Monday, February 05, 2007

Membership in the Episcopal Church

For those of you who are excited about a church that really believes in a fully inclusive church, here's some language that we could use to articulate our understanding of what Jesus was and is all about.

St. Peter`s Episcopal Church

24 St. Peter Street

Salem, Massachusetts 01970

Office: 978-745-2291 &

Come visit anytime; “We are a house of Prayer for ALL People”

-Isaiah 56:7

Membership at St. Peter’s


When Jesus lived on earth, he sought out all sorts and conditions of people. He recruited fishermen, tax collectors, prostitutes, lepers, the blind, the halt and outcasts of all sorts to teach us that God’s love embraces everyone. He gathered a remarkable group around him to be his disciples. Whether they were rich or poor, Jew or Greek, male or female; to him there was a special place in the heart of God for everyone.

The Episcopal Church has in recent years embraced the teachings of Jesus by opening its ordained and lay leadership to men and women of all races, and in all conditions of life whether divorced, single, gay or straight. There is now no barrier to ordination. There is no barrier to membership. We have embraced ALL people who seek to love Jesus with all their hearts, and souls and minds. And so now we welcome YOU and those you love to the household of God.

God’s love for YOU

When Jesus died for you, he did so for whoever you are and whoever you become. He forgives you and all your sins: the big ones as well as the little everyday ones you simply can’t quite overcome. We believe that he is our Advocate with God, that he is the Righteous One, and he has paid the price for our sins, and not for ours only, but for the sins of the whole world. (see 1 John 2:1-2)

Welcome to St. Peter’s a house of Prayer for All people; and a House of Prayer for YOU.


All that is required to be a member here is your regular attendance at worship, and your financial commitment to God’s work. God expects us to respond to human suffering and to seek peace with justice wherever possible. We work with God in the creative, redemptive and sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit to bring the Hope of God into reality. We work in concert with God and one another to pattern our lives after the life of Jesus.


Our salvation was earned for us by the Gift of Jesus on the Cross two thousand years ago. His death and resurrection was the guarantee of our salvation. Nothing we can do can change that fact. The Grace that he has given to us is total and complete. We are now invited to embrace what God has already done for us. To help us see what has happened by what Jesus did on that cross, we are invited to come into that fellowship through Baptism. In Baptism we joyfully embrace the church which is the body of Christ.

If you have not been Baptized or would like to arrange for Baptism, please speak with the Rector or call the office.

Baptismal Procedures

Typically, we celebrate the sacrament of Baptism 4-6 times a year at public worship.

All Saints Day: November 1 or the Sunday following

Baptism of our Lord: The Sunday following Epiphany which is January 6

Easter Eve at the Easter Vigil

Pentecost, fifty days after Easter

At the time of the Bishop’s Visit


The great “Episcopal” moment of a Christian’s Pilgrimage in the Episcopal Church is that moment when we proclaim our faith in the presence of the Bishop and receive the laying-on-of-hands. This ancient ritual represents the physical and spiritual connection we have to Jesus through the Apostles. Down through the ages this connection has remained a constant. In Confirmation our proclamation of faith strengthens us to do the work we are given to do by God in remaking this world in God’s image. The Bishop represents our connection to Christians throughout the world and throughout time. The laying-on-of-hands is that moment when we receive that gift that makes our relationship with Jesus a physical and spiritual one.


Typically, the rector will provide classes and tutorials to prepare people for baptism and confirmation.

Consult the office or the rector for particulars.


When we move from congregation to congregation in the Episcopal we typically transfer our “letter” from one congregation to another. Contact the office to have you “letter” transferred when that seems appropriate.


Generosity is a matter of central significance in our discipleship. The amount we give is not as important as the amount of love we put into our giving. We give in a thousand ways. We give through our care for one another, the offering of our time and our skills and talents in concert with God’s purposes and through our financial commitments to God’s mission through the church. Our gifts include our tireless work for the transformation of human suffering into joy; the diligent search for peace and reconciliation and the search for justice. The holy places God provides for us to gather are signs of God’s presence in this dark, dangerous and sinful world. Without your generosity these holy places cannot continue. Members are asked to used their envelopes and we also hope you will consider a gift to the church in your estate

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