At the University Unitarian Universalist Society, official membership begins when you sign our Membership Book. By signing the Book, you commit to fellow members and the UUUS through our Membership Covenant. The following FAQ answers the most common questions we are asked about membership:
What does it mean to be a member of UUUS?
Members of the UUUS join in a covenant to one another. Our Member Covenant is a set of shared commitments to participate in and support the UUUS (see the full text on our Purpose, Mission, Covenant page).
As members of the UUUS we covenant with one another to:
- Participate in UUU’s communal activities;
- Help the UUUS operate;
- Care for fellow members and our larger community;
- Respect one another’s beliefs and differences;
- Value children as our future;
- Ensure our church’s financial sustainability.
Does membership at UUUS cost money?
At UUUS, membership does not have a specific monetary cost. However, in the last paragraph of our membership covenant, members promise to “Ensure our church’s financial sustainability.” This means regular contributions are expected from members. Regular contributions are vital to our church; they allow us to maintain our facilities, support our church programs and projects, and pay annual dues to the Unitarian Universalist Association. In order to plan the budgets, we rely on members making an annual financial commitment around April of each year for the next fiscal year, which runs from July to June.
Contributions are different for everyone. As a member, you decide what you can contribute to the congregation. Although it is very important that all members contribute their fair share, monetary constraints should not keep anyone from attending and participating as a UUUS member.
How do I become a member?
Once you have decided to embark upon the journey toward membership, a Membership Committee member will gladly assist you in taking the steps towards that commitment and becoming part of our UUUS family. Our Membership Pathway has three steps: the “UU 101” Visitor Welcome Class, the New Member Orientation gathering, and the official New Member Welcome Ceremony.
The New Member Welcome Ceremony is held twice each year, during our Flower Communion service in May and Water Communion service in September. It is important to the members of our congregation that we formally receive new members and celebrate the promise we make with one another. At this service, new members sign our Member Book, make a financial contribution of record, and officially become a voting member.
Why would I be interested in joining UUUS?
UUUS is more than just a meeting place for worship and learning; members are like family. As a member, you will gain a sense of community and fellowship with folks who value acceptance of and respect for others, truth, justice, peace, liberty, equity, equality, and respect, compassion and caring for our planet Earth and all living things.
Our multi-generational Sunday Services are designed to help you on your spiritual path and strengthen your sense of self, family, and community. But we will never tell you what to believe nor require you to subscribe to a particular creed. While we aid and encourage you on your spiritual journey for truth and meaning, its direction remains in your hands.
For many, music is their spiritual center. Music is an integral part our Sunday services, with music for all generations, from classical to traditional to contemporary. Regardless of your age or talent level, there are many musical opportunities, including the in-house band and the UUUS choir.
For families with kids of any age, we have a fantastic Youth Religious Education program, which helps children build a solid base for religious exploration and gives them the building blocks they need to make choices that enable them to live in a way that is right within themselves and their communities. In addition, Beacon, our youth organization, provides opportunities for youth to engage in community service, spiritual activities, and social gatherings.
We are involved with several charitable organizations, such as Coalition for the Homeless, Orange County Academy in the Bithlo Transformation Village, and Planned Parenthood. We have ongoing food and clothing drives, as well as collect donations through our Share the Plate program. We march in the Pride Parade to support equal rights for ALL families. Our Social Action Committee also works with our RE kids, planting the seeds for charitable work now and in the future.
How can I be sure that UUUS is a good fit for me?
Since we are a lay-led congregation and have a variety of speakers and topics, we recommend you attend several Sunday Services. You might also find it helpful to speak to a Board member, committee head, or any member of the congregation.
In addition, all prospective and new members are encouraged to attend UU 101, our introductory class on the Membership Pathway. It provides a deeper understanding of our congregation, how the church is organized, and the programs we offer. This class is held on selected Sundays (see the calendar) and childcare is provided.
If you have any questions about the class or would like to RSVP for a particular date, please e-mail the membership committee in care of the church office.
If you have any questions not addressed above or would like more information about becoming a member, please feel free to e-mail a Membership committee member via the church office contact form.