While you do not have to be a member to worship or participate in other events at the Church of the Good Shepherd, we strongly encourage attendees to become full members of our church family. The decision to commit to a fellowship or family of Christians requires prayerful consideration. It is a commitment that will enable you to experience the fullness of community as the Body of Christ.
“Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus as the chief cornerstone.” Ephesians 2:19
If you would like to become a member of the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd, here are several ways to do so:
TRANSFER FROM ANOTHER EPISCOPAL CHURCH
If you are a member of another Episcopal Church, you may contact our Church Office at 361-882-1735 to have your membership transferred.
TRANSFER FROM ANOTHER CHRISTIAN DENOMINATION
If you were baptized in another Christian denomination, your baptism will be accepted here. We do not re-baptize people who are already Christians. However, to be an Episcopalian, you would be asked to be received or confirmed into the Episcopal Church. To be received or confirmed, you will be asked to prepare by attending the Adult Confirmation classes offered during the year, and then be received or confirmed by the Bishop.
If you have never been baptized into the Christian faith and desire to make that commitment as a member of the Church of the Good Shepherd, it is our great joy to walk with you through this process. Baptism is the sacrament of new birth as a Christian and the entrance into the family of Christian believers. As an adult, part of your preparation will be to meet with one of our Clergy and participate in the Adult Confirmation classes. If you wish to baptize a child, the parents of the child (and the child, depending on his/her age) will meet with the clergy, and then confirmation classes will take place when the child is able to make his/her own profession of faith. The necessary preparation for Baptism and the Baptism service can be arranged through the Church Office at 361-882-1735.
Some Expectations of Members
All members of the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd are encouraged to participate fully in the life of this family by engaging in the following:
There are opportunities to attend worship services and Christian formation classes at the Church of the Good Shepherd almost every day of the week. Some parishioners come to a service or class every day; some come only once a week. If you attend a worship service two or three times a month, you are considered to be engaged in regular attendance. Participation in a church family is part of the essential training and maturing process for a Christian. Our regular commitment to coming together as family of believers builds our faith, strengthens and encourages us for our journey, and glorifies God.
“They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles…Everyday they continued to meet together…with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” Acts 2:42-47
Christian giving is a spiritual issue, not a financial one. As we grow in our relationship with God, we begin to understand how God has blessed us with spiritual gifts, monetary resources, practical talents and skills, wisdom and experience as well as ideas, dreams and energy. Our knowledge of what God has done for us usually compels us to give back to Him. As a member of the Church of the Good Shepherd, you will be asked to think and pray about what God is calling you to give to the church. One significant way members give is by making a financial commitment to the church. We do not ask our parishioners to give a certain dollar amount, only to make an annual pledge and then follow through on that amount. These financial offerings to God are used for the mission and ministries of the church. In addition, members give of their time, literally investing themselves in the life of the Church. The third way that members give to the church is through their spiritual gifts of service, teaching, leadership, mercy, compassion or by sharing skills or knowledge such as carpentry or nursing for a particular project or mission. Membership at The Church of the Good Shepherd comes with the expectation of giving in all three of these ways, Time, Talent and Treasure. As we learn and practice giving of ourselves, we are blessed beyond measure by experiencing God’s presence and His abundant life. If you would like to read more about Stewardship or make a gift to the Church, click here.
“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously, will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” 2 Corinthians 9: 6-8