By Brandon Lemons
I have lots of favorite activities at Friedens, one of which is the Friedens Foundations course. It’s a six-session class that we usually offer once a year. It is the first and main step toward becoming a member of Friedens, yet its value is far beyond the membership process. Foundations covers: Friedens’ beliefs; our mission and values; our history and the EFCA; our ministries, relationships, and leadership; and the “why” behind what we do. In the Foundations course, there are many things you can learn about Friedens and the way we operate that would take years to learn (if ever) simply by being involved on a regular basis.
One of the things I value most about Friedens Foundations and the membership process is how these help us build a healthy congregational culture. People come into the church with a variety of backgrounds and perspectives, and the Foundations course is great at helping us develop a shared understanding of what matters most in the church and how God is calling us to interact as a church family. For instance, one section of the class is “Relationships Within The Church,” which teaches how God designed us to relate to one another and how to handle conflict and disagreement in healthy, God-honoring ways.
Perhaps you’re wondering about membership at Friedens. We recently had several congregational votes, which highlight the distinction between those who are official members of Friedens Church and those who aren’t. Members can vote, and non-members can’t. This, along with the ability to serve on the Leadership Board and Finance Committee, are the main privileges of being a member of Friedens. Membership also represents a higher level of ownership and responsibility for the well-being of the church. In my mind, the “Friedens Family” consists of everyone who considers Friedens to be their church home, regardless of membership status, yet I also encourage everyone who considers Friedens to be their church home to complete the membership process.
If you would like to become a member of Friedens, completing the Foundations course is the first step. Friedens Foundations is also great for anyone who would like to learn more about the church – whether you are just checking out Friedens or have been here for many decades and would like a refresher.
The Foundations course will meet on Sundays from 9:30-10:15am from September 12 – October 17. This is the same time as other Sunday-morning classes, so there are children’s/teen classes and nursery during Foundations, which are helpful if you have younger people in your family. We are asking for sign-ups so we have sufficient materials prepared. If you would like to sign up for the Foundations course, you can do so on the Connection Card on Sundays or by contacting the church office at firstname.lastname@example.org.