by Kelly Rempel
WINNIPEG, Man.—Three years ago Braeside EMC began to discuss its membership model through meetings, round table discussions and sermons. We realized our “inactive” membership list was growing; in fact, it was about the same size as list of regularly attending members.
Through study and discernment we came to understand that active membership is a key component of a biblical membership model. It is not enough to merely be on a list; being part of the church means participating in the life of the body in whatever way God enables us.
In our quest toward a committed, active membership, we agreed in 2016 to adopt a new model and over the next two years worked to develop the concept of Covenant Membership. Covenant Membership is renewable every two to three years; those signing the Covenant agree to be active, committed, involved and accountable. Requirements include: commitment to a life of following Christ, agreement with the EMC Statement of Faith and believer’s baptism.
The first Covenant Sunday celebration took place on Sept. 30, 2018, with each member symbolically signing a large poster that will hang in Braeside’s foyer. In addition to those who recommitted to membership at Braeside, five new people joined the church, one through baptism (Peter Awang) and four who shared their testimonies (Bill Baerbig, Doreen Peters, and Margaret and Walter Reimer).
Reporter: Caroline Loewen