What membership means
Membership has different meanings for different people. For some, it may be a way of outwardly acknowledging a private commitment to our religion, Unitarian Universalism. For others, it may reflect the desire to join this particular religious community, and take responsibility for its growth and well-being.
Signing the Membership Book is the beginning of a new relationship. As a member of the Northshore Unitarian Universalist Church, you are a full participant in our liberal religious congregation. We encourage you to become involved in ways that will nourish you spiritually. We urge you to empower yourself to search for new truths and meaning.
Although we know that each person’s spiritual journey is unique, we are all involved in seeking what is sacred in life. We pledge to support you on your spiritual journey. Know that your community stands behind you on this journey by challenging you to give of yourself to others, by urging you to ask the hard questions, by listening, by caring.
We welcome you and the unique talents you bring to share with this congregation and the Unitarian Universalist Association.
Voting rights. Only members are allowed to vote at church meetings. We have an annual church meeting in May, at which board members and other church leaders are elected. The church’s budget is also approved at this meeting. In Ma, 2008, we had a very important church meeting where members voted to call the Reverend Frieda Gillespie as our settled minister.
Serve as an officer of the church. Only members can be elected as officers of the church. Officers include board members, moderator, clerk, and treasurer.
Free ministerial services. Members receive free services of our minister for weddings, baby dedications, and memorial services.
Use of church facilities. If you are planning a family celebration or other special event and need a venue, as a member of the church you will be able to use the church property at reduced cost.
Free UU World subscription. Members receive the UU World, an inspiring, thought-provoking quarterly magazine published by the Unitarian Universalist Association. Its mission is to help its readers build their faith and act on it more effectively in their personal lives, their congregations, their communities, and the world.
Participating actively in the work of the church. Members are encouraged to support the church with their presence at activities and with their ideas and energy on church committees, in lay services, and in the Religious Exploration Program. By contributing your time and skills and by working closely with other church members, you will be making important contributions to the work of this church. You will become part of this church’s history and you will have an investment in its future.
Caring for our church community. Members are asked not only to lend their skills and talents to church activities, but also to make a commitment to the well-being of their fellow members. Just as we pledge to support you and your spiritual growth as you journey with us, we ask that you nurture your fellow members in their spiritual growth. We ask that you make a commitment to assist others in the church community with concerned support. In this way, we can count on sustaining a caring church community, meeting the needs of others with whom we share this common bond.
Pledging financial support. Members have a responsibility to support the work of the church financially. There is an annual pledge drive in which you are asked to make a financial commitment for the following year. The UUA suggests, as a guideline, that members give between 2 percent and 10 percent of their adjusted annual income. Our congregation doesn’t require a specific percentage. We do, however, expect that you give what you can. Your financial support enables this church to continue to provide for its members, the surrounding community, and the Unitarian Universalist Association, of which it is a part.
The process of pledging helps the church plan its activities and maintain its budget for the year. It enables us to fairly compensate our dedicated staff and maintain our building. We have a limited endowment, and our church’s bylaws prevent us from using it to pay operational expenses. We have no funds coming in from the UUA; in fact, we are expected to make an annual contribution to the UUA. Your financial support to this church community is a crucial membership responsibility.