Membership at Church of the Apostles
Church of the Apostles seeks to be an authentic, caring community that offers love, acceptance, and hope to everyone. We believe that the Christian life is not only a commitment to Jesus. Becoming a member of a local church is also an important expression of our commitment to other people who are living as followers of Jesus. We encourage all who consider Church of the Apostles to be their home parish to become official members of the church. Membership shows that you take the local church seriously and that you are willing to be committed to Church of the Apostles.
Membership represents that you:
- affirm your faith in Christ
- are willing to answer a call for serving or leading
- are in agreement with the doctrinal foundations of the church (found on opposite page) and that you, along with other members, represent Church of the Apostles
- are willing to be under the spiritual authority of the church
- desire to fully participate in the community of faith
Church membership is required to
- vote on important church decisions (such as Vestry elections, buying/leasing/selling property, etc).
- hold certain leadership positions within the church
How to Become a Member
In order to become a member of Church of the Apostles, two things are required:
- Baptism: You must be baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit as Jesus directed in Matthew 28:19. You may send a copy of your Baptism Certificate to the church office or complete a Baptism Declaration Form, available through the church office. If you have not been baptized and would like to be, please contact the church office at 703-591-1974 or info@ChurchoftheApostles.org.
- Membership Agreement Form: You must have a signed Membership Agreement Form on record at the church office. A Membership Agreement Form is at the bottom of the page.
Only members eligible to vote under the Church of Apostles’ Bylaws, who are eighteen years of age or over and who have been confirmed or received by a Bishop of a Province of the Worldwide Anglican Communion, shall be eligible to serve as a Member of the Vestry. Except for the Rector, who serves ex officio, no employee of the church may serve as a Vestry member during his or her period of employment by the church. Also, no person who is the spouse, parent, or child of an employee of the church may serve as a Vestry member, if the relative is living in their home at the time of the election. Prior to commencing service as a Vestry Member, each Member of the Vestry shall affirm: (1) a personal commitment to the Principles set forth in Article IV of the Articles of Incorporation, dated February 24, 2006, and in Article III.A of the Bylaws; (2) a pledge to serve without any conflict of interest; and (3) a pledge to honor the confidentiality of all confidential materials to which the Member will have access during his or her term of service, which confidentiality shall continue indefinitely after the conclusion of the Vestry Member’s term of service.
Election of Vestry Members
Each year, one-third of the total number of other Vestrymen or Vestrywomen shall be elected at an Annual or a Special Meeting to hold office for three (3) years. Members of the Vestry shall continue in office until their successors are chosen. Should a vacancy occur among the Members of the Vestry during the year between Annual Meetings, the Vestry shall have power to fill the same. Retiring Vestry members shall be ineligible for immediate re-election for a succeeding term.
Only those Members of Church of the Apostles who are sixteen years or over and who are also recognized by the Rector as regular worshipers at the church and by the Treasurer or Wardens as regular contributors are eligible to vote in church elections (“Eligible Voters”). Prior to each Annual Meeting, the list of Eligible Voters shall be posted to enable the list to be corrected. The record date for determining the list of Eligible Voters shall be the close of business (4:30 PM) on the last business day before notice of the Annual or Special Meeting is given.
Commitment to the Life and Ministry of the Church
God’s provision for Church of the Apostles is through the tithes and gifts of the church’s members. Gifts of time, talent, service and witness are just as important to the church’s life as financial gifts. Faithful giving also makes us more generous overall, freeing us from the bonds of materialism, allowing us to better show Christ’s love to a watching world, and providing a platform for further spiritual growth.
As members, we believe that each act of giving is an act of faith and discipleship, and an act of worship. Our attitude toward giving and our practice of giving indicate our level of spiritual maturity and commitment to Christ’s mission (Matthew 6:19-21).
Doctrinal Foundations of Church of the Apostles
We affirm our belief in historic Christianity as revealed in the Scriptures and summarized in the three Creeds (Apostles Creed, Nicene Creed, and Athanasian Creed) and the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion. We recognize the need today for reaffirming the following beliefs:
- The Holy Trinity: The one God exists eternally in three persons -- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – and has so revealed Himself to us in Scripture.
- The Lord Jesus Christ: Our Lord Jesus Christ -- God incarnate and fully human -- is, by reason of His birth of the Virgin Mary, sinless life, atoning death, bodily resurrection, glorious ascension, and triumphant reign, the only Mediator between God and man
- The Holy Scriptures: The canonical books of the Old and New Testaments are trustworthy as “God’s Word written,” sufficiently teach God’s will for His world, and have supreme authority for faith, life, and the continuous renewal and reform of the Church. They are inspired, infallible, and “contain all things necessary for salvation.”
- Justification and Sanctification: Repenting and believing sinners are (i) justified through faith alone by God’s gracious act of declaring us righteous on the ground of the reconciling death of Christ, who suffered in our place and rose again for us; and (ii) sanctified by the gracious, continuing activity of the Holy Spirit who perfects our repentance, nurtures the new life implanted within us, transforms us into Christ’s image, and enables us to do good works in the world.
- The Christian Church: The Christian Church is the Body of Christ. Its members belong to Christ’s new humanity and are called and sent to live in the world in the power of the Spirit, worshiping God, confessing His truth, proclaiming the Good News of the Christ, supporting one another in love, and giving themselves in sacrificial service to others, especially those in need. Its great mission is to make disciples of all nations and people.
- Spiritual Gifts and Ministry: All Christians are called to exercise their God-given gifts to work, witness, and suffer for Christ. The particular call of ordained ministers is to preach, teach, and provide leadership and pastoral care to equip God’s people for His service and present them mature in Christ.
- The Gospel Sacraments: The sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper are outward and visible signs of inward and spiritual grace given to us and ordained by Christ himself as means by which we receive such grace and pledges to assure us of it.
- The Return of Christ: Our Lord Jesus Christ will personally return in glory at the end of the age for the resurrection of the dead, some to life and some to condemnation, for the glorification of His Church and for the renewal of the whole Creation.
Application for Recognition of Membership at
Church of the Apostles
*Note: If you are currently a member of another Anglican church, please also contact them to request a Letter of Transfer to be sent to The Rev Joseph Acanfora.