Membership has its privileges in most places, but that's not the way we look at it at Prince of Peace.
By becoming a member, we ask a person to be a fellow worker in the kingdom of God, to give up some time each week in His service, to give up the prime parking spaces so that guests can join us more easily, to give up being able to think of ourselves first and think others as more important than ourselves.
Membership is not a position of privilege, but it is a position of blessing, because we believe we will be blessed if we honor God by doing these kinds of things. Membership means a person is officially part of a fellowship that loves and cares and helps each other get through this journey of life. It means that a person can contribute to decision making that impacts our community and world now and into the future.
A twelve session introductory class is required for membership, because we feel strongly that all members at Prince of Peace should be able to know and feel ownership of what we believe and teach. If membership is not for you, that's fine. Guests are welcomed to participate in many ways at Prince of Peace - for as long as they like. Ultimately, only one form of membership matters - membership in the kingdom of God through faith in His Son Jesus Christ.
This twelve session class is an overview of the fundamentals of the Christian faith, and is a prerequisite for membership at Prince of Peace. The class is offered at a variety of times, as need arises. To receive information about the next class, contact us.
Session 1 - Introduction
Session 1 is foundational for the rest of the class. In it we establish certain assumptions upon which the other 11 sessions are built, such as: God is the creator of all that exists, including people; He created us for a special relationship with Him; humankind fell away from Him and this relationship has been tarnished; through Jesus Christ, this relationship can be restored; and it is through the revealed word of God in the Bible that we are told of God's love and plan for us.
Session 2 - The Bible
In Session 2, we begin by exploring the three ways a person can get to know God, and discuss which way is the most reliable. We take some time to instruct participants on how to use the Bible, and suggest certain sections to start with for personal Bible reading.
Session 3 - God
Using His word, the Bible, we explore a variety of passages to become familiar with the characteristics of God. We also introduce participants to the concept of the Triune God, and learn a little about the creeds (statements of faith) used in our church.
Session 4 - Sin
The concept of Law and Gospel is introduced in this session, with regard to the role both play in connection to sin. The Law shows us we are sinful, and the Gospel tells us the good news of what God has done about it.
Session 5 - The Commandments, Part 1
God's word says "Love is the fulfilling of the law," and so our discussion of the 10 Commandments begins with love - first for God, second for others. The ten commandments can be broken down into two sections based on this concept. In this session, we take a closer look at those commandments that deal with our love for God.
Session 6 - The Commandments, Part 2
Contrary to popular opinion, the commandments are not rules put in the way of having fun, but boundaries to help us lead safe, productive and joyful lives with one another. The commandments that have to do with love for others help protect us and ensure that we live in harmony. Some hot topics covered in this session include life issues and sexuality issues.
Session 7 - Jesus
The Son of God is the focus of this class, and the focus of all of Christianity. During our discussion of the commandments, one thing becomes clear - we do not keep them perfectly, and perfection is what our holy God requires. Jesus role was to fulfill the law on our behalf, pay the penalty for sin we deserve, and give us the reward He earned - the reward of a restored relationship with God for eternity.
Session 8 - Baptism
The reasons Christians baptize, the ways baptism can take place, and the gifts of baptism are all part of this session. We'll also discover how closely baptism is connected to each and every time of worship.
Session 9 - Prayer
Starting with the Lord's Prayer, we'll see how every need of body or soul is included in this model prayer. We'll learn how to use the Lord's Prayer as a guide for personal prayer time, and survey some of the amazing promises about prayer in the Bible.
Session 10 - The Lord's Supper
The sharing of God's word and the receiving the Lord's Supper are the twin peaks of the Christian worship experience. The blessings of the Lord's Supper, how to receive it properly, and the history behind it are all part of this session.
Session 11 - Worship
What is the point of worship? To honor God, or to receive blessings from Him? Yes! And each element of our worship at Prince of Peace does one or the other (or both). We'll discuss the history and philosophy behind the different parts of both traditional and not-so-traditional worship styles at Prince of Peace.
Session 12 - The Church
The history of the church, with a special emphasis on the history of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod is our starting point. The ending point is how the individual Christian fits into the whole picture of the church, and why it is important to join together as a faith community for love, support and encouragement.
To get more information on the Newcomers Class, or to express interest in the next class, click here.