You don’t have to be a church member to be a Christian, but it is hard to be a Christian on your own. By becoming a member of St Columba’s United Reformed Church, you can express your faith, and play your part in the life of a supportive Christian community. Christians belong together – the church needs you to be fully church, and you need the church to be fully you.
You don’t have to be perfect or saintly to be a church member – none of us is perfect, we just try our best in reliance on God’s help. Part of becoming a Christian is recognising our own failings, asking God to forgive us, and resolving to try to live a better life. St Columba’s runs enquirers’ courses from time to time, usually based on Alpha or Training for Learning and Serving, to help us explore our faith in a supportive group. Don’t worry if you feel your faith is weak – most of us experience doubt and questioning from time to time, indeed it helps us to grow in our journey of faith.
We all share in the rights and responsibilities of membership. Members are expected to attend church services regularly, to attend and vote at Church Meeting (usually 4 evenings an 2 mornings a year), and share in Communion services (usually 7 mornings and 6 evenings a year) whenever possible. As far as you are able, you would be encouraged to take part in the work of the church, and to contribute financially.
Service of Welcome
When someone wishes to become a church member, Elders’ Meeting and Church Meeting will formally accept their application, and then a service of welcome will be arranged. This will usually take place at the next convenient morning Communion service.
During the service, the Minister will invite the new members to come to the front step of the platform, and will ask them to affirm their faith. The questions and answers are set out in Schedule A of the Basis of Union, but will be printed in the order of service sheet for that day.
Those who have already been baptised and affirmed their faith as a member of another church, can transfer their membership. Otherwise, new members would receive believer’s baptism and be invited to affirm their faith as part of becoming a member of St Columba’s.
The Minister will lead the congregation in prayer for the new members, who will then be greeted by shaking hands. Later in the service, the new members will share in receiving the bread and wine of Communion.