Q: What does the church expect of me after becoming a member here?
A: Membership vows include a promise to support the church by our prayers, our presence, our gifts, our service, and our witness. While the practice of our faith may take different expressions for each of us, we do encourage each of our members to take those commitments seriously by getting involved in at least one on-going ministry of our church, as well as finding a Sunday School class, organization, or small group in which to form healthy relationships in Christ.
Q: How can I get involved in the church’s ministries?
A: With over 3300 members, Lakewood is not a small congregation any longer, but there are still plenty of ways in which everyone can find a personal avenue of service. With the exception of a few key administrative and personnel committees, most of our ministry teams are open to all and they welcome new members throughout the year to help in such areas as music and worship, education, children and youth, missions, neighborhood ministries, social witness, and many others. To get involved, contact Betty Christian, Hector Castelltort or Beth Parnell at the church office for the name of the coordinator for the ministry in which you are interested.
Q: What do I need to do to be baptized?
A: Baptism is the basic prerequisite for full membership in The United Methodist Church, serving as a sign of individual commitment to Christ. We believe that it is a mark of inclusion in the covenant community and as such, along with the majority of Christians worldwide, we are pleased to make the sacrament available for those of all ages who are willing to take the baptismal vows or, in the case of an infant, whose parents are willing to make those commitments on their behalf. Most baptisms are performed by sprinkling, though arrangements can be made for immersions for those so desiring. As God is the principal party in baptism, and He does not change or forget His covenant with us, we believe that baptism is an once-in-a-lifetime occasion. For this reason, we do not perform re-baptisms, though we are happy to offer a reaffirmation of baptismal vows for those who would like to renew their faith commitments. With a few exceptions, baptisms may be scheduled for most Sundays in any of our services. To arrange baptism for yourself or for a child, please contact Rhonda Aulick.
Q: I would like to make my contributions electronically; how can I do that?
Q: How do I get reimbursed for ministry expenses?
A: Complete a Check Request and submit it, with the receipt(s) for which you are requesting reimbursement attached, to Krista Wall for payment. (Please make sure you have the appropriate approvals BEFORE making such expenditures, as budget limitations may not allow unapproved expenditures to be reimbursed.)
Q: Does the church have a tax-exempt number?
A: While we are a tax-exempt organization, we do not have a tax exempt number per se. We do have tax exempt forms, which you are asked to use and are available in the church office (please pick up prior to making your ministry-related purchase). It’s time-consuming to go back and have the sales tax removed after the fact, and good stewardship charges us to avoid incurring this unnecessary expense.
Q: How do I raise funds for my ministry?
A: Fundraisers are limited to two per group per year, and must be approved in advance by the Finance Committee. (Please allow adequate time for approval, as the committee only meets once a month.)
FUNCTIONS AND EVENTS
Q: How do I reserve a room at the church for a meeting?
A: Space is available for free for any recognized church ministry or group; simply complete an Application for Facility Use (aka a greensheet) and give it to Misty Celli in the main office. For non-church functions, building usage must be approved by the Board of Trustees and a fee will be involved; use the same form for your request, and Misty Celli will forward it to the board. (These requests should be made well in advance, as the board only meets once a month.)
Q: How do I get something on the church calendar?
A: New events must be approved by the church staff before being added to the calendar. Changes or additions to meeting dates must be approved by the staff person responsible for the sponsoring group. Either way, Misty Celli can direct you to the right person. Since the church calendar is generally limited to events that occur in the church, by completing an online room request form to reserve your space, your event will be reviewed and if approved, added to the calendar.
Q: How do I request child care for a church event?
A: As an event leader, you must submit a Request for Child Care to Jill Guettler no less than one week prior to your event to arrange for babysitting. As an event participant, please contact the event leader if you desire child care, to find out whether or not it is being offered, and/or to let the leader know the number and ages of your children so appropriate care can be made available.
Q: How do I start a new ministry?
A: Pastoral approval is required to start a new study, class, group or ministry; please speak with a pastor before launching any new church endeavors or committing any church resources.
GETTING THE WORD OUT
Q: How do I get something included in the worship bulletin?
A: Announcements for the back of bulletin must be submitted to Hector Castelltort no later than the Monday before the Sunday you would like them included. Announcements are limited to a three-week run, and may be edited for space and content.
Q: How do I get my announcement in the weekly email?
A: All announcements in the Sunday bulletin are automatically included in the email that goes out the prior Thursday. If you have missed the deadline for the Sunday bulletin but still wish to share your announcement, contact Mary Beth Trahan.
Q: Can I get my event announced on the electronic sign in front of the church?
A: Contact Mary Beth Trahan to see about displaying your announcement. This option is limited to items that are intended for our community as well as our congregation.
Q: How do I reserve a table in the Commons?
A: Contact Betty Christian. Tables are limited.
Q: May I put up posters to advertise an upcoming event?
A: You are welcome to display posters that have been approved in advance by the pastor or coordinator responsible for your ministry. Our Trustees ask that you not use any pins, nails or staples in our walls, do not place posters on windows, and respect the bulletin boards of other groups. Easels are available for you to use to display your posters, or you may use painter’s tape or ticky-tack.
Q: What is Safe Sanctuary? Does it apply to me?
A: Safe Sanctuary is a United Methodist program that teaches abuse prevention. It was developed to protect infants, children and youth while they are involved in church functions, as well as the adults who work with them. If you are an adult serving in any church ministry in which infants, children or youth are present, you are required to take Safe Sanctuary.
Q: How often do I have to renew my Safe Sanctuary training?
A: Safe Sanctuary certification lasts 2 years. While you can read and sign the updated policy as long as you remain an active volunteer, it is highly recommended that you take the course every two years to stay updated on expectations and best practices. Your background check will be renewed annually by church staff for as long as you are involved in these activities.
To register for a Safe Sanctuary Training Class, email Amy Amodio.