Newcomers or visitors are always welcome! Trinity is a friendly parish that is always looking to make new folk feel comfortable and at home. The Vestry and other leadership are always happy to share information about us and answer whatever questions someone may have. And the Rector is always available to meet with someone to help them get acquainted with the parish, or the Episcopal Church as a whole, or Christianity in general.
Here are some answers to newcomers’ frequently asked questions (FAQs):
How do I become a member of Trinity parish?
Our parish by-laws (available on the Vestry tab of this website) define a ‘member’ of Trinity as ‘any person who has received the Sacrament of Holy Baptism, acknowledges that they are a member of the parish, is recorded in the parish registers as either having been Baptized, Confirmed, Received, or pledged to the parish, and who agrees to adhere to the by-laws of the parish’. However, such definitions can be quite dry. If you are thinking about becoming a member, please take minute to determine which of the situations below best apply to you. Then please contact Michelle Hults, the parish administrator at the church office (631-261-7670) to arrange the next step towards membership.
What if I am not baptized?
If you are not baptized and wish to be baptized and become a member of Trinity, please speak directly to the Rector, who will walk you through the process.
What if I have been baptized in another denomination?
Our theology of Baptism states that once one is baptized one is a full member of the Church, and no further action is necessary to make one a Christian. The Episcopal Church, however, recognizes the Sacrament of Confirmation as the Bishop “confirming” the action of baptism, which was centuries ago the province of bishops only, but which was designated to priests as the Church expanded. Confirmation is usually seen as one’s ‘affirmation of a mature faith’, in which one takes upon one’s self vows that were probably made on one’s behalf if they were baptized as an infant. Confirmation also invokes the Holy Spirit’s giving of one’s vocation and ministry. Please speak to the Rector to see if you are being called to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation.
What do I need to do to be a confirmed Episcopalian?
The policy regarding Confirmation is the prerogative of the Bishop. Bishop Provenzano’s policy is to offer Confirmation to those 16 years or older, although at the discretion of local clergy, he will confirm 15 years-olds who are deemed to be “mature in their faith”. Preparation for Confirmation will involve at least six months of instruction for teenagers. Adults should speak to the Rector directly to see what instruction may be beneficial.
What if I used to be a member of another Episcopal Church?
If you are already baptized or confirmed Episcopalian, we can request your Letter of Transfer from your last Episcopal church. Please contact the church office to begin this process.
What if I have been baptized and confirmed in another denomination?
If you have been confirmed in another denomination such as the Roman Catholic, the Lutheran or the Orthodox Church, we encourage you to consider Reception into the Episcopal Church. In this action, the Bishop “recognizes” that the ministry you have previously experienced is valid and “welcomes” you into this particular branch of the “One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church”. Please speak to the Rector to see if this is something to which you are being called.
Why should someone become a “member” of Trinity Church?
While the church ministers to anyone in crisis, and while all are welcome and invited to come and worship with us, active members enjoy the fullness of Trinity’s corporate life. A good phrase is that members get to “participate in the life of God”, through worship, sacrament, study, fellowship, and outreach. Parish membership is designed to deepen one’s involvement and understanding of what it means to say that the Church is “the Body of Christ”.