God wants you as a part of Christ’s family and we want to help you get there!
Wherever you are on your spiritual journey, you are welcome at Wesley Freedom. You do not have to become a member in order to participate in worship, many areas of serving, and small groups or classes.
Membership at Wesley Freedom is about making a commitment to walk with this congregation as you mature in your faith. We would love to have a conversation to help you navigate your way.
Next Steps: New Member Class
There is no better time than right now to become a part of Wesley Freedom. Through our new, 12-week Next Steps Membership Class you can learn the basics of the biblical story, what it means to be a United Methodist, and find the place within the church that God has prepared just for you!
Email Pastor Ian ( firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information!
The idea of church “membership” comes from a metaphor Saint Paul uses in the New Testament comparing the Church to a human body. Just like you are one body with many members (limbs, organs, tissues), the Church is made up of many members (people) and is the Body of Christ on earth. Following the universal example of the early church and the commands of Christ, we believe that being a part of Christ’s body is most faithfully lived out by being present in a community with other local Christians (even when this is hard). Being a member of a local church is a commitment to be a disciple with an actual group of believers.
For United Methodists, membership in the Church catholic (all Christians across denominations) comes through baptism, which is open to both infants and adults. The next stage in faith is “Professing Membership” (which is called Confirmation in other traditions), and is when someone makes a public statement of belief and commits to living as a disciple within a local church.
First, just worship with us for a little while. We would love to have you as a member, but we also know that not every kind of worship or bible study program works for every person. If you discern that our community will help you grow in faith, great! If not, we would be happy to help you find a community that “speaks your language.”
Wesley Freedom offers New Member Classes at least 2x per year – usually in the Summer and either the Fall or Spring (sometimes both, depending on interest). These classes run 12 weeks and contain a very basic Bible Study for anyone unfamiliar with Christian beliefs as well as an introduction to what living as a Methodist looks like (prayer, worship, sacraments, etc). This class will also go over what promises we make when someone becomes a Methodist and what they mean. After this class, participants will be invited to make these promises during a worship service to become Professing Members. If you haven’t been baptized before, this would happen in the same service.
Contact Pastor Ian if you are interested in taking the New Member class.
Great Question! Here’s a brief explainer:
Baptism – Through baptism, we are welcomed into the family of Christ, given new birth through water and the Spirit, offered a sharing in Christ’s death and resurrection, cleansed from our sin. All of this is God’s gift, offered to us without price. Baptism is the welcome rite of the church—we offer it to people of all ages as a sign of God’s prevenient grace.
Infants Seeking Baptism– If you would like a pastor to baptize your child, please set up a meeting with a pastor to discuss the vows and meaning of baptism. Children who are baptized in the church become “Baptized members,” but are not given full membership rights until they are older.
Adults Seeking Baptism – If you are called to baptism, first speak with one of our pastors. Usually, adult baptisms will occur after you complete our Next Steps New Member class. Adults make their profession of faith and become full, professing members when they are baptized.
Profession of faith — This is a first-time public commitment to Christ. The profession of faith makes someone a “professing member” which is the sort of membership needed to vote in church meetings and serve on our leadership committees.
Reaffirmation of faith — A reaffirmation of your commitment to Christ. These occur periodically throughout the year during our worship services. During these occasions, every baptized person present is invited to re-make their baptismal & membership vows. Persons transferring their membership from another United Methodist Church are asked to reaffirm their faith.
Confirmation—We invite our 8th graders to go through a year-long process of confirming their baptism and professing their faith. On Confirmation Sunday, they join the church!
Yes! Members of any church (or no church at all) are welcome to attend services, serve in our music & worship ministry, participate in any of our classes or groups, and serve in our missions.
Membership on certain administrative committees and voting at our church’s annual business meeting is reserved for professing members, but all meetings (with a few exceptions) are open to community attendance (without voice or vote). The full United Methodist policy on open meetings can be viewed here.
The first step is to contact Pastor Ian and let him know that you are interested in transferring your membership to Wesley Freedom. If you are a member of another church, we will send them a formal letter asking them to remove your name from their membership rolls and letting them know you have transferred to here.
We do ask that anyone who transfers their membership also take our New Member Class so that everyone joining Wesley Freedom comes in with a small community of people who you have had the chance to get to know.