Our denomination was incorporated on January 29, 1861 under the legal name of the General Convention of the New Jerusalem, but now does business as the Swedenborgian Church of North America, or SCNA. We operate through a congregational form of government that gives full autonomy to local churches and groups in the governance of their spiritual life. Individual churches and societies belong to regional associations of Swedenborgian churches. These associations belong to the larger church.
The SCNA is formed out of a network of local churches and ministries. Membership with the organization occurs on the local level. Becoming a member of a constituent church or ministry automatically confers membership in the SCNA and allows a member to serve as a voting delegate at the Annual Convention.
Specific membership requirements may differ between local churches, but in general require applicants to be at least 18 years of age, and to show a continued interest and active participation in the life of the congregation. Some churches may require a formal confirmation process and/or membership classes. When membership with a local church is not possible due to geographical concerns, membership-at-large in a regional Association is also an option.
While membership confers certain privileges, it is by no means required for participation in the fellowship of our various communities. The SCNA also practices an open table; all people are welcome to join us in the celebration of communion.