Wesley United Methodist Church
Friday, July 19, 2024
903 Center St., Bryan, Ohio

Membership At Wesley

Why should I become a member?

Becoming a member of a church is not like joining a club.  There's no social status obtained by membership because there is no exclusion as to who can be a part of it.  Within this membership is vitality that comes from a combined declaration of faith and belief.  Our diversity comes together in unity for the purpose of glorifying God.  Within this membership, we find accountability, despite our dislike for it, and we are valued for the contributions we make.  For the church to be as God intended, all must be an active part in it's function with a committed attitude and loving heart.  Ask yourself this question, "Can I be a Christian, living the life God calls me to, if I have not declared myself a member of His Church?"

"We have all been called to the same glorious future."  Ephesians 4:4


Membership Through Baptism

Adult Baptism

Baptism is the celebration, a ritual, of receiving a new identity through Christ's claim on you.  A Christian is one who has "put on Christ".  Baptism is the beginning of a journey of lifelong faithfulness.  Whether baptized as an adult or infant, this is where we start within a congregation.
Baptism is an initiation by God of a covenant he has with us, meaning the Holy Spirit is at work within us and we have a special mission in this world.  In baptism, we are identified as being chosen by God, he knows us intimately as his child and we become a part of the church. 
Because baptism is a sacrament (an experience of God's grace), and a covenant initiated by him, it is not repeated.  However, it can be re-newed commitment.  This ritual is referred to as Reaffirmation.  This means, although God is always faithful to us, we sometimes fall short of our promise to him.  Our promise is to confess Christ as Our Savior, trust in his grace, serve him and carry out his mission against evil, injustice and oppression.
To learn more about baptism, or if you desire to be baptized, please Contact a Pastor.

Infant or Child Baptism

A parent may be reluctant to have their child baptized as an infant because they feel it is not a decision or choice for them to make on their young child's behalf, but rather one their child should make when they are older and more informed.  Baptism of a child at Wesley is not a pledge of the child, but rather a pledge of the congregation, parents and other significant adults to raise this child in the Christian faith.  Confirmation is the time when your older child professes their faith and support of the church and takes responsibility for their own decisions.  However, there is grace that God gives to us before we are aware of it.  It is this grace, called prevenient grace, that brings us to faithfulness.  Baptizing a child includes them in the church before they can respond as an indication this grace does exist.
To learn more about baptism, or to request baptism for your child, please Contact a Pastor.


Membership Through Confirmation

Confirmation refers to the decision a person, typically an adolescent, makes to respond to God's grace with intentional commitment.  These people have been nurtured by the church and now reaffirm their baptism as a young child.  If a person has not been baptized, they can be baptized at this time.  This ritual of Confirmation includes professing the repentance of sins, the surrendering of self, trust in the saving grace of God, new life in Christ and being used for God's purpose in this world.
At Wesley, there is a period of time, or preparation, before a person is confirmed in which they participate in formal group classes and/or one-on-one meetings with an adult Mentor.  During this time, they learn about the meaning of Christian faith, the history and teachings, and The United Methodist Church.  Baptism and church membership is also explained.  There are other requirements, such as service involvement or completed curriculum, and an emphasis on attendance, before a youth is confirmed.
Although membership into the universal church was established at baptism, at the time of Confirmation, youth are formally received into Wesley membership unless they indicate a desire not to.  With this membership, comes the responsibility of dedicating time, prayers, talents and treasures to the church.  This attitude of living as a member of the body of Christ was established during the preparation for Confirmation and now becomes a commitment of loyalty and discipleship.
Confirmation classes generally include 7th and 8th grade students.  If you have questions or would like to enroll in the next class, please Contact a Pastor.  Announcements of upcoming confirmation program can also be found on the web page, Announcements.

Membership By Transfer

If you are member of another Methodist Church, the office will send a notice to that church for transfer of membership upon your request.  You become a member when that notice is acknowledged by your former church.  You are then asked if you'd like to be formally received into Wesley membership during the worship service you typically attend.  This is optional, but recommended because it is an opportunity to reaffirm your commitment to the church.  It is also recommended that you attend our informative session of classes called Inquirers'.  Inquirers' classes are offered 3 times a year by the Senior Pastor and will help you become acclimated to the programs and ministries of Wesley.  You can find announcements of these classes on our web page, Announcements, or see the Calendar.

Membership By Profession of Faith

If you are member of another denomination, you will be asked to attend an informative session of classes called Inquirers' before you are received into membership.  Inquirers' classes are offered 3 times a year by the Senior Pastor.  During these classes, you are not only informed of the programs and ministries of Wesley, but you are also instructed on the beliefs of the Methodist Church.  You can find announcements of these classes on our web page, Announcements, or see the Calendar.  Upon completion, your former church will be notified of your intentions to join Wesley.  You will be received into membership in a brief ceremony, typically along with others who attended the Inquirers' classes with you, during the worship service you prefer.  During this ceremony, you will be asked to profess your faith and take a vow of membership.  If you were not baptized, then you would be at this time. 

Membership By Reinstatement

If you were a member of Wesley, and membership was disrupted, you may be re-instated if you have not obtained membership elsewhere during that time of inactivity.  A request to a Pastor, along with some updated personal information, is all that's required.  However, you may choose to attend an informative session of classes called Inquirers'.  Inquirers' classes are offered 3 times a year by the Senior Pastor.  During these classes, you will be updated on the programs and ministries of Wesley.  You can find announcements of these classes on our web page, Announcements, or see the Calendar.  You may also choose to reaffirm your faith and commitment to the church during worship service when other members are received.

Reaffirmation Of Faith For Current Members

The opportunity for any current Wesley member to reaffirm their faith is presented whenever new members are received into our congregation.  If you desire to re-commit yourself before those who hold you accountable, please bring this to the attention of the Pastor and you will be presented.  You may also make this renewal from where you are seated, or approach the altar rail.
Consecration Sunday is an intentional time during worship service each year in which we come together as a community and collectively reaffirm our faith as individuals among the people who support us.  It's a time to focus on giving of, or dedicating, ourselves to the church for the purpose of glorifying God.  Whether you hold membership at Wesley or not, this is an opportunity to express your faith that honors your convenant with God and give deep consideration to the "next step".