We are a community of people; not a club.  A person doesn’t need to officially become a “member” of FPCSM to freely participate in the breadth of the FPCSM community – its worship, fellowship, and many ministries, and activities.  All people are invited to participate in all aspects of the life of FPCSM!  And yet, we also believe that making an intentional and public commitment to a community, to its members, and to its mission can be a really good thing in lots of ways.

First, we’re a church community, not a club – you don’t need to be a member to join us for any of our activities.  That said, we think there are some advantages to being a member.

Those who are interested in membership or simply learning more about FPCSM are invited to participate in a series of enjoyable gatherings that we call Discover First Pres (DFP)!  The purpose of these gatherings is to explore and discuss with others who are inquiring about membership, the pastor, and leaders of the congregation.  Discussion topics include:

     •      what it means to be a Christian      
what it means to be a follower of Jesus     
what is meant by the word “Presbyterian”, and      
what it means to be an active member of First Presbyterian Church San Mateo! 

And we have a great time together!  We laugh.  We eat.  We get to know each other better.  We deepen our life with God and our friendships with one another.  We talk about what God intends for the church, and we see more clearly what the church could be and, by God’s grace, will be.

Participants in Discover First Pres will learn about our history, ministries, people, what we’re all about, and how things work.  We review FPCSM’s mission statement and core values.  We talk about spiritual gifts and ministry opportunities as well as theological matters such as grace, the sacraments, and the kingdom of God.

Church membership is not the necessary outcome of participation in Discover First Pres.  DFP is truly a time of learning, exploration, and discernment – with no strings attached.  Church membership is a great and important way to outwardly or publicly express one’s commitment to a particular congregation, but by no means is membership a requirement for participating in the life of the FPCSM family.  All are welcome.

For those who would like to become members of FPCSM, the next steps are easy.  Agreement with every facet of FPCSM’s statement of beliefs is not necessary.  What we do look for in those wanting to officially be members of this congregation are Christ-centered and affirmative answers to the following questions:

    •       Who is your Savior and Lord?
Do you trust him?
Do you desire to be Jesus’ disciple and to follow him?
    •       Do you renounce sin and turn from those things that keep you from God, and do you turn to God, relying wholly on           His grace?
    •       Will you be a faithful member of this congregation, participating faithfully in its worship, service, ministry, and           fellowship? 

Discover First Pres is offered several times per year.  For more information, contact Lois Darbonne, Director of Discipleship, through the church office.

Copyright © 2011 First Presbyterian Church San Mateo