Ways to be a baptized, communicant member of Gloria Christi
So it was, while they conversed and reasoned, that Jesus Himself drew near and went with them. Lk 24
6 Seek the LORD while He may be found, Call
upon Him while He is near. 7 Let the wicked
forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let
him return to the LORD, And He will have mercy on him; And
to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.
37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter
and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”
38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized
in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord
our God will call.”40 And with many other words he testified and exhorted them,
saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” 41 Then those who gladly[g] received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. 42
And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.
Which path toward membership is determined to a large degree by
the individual's background. Meeting with the pastor is the best place to start. But generally speaking, the following description
of the paths toward baptized, communicant membership are followed:
+ TRANSFER - For those coming from another congregation
of The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, who are already baptized communicant members of their previous congregation, are
usually simply transferred by action of both congregations.
+ AFFIRMATION OF THE FAITH AND COVERING SOME ISSUES
- For those coming from non-LCMS Lutheran congregations but are still Lutheran in background (for example, ELCA or WELS),
those persons may, by individual circumstances, be admitted by pastoral conversation and public affirmation of the faith by
the individuals joining the congregation. The chief task in this case is to preserve the unity of the faith and practice in
the congregation. In some cases, the pastor reserves the right to have some amount of instruction prior to admittance to communicant
membership. Review is always a good idea!
+ GENERAL ADULT CATECHISM CLASS - For those coming from non-Lutheran
Christian background (for example Roman Catholic, Episcopal, Methodist, Baptist, non-denominational, etc.) usually adult catechesis
(instruction) is held to cover biblical teaching as summarized in the catechism and to cover the historic Lutheran liturgy.
This course usually will go for some months, but usually less than a year.
+ ADULT CATECHISM CLASS WITH EXTRA
ATTENTION - For those coming with no or little Christian background thorough catechesis (instruction) will be needed toward
both receiving Holy Baptism, public affirmation of the Lutheran confession of the faith, and to be received as a communicant
member of the congregation. In mind for this path are those coming from non-Christian religions or no religion at all (for
example Buddhist, Muslim, Mormon, Jehovah's Witness, atheist, pagan, unitarian).
For those coming from other Christian
denominations and are already baptized, we want to ensure in these days that such were baptized with water in the name of
the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. For those baptized with water in the name of the Father and of the Son and
of the Holy Spirit, there is no need for another baptism and it would be wrong to have another one. Those baptized among Mormons
or Jehovah's Witnesses or Oneness Pentecostals will need to be baptized again, so to speak, though in such cases those baptisms
were not properly Scriptural.
YOUTH CATECHESIS - Baptized youths at Gloria Christi now are typically going through
Catechism Class ("confirmation") during 5th and 6th grade. A minimum of two years of intensive instruction are required at
Gloria Christi prior to going through the rite of confirmation. A child may enroll at 4th grade but will then go through three
years of intensive instruction.