When you make a commitment to a relationship,
you invest your attention and energy in it more profoundly
because you now experience ownership of that relationship. ~ Barbara De Angelis
Publicly acknowledging that you want to follow the way of Jesus as part of a local church can deepen and enrich your faith journey. It’s a statement of your commitment to a particular faith community – a faith family.
It doesn’t mean you’re here for life. Joining is a chance to set down your bags for a while and spend time along the journey with fellow travelers and seekers. (Members also have a vote at congregational meetings and are eligible to become ordained Elders or Deacons.)
You can join in 1 of 3 ways:
* If you’re an active member of another church, you join by transferring your membership from your previous church to Forest Hill.
* If you’ve been baptized but aren’t active in a church, you join by reaffirming your faith.
* If you’ve never been baptized, you join by professing your faith and being baptized.
If you choose to join, you will be received by the Session and introduced to the congregation during Sunday worship.
Exploring Membership groups are held at least twice a year, usually in the early Fall and late Spring. Attending doesn’t obligate you to join, so if you just want to find out what Forest Hill is all about and why we’re Presbyterian, this is a good way to do it. Contact either of our Co-Pastors or call (216) 321-2660 for info about the next session.
What do I have to believe to join? Joining isn’t so much about what you believe as what you do. The act of joining publicly declares your desire to be part of a community that seeks to follow Jesus Christ’s teaching.
What else? That’s about it.
What about rules and creeds? The Presbyterian denomination is built on several creeds but there is no strict set of beliefs separating Presbyterians from any other Christian faith. Any Christian can be a Presbyterian. And every Presbyterian is encouraged to find a personal set of beliefs.
Want to know more? The Presbyterian Church (USA) website can be a bit hard to navigate but offers a lot of information about the structure of the national Presbyterian Church. Our Why Presbyterian? page describes our Mission and leadership structure. (And for more about the Presbyterian church in general, Wikipedia has an interesting entry.)