Welcome to Grace Church. You do not have to join the parish in a formal way in order to worship, attend classes, participate in activities, and support financially the ministries of the parish, and all baptized persons, adults and children, are always welcome to receive Communion. However, we invite you to consider becoming a member of Grace. There are several ways to do this, please read on.
Becoming a Member of Grace Church
- If you are an Episcopalian:
If you are a member of another Episcopal congregation, or were ever confirmed in an Episcopal Church, you can transfer your membership. Provide our parish office with the name and location of the church and the approximate dates of your membership or, if you were confirmed there, the approximate date of confirmation, and we will send for a letter of transfer, or you may wish to contact your previous parish yourself. (The office has a directory of all Episcopal Churches, with addresses and telephone numbers.)
- If you are from another province of the Anglican Communion:
If you are a confirmed Anglican from, for example, the Church of England or the Nippon Sei Ko Kai (Episcopal Church in Japan), provide the parish office with your birth date and place, baptismal date and place, and Confirmation date, place and bishop.
- If you are a member of another Christian denomination:
If you were baptized with water in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, in any Christian denomination, you may become a “baptized member” of Grace Church. Just provide the parish office with your birth date and place and your baptismal date and place.
- If you have not been baptized:
Call the parish office or speak with one of the clergy to arrange a baptism. Baptisms are done at regularly scheduled services on the feast days specified by the Book of Common Prayer (Baptism of Our Lord, Easter Eve, Pentecost, and All Saints Day) and, also, on the Sunday after Easter, Thanksgiving Day, and occasionally on other Sundays or feast days. Anyone baptized at Grace Church is a “baptized member.”
- If you wish to be confirmed or received:
The Book of Common Prayer defines Confirmation as “the rite in which we express a mature commitment to Christ, and receive strength from the Holy Spirit through prayer and the laying on of hands by a bishop.” Youth Confirmation classes and Adult Inquirers’ classes are offered each spring. Any baptized adult, and any baptized youth in eighth grade or higher, is eligible. Persons who have been confirmed in another denomination by a bishop in the apostolic succession (most often Roman Catholic or Orthodox) are received by the bishop rather than confirmed. Those who have been confirmed or received are classified as “confirmed communicants.” Speak with one of the clergy if you are interested in confirmation or reception.
Stewardship at Grace Church
- Making a financial commitment:
The Book of Common Prayer says that the duty of all Christians is to “follow Christ; to come together week by week for corporate worship; and to work, pray, and give for the spread of the kingdom of God.” The canons of the Diocese of Newark, in compliance with state laws governing religious corporations, specify that to be a voting member one must, for six months prior to a parish election, be a regular attendant at the parish and a regular contributor to the current expenses of the parish. Most members make an annual pledge of financial support, either during the fall stewardship campaign or at any time during the year. Call the parish office for a pledge form or offering envelopes.
Grace Church Members
- Members in good standing:
A member in good standing is one whose baptism is entered in the parish register (through one of the means described above), who worships regularly, and who is a contributor of record (by pledge or other identifiable contribution) to the general support of the parish. Baptized members in good standing are eligible to serve on the vestry. Only confirmed communicants in good standing can serve as wardens or be licensed by the Bishop as lay readers, chalice bearers and Eucharistic ministers.
- Newcomers’ Receptions:
Several times each year, receptions are held in the rectory for people who have recently begun attending Grace Church. If you would like to be invited to an upcoming reception, please call the parish office.