Some time ago ____(name)____ was excluded from membership in the church of our Lord because he/she did not heed the admonition of the church and its consistory and remained unrepentant of a sin which gave offense to God and his church. At that time we were called to pray that God would use this exclusion as a means of repentance. We now thankfully and joyfully announce that our brother/sister has shown true repentance and has expressed his/her desire to be restored to full fellowship with the Lord and his people. If there are no lawful objections, this readmission will be celebrated on ____(date)____. Meanwhile, let us praise the Lord for his glorious manifestation of his powerful grace, and let us ask him to keep our brother/sister in the grip of his hand during these days of preparation.
Form for Readmission
It is known to you that ____(name)____, who was excluded from membership in the church of our Lord, has requested to be readmitted to full membership, with its rights and privileges. Since no one has presented any valid reason why this readmission should not take place, we now proceed with gladness to receive again our brother/sister into the church of Jesus Christ. Our Lord declares in his Word that he takes no pleasure in the death of the sinner but rather that he/she should return from his/her ways and live (Ezek. 18; Luke 15). Our Lord also declares that communion with him and his church is open to all who show sincere repentance and faith. Again he declares, "If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven," and, "Whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven" (John 20:23; Matt. 16:19).
(name), will you stand now, and in the presence of God and his people respond to the following questions:
- Do you acknowledge before God and his people that you are truly sorry for your sin, and do you believe that the Lord has forgiven you?
- Do you reaffirm your union with Christ and desire to be readmitted to the covenant family of God? 3. Do you promise to do all you can, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to strengthen your love and commitment to Christ by sharing faithfully in the life of the church, honoring and submitting to its authority; and do you join with the people of God in doing the work of the Lord everywhere? Answer: I do, God helping me.
By the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ this congregation, through its officebearers, restores you to full fellowship with Christ and his church. In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
[The minister asks the congregation to rise.]
Minister: Brother/Sister (name) , we heartily and gladly welcome you back to all the privileges of full communion. We welcome you to full participation in the life of the church. We welcome you to its responsibilities, its joys, and its sufferings. May God by his Holy Spirit graciously enable you to continue steadfast in faith and godliness unto the end, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
And you, beloved Christians, receive this brother/sister with all your love. Count him/her no longer as a stranger, but as a fellow member with the saints of the household of God. Let us together thank and praise the Lord!
Congregation: Thanks be to God! We promise you our love, encouragement, and prayers.
Minister: Let us say what we believe: I believe in God, the Father almighty . . .
[To be concluded with an appropriate prayer.]
Revision adopted by Synod 1991.