Shepherd of the Prairie has New Member Gatherings four times a year. These gatherings are for all prospective members, including those who transfer. New Member Gatherings are informal and informational, giving you a chance to learn about the history of SOTP, what we believe, what service opportunities are available and what is expected of our members. New members are then welcomed into the church the following Sunday during the worship services. Interested in attending the next New Member Gathering? Please click below to let us know you’ll be there.
The next New Member Gathering will be held on November 13th. Click below to register.
People are received into membership at Shepherd of the Prairie by variety of ways including:
An individual becomes a member of the congregation the day the Sacrament of Holy Baptism is administered. If the immediate family members hold membership in another congregation, the child’s membership should be transferred to that congregation. If a child, whose parents or guardians are members of SOTP, was baptized in another congregation, request transfer of the child’s membership from that congregation.
If the child was baptized in an emergency situation, the date of that administration of the sacrament is entered into the parish register. It is recommended that the order for “Public Recognition of Baptism” be conducted in the congregation when the health of the child allows.
Traditionally the Parish Register includes the following information related to Baptisms:
The Sacrament of Holy Baptism is administered to adults following a period of instruction in the Christian faith. In the case of adults, the date of Baptism is recorded in the parish register under both “baptism” and “confirmation,” as the newly baptized adult becomes simultaneously a confirmed member and a voting member of the congregation.
Confirmed members of the congregation are baptized persons who have publicly affirmed their baptismal covenant, following a period of instruction, and upon the approval of the Congregation Council. Such instruction should include information regarding what it means to become a member of a Lutheran congregation. Confirmed members also are those who have been received by adult baptism (see above), “or by transfer as confirmed members from other congregations, or baptized persons received by affirmation of faith”. Upon affirmation of baptism, the person also becomes a voting member of the congregation.
The date entered into the parish register is the date on which the person publicly reaffirms the vows of baptism in the presence of the congregation, or the date on which the person was approved for membership by the Congregation Council in the event no public service was conducted.
When a person holding membership in another congregation seeks to become a member of SOTP, that person should contact the church office. The Director of Connection Ministries will contact the prior congregation to request a transfer. If the transfer letter has not arrived in a prescribed time, we may telephone that congregation to provide a reminder. To assist with the transfer request, the following information is needed:
The date entered into the parish register is normally the date on which the person is received publicly into the congregation through the New Member Welcome Gathering.
If the person seeking membership in SOTP holds membership in a non-Lutheran congregation, a letter of transfer or release may not necessarily be issued.