You don’t have to be a Member in order to attend worship services, take Holy Communion, or attend and participate in the many ministries and programs of this church. You are welcome regardless of membership status.
Becoming a member is a Rite of the Church in UFMCC. The Rite of Membership always happens at a regular worship service of the local church. Membership in MCCNL is membership in a communityof faith. The entire church will want to welcome you into community and celebrate with you. They are generally held on Easter Sunday, and on Fellowship Sunday in October, usually alongside Baptisms.
According to the Bylaws, “any baptized Christian may become a member in good standing of the local church group through a letter of transfer from a recognized Christian body or through affirmation of faith”
At MCCNL we ask that the person attends church for at least six months before deciding whether they want to make this commitment of membership.
Before this we hold Membership classes where we discuss the beliefs, history and structure of the church, and what membership involves.
UFMCC also requires that members have been baptised. If you have been baptised as an infant, an adolescent, or an adult in another church, MCC recognises that baptism as complete and valid, and no further baptism is required. If you have not been baptised before, we will offer baptism either by sprinkling or full immersion. Some people chose to reaffirm their previous baptism when they join MCC. This is not required, but we are always happy to do so if that is what you choose.
Membership is a covenant between the believer, God, and the local church. Much is expected of members in MCCNL. We covenant to regularly attend, support the church financially, contribute to the church’s work, and show commitment and loyalty to the community.
A member is expected to attend worship services regularly (with due regard to personal circumstances). In this way we stay connected to each other, and to our Source in God, and bring each other strength in our shared prayers and worship.
Giving financially is an important element of our covenant commitment to God, the local congregation, and the broader community of faith. It is also a significant part of how the church keeps going – we don’t receive regular funding from elsewhere, so everything we are able to do is through the generous giving of our members and attendees. Your giving is between you and God – the Board and Pastor will never ask the Treasurer to reveal the amounts any person gives.
UFMCC teaches and believes in tithing: the ancient principle of giving a tenth of the harvest back to God, which in modern terms means setting aside a portion of our income to honour and thank God for God’s gifts to us. ‘For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you’ (1 Chronicles 29: 14) When God blesses us, we respond by passing that blessing on in our gifts.
This means our involvement in the life and work of the church. In Article IV the UFMCC Bylaws say, “The UFMCC affirms the universal priesthood of all believers (I Peter 2:5-10). All members of the Church are called by God to a ministry of the Gospel of Christ in the church and in the world.”
Laypeople (all those of us who are not ordained clergy) are still members of the ‘priesthood of all believers’, and have a call to the ‘ministry (work) of the Gospel’
Luke 4: 18 tells us that the work of the Gospel (good news) is good news to the poor, release to the captives, sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim God’s favour.’
So we are all called to some service in the life of the church, so that together we can do this work. This may mean serving as a Board member or a lay delegate; being on the worship team as readers, singers, musicians, prayer servers, set-up and so on; or in hospitality, providing welcome and food, or as a volunteer in our cold weather shelter for the homeless. It may be in raising funds such as for our asylum support work, or in helping to make church more accessible. It may be in many different ways. All are called to exercise their strengths and gifts, and in so doing ‘transform the world’.
We also commit to demonstrate our love of each other in our daily lives, participating in activities beyond Sunday worship. We will speak truth in love about and to the church, in a way that builds up and encourages growth, and does not tear down or harm others. We will refrain from deliberate or malicious acts which damage or bring harm to the church. As members we support and participate in the vision, mission, and goals of the church.
This does not mean that we will never disagree in MCCNL. What it does mean is that our disagreements will be characterised by prayer, love, kindness, honesty, and direct dealing.
Annual General Meeting
All members in good standing have a vote and the right to speak at the General Meeting, which decides important business of the church and elects the Board to manage the daily affairs. Anyone who has been a member for more than six months can stand as a Board member or Lay Delegate.
Review of the Membership Roll
By Data Protection law, we must keep our membership list up to date by reviewing it each year. Sometimes people will have moved away, or their journey of faith has taken them in a different direction, and we recognise that people won’t necessarily be in a position to say that they no longer wish to be with us. If a member has ceased to attend, give, and contribute for six months or more, we will mark them as ‘inactive’ until we can find out whether they wish to return or be removed from the list.
MCCNL seeks to be a welcoming and affirming place for all people, however, during the membership process, you will be asked to disclose any criminal convictions. This is not because we wish to bar you from attending, but to enable the Pastor and Pastoral staff to evaluate how we can support you in your attendance, ensuring that the church is a safe space for all its members.