Like our Sister Churches in the Church of the Saviour, we at Eighth Day have a strong commitment to what we call "integrity of membership." We are convinced that our Christian faith becomes deeper and more real when it is lived out through a set of disciplines that strengthen both our faith and our commitment to the community. This means that while everyone is welcome and encouraged to become part of, and take part in, our worshiping community, membership implies a desire to join with others in accountability for certain traditional Christian disciplines to deepen our relationships with God and with one another.
Because we recognize that all of us have tendencies, at times, to let those practrices slide, each of us establishes a relationship of accountability with another member (or group) within the community, not as a police officer to force us to do the practices we've committed to but as as a partner to work through the highs and the lows. It also helps to know that we will mention our faithfulness to the disciplines in our written spiritual reports each week to that person.
Our experience is that the journey to closer union with God comprises three parts:
- a journey inward of spiritual disciplines and growth;
- a journey outward of service to and with others, especially those at the margins of society; and
- a journey together in community which supports our spiritual growth and holds us accountable for becoming mature, informed Christians and for using our gifts.
People are, of course, welcome simply to come and be a part of our worshiping community and take part in almost all of our community activities without committing themselves to any disciplines at all. Non-members are an important part of our community. Just come!
Those who want a deeper level of commitment, but are not ready to commit to the disciplines of covenant membership, yet wish to held accountable for personal practices that deepen their spiritual life, community membership may be most appropriate. So, anyone can really participate in our community at whatever level of commitment is right for them.