CATEGORIES OF MEMBERSHIP
Covenant and Intern Membership
Until only those who had committed themselves to all of the disciplines (covenant members) of the community or were preparing for that (intern members), were "members" of the Eighth Day Faith Community. More recently as we have become more and more aware of the need for great inclusion, we have defined membership as being either a covenant/intern member or a community member, while non-members are a vital part of our community.
Eighth Day “community membership” has been developed for those members of the community for whom the traditional disciplines of the Church of the Saviour are inappropriate. The disciplines of a covenant member can at certain times in one’s life be simply too demanding on one’s resources (of time, money or energy) or otherwise impossible to follow.
Worshipers Who Are Not Formally Members
More than many communities, we depend on and are enhanced by worshipers who do not otherwise fit into the formal categories of membership. We have pioneered mission after mission with the help of people who are not formally members. Many people have dreamed with us and cared and prayed and given. A woshiper is not a less-committed person. He/she is often more deeply committed than our members.
The worshiper is simply a person not called to membership in this particular community with its particular understandings and structures. If one is not inwardly called and does not welcome our particular understandings and our structures, their growth is enhanced by non-membership rather than by membership.
So I just want to express a profound gratitude for those in the past and now in the present who have never been members, but have been and are totally essential to our life Membership has nothing to do with being better or being more committed. It has everything to do with a special call to a particular community structured in a very unusual way and operating on assumptions often quite different from the normal assumptions of church life in America. Thus, in this kind of community there will be much coming and going. Coming and going will be normative. “Let me explore this,” many will say. “Is it right for my spirit? No, this is not where I am now.” The hope is that each of us, and the whole community, will be richer because of these explorations.
Gordon Cosby 2006 (revised)