There are many ways of belonging at Briarcliff Church; for here, we encourage people to join our community on their own terms, as they are led and as they find satisfaction.
As our BCC Statement of Welcome and Inclusion states, everyone who seeks to love God, self and neighbor is welcome at this church. As a matter of fact, anyone who joins us for public worship on Sundays automatically becomes part of “the worshipping congregation;” and some who are part of the worshipping congregation at BCC limit their belonging largely to the worship experience. Others extend their Sundays at BCC to include fellowship at Coffee Hour and occasional participation in any number of Coffee Hour events (e.g. the Advent Craft Fair, an annual Heifer Fair, a pottery display and sale, etc.). Still others find their involvement broadening because their children participate in Sunday School or they themselves are drawn to other aspects of our ministry, such as our wonderful music program or opportunities to serve others.
A deeper level of belonging accrues when people become involved in the “other than Sunday” dimensions of church life: When one volunteers for a project or takes advantage of an educational experience or participates in a fellowship group. These activities deepen relationships and contribute to one’s sense of this as “church home.”
Still deeper is the commitment of formal Membership at BCC. We welcome people into Membership by covenant, a time tested (some would say old fashioned) notion that we are bound together by our own intention and the Holy Spirit’s will at work in our lives such as to be Christ’s church in this setting. Covenanted members of BCC have publicly avowed both to invest their time, treasure and talent in this church and to pursue their faith journey here, acknowledging an interdependency and mutual belonging with others in the Body of Christ.
The best way to belong at BCC is by getting involved: Worship, Fellowship, Education, Service. When involved in these ways, one may find that he or she is moved to commit more fully and formally covenant as a Member. At that time, one’s desire should be expressed to either the Pastor or a member of the Board of Deacons. Opportunities to learn more about what Membership entails will be arranged at that time. Reception of those newly covenanting is celebrated anytime during the year when candidates express such interest.
As a covenanted Member or attached in some other way, BCC is for many “a place to belong” to a people, a purpose and a promise. Those of us already so committed are eager to engage others in the adventure and the joy of participation!