Becoming a Member of St. John
If you've attended a few services, gone to a potluck or two, and/or are ready to officially become part of the parish family, you're in the right place! Christ not only calls us to follow him but to join with other Christians in community to live out our faith together. It is through life in Christian community that we experience God’s grace and are transformed.
Those wishing to join St. John in the Wilderness can begin the process by filling out this form to help us get to know you better. Please fill out the form once for each adult member of your family. We ask for information that helps us transfer your membership from your previous church to St. John. Whether you are transferring from an Episcopal church or a church of another denomination, it is important that we have the name and location of your previous church, your (approximate) dates of baptism and/or confirmation, and the church(es) at which you were baptized/confirmed.
You can join St. John in the Wilderness at any point in the calendar year. Every autumn during the weeks leading up to All Saints' Sunday, a newcomers' class is held during Formation Hour for adults and high schoolers in the Wilderness Room. This class is recommended for all new members and those in the process of joining St. John, especially if you are new to the Episcopal Church as a whole. We honor those who have joined St. John with a special liturgy and gift from the parish on All Saints' Sunday in November. More information will be provided to you when the time comes for this class and special service.
Frequently Asked Questions
You are always welcome to reach out to the Parish Administrator with specific questions.
What if I'm only in the area for part of the year?
St. John has a long tradition of being a "summer chapel" for those who wish to escape the sweltering heat further south in favor of the more mild mountain weather. If you wish to join St. John as a seasonal member, you will be in great company! You'll notice on the membership form that we have places to enter your address when you are not in Flat Rock and the months you are usually away. We welcome you with open arms, whether your official membership remains at your other church or you decide to transfer to St. John.
May I please have a nametag?
Of course! God calls each of us by name, and we want to call you by yours. Nametags are generally given out when your membership is finalized, but you can request one any time by emailing the Parish Administrator.
How long will my membership transfer take?
It depends. If you are transferring from an Episcopal Church, the process usually takes one to two weeks. If you are transferring from another Christian denomination, it can take longer. You will be notified by the Parish Administrator when the transfer is complete. Rest assured that you are welcome to take part in worship, formation, fellowship, and outreach activities no matter where you are in the transfer process.
How can I/my child be baptized?
To begin the process of Baptism, please reach out to the Parish Administrator. St. John in the Wilderness follows the Book of Common Prayer recommendations for reserving Baptisms for the Easter Vigil, the Day of Pentecost, All Saints' Sunday, the Feast of the Baptism of our Lord (the First Sunday after the Epiphany), and any occasion at which the bishop is present.
It is the policy of St. John in the Wilderness that infants may be baptized only if their immediate caretakers are making the request and are members of the congregation. Parents who would like their child baptized should join the church first and begin sharing in life at St. John before seeking baptism for their child or children.
How can I become an Episcopalian?
While any baptized person can join St. John, deciding to officially become Episcopalian takes further time and discernment. After joining St. John, sign-up for the newcomers class which is typically offered once each year. This will help you get to know much better the Episcopal/Anglican way of following Jesus. At least every two years, our bishop will visit to offer us much joy, encouragement, and the blessings of his or her ministry. At this service, non-Episcopalians can be Confirmed or Received by the laying on of hands by our bishop. If you are new but have already been baptized or confirmed by one of our Full-Communion partner denominations, then you can officially become Episcopalian when you join St. John.
It is important to note that while any baptized person can become a member of St. John and bear a majority of rights and privileges, individuals are required to be Confirmed or Received from another Christian tradition in order to serve in certain leadership roles, such as on the Vestry. Those interested in being Confirmed or Received should reach out to the Rector to begin the process.
What is a member in good standing?
Being "in good standing" refers to a confirmed member's ability to serve on Vestry and vote at the Annual Meeting, when we elect Vestry members and approve the church's budget. Members in good standing are those whose baptisms are entered in the Parish Register, who worship regularly, and who are contributors (by pledge or other identifiable means) to the vitality of the parish.