The changes to membership and Adult Confirmation at Church of the Cross are important to understand. Below are basically FAQs on Confirmed Membership.
Who is a member of Church of the Cross?
Anyone who considers Cross their home, regularly participates, and is baptized, is a member of our church. We’re all part of the same church family, and can serve in most ministries and positions.
What is a Confirmed Member?
A Confirmed Member is someone who has chosen to take another step of commitment to Cross. It is a more formal step into the life of Church of the Cross, and is required for certain leadership roles, like serving on the Vestry, or also serving Communion.
Many at Cross have taken this step before, and were previously just called “members.” But, that was a little confusing. So, this step is now Confirmed Membership.
What’s different about Confirmed Membership from our previous membership course?
Becoming a Confirmed Member now also intentionally includes being Confirmed.
What is “being Confirmed” or Confirmation?
Confirmation is an important sacramental rite. Being Confirmed is about not only confirming and being confirmed in our faith, but also about taking a new, bigger step into mission in the Church and the World. At the Confirmation Service, we renew our baptismal vows and covenant, and then are Confirmed by the bishop as he lays his hands on us and prays for our strengthening in the Spirit for the mission of the church.
In the Western Church, Confirmation comes more as a rite of maturity in Christian faith, so it is usually preceded by an intentional time for extra study, prayer and discernment, as we learn more about our Church, consider our own beliefs and how we can submit in new ways to God’s call in our lives.
Confirmation is an important part of Church life at Cross. All children have an opportunity to be confirmed as teenagers. We want all adults to have that same opportunity.
I was Confirmed in the Past. How does that change things?
To become a confirmed member, everyone must participate in our full process, even if they were previously confirmed in a different church or denomination.
Anyone who, in the past, was Confirmed by a Bishop in apostolic succession (so, usually Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, or Anglican) will not be Confirmed again. Though, they may chose to still participate in the service, they would instead be “received”, rather than confirmed.
Anyone who went through a Confirmation process, but was not Confirmed by a Bishop, will still need to be Confirmed during the Confirmation Service.
What is the process to be Confirmed and become a Confirmed Member?
Our Adult confirmation process includes 1) Discovering the Cross Class, 2) 5 Additional Classes (see below), 3) Writing up your testimony to God’s work and faithfulness in your life, 4) Meeting with Cross Pastoral Staff, 5) Being Confirmed by the Bishop.
The five confirmation classes are about explaining our core beliefs so that everyone Confirmed at Cross can understand and agree on what is most important to who we are as a body, which is especially about the core beliefs of the entire Church, throughout time and space.
These classes are:
1. Core Beliefs and Theology
2. Liturgy and the Book of Common Prayer
3. Gifts, Strength, and Mission
4. The Sacraments and Sacramental Theology
5. Holy Sexuality
I already went through the membership process at Cross. What do I need to do now to be a Confirmed Member?
If you already went through a membership process at Cross and were made a member, we will consider you a Confirmed Member.
In the past, many became members in a service, receiving the laying on of hands by a Bishop (either our former Bishop, Sandy Greene, or our current Bishop, Stewart Ruch). If that is the case for you, you are already confirmed. If that wasn’t the case, while you are now a Confirmed Member, we still strongly encourage you to participate in this process and ultimately receive the laying on of hands and prayer by our bishop.
Even if you are already a Confirmed Member (and have been confirmed) you will still benefit from participating in the classes we’re offering.
I want to be confirmed, or become a Confirmed Member. What do I do next?
Contact Peter (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you want to become a Confirmed member (or just be confirmed if you haven’t been).
I still have questions.
Talk with Peter.