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Here you can find selected material from issues of Trinity Memorial Church's monthly newsletter, the Trinity Times.

Trinity Times

Meaning of Membership - Peter Koeppel

I recently asked a much beloved person I’ve seen in our pews, working canteen, helping decorating the church before and after special services – an all around engaged member of our parish – for a favor. “But I’m not even a member of the church” was the first reply. My  response was “you could have fooled me – in fact, you did!”


This short encounter gave me pause to, once again, think about, and talk about with my friend what membership actually means.  There is a formal, Canonical (i.e. according to the Laws of the Episcopal Church) definition of membership. I haven’t researched whether there’s also a (worldly) legal definition of church membership in for instance NYS’ various laws applying to religious corporations.


But I prefer to think of membership in Trinity Memorial’s congregation in very different terms: is this the place, and the people, you look forward to seeing on Sundays mornings (and other days, as the case may be)? Is this the place where you feel at home? Is this the place where you offer time, talent, and treasure in the service of God’s Kingdom in this world? Is this the place to which you are drawn to find solace and comfort during life’s sorrows and celebration of life’s joys?  Is this the place where you nourish and grow your faith?


By my reading and definition, if you recognize yourself in some of the above, you are most certainly a member of Trinity Memorial Church. And we love you dearly for all you do. We’re there for you, just as times will come when we look to you to be there for another member. Our emerging Laity Pastoral Care programs are an excellent focus to take caring for each other further than we perhaps ever thought possible.


On second thought, my friend recognized himself as a member. I hope you do too!

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