Membership and Adult Confirmation at Church of the Cross are important to understand. Below are 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?
Confirmed Members have taken an extra step of commitment to life and ministry at Cross--not just regularly participating, but pledging themselves to us. Also, this is an intentional commitment to our diocese as well. Our connection to the churches and leadership in our diocese, and the leadership of our Bishop, are important parts of our church life, and it is important for us to acknowledge that and our commitment to our diocese's communal mission. This is required for certain leadership roles, like serving on the Vestry, or also serving Communion.
A key part of this step is confirmation.
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 and through the Church and in 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 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. (You can figure this out with Christian and Peter.)
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. The Sacraments and Sacramental Theology
4. Gifts, Strength, and Mission
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 consider you a Confirmed Member.
In the past, many became members during a church 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 (though we weren't clear on the wording of this at the time). 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. Anyone can join these classes, even those not looking to be Confirmed.
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.