NB – does this material really belong here? the VISIT section is for first-time visitors – this seems a little heavy-duty to me. Could we put it elsewhere on the site? PGS
Your unique voice, skills, heritage, and insight are important to our community.
Those who worship at St. Thomas are always welcome whether or not they choose to become members, and will find many opportunities to serve others through the life of this community. For those who would like to explore the Christian faith from a Lutheran perspective, a series of four to six classes is offered in the fall and spring of each year. Those who wish to join the congregation as members, fully participating in our mission and ministry, are received at worship using a brief rite called “affirmation of baptism.” Some responsibilities in the life of the congregation are reserved for members–for instance, service on the Congregation Council. Those who are already Lutheran (of whatever type) or part of one of the denominations with which we are in “full communion” are welcome to join the congregation simply by transferring their membership; classes are not required.
Must new members be re-baptized?
Lutherans do not re-baptize anyone who is already baptized into any Christian church. We believe that baptism is an act of God, effected through the sign of water, which marks that person forever as one of God’s children. To re-baptize would be to doubt God’s word, which tells us that those who believe and are baptized will be saved (Mark 16:16). Due to our concern about not troubling the Christian’s conscience, we also teach that those who have been baptized more than once may consider the additional baptisms a simple reaffirmation of the first.