A member is one who has been baptised, either
as infant, child, youth or adult, and has made a public profession of faith before the congregation. Membership is not required
in order to worship at a United Church or participate in Communion, and many who regularly attend worship are "adherents"
rather than full members. (People who are not "confirmed" members, or who have never transfered
their membership from another denomination of the Christian Church or another congregation of the United Church of Canada
are referred to as "adherents".)
Benefits of Membership
The majority of our pastoral charge's council must be members. In addition,
only a member can vote on spiritual matters at congregational meetings—usually whether to issue a "call" to a new minister
to join the congregation. (On temporal matters—those that deal with finances, property, etc.—a motion is usually
made at the start of a congregational meeting to allow all who are present, members and adherents, the right to vote.)
Transfer of Membership and
Removal from Rolls
Although confirmation takes place at the congregational level, the
person is a member of the entire United Church of Canada, not just one congregation; therefore membership can be transferred
freely from congregation to congregation, or to another denomination if that is the persons desire.
A congregation may remove members from its roll for non-attendance.
(The Manual suggests an absence of three years, but the congregation is free to set its own period of time).
This is only carried out after every possible measure has been taken to be in touch with the member.