Presbyterians are democratic—we vote to call our pastors, we vote to elect our officers, and we vote whenever we consider buying or selling property. Leaders sitting in a denominational headquarters somewhere do NOT make these decisions for us. Because of this great responsibility, while a person is always free to attend TPC and worship or enjoy a fellowship opportunity as long as they wish, we do welcome those who feel so called to formally join our congregation. Membership in a Presbyterian church doesn’t confer privilege as much as it connotes service – membership means you want to take a more active role in the decisions that shape this body.
Anyone with faith in Jesus Christ and who wants to take part in our ministry is welcome to join our congregation. If you are interested in membership, talk to Pastor Ken. The “normal” way folks join is Ken will come and meet with you to talk about being Presbyterian in general and what life is like at TPC. Then, if he didn’t run you off, the next step is to meet with the session to talk more about your faith journey and how you’d like to be involved in the church. And THEN, we will bless you during a service of worship.
Well, what if I don’t like the idea of being a “member” of a church?
Or what if I like what’s happening at TPC, but I’ve got serious questions about my faith and aren’t sure I can make a faith statement right now?
These are great questions. More and more people today, especially in the Northwest, are questioning what it means to be part of a congregation. And membership just isn’t for everybody. We know this. And so, for people who want to be involved in the life of TPC but are uncomfortable with the idea of being a member may join as an “adherent.” (We’ll be honest – we made this term up, but it has Biblical precedent and practical relevance today.) Adherents are people who just want to focus on worship and study and growth and who aren’t necessarily concerned with voting and governing and things like that. So, if you’re interested, talk with Pastor Ken and together you can explore this possibility.
Finally, in a lot of churches joining a congregation looks like attending a series of classes, showing up in worship and making public promises, but then new members are often kind of left to themselves. At TPC we do this a little differently. Pastor Ken addresses the informational side of membership during one-on-one meetings, but then before and after folks join there is a group called Connections that meets at Pastor Ken’s home to support new visitors and members. Connections is a gathering for people who are new—so it’s easy to make friends and ask questions, because everyone there is in the same boat. Connections is always fun, it’s often informative, and if you’re interested in attending the next gathering, talk with Pastor Ken. There’s always room for more!