What does membership in this church mean?
Membership may have different meanings for different people. For some, it may be a way of outwardly acknowledging an inward commitment to our religion, Unitarian Universalism. For others, it may reflect the desire to join this particular religious community and assume some sense of responsibility for it.
What if I'm still not sure about my religious beliefs?
Few Unitarian Universalists are ever sure of their religious beliefs. In fact, because it is non-creedal, Unitarian Universalism appeals to many people who see their religious life as a journey, or searching process. Membership in our church doesn't require any kind of test or declaration of belief.
Who can become a member?
Membership in our church is open to any person who is 16 years old or older.
How long should I wait before becoming a member?
Church participants should not feel pressured to enter into membership before they are ready to take that step. For some people, the amount of time from a first visit to becoming a member is relatively brief, perhaps a few months. Others may take years before becoming a member. Still others may participate and remain active in the church and never become members. Your decision should be the one that "feels right" for you. Talking with our minister, becoming acquainted with other congregants, and attending a "New UU" workshop are among ways you can prepare yourself for this decision.
How do I become a member?
The process of becoming a member is relatively simple. We encourage you first to discuss your decision with our minister. Then, you will meet with him and/or a Board member at a convenient time, and you will sign your name in the Membership Book.
Here is what we recommend to start determining whether you want to be a member:
- Attend our Sunday worship services
- Join a fellowship team to learn how to help run our services
- Attend some of our Program Council meetings to see other opportunities to get involved in the church
- Take a membership class*
- Meet with the minister to see what other questions or thoughts you would like to talk about
- Consider whether you agree with the mission of the church.
*MEMBERSHIP CLASSES 2015-2016 The manner in which our membership classes are presented is currently in transition. To learn more about the history of our UU church, and learn what it means to be a member, please contact Rev. Charlie Davis at email@example.com and office, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The actual steps to officially becoming a member are to fill out a commitment to membership form, and sign our membership book. Both of these things you can talk with our minister about.
What is required of members?
To retain membership status, members are expected to make and fulfill an annual pledge to contribute financially and to help with one or more church tasks or activities. The Board may grant exceptions to these requirements.
In early fall of every year, all members (and other active participants) are invited to make a pledge for a financial commitment for the following year. The process of pledging helps the church to plan its activities and maintain its budget.
Members are also encouraged to attend all meetings of the membership. Two such meetings are held annually: one in the spring, at which time officers and other leaders are elected, and one in the fall, at which time the church budget is approved. Occasionally, other special meetings may be called. Only members are allowed to vote in these meetings. A member must have signed the membership book at least three weeks before the meeting.
What are the benefits of being a member?
Becoming a member feels good because a deepened commitment enhances one's sense of belonging. But it also has tangible benefits:
- Voting privileges on the budget
- Voting privileges on the church leadership
- Eligibility for church board membership
- Half price rent on church facilities
- UU World magazine subscription
If I become a member of the church, have I also joined the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA)?
No, the UUA is an association of congregations. Individuals cannot be members of the UUA. Our church is a member of the UUA.
If I move, may my membership be transferred to another UU church?
No, membership policies and procedures vary from one UU church to another. However, we will be glad to give you the names and addresses of UU congregations in your new location.