to join Federated Church in order to attend worship or to participate in any of our many programs. In fact, we encourage you to attend our worship services to make sure that you are comfortable here before even considering membership. So once you are ready to consider making Federated your church home, we invite you to attend an Inquirers Class. Whether you just want to know more about The Federated Church or are seriously interested in becoming an official member, an Inquirers Class provides a wonderful opportunity to take a fresh look at the meaning of Christ for our times, and explore the programs and purpose of The Federated Church. It is also a great chance to meet some other people who are considering membership.
Inquirers Classes are typically held two times a year, spring and fall. Each session includes two classes. Please plan to attend both sessions of the two part class. Childcare is available with pre-registration.
Our next Inquirers Class will be held in April 2024.
Contact Rev. Hamilton Throckmorton at firstname.lastname@example.org if interested in learning more about that class.