First United Methodist Church Slidell, Louisiana
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Joining the Church
First of all, anyone can participate in worship, Holy Communion, and other church activities at any time at First UMC. Membership in a church family is a vital part of the Christian experience. It is how we truly feel like we “belong.” Membership is for those who have been baptized, or would like to be, and who desire to truly connect to our church family by formally vowing to support your new church home with your prayers (praying for our church and the Church world-wide), presence (coming to worship), gifts (giving your money to God’s life-changing work), service (reaching out and helping others in need) and witness (telling others about Jesus).
You become a part of the body of Christ, the Church Universal, by being “baptized” into it. Baptism is a ritual made up of questions, promises, prayer, and washing. In most United Methodist churches, Baptism is done by sprinkling. Sometimes it is done by pouring or immersion, but you can choose which way you want to be baptized. To understand Baptism better, you may visit with our pastors before or after your baptism takes place. Infants, youth and adults of all ages, who have never before received baptism, are welcomed to receive the Sacrament of Holy Baptism. The United Methodist Church accepts and affirms the Baptism from other Christian denominations.
Baptism initiates a “covenant” relationship – a sacred, holy promise - between God and the baptized person, and between the church and the person. When you are baptized the congregation celebrates God's grace given to you and welcomes you into the community of faith.
As a response to God’s Grace shown to you in Baptism, you will be asked to pledge your “loyalty” – how you will live out your faith - to the life and ministries of The United Methodist Church and to promise to uphold First UMC in particular with your prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness. You will then be part of the Christ’s Universal Church and part of a “family of faith” of Christians – your local church - where you are known and cared for in love.
Since we all come from different experiences and backgrounds, there are a number of ways to become a member of First UMC. We encourage you to contact one of our pastors, Rev. Karl S. Klaus, Rev. Tiffany Z. Lyon, or Rev. Wade Landeche either by email or phone (985) 643-6437(985) 643-6437. You may also contact the Welcoming Ministries Director, Leslie Landeche either by email or phone (985) 643-6437(985) 643-6437. Anyone of them will be happy to visit with you about the "spiritual journey" you are on, becoming a Christian, and joining our membership at First UMC. Answering your questions and helping you discern what steps to take is one of the highlights of their ministry.