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ACCRA RIDGE CHURCH

POLICY ON CHURCH MEMBERSHIP

Approved at the 1996 Annual General Meeting

Constitution of the Accra Ridge Church identifies the wing categories of Church members: –

Communicant Members:  These are 18 years and above whose names are “on the roll of Communicant Members” (see 2 ii and 79 of the Church Constitution – p. 13).

a.     Communicant Members belonging to the participating Churches – the Anglican of Church, the Methodist Church Ghana, the Presbyterian Church of Ghana and any other Church in Ghana which may be admitted to a participation in the life and work of the Ridge Church.

 

b.     Communicant Members not belonging to the participating Churches.  (See “The Regulations on Membership of the Church” pg. 13).

 

These are supposed to be”

 

               i.         Communicant Members of a Church of another denomination or

             ii.         Those who have been baptized and confirmed “according to the practice in the Ridge Church”

2.     A Communicant Member who for some reason is unable to participate actively at Accra Ridge Church but participating actively in the life and work of another Church.

3.     Baptized Children who “are connected with the Church”.  This category of membership involves two groups.

a.     Those children who have been baptized in the Church and “are connected with the Church”

b.     Those children who have been baptized elsewhere and are connected with the Church”.

By virtue of the Constitution’s interpretation of ‘Communicant Members’ one would like to interpret “Baptized Children” as Children from age 1-17.

To be a member of the Accra Ridge Church one has to fall under the following categories: –

1.     CHILDREN

a.    Baptized Children connected to the Church means any or combination of the following:

·      Those whose names are registered in the Baptismal Register;

·      Those registered as members of the Sunday School and Teenagers/Youth Service

·      Those whose parents are communicant members of the Church;

 

b.     Associate Members:  That is Children connected to the Church.  A register would be kept of all children who attend Sunday School and the Teenagers/Youth Service.  A list of those children whose parent do not worship at the Church would also be compiled.  Forms would be sent to such parents to give the Church office information such as their regular place of worship.

 

2.     COMMUNICANT MEMBERS:

a.     Active Communicant Members. (See pg. 15 a-e of the Church Constitution for what is expected of them).  A Communicant Member should be an active member of at least one of the Church organizations or a member of a Neighbourhood Fellowship.

 

b.     Inactive Communicant Members:  Invalids, bedridden.  Before qualifying for this membership, the inactive member should have been an active member prior to falling sick or becoming invalid.

 

OR:

 

 The Inactive Communicant must have been a restored backslider or an invalid who is willing to accept the Christian faith.  The Chaplains must have met such a person and certified that …restored backslider has genuinely come back to the faith.  The acceptance of such a member should be made by Council on recommendation by the Chaplains.

 

3.     DISTANT MEMBERS

Communicant members who are for some reason resident outside Accra for more than a year but are actively involved in the life and work of a church in the present residence.  It shall be required of such members to residence.  It shall be required of such members to maintain their membership at Accra Ridge Church by making a regular financial contribution to aid the work of the Church, and a regular communication with the Church.  When returning to Accra, such a member shall be required to submit to the Chaplaincy an official letter of commendation certifying his or her active involvement in a church where he resides, from the head pastor of that church.

 REGULAR REVIEW OF THE MEMBERSHIP ROLL

At least once in two years or in a Council’s term, a careful review of all the names of members – Children and Communicant, of all categories shall be made by the Council.  This is to enable the Church to determine its current membership.


 

POLICY ON BURIAL OF MEMBERS

      i.         MEMBERSHIP

a.     Only members of the Accra Ridge Church shall be churched at the Accra Ridge Church.

 

b.     Membership shall be as defined by the Constitution (Article 2).

 

 

c.     Every member must have their names appended in the Church register.

 

d.     Every member must discharge their financial obligations to the Church.

 

 

e.     Each member is encouraged to join at least one identifiable group/organization of the Church.

 

f.      The old, infirm and invalids maybe exempted from (d) and (e) above.

 

 

g.     All Children/offspring below the ages 18 of qualified members will be accorded the honours due to their parents at death.

 

h.     The failure of members to fulfil the obligations in (c-e) above will be considered as forfeiture of the honours due to them on their death.

 

    ii.         WAKE-KEEPING

a.     No wake-keeping shall be allowed in the with or without the body with the exception of funerals of clergy associated with the Church.

 

b.     Pre-burial services with the viewing of the body for a few hours before the burial service commences, shall be allowed if the family requests it.

 

In the event of a request for a pre-burial service, the Chaplains would determine its duration.

 

 

   iii.         TRIBUTES

a.     The Chaplains shall determine what tributes should be read.

 

b.     Only tributes submitted to the Chaplains for the perusal before the service shall be read.

 

   iv.         USE OF FELLOWSHIP CENTRE FOR FUNERAL RECEPTION

 

a.     Regulations regarding the general use of the Fellowship Centre shall apply i.e. booking, paying fees etc.

 

b.     Only Christian music is to be played at the Centre.

 

 

c.     Libation pouring is not allowed.

 

d.     The use of hard liquor is not allowed at the Centre.

 

     v.         REQUIEM MASS/MEMORIAL SERVICES

a.     At the request of the family, memorial service/requiem mass may be held for deceased.

 

   vi.         ROLE OF THE CHAPLAINS

When a member dies and is churched in Accra, the burial and funeral service shall be undertaken with full involvement of the Chaplain/Chaplains.

 

vii.         MEMBERS CHURCHED OUTSIDE ACCRA

a.     The Church shall issue letters of introduction for families of a deceased member who is to be churched outside Accra to take to the Minister/Priest of the town where the member is to be churched.

 

b.     If the deceased member maintains dual membership (i.e. at Accra Ridge Church and where he is to be buried) such a letter of introduction will not be necessary.

 

 

c.     The Minister/Priest of the town where the member is to be church shall conduct the burial service on behalf of the Accra Ridge Church.

 

d.     Friends and acquaintances of the deceased member from the Accra Ridge Church who attend the funeral shall be considered as representing Accra Ridge Church.

 

 

viii.         DONATION

 

a.     The Accra Ridge Church shall give a donation to the surviving spouse and children of a deceased member in good standing.

 

b.     This amount is to be reviewed periodically.

APPENDICES FROM THE CONSTITUTION OF THE ACCRA RIDGE CHURCH

MEMBERSHIP OF THE CHURCH (Appendix 1)

ARTICLE 2:        Membership

      i.         The membership of the Church is open to anyone who is willing to accept and observe the Aim and Basis of the Church.

 

    ii.         An application to be enrolled as a communicant member of the Congregation shall be dealt with in accordance with the rules of the participating Church of the applicant or, where the application does not belong to any of the participating Churches, in accordance with the rules of admission contained in the Regulations appended to the Constitution (see Regulation A : p 13)

   iii.         The communicant membership of the Church includes persons confirmed in the Church who continue to be connected with it.

 

   iv.         The membership of the Church includes children who have been baptized, whether in the Church or elsewhere, and are connected with the.

 

     v.         Records shall be kept of the membership of the Church, and in particular there shall be a Roll containing the names and addresses of all communicant members of the Church.

 

   vi.         If a member behaves in such a way as to render himself liable to be disciplined by the Church, his case shall be dealt with in accordance with the regulations appended to the Constitution.

 

REGULATIONS (Appendix ii)

A.    MEMBERSHIP OF THE CHURCH

Rules of Admission to communicant membership for applicants who do not belong to any of the participating Churches.

 

Every applicant for communicant membership of the Ridge Church who does not belong to any of the participating Churches shall:

 

a.     declare belief in the one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and confess Jesus Christ as his Saviour and Lord:

 

b.     be a communicant member of a Church of another denomination, or have an equivalent standing in a Church of another denomination, or be prepared to be baptized and confirmed according to the practice in the Ridge Church.

 

 

c.     be prepared to join in public worship regularly and engage in group activities of the Church.

d.     endeavour to pray faithfully and read the Bible daily and seek, by the grace of God, to give good Christian witness in his daily life; and

 

e.     promise to give a fitting proportion of his income to aid the work of the Church. 

ARTICLE 79:      INTERPRETATION (Appendix iii)

In this Constitution and the Regulations appended to it, unless the context otherwise requires,

Chaplains” means a Chaplain assigned to be the Church by a participating Church;

“Church” means the Accra Ridge Church;

“Denomination” means a denomination of the Christian

Church acceptable to the Christian Council of Ghana;

“Organization within the Churchmeans a group of members of the Congregation having a common purpose and engaged in an activity connected with the Church;

Participating Churches” means the Anglican Church of Ghana, the Methodist Church Ghana, the Presbyterian Church of Ghana and any other Church in   Ghana which may be admitted to a participation in the life and work of the Ridge Church;

Qualified member” means a communicant member of the Church aged 18 years and above whose name is on the roll of communicant members.”

 

DECLARATION

I wish hereby to apply for membership of the Accra Ridge Church and declare the following: –

a.     I believe in one God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

 

b.     I confess Jesus Christ as my personal Saviour and Lord.

 

 

2.     I identify with an uphold the aim and basis of this Church namely:- The  Accra Ridge Church seeks to be a Christian Congregation in the fullest sense of the term, united in and by Christ as a worshipping, witnessing  and serving community and a fellowship which confesses Jesus Christ as God and Saviour and Lord according to the Scriptures, and whose members endeavor to live and work together to the glory of the one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

 

3.     I pledge to pray faithfully and read my bible daily.

 

I pledge to join public worship regular and to participate in the Christian Education Programme and the Neighbourhood  Fellowships.

 

I pledge to give fitting proportion of my income to aid the work of the Church by means of tithe or pledge.

 

4.     I pledge to join at least one the following organizations in the Church.

(Tick as appropriate)

 

                                               i.     Christian Service Group

                                             ii.     The Choir

                                           iii.     Flower and Church Decoration Group

                                            iv.     Men’s Fellowship

                                             v.     Women’s Fellowship

                                            vi.     Youth Fellowship

                                          vii.     Couples Fellowship

                                        viii.     Ridge Hospital Team

                                            ix.     Visitation Group

                                             x.     Sidespersons Team

                                            xi.     Sunday School Teachers’ Team

 

 

NAME…………………………………………………………………….

 

SIGNATURE……………………………………………………………..

 

DATE……………………………………………………………………..

 

CHAPLAIN’S SIGNATURE…………………………………………….