Baptism and Profession of Faith
Entrance into the church is acknowledged in baptism. Baptism is God's gift of unmerited grace through the Holy Spirit. It is an incorporation into Christ which marks the entrance of each person into the church and its ministry. (Paragraphs 127 and 310, UMCBOD)
Confirmation and Reaffirmation of Faith
A person who has been baptized but has never become a full member of a church may be confirmed and received into full membership, or a person may be baptized at the time of confirmation into the church. As recommended by the Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, during this course, the doctrines of The United Methodist Church and the nature and mission of the Church are emphasized, leading to growth in knowledge, grace and service of our Lord Jesus Christ. The United Methodist Church confirmation classes are taught by one of the pastors in the spring with Confirmation Sunday traditionally being scheduled on Pentecost.
A member in good standing in any Christian denomination who has been baptized and who desires to unite with The United Methodist Church may be received as a professing member by a proper certificate of transfer from that person's former church, or by a declaration of Christian Faith, and upon affirming willingness to be loyal to the United Methodist Church. (Paragraph 224 UMCBOD) The sending church will be notified of the reception of the member.
Affiliate and Associate Membership
There are two forms of membership for those who do not wish to leave membership in a "home church" but wish to become a part of the community of faith in another local church.
A United Methodist who is a member of another United Methodist congregation "who resides for an extended period in a city or community at a distance from the member's home church may, on request, be enrolled as an affiliate member." (Paragraph 226 UMCBOD) The pastor of the home church will be notified of the affiliate membership and the person would still be counted as a member only of the home church. A member coming from another Christian denomination may become an associate member under the same conditions as an affiliate member.