Did you know the Armenian Church has two kinds of members: “communicant” members and “voting” (“dues-paid”) members? All men, women, and children baptized in the Armenian Church are communicant members of the Armenian Church - this means they have full access to the sacramental life of the church. After Baptism and Chrismation they thrive in the life of the church through participation in all the other sacraments; namely, Penance, Communion, Holy Orders, Holy Matrimony, and Anointing of the Sick. The sacraments guide us in our life-long journey toward Christ.
A voting member is a special kind of communicant member. Through the nominal annual donation, a voting member gains additional rights and privileges. Specifically, voting members are able to:
a. Participate fully and vote in the Parish Assemblies;
b. Hold elected office within parish administration or special committees;
c. Enjoy special discounts and courtesies for sacramental celebrations and facility rentals (weddings, baptism, funerals, etc.);
d. Draft and Vote on proposals that influence our parish and the Diocese.
The annual membership commitment entitles the members to fully benefit from the parish's various ministries while financially supporting the work of the Armenian Church. It indicates the interest in and care for our church. We understand that church membership is a privilege which includes, aside from paying dues, regular attendance and fulfillment of the spiritual needs of the members as Armenian Christians by participating in the sacraments of the church, such as Divine Liturgy, Baptism, Wedding, and other religious services. With the involvement in the church’s enriching activities the members serve as a resource for preserving Armenian traditions and culture.
Voting members must be at least 18 years of age. The minimum annual donation at St. James Armenian Church for a “voting member” is $200 for adults and $100 for students per person (yearly).
Making Important Decisions: The Parish Assembly
Voting members and communicant members are able to attend the Annual Parish Assembly, but only voting members have the right to vote, make motions, submit proposals, and/or hold elected office.
The Parish Assembly is one of the administrative bodies of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America headed and presided over by the Primate of the Diocese. Within our parish it is the highest administrative body and its jurisdiction covers all administrative matters associated with our church, including: building/renovation projects, outreach, education, auxiliary organizations, Diocesan issues, parish finances, as well as short and long term parish vision. The Pastor presides over the Parish Assembly and a lay chairman is elected from among the voting membership to conduct the meeting.