Membership at St. Clement's by-the-Sea
For as in one body we have many members,
and not all the members have the same function,
so we, who are many, are one body in Christ,
and individually we are members one of another--Romans 12:4-6
Through worship and community, we seek to serve you as a resource for your Christian faith journey.
You do not have to join the parish in a formal way in order to worship, attend classes or participate in activities. You may also donate support for the ministries of the parish without becoming a member.
And all persons, adults and children, are always welcome to receive Holy Communion.
However, we invite you to consider becoming a member of our parish.
Yet, we recognize that “becoming a member” can mean a variety of things to different people:
You may seek to “become a Christian” in a publicly recognized way.
You may seek to “belong” to the Episcopal Church in a general sense.
You may seek to “join” this local congregation of St. Clement's by-the-Sea.
Whichever of these or other intentions you may have, the clergy of St. Clement's by-the-Sea are available to help you begin the process of becoming a member.
Please review the various scenarios below in order to discern the path that may be appropriate in your circumstances.
What does being a member of St. Clement's by-the-Sea require?
Simply put, all membership rests finally on a public affirmation of membership by you, or, in the case of small children, by godparents, AND incorporation into the church through the sacrament of Baptism.
What if I am already baptized?
Any person baptized in any church with water in the name of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit may register with us to be counted as a baptized member of St. Clement's by-the-Sea. Again, all baptized Christians are welcome to partake of Holy Communion. A baptized member of St. Clement's by-the-Sea who receives Holy Communion at least three times a year is considered a communicant member.
What if I was baptized in another Episcopal parish?
Those whose baptisms have been registered in the Episcopal Church are considered baptized members. Upon reaching 16 years of age, baptized members are considered adult members.
What if I am presently a member of another Episcopal parish?
If you are presently a member of another Episcopal parish, you can transfer your membership. Please provide our parish office with the name and location of the church and the approximate dates of your membership. If you were confirmed there, provide the approximate date of your confirmation. We will then send for a letter of transfer, or you may wish to contact your previous parish yourself. (The office has access to the addresses and telephone numbers of all Episcopal parishes).
What if I am from another Anglican church?
If you are from another province of the Anglican Communion, for example a confirmed Anglican from the Church of England, you may become a baptized member of St. Clement's by-the-Sea. Please provide the parish office with your birth date and place, baptismal date and place, and confirmation date, place, and bishop.
What if I am coming from another denomination or church?
If you are seeking to join the Episcopal Church from another Christian church or denomination, and if you have been baptized with water and in the name of the Trinity, you may become a baptized member of the Episcopal Church by having your birth date and place and baptismal date and place duly recorded in the register of St. Clement's by-the-Sea.
What if I have not been baptized?
If you have not been baptized, contact the parish office or speak with one of the clergy to arrange a baptism. Baptisms are done at regularly scheduled services on the feast days specified by the Book of Common Prayer (the Baptism of Our Lord, the Easter Vigil, Pentecost, and All Saints). Understanding that life today is hectic and that not all can adhere to these dates, we do celebrate baptisms throughout the year except during the seasons of Lent and Advent. Anyone baptized at St. Clement's by-the-Sea is a baptized member.
What about Confirmation?
It is expected that all adult members of the Episcopal Church will be confirmed at some point. Confirmation is when 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. Any baptized adult is eligible, as well as young people.
What about being "Received" into the Episcopal Church, also known as "Reception?"
Persons who have been confirmed in another denomination by a bishop in the apostolic succession (most often Roman Catholic or Orthodox) are received by the bishop rather than confirmed. Persons are also received from churches in "full communion" with the Episcopal Church. Confirmations and receptions occur during the Bishop’s visitation (either annually or semi-annually). Please consult with the clergy of St. Clement's by-the-Sea if you are interested in either confirmation or reception. Classes for those preparing for confirmation or reception are led by clergy and usually begin each year in the spring.
Those who have been confirmed or received are classified as confirmed communicant members.
What is expected of members of St. Clement's by-the-Sea?
The Book of Common Prayer says that the duty of all Christians is to “follow Christ; to come together week by week for corporate worship; and to work, pray, and give for the spread of the kingdom of God.” We expect members to attend weekly services of Holy Eucharist on a regular basis.
We also expect members to explore ways they can contribute their talents and gifts to the life of the congregation. And we expect an identified measure of financial support of the ministries of St. Clement's by-the-Sea at a level that you would discern.
So in short, St. Clement's by-the-Sea expects some level of contribution of a member’s time, talent, and treasure.
Most members make an annual pledge of financial support, either during the stewardship campaign or at anytime during the year. Contact the parish office for a pledge form, or fill out the yellow pledge card in the pew rack.
A baptized member in good standing is one whose baptism is entered in the parish register (through one of the means described above), who worships regularly, and who is a contributor of record (by pledge or other identifiable contribution) to the general support of the parish. Baptized members in good standing are eligible to serve on the vestry.
A Members Directory will be distributed periodically, including names, residential addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses.
We invite you to consider membership at St. Clement's by-the-Sea. If you have questions about the membership process, please do not hesitate to contact the clergy at the parish office. 949.492.3401.