Membership and Baptism
Membership and Baptism
To be a member of a church is to make a public promise to live according to the Word and support the work of the congregation. The Bible calls this a covenant. When we think about the church as an organism, every believer is part of it (the Spiritual Body of Christ). But, only by a public promise can someone be part of the church as an organization. A public promise, or covenant, is the basis for all society according to the Bible — marriage, employment, citizenship and church membership are all relationships of accountability.
To be a member of a church is to make a public promise to live according to the Word and support the work of the congregation.
Membership in a church is not like membership in a social club or other organization. Most organization members are consumers — the organization exists to serve them. The church of Christ is a completely different community — membership means ministry and service, going from being a consumer to becoming a provider of God’s love and care to others. At Redeemer, we take seriously that we are a church not for ourselves, but for others.
There are five steps to become a Redeemer West Side member.
Step 1: Practices for Christian Formation class
This class puts spiritual formation into context, giving us a foundation to live as a follower of Jesus, and provides practices for everyday life. It is designed to help you both understand the Christian story and to help you live in it in such a way that pleases God and advances God’s purposes. Register here.
Step 2: Intro to Redeemer West Side class
In this class you will learn about the history and vision of Redeemer, acquaint yourself with its ministries and opportunities, and have a conversation with a pastor and other congregants on questions you may have about the church or Christian community. Register here.
Step 3: Membership application
Individual applications must be completed before moving on to step four. Submit application here.
*Steps 1, 2, and 3 may be completed in any order. Please check the class registration schedule below to find out when they are being offered.
Step 4: Membership Interview
Meet with an elder (60 to 75 minutes) for your membership interview. Our staff will work with you to schedule an appointment. If recommended for membership, your name will be submitted to the monthly Session meeting for approval. Married couples who both profess the Christian faith will interview together. Both spouses need to complete steps one, two, and three individually to move on to the interview together.
Step 5: Membership vows and baptism
Upon Session approval, take your public membership vows at a worship service. If you have not been baptized before, your baptism will be scheduled for the same service.
If you have questions or need to schedule an interview, email [email protected]
You should notify your previous church when you decide you would like to become a member at Redeemer West Side. Even if you are coming from another Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) church, you must go through all five steps listed above.
Former churches may send a letter or certificate of transfer to:
Redeemer Presbyterian Church West Side
150 W 83rd Street
New York, NY 10024
or [email protected] Attn: West Side
The letter or certificate should say:
- You are a member in good standing.
- They are releasing you into Redeemer West Side’s spiritual care.
Under our bylaws, Redeemer does not allow dual membership — that is, membership in both Redeemer and any other church at the same time, even if that church is a PCA church.
If you have never been baptized before and would like to be, you will need to complete the church membership process at Redeemer first. Be sure to discuss your desire at your membership interview. This will allow you to be scheduled for baptism on the day you take your membership vows in front of the congregation.
Infant and child baptism
- Please read our overview of Redeemer’s position on infant baptism. Redeemer will baptize infants of church members.
- Contact [email protected] to learn of upcoming dates and to register your infant for baptism. Please indicate your child's full name and date of birth.
- Redeemer will baptize your older child after he or she has made a made a profession of faith. Redeemer West Side offers a Communicants Class through Club 56 every other year. Contact [email protected] for more information.
Upcoming Practices for Christian Formation sessions:
- Classes will resume again in September 2021
Upcoming Intro to Redeemer West Side sessions:
- Classes will resume again in October 2021
Contact [email protected] if you need assistance.