St. John’s welcomes all people—members and non-members—for worship services. Visitors who are interested in making St. John’s their church home are encouraged to talk to one of our pastors about the process of becoming a member.
After speaking with a pastor, the next steps in the process depend on your current church affiliation.
New Members from Other Denominations/Unchurched
If you haven’t recently been an active church member or you belonged to a church of another denomination (e.g., Evangelical, Roman Catholic, ELCA), you’ll enroll and participate in adult instruction, which covers foundational teachings of the confessional Lutheran faith.
After completing adult catechesis, those who wish to pursue membership will be confirmed (or baptized and confirmed, if unbaptized) at St. John’s in the faith of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.
Transfers from Confessional Lutheran Congregations (LCMS, WELS, ELS, etc.)
- Transfer. If you’ve recently been a member in good standing of an LCMS congregation outside the Topeka area, you’ll need to obtain a transfer letter from your church.
- Profession of faith. If you’re currently a member of a church in another confessional Lutheran synod (e.g., WELS, ELS, CLC), the pastor will talk to you about your beliefs and what, if any, differences there are in the beliefs confessed at St. John’s. After this consultation process (which may involve additional instruction), you should obtain a release from your last congregation.
- If you’re currently attending an LCMS church in the Topeka circuit and want to transfer, the pastor will ask if you’ve discussed your reasons for seeking a transfer with your current pastor; if not, he’ll encourage you to do so. Church members seek transfers for a variety of reasons, some of which may be problematic (e.g., avoiding reconciliation or church discipline). Approving a transfer too soon in these cases may short-circuit ongoing ministry efforts. If you’ve spoken with your pastor and he approves of the transfer, he’ll give you a letter of transfer.
We encourage all new members, regardless of their previous church affiliation, to take adult instruction at St. John’s.