An Explanation and Survey
Becoming a member at Assembly is a voluntary choice for anyone who affirms the Assembly covenant and its practices. Those who choose to be members are invited to re-affirm their membership annually on Pentecost during our Recovenanting ritual.
Why become a member?
- To become a member (or covenant with the congregation, as we often call it) is to say that I am no longer a visitor or occasional participant here; it is a public statement that my faith journey is happening in this place, with these people;
- Covenanting publicly to a group is a tangible step of being known – an important element of a healthy community. Also, when one publicly joins a congregation and affirms its vision, it is a joyful and encouraging event for the entire community;
- Anabaptists have traditionally believed that committing to a faith community isn’t a privatized decision. In this age of individualism and shallow connections, we see covenanting as a way to live counter-culturally by taking seriously and being intentional about our commitments.
What does it mean to be a member at Assembly?
The meaning of membership is largely symbolic and intangible (there are no tax benefits or discounts at the Brew). Most of Assembly’s communal life is open to all who find their involvement meaningful, however there are a few areas of congregational life reserved for members. This includes making decisions at congregational meetings and serving on elders and the leader selection committee.
Why do we recovenant?
Recovenanting is an annual opportunity to renew and celebrate our commitment to the congregation. Most of us find that our commitment does not changed significantly year to year, however we don’t simply assume that is always the case. Recovenanting is a time to review our participation in and commitment to the community.
What is stated above are our understandings of membership at Assembly. Yet we’re aware that for various reasons, many who regularly participate at Assembly have chosen not to become members (at least, so far). Rather than make assumptions about why this is, we’re interested in your feedback.