We often speak of the Community of St. Joseph’s.
The Community of St. Joseph’s are those who participate regularly in the life of St. Joseph’s. They are people who are “members” of St. Joseph’s (as described below), but also “attenders” — those whose official membership may be at another church, or who, for a variety of reasons, do not want to formally affiliate with St. Joseph’s. Either way, they care for and about the life of the St. Joseph’s community and consider themselves a part of it.
Being enrolled as a Baptized Member
The canons (laws) of the Episcopal Church state:
All persons who have received the Sacrament of Holy Baptism with water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, whether in this (the Episcopal) Church or in another Christian Church, and whose baptism has been recorded in this church, are members thereof. (Canon 17, Section 1)
This is true of infants, toddlers, teens, and adults. If you have been baptized, experience St. Joseph’s as your primary church home, and would like to claim it as such by being enrolled as a “baptized member”, please contact the Vicar.
Adult “Members in good standing”
An adult member (age 16 or older) in good standing is one whose baptism is entered in the parish register (through one of the means described above), and who participates regularly in the life of the church by joining in the liturgy and contributing faithfully to the general support of the church. Those who are in the register but do not participate regularly in the life of the church are designated as “inactive”.
“Confirmed communicants in good standing”
A “confirmed communicant in good standing” is one who is a member in good standing and has also been confirmed or received by the bishop. By the canons of the Episcopal Church or of the Diocese of North Carolina only “confirmed communicants in good standing” may vote for the vestry, serve on the vestry, serve as delegates to Diocesan Convention, or be licensed by the Bishop as worship leaders, chalice bearers and Eucharistic visitors.
If you have not been baptized:
The Outline of the Faith in the Book of Common Prayer defines Baptism as “the Sacrament by which God adopts us as God’s children and makes us members of Christ’s Body, the Church, and inheritors of the kingdom of God.”
If you have not yet been baptized and wish to be, please contact the Vicar.
Being Confirmed or Received into the Episcopal Church
The Book of Common Prayer defines Confirmation as “the rite in which we express a mature commitment to Christ, and receive strength from the Holy Spirit through prayer and the laying on of hands by a bishop.” Confirmation or reception can be a meaningful way to claim the faith that others claimed for you in an earlier time, or to strengthen your commitment to the faith as lived out in the church.
Confirmation/Reception takes places at the Bishop’s regional visitation each spring.
If you have been confirmed by a Bishop in another branch or denomination of the Church or made a mature public commitment of faith you may be received into the Episcopal Church by our Bishop. Preparation for Confirmation or Reception includes participation in liturgy and education opportunities of St. Joseph’s for the year, as well as participation in an “Inquirer’s” or “Faith Matters” class.
If you are interested in Confirmation/Reception, please talk to the Vicar.
If you are already an Episcopalian:
If you are a member of another Episcopal congregation, or were ever confirmed in an Episcopal Church, you can transfer your membership to St. Joseph’s. If you wish to transfer your membership to St. Joseph’s, let the Vicar know the name and location of the church and the approximate dates of your membership there or, if you were confirmed there, the approximate date of confirmation, and we will request a letter of transfer for you.