Of course, we welcome visitors, always. Who is a visitor? Visitors are all the non-Orthodox as well as all the Orthodox who, even if they are local and might even attend church regularly, do nothing else beside this attendance and, possibly, the occasional contribution to our fellowship, which is open to all, members and visitors alike. Visitors do not contribute to the well-being of the parish, in regular volunteering and/or donations and by holding official offices or functions.
Now, who is a member? The membership imagery of the church is scriptural. The church is a body, says St. Paul (for example, in 1 Corinthians 12). Each organ or member of a body has its own function and works in the body to the well-being of all the other members and to the building up of the entire body in maturation. A member of the parish does the same thing within the parish. A member:
- Makes a pledge to contribute actively to the well-being of our parish in work and/or money, and
- Fulfills that pledge.
Therefore, a member does not just come to church and, on occasion, bring food to our fellowship and clean up after themselves. Visitors do that, too. Of course, if you do not want to take on the extra responsibilities of being a member but would still like to help the parish at your own pace, you can remain a visitor and still help. All help is welcome and all visitors are welcome!
The following point must be emphasized: the difference between visitor and member is not one in how we perceive you, but rather it is a difference in how you relate to the parish, in whether you wish and find yourself able to contribute to its well-being on a regular basis. We pray for all, we welcome all, we receive prayer requests from all. We commemorate all Orthodox the same, whether members or visitors, or stoppers-by.
Also, we understand that many of us may be people without financial means. That is not an impediment to membership. Our parishes, long before our own St. George's, from the very beginning of the Church in the first century, had people of limited means in them. Yet, everyone served the common goal, the body of Christ, in their own ways. Some gave money because they had money to give, but others gave their hands to Christ through physical labor, others gave their eyes through supervision, others their legs through running the different errands of the parish, others their mouths through teaching, etc. Membership does not include only money! All these different functions are equally essential to the parish, and all functions together constitute the one body.
Also, reversely, someone who works highly demanding jobs, travels a lot, or works in weekends, has no impediment from being a member. They can contribute money and attend weekday services and Sunday services as much as possible. Distance, the complications of life, or poverty should stop no one from being members of the same body of Christ with us, from adding their voices to ours in that groaning which ushers in the kingdom of heaven and takes all our efforts—small and large—into its eternity.
So, if you are new to our parish and wish to become a member, after you fill out the contact form
which you will also find at the entrance of our church (the form goes to Fr. Silviu), introduce yourself to everyone else as soon as possible and also talk to Fr. Silviu about membership. Fr. Silviu can explain the works and needs of the parish and answer any questions you may have about the parish. Please make this introduction before you fill out the membership form (which is below). Do keep in mind: you are not a member if you have not completed and fulfilled a membership form!
If you are received into the Church at our parish, know that Fr. Silviu expects all new Orthodox to be members of the parish.
Here are the current membership cover letter and membership form, for 2023. Please keep in mind that members will have to fill out a new membership form each year. The forms go out each year at the beginning of December and must be returned by January 15. New members of the parish, please fill out the form as soon as you join and return it to Fr. Silviu or Melissa Renner, our administrator.