F O U N D A T I O N S 34 all debts and outstanding commitments; any wrong dealings, criminal convictions, or acts punishable by law; and continuing obligations to anyone, including to ­children or to former or present spouses or ­partners. To enter membership while willfully hiding such matters or keeping back any possessions would be a grave sin of deception. If the church community discerns that such a request is based on a clear call from God, it may decide to receive the candidate into membership. Membership vows are taken at a celebratory meeting of the church community where the vows are publicly professed. Our Vows 38 The act of taking vows is a sign of giving oneself completely and binding oneself unreservedly to the service of Christ in church community. Through this solemn and public act we pledge to no longer claim anything for ourselves, out of love to Christ. Our example is Mary the mother of Jesus, who said: “Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word.” Jesus told those who wished to follow him: “Whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” He also taught: “When you have done all that is commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.’” It is in this sense that we take our vows. Acts 5:1–11 Luke 14:33; Num 14:24 Acts 4:32–33; Phil 3:7–9 1 Tim 6:11–12 Luke 1:38 nrsv Matt 16:25 Luke 17:10