Why Should I Join Bothwell Parish Church?
“Joining” is not part of our culture nowadays, especially for younger people. We see
ourselves more as users, consumers, dipping into any organisation or activity where it offers something helpful to us but not committing ourselves wholesale to the thing itself. We’re too busy anyway. We don’t have the time to do so. So why should we join a church?
But are there maybe reasons for doing so that we might consider?
- It might be that you’re already involved in some part of the Church’s life, already giving something worthwhile and feeling you belong here, and it’s about that belonging being affirmed in a way that enables you to say “this is my home”.
- It’s about sharing the beliefs and values you find expressed in the church, and saying, “this is who I am, this is what I hold too”.
- It’s about taking responsibility, knowing that we have received so much from others and now it’s our turn to give something back, because you cannot keep drawing from the reservoir unless you also do something to replenish it.
- It’s about helping to build community, making this place where we live more like the caring community it needs to be, because it’s not the politicians or the police who can do that—but only us.
- It’s because there are issues our there about peace, justice, fairness and the plight of the world’s needy, and we can’t live in such a troubled world without doing something about these things.
And these are just a few reasons!
But be sure that joining the church is NOT about joining an institution. It never was. There is no sense in which you are asked to sign on the dotted line promising allegiance to all that the church says and does. We hope you have already heard enough in the Church to know that questions, doubts and unconventional thinking are actually important ingredients of believing. Faith is not about the beliefs we hold in our heads, but about what we’re willing to gibe our hearts to. So belonging to the church is more a matter of continuing a life-long journey in the company of others for the sake of who we might become together.
If you have never been a member of any church before (i.e. you have never been confirmed), a course of meetings for preparation and reflection is usually held before taking this step. In the Church we have said that the first block of Living the Questions course can serve this purpose. Details of sessions will always be included in this magazine, when arranged.
If you have been a member of the Church of Scotland in another parish, a “certificate of transference” can be obtained from your previous congregation and simply handed in to us. For those who may have lost contact with their earlier congregations, or who have been members of other denominations of the Christian Church, there is also a very simply procedure for membership to be transferred in such circumstances by a resolution of the Kirk Session.
Please do speak to Revd.Gibson if you would like to discuss things further.
Bothwell Parish Church would be delighted to welcome you.