Become a Member
Have you been thinking about becoming a member of UUCSC? We are excited to share with you the meaning, privileges, and responsibilities of membership in the Unitarian Universalist Church of Studio City, and the process for becoming a member of our congregation.
The initial step for joining our church is to first make a conscious decision to join. Then you complete some preparatory steps prior to formally signing your name in our Membership Book. Everyone who make this commitment to membership are recognized, affirmed and welcomed by the community at The New Member Ceremony, which is typically held during a Sunday morning service.
Being a “Friend” of the Church
People who have not yet chosen formal membership, but support and/or participate regularly in church activities may be a “Friend of the Church.” They are listed in our church directory (unless they request to be omitted) and included in all mailings. Some people, for various reasons, choose to remain friends of the church for several years, loyally volunteering their time and financial support.
Signing the Membership Book is an act of personal and public commitment to the life and work of our church and to the religious tradition in which we stand. It entails privileges, responsibilities and a variety of personal meanings that we will help you to explore.
The Membership Process
The formal membership process begins when you decide you are ready to join and submit the yellow “Contact Information Form” that is available in the narthex Sunday mornings. The process culminates with signing the Membership Book.
Between the decision to join and signing the Membership Book is a period of education and preparation, designed to help you better understand how UUCSC works and what membership means. We have developed a checklist of activities and commitments that will inform you about and exemplify our congregation and its life.
• Attend a “New to UU” orientation meeting or, alternatively, meet individually with the minister or Membership Chair
• Attend a meeting of at least one of the church’s “working” groups, committee or Board of Trustees.
• Undertake at least one volunteer service activity in the church (coffee hosting, ushering, help with special event, etc.)
• Make a pledge of ongoing financial support
• Complete a “Contact Information Form”
• Provide a short bio to introduce yourself to the congregation, which will appear in the Order of Service on the Sunday of your New Member Ceremony
After you join, the Membership Committee will designate an experienced church member to act as a “mentor” to guide you in moving through the process of becoming integrated into congregational life. If you already know someone whom you would like to have as your mentor, please feel free to let us know.
What Membership Means
In many churches, membership involves reciting a religious creed or affirming a written set of beliefs. As a creedless faith, Unitarian Universalism defines congregational membership somewhat differently.
In the free church tradition, we understand membership as a matter of covenant between people — a promise to stand together with other members of the congregation in a relationship of mutual respect and support, to take your own religious journey seriously in community with others, and to work together in commitment to a common vision.
One of the common and natural transitions that people make after attending a church for an initial period of acquaintance is beginning to “feel at home.” This personal awareness is the first stage in deciding to join a church. The first meaning of church membership is thus a private commitment of identification and loyalty.
• It may mean that you decide for yourself that this congregation is and will be your “religious home,” and that you wish to make a formal affirmation of that realization.
• It may mean that you want to say to yourself and others that you join in support of the principles and values that have shaped our religious tradition over the decades.
• It may mean that you want to be recognized by others in choosing this congregation as your “religious home.”
In “signing the book” you affirm decisions like these for yourself and promise to help us in strengthening the life of this congregation, promoting the religious growth of yourself and others, and making our religious tradition and its values and principles better known in the world.
In moving beyond being just a “consumer” of the church’s programs and deciding to take a more active role in our church’s life and growth, you have already accepted the basic responsibility of church membership. Creative and supportive involvement in the life and work of the church can take a variety of forms:
• Serving on committees, task forces, etc.;
• Making a pledge of regular financial support;
• Volunteering to work on specific projects or tasks;
• Regular attendance at congregational meetings.
Joining the church implies a commitment to be actively involved in the life of the congregation. Of course, people vary widely in their ability to contribute financial support and volunteer time. Some, by reason of age or infirmity, are quite limited in their ability to attend services. But generally we expect that our members will find a niche in which they can use their skills and interests in a way that is rewarding for them and supportive of the life of the church as a whole.
Most of the programs of our church are open to both members and newcomers. However, a few activities or positions do require that you formally join our church. Only members are eligible to:
• Vote at official congregational meetings;
• Be elected to certain leadership positions;
• Serve as a delegate to larger UU gatherings.
As a member, your name will be added to our national registry of Unitarian Universalists. You will also receive regular issues of our association’s magazine, “UU World”, as well as occasional mailings about the district and national activities of our religious movement.
Ready to Become a Member?
Contact our Membership Chair, Barbara Allen, by email at email@example.com.