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Fear of Joining Up

My oldest daughter has an acronym that’s popular with her generation – FOMO. Fear of Missing Out. She is loving her college experience, and she doesn’t want to miss a single opportunity to go on an adventure or experience something new, aside from going to class! I think there’s an equal and opposite kind of fear that’s also understandable in our day, and that’s FOJU. Fear of Joining Up. Fear of becoming a member. When we hear the word “member” we think of something that may limit our options, not open them up. We think of a Costco card, or a gym membership, or a timeshare contract we can’t get out of. But “membership” in its original usage was never about belonging to a club, or signing an unbreakable contract. Many are surprised to discover that the word “member” comes from the New Testament where we read: “Now you are the Bodyof Christ, and individually membersof it” (1 Cor. 12:27). In other words, becoming a “member” refers to one’s part in a living organism, the spiritual Body of Christ where each of us plays an essential role. We need each other at St. John’s like we need our hands, our eyes, and our feet.

When you become an active member of the Body of Christ you have the opportunity to declare your faith publicly, something which Jesus urges us to do. In the Presbyterian Church, a member also has the privilege of voting and playing a more active leadership role. And to borrow an analogy from athletic competition, when you become a member you are no longer a spectator, you become a player. You are down on the field. You are scaling the mountain. You are jumping into the great adventure of serving Christ in the bond of committed love for one another. If you saw last night’s news you were reminded that our role as Jesus’ “team members” has never been more essential in the terribly divided and polarized culture we live in. Our world need to know about Jesus and the brilliance of his goodness, peace, and self-giving love.

That’s why I hope you will join me next month for a 2-part class that focuses on Jesus, the foundation of our faith, and what He is calling us to be and do as a local church. We will also intrigue you with facts about the Presbyterian Church, discuss its unique history, and explain its role in the larger Christian community.

Session One will be held Sunday, October 21 and Session Two will be held Sunday, October 28. Both sessions will be from noon to 2:00pm in the Westminster Room, with lunch provided. Please feel free to come if only to ask questions and find out what being a member is all about!

For those who do decide to take this step, there will be a meeting with the Session Elders of the church from 7:00-7:30pm on Wednesday, November 14. At that time, you will be formally welcomed into active membership. Then, on November 18 you will be publicly welcomed during the service!

If you are interested in participating, you may simply call our office manager, Sandi Dick at 310-477-2513, between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm or email her at If you already signed up at the table after Worship, you do not need to call Sandi. Lastly, free childcare is available to those who notify the church office by Wednesday, October 17. Take it from my daughter – don’t miss out :)


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