F O U N D A T I O N S 32 to die for the truth and for the name of Christ, if it be God’s will, by water, fire, or the sword. For now we have house and shelter, but we do not know what today or tomorrow will bring. Therefore no one should join for the sake of good days. Rather each must be prepared to endure evil and good with all the believers.”* 36 A person enters into membership in stages: Guests are welcome among us at the community’s discretion, regardless of whether they are interested in membership. Those wishing to remain longer to seek whether God has called them to this way of life can request to stay on as novices. If the church community agrees, and the person concerned is eighteen years of age or older, he or she may be accepted for the novitiate, a time of discernment and testing. Novices are all those eighteen years of age or older (whether baptized or not) who have requested to take part in the communal life. Novices take part fully in the daily life of the church community, but not in members’ meetings. They must respect and uphold the order and spirit of our common life during their stay with us. Their novitiate can be long or short, involves no binding commitment regarding the possibility of membership, and can be broken off by either side at any time. * “Ten Points: What the Church of God Is and How One Is Led into It,” church teaching included in the Hutterian baptismal instruction known as the Taufbüchlein (ca. 1528–1600). Matt 5:11–12; John 15:20 1 Pet 4:1 Phil 1:29–30; 2 Tim 3:10–13