MEMBERSHIP AT PMC
we understand faith as a journey...
At Portland Mennonite Church we are striving to be a distinctively Christ-shaped community that is actively engaged in the compassion, shalom and justice of the Gospel. We don't think we can or should do this alone.
We invite you to join us wherever you are on your journey.
Are you interested in joining Portland Mennonite Church or just looking for a place to ask some questions? Email one of our pastors... contact information is HERE.
“For true evangelical faith...cannot lie dormant; but manifests itself in all righteousness and works of love; it...clothes the naked; feeds the hungry; consoles the afflicted; shelters the miserable; aids and consoles all the oppressed; returns good for evil; serves those that injure it; prays for those that persecute it."
How does PMC understand Baptism?
Baptism is an ancient rite of faith. It symbolizes our incorporation into a new life with Christ, a life that we live out together. So it is a commitment that those being baptized make and it is a commitment that we make – ‘to bear each others’ burdens, to assist in times of need … to support each other in joy and sorrow …’
Because we understand that our faith in Christ has to be lived out daily, practically and tangibly, we link it very closely to our life as a community. Membership in the congregation is, as in any organization, an administrative category – it is a way of knowing who can vote at meetings and serve in leadership roles. But in the church, membership is much more – it is the commitment we make to each other to live out our baptismal vows together. In the Anabaptist tradition baptism and membership are meant to shape all of life. So we ask people to attend a New Members class, we meet with them individually, we ask them to share with us their journey of faith in Christ, and we ask them to participate actively in the life of PMC.
If you would like to be baptized or would like to learn more about membership, or if you would like to learn more about PMC or our Anabaptist understanding and practice of Christian faith, please contact one of us. We would be glad to talk with you. (Contact information is here)
The peace of Christ be with you,
How does PMC understand Communion?
Partaking the Bread and Cup of the Lord’s Table is one of the enduring practices of our Christian faith. Through the many centuries, though, people haven’t always agreed on what it means, who should participate, even whether to use leavened or unleavened bread, wine or grape juice.
At PMC we are eager for everyone to be part of the celebration of Communion. Jesus welcomed all sorts of folks to the table; often enough they were transformed by the encounter. At PMC the invitation isn’t just to participate in a ritual but to enter more deeply into life with God:
‘You are welcome, whoever you are and wherever you find yourselves on the journey of faith. Come and receive the gift of God’s grace; come and renew your commitment to follow the Way of Jesus; come and be strengthened by the Spirit.’
In our Mennonite tradition children don’t take the elements. We have always understood communion and baptism to be grown-up decisions that affect all of life. We welcome children to come with their families and receive a blessing.
So what about junior high students and high school youth who are working out their faith but haven’t yet been baptized? How do we encourage them to a deeper life with Christ? Historically, participation in communion has been
linked to baptism. We’re reluctant to draw a hard line there, though; Jesus wasn’t real particular about who he ate with. And if we mark off communion as being only for adults who are baptized, it tends to shut down conversations. Instead, we hope our youth will be talking with parents, each other, and pastors about what it all means.
We’ll start running a line in the bulletin prior to Communion that reads: ‘We encourage students and youth who have not yet been baptized but are ready to share the Bread and Cup to talk first with a parent or a pastor about the meaning of Communion.’
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to talk to anyone of us. These are the kind of conversations through which faith is formed in all of us.
Peace to you,