Do you have questions about the Episcopal Church including baptism, how a different denomination relates and other similar things? Check out our FAQ’s:
- Do I belong at Trinity Episcopal Church?
The answer to that question is always, “Absolutely!” While some members of Trinity Episcopal Church are comfortable with an informal affiliation with a church, some others may want to take the next step in becoming official members of the parish community. If you’re feeling called to be involved more deeply in the life of Trinity Episcopal Church, please contact the church office to make an appointment with Pastor Rachel. The discussion of membership in the Episcopal Church can be confusing, since it depends on the individual’s faith journey and particular history of membership with other traditions or congregations. Here are a few questions that you may be asking yourself:
- What if I’ve never been baptized?
Answer: You would enter the Episcopal Church through Baptism – To become a Christian and a member of the Episcopal Church, one is typically baptized. Baptism is the official ‘entry’ into the church, the Body of Christ. Being baptized in any Episcopal Church makes you an Episcopalian. Being baptized at Trinity Episcopal Church makes you an Episcopalian and a member of Trinity.
- What if I was baptized in a different denomination?
Answer: You would enter the Episcopal Church through confirmation. Confirmation is the service in which persons ‘express a mature commitment to Christ.’ Those who were baptized without laying on of hands by a bishop may recommit themselves to the responsibilities of their baptism and receive laying on of hands by a bishop. One does not need to be baptized twice, however. Your baptism is recognized in the Episcopal Church as long as the baptism was recorded in the rolls of any Christian denomination (Baptist, Methodist, Roman Catholic, etc.).
- What if I was baptized and confirmed in another denomination?
Answer: You would enter the Episcopal Church through Reception. If you’ve already been baptized and confirmed in another denomination such as the Roman Catholic, the Lutheran Church, or the Methodist Church, you can become a member of the Episcopal Church by being received. This is done at a service during which the bishop lays hands on you and says, “We . . . receive you into the fellowship of this communion.”
- What if I was baptized in the Episcopal Church, but not at Trinity?
Answer: You would enter the Episcopal Church through a formal Letter of Transfer – A Letter of Transfer is a way to transfer your membership from one Episcopal Church to another Episcopal Church. You are a member of the Episcopal Church in which you were baptized unless you’ve requested your membership be transferred. If an Episcopalian has moved to several Episcopal Churches over the course of his/her life, a Transfer Letter must be requested at each new Church in order for your membership to be moved. With a few details, the parish administrator can handle this transfer for you.
Once you’ve been baptized and confirmed, you may choose to publically reaffirm your commitment to God. Reaffirmation may take place at any point in your journey. Reaffirmation happens in the presence of a bishop and affirms your commitment to live according to your baptismal promises. The important thing to remember is that, for whatever reason God has led you to Trinity (outreach projects, a meal, a concert, a quiet place to pray), you belong here and we will do everything we can to support you, wherever you may be on your journey.
- Are there certain days when I can get baptized? Yes. At Trinity Episcopal, we ask that all adults who wish to become full members participate in the Catechumenal Process. This is an extended period of instruction, meditation, prayer and formation. Opportunities for adult/youth/infant Baptisms occur on specific days during the church year: the Easter Vigil, the Day of Pentecost, on All Saints’ Day, on the Feast of the Baptism of our Lord, and at the time of the bishop’s visit. For a list of the calendar dates of these opportunities within a given year, please contact our church office at 425-252-4129.
NOTE: Adults seeking Baptism, Confirmation or Reception into The Episcopal Church are required to participate in our 8-part educational series, “Episcopal 101,” which is offered at Trinity in the first quarter of every year.