Membership FAQ


What does the New Testament say about church membership?

What is membership like at Restoration?

Why does Restoration have members?

Why would I want to be a member of Restoration?

Who are Restoration’s members?

What if I’m not a member of Restoration? Can I still participate in stuff?

I’m not new. Why do I have to go to the New to Restoration Dinner?

When is my next chance to become a member?

What’s the difference between confirmation and being a member? I’ve already been confirmed, am I not a member?

So what’s confirmation?

Do I have to be confirmed to be a member?

What’s the vestry?

 

What does the New Testament say about church membership?

Actually, it says a lot. You can read about it here.
Back to top

 

What is membership like at Restoration?

We’ve written about that, too—check it out here.
Back to top

 

Why does Restoration have members?

Anyone can participate in our common life at Restoration: small groups, Sunday worship, outreach opportunities, social gatherings, seminars, and training events are open to anyone. As a healthy church, we fully expect that there will be a wide range of people with a wide range of beliefs about God who join us for different parts of our life together. We want this. We want to be accessible to our community so that many people can experience the unique wonder of grace God offers us in Jesus Christ.

Jesus attracted vast multitudes who interacted with him and held many different opinions and
understandings about him. But he also had smaller groups he surrounded himself with, people who were committed to following him and to living as part of the Kingdom that he was creating: the three beloved disciples—James, John, and Peter; the 12 apostles; the 72 whom he sent out on mission; the 500 who saw him after his resurrection. Similarly, we want to be a church that has a defined membership core around Christ our center, even as we welcome all who are curious and want to know more.
Back to top

 

Why would I want to be a member of Restoration?

We recognize the “joining” a church is a very familiar idea to some people and a very foreign one for others. If you’re unsure about the whole membership thing, here are a few benefits of membership you might want to consider:

  • You are choosing to live in line with the New Testament exhortations for Christians. It’s inconsistent to say, “I like Jesus—I just don’t like the church.” Jesus never imagined that his disciples would live out their faith in isolation from others. He expected that everyone who came after him would commit themselves to a local community of believers. You don’t necessarily need to be a member of Restoration, but you do need to be a member of a church somewhere.
  • You get to shape our common life at Restoration. Only members can vote in the annual vestry elections. The vestry are elders of the church who provide spiritual and practical leadership and oversight—so the choice of vestry members significantly shapes life at Restoration.
  • You have the opportunity to serve in leadership at Restoration. For example, only members can lead small groups, serve on the vestry, or represent Restoration at diocesan and other Anglican events.

Back to top

 

Who are Restoration’s members?

Restoration’s members are a vocationally, economically, and demographically diverse group of
people who have chosen to live according to a shared set of core values and common
commitments.

  • They have been baptized and share a belief in the uniqueness of our triune God.
  • They have pledged to give of their time, talents, and treasure to Restoration and its role in the building of God’s Kingdom. They are shareholders in the spiritual dividends we long to see from our labors as a church.
  • They recognize that the gospel transforms lives through the catalyst of community—groups in which we can know each other, serve the community, and live life together. They are committed to regularly participating in Restoration small groups as places where this kind of community thrives.

Back to top

 

What if I’m not a member of Restoration? Can I still participate in stuff?

Absolutely. Our life as a community is open to everyone. You can read Scripture in Sunday
worship, serve communion, be an usher, participate in a small group, serve on a mission team,
pray for people, give your tithe, and play on the worship team! You may fully immerse yourself in
our common life. However, we urge you to re-visit the membership question on a regular basis.
Belonging to a community through good and bad is a critical component of discipleship and of
maturing in Christ.
Back to top

 

I’m not new. Why do I have to go to a New to Restoration Dinner?

So you’ve been at Restoration for a while and have decided to take the membership plunge. We’re
so glad. And we’re still going to make you come to dinner.

No doubt you’ve learned a lot about our church from worshiping with us, participating in small
groups, or serving Arlington with other Restoration folks. But before we ask you to join our
community, we want to be sure you know what our community is all about—our history, our values and expectations, our vision of the kind of church God is calling Restoration to be. A lot of those things can be “caught,” but it’s also important that they’re taught. The New to Restoration Dinner (or NTRD) is the best opportunity we have to do that teaching. It’s also your best opportunity to ask us questions about our life as a church.

That, and you’ll get a great meal and meet some fantastic people. It’s a win-win-win.
Back to top

 

When is my next chance to become a member?

We have three opportunities each year for people to become members: winter (January/February);
spring (April/May); and fall (October/November). Watch the worship guide and the church calendar for announcements.
Back to top

 

What’s the difference between confirmation and being a member? I’ve already been confirmed, am I not a member?

Being confirmed is not the same as becoming a member. Confirmation is a public confession of
faith (see more on this below), while becoming a member means making a commitment to our
specific community.
Back to top

 

So what’s confirmation?

This is the explanation of confirmation from the Book of Common Prayer:
“In the course of their Christian development, those baptized at an early age are expected,
when they are ready and have been duly prepared, to make a mature public affirmation of their
faith and commitment to the responsibilities of their Baptism and to receive the laying on of
hands by the bishop. Those baptized as adults…are also expected to make a public affirmation
of their faith and commitment to the responsibilities of their Baptism in the presence of a bishop
and to receive the laying on of hands.” (page 412)

At confirmation, the bishop says, “Strengthen, O Lord, your servant [name] with your Holy Spirit;
empower him for your service; and sustain him all the days of his life. Amen.”

If you were baptized as an infant, confirmation is a public declaration confirming your baptismal
vows. It is a statement that you want to follow Jesus as your the one who forgives you (your
Savior) and leads you (your Lord). If you were baptized in other Christian denominations or
traditions, confirmation is also a declaration that you want to live out your faith in the context of the Anglican tradition. (That’s what the term “confirmed communicant” means.)
Back to top

 

Do I have to be confirmed to be a member?

No. Confirmation is not required for membership. However, only those who have been confirmed
can serve on our vestry or serve as Restoration’s delegate at our diocese’s annual synod.
Back to top

 

What’s the vestry?

The vestry is an elected board of elders who wisely and prayerfully help lead our church. They are
responsible for the oversight of our finances and our facility, and they partner with our clergy and
staff to discern God’s vision for Restoration. You can learn more about them here.
Back to top

© Copyright Restoration Anglican Church