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Membership

If I’ve been a member of a non-LCMS Lutheran Church, will my membership transfer directly to Living Water without taking the membership class?

In order to become a member, you must be confirmed in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.  This means that you understand and agree with our interpretation of what is written in Martin Luther’s Small Catechism.  The six parts of Luther’s Catechism are covered and discussed in the New Member class so that everyone who is a member understands and shares these beliefs, which are different than those of other Lutheran denominations.  This is particularly true of what is known as the “means of grace” which are baptism, the Lord’s Supper and the Word (the Bible).

If I come from another Christian denomination, i.e. Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, do I need to take the Living Water membership class?

In order to become a member, you must be confirmed in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.  This means that you understand and agree what is written in Martin Luther’s Small Catechism.  The six parts of Luther’s Catechism are covered and discussed in the New Member class so that everyone who is a member understands and shares these beliefs, which are different than those of other Christian denominations.  This is particularly true of what is known as the “means of grace” which are baptism, the Lord’s Supper and the Word (the Bible).

What is the process for keeping me accountable as a member of Living Water?

In general, we do not have a formal process.  However, each of us, as members, are responsible for supporting our sisters and brothers in Christ.  To that end each of us, not just the Pastor and Elders, need to be prepared to “impart and accept Christian admonition and correction when error occurs.”[1]

Do I have to be recognized in front of the whole congregation as a New Member of Living Water?

You do not have to be called up in front of the whole congregation if you do not want to be.  However, it is nice for everyone to be welcomed formally so it is encouraged.

What are the rights and privileges of holding membership in an LCMS chartered congregation like Living Water?

You are expected to attend worship on Sunday, attend any special services during Advent and Lent, attend Sunday morning Adult Bible Study, send children to Sunday School If over 18 years of age, you are expected to attend Voters Assembly meetings to decide the direction of the ministry, to call full-time church workers including pastors and make major financial commitments like a mortgage.

Will I have an Elder assigned to me as a Living Water member?

Yes. The Board of Elders is in the process of assigning members to specific Elders. Our church will have a number of households assigned to each Elder as a way of providing feedback to the church regarding needs and problems and as a spiritual support for the household. The Elder may visit the household to talk about the church and the needs of the household once or twice a year just to make sure everything is OK.

Are there any volunteer ministries which are not open to non-members at Living Water?

Elders and Church Council members must be members of Living Water.  Sunday School teachers, Adult Bible Class teachers and Communion Assistants must be confirmed members of the LCMS church but not necessarily members of Living Water. All other ministries are open to anyone who worships at Living Water, members and non-members alike.

What do I need to do to become a member of an LCMS congregation?

Living Water conducts a series of instruction/membership classes on a regular basis for adults interested in joining the congregation or learning more about what the LCMS believes. Please speak to Pastor Harrison or Linda Murdock, Ministry Assistant. For individuals who come from a non-LCMS Lutheran background, these classes serve as a refresher course in Lutheran doctrine and a way of clarifying differences. For those coming from other denominations, these classes provide a thorough overview of the LCMS foundational teachings and beliefs.

Why should I join a congregation? Couldn’t I just attend church, give a regular offering, and do the things a member does without joining?

Joining a church says to the public “you are a Christian” and that you believe and act as an example to others. It means that you are joining in fellowship and discipleship with other Christians through encouragement, prayer, baptism, and the Lord’s Supper. It tells other Christians and the world that you consider it a serious matter to support the work of the church, calling a full-time pastor, instructing others in the Christian faith, and doing outreach both at home and abroad. Membership signifies whole-hearted involvement in doing the things of God.

 What are the different types of memberships offered at Living Water?

According to Article III of our Constitution, there are four different types of members:

Baptized members: A baptized member is a Christian who has been baptized at this congregation or at any Christian congregation where the Sacrament of Holy Baptism was administered in the name of the Triune God in accordance with the Scriptures (Matthew 28:19), and is under the pastoral care of this congregation.  Baptized members are received through the Sacrament of Holy Baptism, by transfer from an LCMS congregation or by profession of faith by lapsed members of this or another LCMS congregation.

Confirmed members: A confirmed member is a baptized member who has affirmed his/her baptismal vows, accepts all canonical books of the Old and New Testaments as the only divine rule and standard of faith and life, is familiar with and accepts Luther’s Small Catechism, and is not a member, affiliate, or supporter of organizations conflicting with the Holy Scriptures.  Confirmed members are received by the Rite of Confirmation or by transfer from an LCMS congregation.

Voting members: Every confirmed member 18 years of age or older is a voting member.

Associate members: An associate member is a confirmed member of another Lutheran congregation who wishes to retain formal membership in the congregation while residing in this area for limited or fixed periods of time attending school, on vocational or job assignment, during retirement with seasonal residence in the area, for medical or other treatment, or for other sound purpose. An associate member may be a voting member, but may not hold elected office or serve as a convention delegate.

 

[1] Article IX of the Membership Covenant of Living Water Lutheran Church of Whitmore Lake, approved by Church Council on April 17, 2016.

 

 

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