What does it mean to be a member of Zion? Simple question, right? But in fact, the question is very complex. Are there different types of members? What activities help define membership? If I go to church periodically, then I’m a member of Zion, right? All very good questions. The answers may surprise you!
The constitution defines four different members:
- Baptized – whether you’ve been baptized at Zion or baptized at another church before joining Zion.
- Confirmed – whether you have been confirmed as a youth at Zion or joined as an adult.
- Voting – are confirmed members who have communed and made a contribution of record during the current or previous calendar year.
- Associate – are persons holding membership in another congregation who wish to retain membership in that congregation but desire to participate in the life and mission of Zion. We have very few associate members.
So… there are some activities or events that define membership. Baptism, confirmation, communion, and a contribution of record. The first three are straightforward and don’t need further explanation. The membership working group has been meeting for the last few months and has defined a contribution of record as a financial contribution recorded in the Fellowship One database. The working group also identified another activity to help define membership and that is one of involvement. Whether you are a member of a Bible study, music group, committee, social activity like the Zion softball team or the fishing group, or volunteer for the youth program or any other ministry of Zion, you are involved and engaged with Zion. The working group defined an active member as one who has done any of these activities in the current or previous year. For example, if you have communed, OR contributed financially, OR been involved at Zion, you are an active member.
All members of Zion should strive to become engaged members of Zion. An engaged member is one who has in the current or previous calendar year, communed, AND given financially, AND been involved or volunteered at Zion. Because we are a large congregation, it can be difficult knowing who is involved with a group. We encourage everyone to register and use the membership portal of Fellowship One called InFellowship. Here you can connect with a small group, find the contact information for other Zion members, and see your financial contributions
Being a voting member of Zion is important and means you have a voice and vote at the annual congregation meeting. To be a voting member of Zion, you must have communed AND given financially to Zion in the current or previous calendar year. These activities can only be considered when they are recorded. That’s why it is important for you to fill out the communion card either hardcopy or electronically at ZionBuffalo.org/card. Likewise, ensuring your financial contributions are recorded by placing them in your giving envelope will ensure you maintain your voting membership. If you don’t have an envelope or want to set up electronic giving which will be linked to your name, contact Steve Peterson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All active and voting members of Zion should strive to become engaged members, which means that not only can you vote but that you are involved and engaged with the activities of Zion. If you are curious about opportunities and happenings at Zion or want to sign up for a volunteer opportunity, check out www.zionbuffalo.org/engage. There you can find and register for lots of the happenings at Zion.
What does it mean to be a member of Zion? It can be complex, but we hope in the end, that we all decide to be engaged members of Zion and live out our mission of “With all we are and all we do, we will trust, live and serve Christ Jesus, our Lord.”