How Do I Become a Member of the Pilgrim Family?

 
At Pilgrim we rejoice at the opportunity to share God’s peace with everyone in our community and on our local college campuses.  We’d consider it a privilege and a blessing if you’d want to join our congregation.  Membership in a church is all about being united in our faith and the teachings of God's Word.

If you don't belong to a church or belong to one that isn't Lutheran:  You will want to attend a Bible Information Class taught by our Pastor or one of our church leaders.  This class focuses on the main truths and teachings of the Christian faith.  It's a great way to grow in God's Word as a child of God.  A course usually consists of about 15 lessons.  This class can be scheduled at your convenience, and you can proceed at your own pace.  Some folks are so excited they want to work through 2 lessons at a time.  Others need more time to digest and meditate over the truths taught.
When the class is over, you are welcome to join our church family, if you agree that our teachings are clearly based on God’s unchanging word.  You will be given the opportunity to publicly confess your faith and desire for membership in one of our worship services.  Don't worry – it's not a scary thing!  We are thrilled when others want to join in worship together with us.  We want to celebrate that fact.

If you already have a different Lutheran background, you will still want to talk to our pastor.  He will help you understand the doctrinal differences between the various Lutheran churches and synods.  Usually, our WELS statement of faith, "
This We Believe," is used as the simple basis for these discussions.
Once you understand the differences and indicate that you agree with our beliefs, you will be received as a member by profession of your faith.  You might be encouraged, before you join, to attend the Bible Information Class as a great review of what we believe as Lutherans.  We’ll also give you the opportunity to publicly confess your faith and desire for membership in one of our worship services.
Want more information?  Don't hesitate to contact our Pastor.  You can email him using the following link.  

pastor@pilgrimonline.net
Who may attend worship services?

What is worship like?

What is the sermon going to be like?

How long is the worship service?

Are you going to call attention to me as a visitor? 

How much is it going to cost me?

What do I wear to attend your services?

What does it mean to be a "member"?


Do I have to be a member to attend worship or other events?

How can I become a member of Pilgrim?

I've moved here from another church in the WELS. How do I transfer my membership to Pilgrim?

What is the "WELS"?


Who May Attend the Worship Services
YOU may! You'll find a wonderful group of fun, caring people. We come from all backgrounds and all walks of life. We are quite diverse, but we are united in Jesus!  You'll fit in just fine!

What is worship like?
At Pilgrim we plan our worship around a biblical theme for the day. The songs we sing (mostly hymns) and the portions of the Bible that we read are selected to reinforce that theme. We have opportunity to listen to God speaking to us, and we have the opportunity to learn of him, praise him, pray to him, and sing to him, and bring encouragement with your presence to others around you.
God is a majestic and transcendent God. In our worship service we want to approach him in reverence, awe and humility--but at the same time with joy and celebration of his grace. Our service is carefully planned, and it's printed out, so you'll know what's coming next.  Many times the service is printed out on the screen in front of our church for all to see.

What is the sermon going to be like?
God's word has relevant and personal things to say to people in the 21st century. More than anything, we hope that the sermon relates God's timeless truths to the challenges you're confronting in your life today. We hope that the sermon reinforces things you already knew, teaches you something you didn't know, challenges you in your walk with Jesus, and leaves you with the peace and assurance of God's embracing love and complete forgiveness in Christ.


How long is the worship service?
A typical worship service lasts about an hour.

Are you going to call attention to me as a visitor?
We want you to feel welcome--and we hope you're warmly greeted by other Pilgrim worshipers--but we won't single you out or put you on the spot. You won't be asked to stand up and introduce yourself. There won't be a quiz later on the names of people you met. You can worship as anonymously as you choose. We're just very glad when you can join us to praise God along with us!


How much is it going to cost me?

Ah, that's an important question! We gather an offering of thanks during the service--usually after the sermon. We collect an offering, because it gives our worshipers another chance to praise God with their gifts. The offering is completely voluntary--you don't have to participate at all, if you don't care to. When the plate comes by, you may simply pass it along. Nobody will think negative of you or look at you funny if you do so. Quite frankly, our goal is to give something to you, not to take something away from you.

What do I wear to attend your services?              
You'll find everything from casual clothes to business suits at our weekend service. Come in what is comfortable for you, because Pilgrim is not about what you look like or what you wear.

What does it mean to be a "member"?
Membership in Jesus' church isn't like a membership at a club or a membership at Costco. There is no application to fill out, and there are no annual dues to pay. However, that doesn't mean there are no expectations for members, there are.  But, there are expectations for Christians in general.  Pilgrim wants to, and should, assume responsibility for those in their spiritual care.

To become a member we ask youth and adults to completed a course of instruction in the basic teachings of the Bible (catechism instruction or adult membership class). Once instructed, those individuals are able to declare that they are in complete agreement with God's word.  They are welcomed to receive Holy Communion. All Christians desire to be part of a fellowship of believers and receive the gifts that God has given to his church.

So, the expectations for Christians are that as members of THE HOLY CHRISTIAN CHURCH on earth (and of Pilgrim), we are overcome with thankfulness to the Lord for his temporal care and eternal gifts.  In that thankfulness we want to (not have to but want to) participate in worship, in service to the Lord, and supporting the spread of God’s kingdom here on earth.

Do I have to be a member to attend worship or other events?
We welcome everyone to worship, to activities, to game nights, to outings. You'll find a welcoming group of friendly people. Baptism is for everyone who desires it, and the pastor will be happy to speak with you about baptism for you and your children (if you haven't been baptized already). Since Holy Communion requires some important knowledge of the Bible, we respectfully ask that people receive Communion only after they have been instructed and declare their agreement with our church's teachings.

How can I become a member of Pilgrim??
Start worshiping with us! Find out the wonderful things God has to say to your heart. That's the first step. Pilgrim will take you through classes, whether by the pastor or church leaders.  The Bible Basics, takes about 15 weeks to complete. You'll enjoy the discussions of God’s Word. Here, the Bible will be applied to real life today.
Feeling a bit apprehensive? Don't worry--we're all there to learn, and the leaders will do everything they can to help you feel comfortable. If the church leaders are your teachers, the pastor will sit down with you for the last lesson to make sure you understand of of the instruction you have been given.


I've moved here from another church in the WELS. How do I transfer my membership to Pilgrim?
If you've already been instructed and confirmed in a sister congregation in the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, you don't need to take the membership class all over. (On the other hand . . . if it's been awhile, you might find that Bible Basics is a refreshing review for you and a huge faith-building experience!) To transfer, simply contact your pastor (e-mail or a letter is best, but phone works just as well) and ask that your membership be transferred to Pilgrim in Minneapolis, MN. At the same time, please mention to your new pastor (or church office) here at Pilgrim that you've made the request, and they'll make arrangements to meet with you and help get you settled into your new church home.

What is the "WELS"?

"WELS" stands for Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod. A "synod" is a group of congregations who choose to walk together as Christians united in the teaching of God’s Word.


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