All are welcome to worship with us! You don't have to be a member to participate in our church life. We really hope you will just show up and experience First Congregational Church for yourself.
Becoming a member is a step into a stronger commitment to the church. It is a way to express your desire to join our evolving faith community: you wish to participate regularly in worship, to build relationships with other church members, and to live your faith in service to the wider community. You do not have to agree to a creed to become a member. Our members are diverse in thinking and invite dialogue where there is disagreement.
To become a member of First Congregational Church, you simply need to express to the minister or a Deacon your desire to join the church. We typically offer membership classes two or three times per year, though they are not required to join the church!
All members join the church during a worship service. At this time, you will affirm your intention to join the congregation, and we say something like, “Let us all affirm what we believe. Do you believe in God? (We do.) Do you believe in Jesus Christ? (We do.) Do you believe in the Holy Spirit? (We do.)
In our tradition youth join the church through the rite of Confirmation.
Confirmation is an opportunity for maturing young people to speak for themselves and claim the Christian faith as their own. At First Congregational of Whitman, we practice infant baptism (though we do not refuse adult baptisms). It is a time in which parents or guardians act in faith on behalf of their child. At Confirmation, one confirms the faith she was baptized into before she could claim it for herself. Our Confirmation program is offered every other year and is open to youth in 8th grade or above.
Once confirmed, our confirmands do not claim to have it all figured out, but have affirmed that they wish to be part of a lifelong journey of faith. Confirmation is also an act of the wider congregation, which affirms they will offer their presence and support along a journey filled with questions, uncertainty, and change.