The church is not a building or a place, though these have their uses. The church is the people of God gathered together. It is a living thing and not a static pile of granite. The church is the people of God striving to work in partnership with God.
The members of the church embody the church (just as your hands, feet and head embody you). Without these different members, coming with all kinds of backgrounds, talents and gifts, there would be no church.
Membership in the church is a symbol of your commitment to Jesus' call to follow him. It is an affirmation that you are going to try, with God's help, to play your full part in building a community (within the church and outside the church) that is shaped by the gracious, open, hospitable love that Jesus shows to us.
Membership also means that you can fully play your part in the decision-making processes of the church, being able to vote in church meetings and with the possibility of ordination to the eldership.
You do not, however, need to be a member in order to worship or share in holy communion.
In becoming a member of a particular congregation, you become a member of the Church of Scotland, and do so through making a public profession of faith (usually during morning worship), answering certain questions. If you have not already been baptised as a child, you would also be baptised.
If you are interested in making that further step in your faith commitment in church membership please contact the church office or minister to find out when the next Membership Course is taking place. These provide an opportunity to chat about faith, God and the commitment of church membership.
Church membership is for everyone who believes and trusts in the Lord Jesus and who puts Jesus first in their lives. In a famous verse from the Book of Revelation (3:20) Jesus says in a vision to John: "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him and him with me."
The Membership Vows
If you have already been baptised into the church, either as an adult or an infant, then when you join the church you will be asked the following questions. If you have not been baptised, then a baptism will also be a part of the service.
These are the vows used:
You have professed with us your faith in one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. In your baptism God brought you into the house of faith, and in goodness and mercy has shepherded you to this day. We ask you now to pledge yourself to a life of Christian discipleship:
Do you promise to follow Jesus Christ in your daily life?
With God’s help I will seek to follow Christ, and in listening for God’s Word, in the breaking of bread, and prayer, to grow ever closer to him as the years pass.
Do you promise to be a faithful member of the Christian Community?
With God’s help I will share in the worship and service of the church, and in this I will give generously of what I am and what I have.
Do you promise to take part in God’s mission to the world?
With God’s help I will witness to Christ wherever I find myself and putting my trust and hope in him I will seek justice and peace and the renewing of all according to God’s promise.
The Congregation are then asked to accept the following commitment:
I charge you, the people of this congregation, to love, encourage and support these our brothers and sisters in faith, that they may continue to grow in the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the knowledge and love of God.
With God’s help we will live out our baptism as a loving community in Christ: upholding one another in prayer, and encouraging one another in service.