Becoming a member of St. Paul’s is an easy process. For starters, you may want to attend one of the “Newcomers’ Class” or “Welcoming Session” that we offer periodically to orient new people to St. Paul’s parish and the unique qualities of our community.
If you have been baptized or have been a church member somewhere else, contact the Registrar at St. Paul’s to request a letter of transfer from your previous parish or church to the Church of St Paul in the Desert or to request your baptismal record.
Any person baptized in the parish is considered a baptized member.
The Canons of the Episcopal Church
CANON 17: Of Regulations Respecting the Laity
Sec. 1 – All persons who have received the Sacrament of Holy Baptism with water in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, whether in this Church or in another Christian Church, and whose Baptisms have been duly recorded in this Church, are members thereof.
Confirmation in the Episcopal Church
If you have not been a member of a Protestant church before or have been away for a while, you may be interested in becoming confirmed (or reaffirmed) in the Episcopal Church and in that way become a member of St. Paul’s.
We also offer an “Inquirers’ Class,” a series of classroom presentations designed for adults who wish to explore what it means to be a Christian in the Episcopal tradition. Completion of this series of classes typically culminates in confirmation. Confirmation is a sacrament of the Church. It is an informed profession of the faith that may be made by teenagers or adults. To be confirmed is to outwardly proclaim your choice of the Episcopal faith and tradition. It involves the laying on of hands upon the head of the individual Confirmand by the bishop. After confirmation, a person is a confirmed member.
In the Episcopal Church, there are three actions that have been referred to as confirmation:
- Confirmation itself, in which a person who has not been confirmed by a bishop comes before the bishop for the laying on of hands.
- Reception, in which a person who has been confirmed by a bishop in a church other than the Episcopal Church, is received by the bishop as a confirmed member of the Episcopal Church. For example, this would apply to members of the Roman Catholic Church who have been confirmed in their denomination and who now seek to become confirmed members of the Episcopal Church.
- Reaffirmation, in which a person who has been confirmed or received by a bishop in the Episcopal Church desires to reaffirm their faith commitment. This might be someone who had left the Episcopal Church and is now returning, or a spouse of someone who is being confirmed, or an adult confirmed as a youth who desires to make a renewal of faith in this way.