What does it mean to be a member of The Falls Church?
As we approach our annual meeting (January 29, 11:00 a.m.) we are required to examine our membership rolls and identify those who are “communicants in good standing” who can cast their vote at the annual meeting.
Membership of The Falls Church falls into multiple categories:
Member - All persons who have received the Sacrament of Holy Baptism, whether in The Episcopal Church or in another Christian church, and whose baptisms have been duly recorded in the Register of the Parish.
Adult Member - Any baptized or confirmed member who is aged 16 and above.
Confirmed Member - Any Baptized Member who has received the laying on of hands by a bishop of The Episcopal Church in Confirmation is to be considered both baptized and confirmed. Any member who is both baptized and has made a mature adult commitment to the Christian faith in another tradition and been Received into The Episcopal Church, is to be considered as both baptized and confirmed.
Communicant Members—All members who have received Holy Communion in the Church at least three times during the preceding year are to be considered Communicant Members.
Communicant Members in Good Standing - All A) adult members; who B) are Communicant Members and who, for the previous year, have been faithful in corporate worship unless for good cause prevented; and C) have been faithful in working, praying, and giving for the spread of the Kingdom of God are to be considered Communicants in good standing. Only Communicant Members in Good Standing are allowed to vote at the annual meeting.
In the summer of 2022, I embarked on the challenge of reconciling our paper membership forms with our digital records on Realm, as well as asking members to update their details with a Realm update form. Many members engaged in this process, and I am very thankful, but there are still many gaps. Thanks to some wonderful volunteers, we are half-way there with our full review of ALL membership forms since the return to the property in 2012.
Accurate membership records are crucial for a parish and our life together. They determine who can vote at the annual meeting, who can stand for vestry, who may serve as lay eucharist ministers, the size of our delegation to diocesan annual convention, only to name a few.
So let this be your reminder to either fill out a Realm update form if you are a member, or if you have never filled out a paper membership form for The Falls Church, to please fill one out to ensure your membership is accurately recorded.
If you are new to The Falls Church, THIS SUNDAY our new three-part workshop ‘Under the Fig Tree’ begins, designed to help newcomers make their place at The Falls Church. Further details on this can be found further down this newsletter.
Director of Communication and Digital Ministries