Become a Member
All people are welcome to become a member of our church. There is no formal creed or set of beliefs one must hold, but rather it is a covenant with this community to journey together in love, in freedom, and compassion.
Deciding to become a member typically means a willingness to play an active role in the life of the church and to donate time, talent and treasure. The church relies upon the financial support of its members, in part because GMUUC pays dues for each member to both the national Unitarian Universalist Association and the local district in addition to meeting its ongoing financial commitments.
The benefits of membership are many, including a deeper involvement in the various community-building and spiritually-enriching programs offered at the church. Thus, though the benefits of membership are many, the decision to join the church should be thoughtfully considered. The Minister, Board President or Membership Chair will be happy to answer any questions about membership and can be reached through our Contact page.
We look forward to meeting you and getting to know you better!
Path to Membership
Visitors often ask for information about GMUUC membership. As outlined in our bylaws, to become a member a person must be:
- At least 16 years of age
- Support the church bylaws and policies
- Participate in a Membership class: This class is offered by the Membership Development Committee at least three times per year. If it is not possible for a person to attend this class, a discussion of the Unitarian Universalist faith tradition with the Minister or Board designee is an alternative.
Once these simple requirements are met, a person can sign the GMUUC Membership Book and then be eligible to vote 60 days after the membership register is signed. An Ingathering Ceremony during a Sunday service celebrates new members and introduces them to the congregation.
Signing the Book & Joining the Church
Every member of our church since its founding in 1993 has signed the red “Membership Book.” This is the official and symbolic way of joining this church and supporting its mission.
What is the difference between a Friend and a Member?
The questions sometimes arise: What is the difference between members and friends in the UU church? Why should I join the UU church? There is no easy answer to these questions. Because we are a liberal religious community with no religious dogma, we do not ask our members to “profess” their faith when they join. One simply has to sign our membership book: That’s all. We certainly hope that those who are drawn to our community come because they are in agreement with our Seven Principles and honor our diverse liberal religious views.
Being a member means that you are “counted” in our census. This means that we report our membership numbers to our national group, the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). As members, we each receive the quarterly UUA magazine, UU World, a copy is usually on display on the back table in our sanctuary. Only members can serve on the Board. Only members can vote at our annual meeting.
But membership does not necessarily mean a different level of commitment. One does not have to be a member to serve on our committees. One does not have to be a member to make a financial pledge — conversely, members do not have to pledge. (But pledging does make budgeting easier!) We have friends who are very active in the daily life of our church, while there are some members who we rarely see. There are friends who have attended for years; there are people who sign the membership book soon after starting to come.
So being a friend vs. being a member is a very personal choice in the UU church. What counts is what it means to you. Some people who are drawn to our liberal ways are just generally opposed to “joining up.” Others feel that signing up is an important expression of commitment.
Wherever you stand on this issue, we welcome you. We hope that you find strength and meaning and support in our community. And we hope you find a place where you want to be involved and share of your time, talent, and treasures.