HOW DO I JOIN THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH?

If you are here as a newcomer or an inquirer, have experienced our worship services or just checked out the church and its activities and are interested in joining the Episcopal Church and becoming an Episcopalian, please contact a priest and we will be happy to tell you about the Episcopal Church—what we believe, how we worship, and what makes us distinctive as Christians and people of faith.

Here are some basic guidelines to becoming an Episcopalian:

You can be a member of Calvary Church without necessarily being an Episcopalian. We welcome you and we are glad you are with us, and will greet you warmly whenever you come. In general, we recognize you as a member if you attend church regularly, participate in some way in our church and community life, and pledge a financial commitment to the church. We also ask for your contact information so that we can be in touch with you, send you updates in our newsletters, and help you with any pastoral needs you may have.

Even if you can only come to church once in a while, you can still be on our mailing list and whenever we see you, we will welcome you with open arms.

Being an Episcopalian is a spiritual commitment. As a liturgical and sacramental church, we believe that the sacraments of Holy Baptism and Holy Eucharist are important to being a member of the Episcopal Church.

If you have never been baptized in any church, we encourage you to be baptized, and thus to make the baptismal vows to God that commits you to a life in Christ. Please check the Rite of Holy Baptism, page 298 in the Book of Common Prayer, to see what happens when you are baptized.

Holy Baptism, says the Prayer Book, is “full initiation by water and the Holy Spirit into Christ’s Body the Church. The bond which God established in Baptism is indissoluble.” This means that there is only one baptism, if done “in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” So if you have been baptized already, in another Christian church, in the name of the Trinity, you do not need to be baptized again.

We do encourage confirmation, if you were baptized as an infant. Confirmation is a mature commitment to Christ and a public reaffirmation of the baptismal vows that were made on your behalf by your parents or guardians. Confirmation is a sacramental rite, of which the outward sign is the laying on of hands by the Bishop. Area confirmations take place each spring, or may be done during the Bishop’s visitation to the parish.

Person who desire leadership roles in the church, particularly as Vestry members or Wardens, need to be confirmed.

Another important part of being Episcopalian is regular participation in the Sunday rite of Holy Eucharist. Our Savior Jesus Christ himself commanded us not only to baptize but also to share his body and blood “in remembrance of me.” In the Episcopal Church, Holy Eucharist is the principal service on Sundays, and an integral part of the Episcopal faith. We do not take roll or keep attendance records, but we do encourage regular attendance at Sunday services.