FCCWT

Welcome of New Members

The Welcome of New Members

 

(Rev. Cathlin will invite new members to come forward one at a time, calling each by name, and saying a few words about each person or family to introduce them to the congregation.)

______ has/have found a home here, has heard God call him/her/them beloved, and feels beloved by this congregation. Now he/she/they seeks to deepen his/her/their relationship and commitment to this church community.

WELCOMING PRAYER

Minister:  Almighty God, we thank you for the life journey that brought ______ to join our church today. We celebrate the unique impact he/she will make here and already has made here, through his/her presence, gifts and talents. May this congregation offer support in times of trouble and rejoice with him/her always. May our church home strengthen his/her faith and deepen his/her discipleship. All this we pray in Christ’s Holy Name. Amen.

QUESTIONS FOR NEW MEMBERS:

Minister:  Today we make a covenant, one with another. We make promises to one another, before God, so that we can depend on each other through good times and hard times. You have a church and a people. And so now we ask you:

Do you affirm your faith in God as your Creator, in Christ as your inspiration, and in the Holy Spirit as your strength? If so, please say, I do.

I do.

Do you promise to be Christ’s disciple, to follow in the way of Jesus, to resist oppression and evil, to show love and justice, and to be a witness to the healing ministry and the loving message of Jesus Christ as best as you are able?  If so, please say, I promise with the help of God.

I promise with the help of God.

Do you promise, according to the grace given you, to grow in faith and to be an active and joyful member of this church? If so, please say, I promise with the help of God.

I promise with the help of God.

Do you promise to participate in the life and mission of this family of God’s people, sharing regularly in the worship of God and enlisting in the work of this local church as it serves this community and the world? If so, please say, I promise with the help of God.

I promise with the help of God.

PROMISE FROM THE CHURCH

To the members of this church:  Do you promise to help _____ find his/her place in the body of Christ, to pray with and for him/her, to welcome him/her fully in holy friendship, to be angels for him/her in times of distress and servants to him/her in times of need? If so, please answer: We promise, with the help of God.

We promise, with the help of God.

(IF ANY NEW MEMBERS WERE TO DESIRE BAPTISM, THE SACRAMENT WOULD BE PERFORMED HERE.)

THE CONGREGATIONAL RESPONSE

Minister:  Let us, the members of the First Congregational Church of West Tisbury, express our welcome and affirm our ministry together.

Congregation: (printed in bulletin) We joyfully welcome you into the common life of our church. We promise you our friendship and prayers as we share in the hopes and labors of this church. By the power of the Holy Spirit, may we grow together in faith and be witnesses to the love of God and the peace of Christ.

THE RIGHT HAND OF FELLOWSHIP

Minister: In the name of Jesus Christ and on behalf of our congregation, we extend to you the right hand of Christian love, welcoming you into the company and family of the First Congregational Church of West Tisbury.

(All deacons, current and past will be invited forward to extend the right hand of fellowship. The congregation sings, hymn #614, “I’m Gonna Live so God Can Use Me.” All people will be encouraged to extend a hand of fellowship at Lemonade on the Lawn).

FINAL BLESSING ON MEMBERS

Minister:  Loving God, give to your child, _____, strength for life’s journey, courage in times of suffering, the comfort of faith, love that cannot die, laughter in the company of friends, and the hope of new life; through Jesus Christ, who makes us one. Amen.

(This liturgy has been adapted from the one used by First Church, Somerville, MA. It can be found in Real Good Church: How our church came back from the dead, and yours can, too. by Rev. Molly Phinney Baskette, The Pilgrim Press, 2014)