We are born into our faith community. Membership is already established.
These communities are often the most powerful in our lives. From the time we are small, our local services fill us with music, stories and celebration. We share these experiences with all generations and neighbors, giving us our first understanding of the world.
Many religions formalize membership when a child reaches adolescence and is able to choose the faith independently. The pressure is on. The community observes carefully, hoping to see full-fledged commitment but alert to indications that someone may be considering leaving the fold.