Joining the Church
Joining the church is an important step in claiming the Christian faith for yourself. When you join the church, you make a commitment to your own spiritual journey, nurtured through worship and the love of a faithful Christian community.
In the United Methodist Church, we use five words to talk about what it means to be a part of a congregation:
We ask that all of our members commit themselves to a practice of prayer, enriching their relationship with God and upholding the church, others and themselves in spiritual devotion.
We ask all of our members to make a commitment to be present with the worshipping community as much as possible. We believe that worship, sacraments and the community that is formed in worship is absolutely vital to a growing Christian faith.
We ask that all of our members make a commitment to support the work of the church through the sharing of their time, their financial resources and their unique gifts.
We ask that all our members make a commitment to serving the church through acts of ministry within the church and/or in the broader community.
We ask that all of our members think of their Christian life not as something contained to Sunday mornings, but lived out in their faithful acts throughout the week at home, in the workplace and in the community.
Why Join the Church?
We believe that the Christian faith is best lived in a community of other Christians who are also seeking to grow in their knowledge, love and service to God. When you join Riviera United Methodist Church, you are joining a group of Christians who love God, love one another and support one another in living lives of faith and compassion.
We have a lot of fun, we laugh, we pray, and we support one another in Christian faith. While one can be a Christian and not ever join a church, we believe that Christianity lived in connection to others is quite simply richer, deeper, more joyful and more faithful to God’s Word.
On the day that you join the church, the pastor will invite you (and others) forward and will ask you the questions listed below. Because we didn’t “invent” the church yesterday, the questions sound rather antiquated as they express deep theological and historical ideas in the church. Never shying away from our rich traditions, the pastor will ask you:
On behalf of the whole church, I ask you:
Do you reject the spiritual forces of wickedness, the evil powers of this world and repent of your sin?
Do you accept the freedom God gives you to resist evil, injustice and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves?
Do you confess Jesus Christ as your savior, put your whole trust in his grace and promise to serve him as your Lord, in union with the Church which Christ has opened to people of all ages, nations and races?
According to the grace given to you, will you remain faithful members of Christ’s holy Church and serve as Christ’s representatives in the world?
As members of Christ’s universal Church, will you be loyal to the United Methodist Church and do all in your power to strengthen its ministries?
As members of this congregation, will you faithfully participate in its ministries by your prayers, your presence, your gifts, your service and your witness?
You may have noticed that these questions are pretty deep and weighty. We offer classes and other opportunities for you to ask as many questions as you would like about the Bible, the Christian faith, United Methodism, spirituality and any other questions you may have about the Christian life. Joining the church is just one step of many in growing in the love and grace of Christ. Wherever you are on your journey of faith, we welcome you.