Making the decision to join a church or move your membership is not an easy one. This should be a prayerful time of careful consideration as you seek to know God’s will for your life. Following is information that should help you as you seek to make this important decision.
Joining Our Church
How do I become a member?
First United Methodist Church of Water Valley invites into church membership any person who seeks to know, and make known, Jesus Christ.
New members can be received any Sunday at the conclusion of our worship services.
As in any other congregation of the United Methodist Church, you may join our church in any of the following ways:
1. By Transfer from Another Christian Church
This category is appropriate when you are on the active roll of another Christian church.
* If you are coming from another United Methodist church, we simply ask that you be committed to the work of Christ at First United Methodist Church of Water Valley.
* If you are coming from another Christian church or denomination, we accept the rich heritage of faith you bring with you to First United Methodist Church of Water Valley. Therefore, you do not need to be re-baptized. We will simply ask you to take the membership vows of The United Methodist Church (See “The Vows of Church Membership” on page 12).
2. By Reaffirmation of Your Faith in Christ
This category is appropriate either…
* When you desire an opportunity to renew and/or refresh your commitment to Christ, or…
* When you have been inactive in your former church for a period of time.
In either case, we will lead you through a renewal of your membership vows (below). If desired, an opportunity for you to renew your baptismal vows may be included.
3. By Profession of Your Faith in Jesus Christ
This category is appropriate either…
* When you have been previously baptized, but have never actually joined a church. We ask you to take the vows of church membership (below).
* When you have neither joined a church nor been previously baptized. We baptize you into the body of Christ and ask you to take the vows of church membership (below).
4. Affiliate Membership and Associate Membership
For those who desire to retain their membership in another church outside of Yalobusha County, Affiliate Membership (current United Methodists) and Associate Membership (current non-United Methodists) is also available.
Our Promise to You…
Members of First United Methodist Church of Water Valley pledge the following to our fellow members and our community:
* To help you celebrate God’s presence through sacred, dynamic, and inspiring worship.
* To help you better relate to other people through meaningful Christian fellowship.
* To provide you with opportunities for Christian growth and discipleship.
* To be here when you need us for guidance and/or help.
* To provide you with tangible opportunities to serve Christ and demonstrate Christian love.
What Is Asked of Me?
Speak with our pastor about your desire to become a member.
The pastor can help guide and direct you in your decision to become a member of First United Methodist Church of Water Valley and can help answer any questions you might have about Christianity, the United Methodist Church, and/or our particular church.
All members take and affirm the Membership Vows of The United Methodist Church.
The Vows of Church Membership
All members are asked to pledge the following:
Confess Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, and pledge allegiance to Christ’s Kingdom.
Receive and profess the Christian faith as contained in the Bible.
Promise, according to the grace given to you, to live a Christian life and always remain a faithful member of Christ’s Holy Church.
Support the mission and ministry of the United Methodist Church and uphold it by your Prayers, your Presence, your Gifts, your Service, and your Witness.
Support Our Mission and Ministry
All members are expected to regularly practice the following five expressions of Christian faith through First United Methodist Church of Water Valley:
* PRAYERS – Practice your faith by taking time to pray for yourself, others, and for your church. This fulfills God’s call for us to become people of prayer to let prayer be the “breath of our spiritual lives.”
* PRESENCE – Practice your faith through your regular presence, attendance, and participation in our church’s regular Sunday worship service (10:50 a.m.) AND…
…participate in at least ONE small group when available (such as a Sunday School class, Bible Study group, music group, etc.).
These fulfill God’s call for us to grow through fellowship and partnership with our fellow Christians.
* GIFTS – Practice your faith through regular financial giving. This fulfills God’s call for us to grow in our spiritual lives through the stewardship of our financial lives.
* SERVICE – Practice your faith by becoming involved in servant ministry (any mission or outreach ministry focused on helping others) sponsored by, or in partnership with, our church. This fulfills God’s call for us to not only receive ministry, but to give it away to others, as well.
* WITNESS – Live your life knowing that others are watching and will base their understanding of the Christian faith largely on the example we set for them; share your faith story with others whenever possible; and make an intentional effort to learn the critical skills necessary to share your faith effectively.
We believe that consistent practice of these five expressions of our Christian faith in and through our church is expected of each and every member, not only to feel “connected” with other Christians, but also to enable us to grow in faith.
Should You Desire to Become a Member
Please communicate this desire in one of the following ways:
* Contact the pastor (by phone 662-934-0749 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org) and ask about church membership.
* See the pastor after any worship service or small group meeting.