Membership: A Journey of Commitment at Olympia Unitarian Universalist Congregation
Membership in an Unitarian Universalist congregation is both simple and challenging. It is easy to sign the Membership Book. It is challenging because of what this simple act means: that a person has made a decision to join a Unitarian Universalist faith community that is searching for truth, working for justice, and whose members would live in loving relationship with one another. Olympia Unitarian Universalist Congregation (OUUC) welcomes members who seek to participate in religious community and are willing to give freely of their time, talents and financial resources toward the fulfillment of our congregation’s mission. As OUUC members, we support the congregation’s mission because this congregation is our chosen spiritual home.
Our Mission: We are a liberal religious community that opens minds, fills hearts. and transforms lives.
Membership is understood as a matter of covenant among people. A covenant is a promise to stand together with other members of one’s UU community in a relationship of mutual respect and support. Agreeing to the covenant means taking one’s own personal religious journey seriously in community with others, and working together in commitment and community toward a common vision. Unitarian Universalists practice congregational polity which means each congregation is self-governing. Each congregation is self-sustaining: each member freely and thoughtfully makes a financial contribution to the congregation. OUUC seeks members committed to their own growth and to the values of this congregation. Membership in OUUC confers certain benefits and privileges. Only members may vote to approve the annual budget, to elect the Board of Trustees, and to call a minister. OUUC also welcomes the voice of friends (active participants who have not chosen membership and cannot vote) at congregational meetings. Membership means being part of a congregation made up of kindred spirits among whom all feel safe, welcomed and respected.
Steps to Membership at Olympia Unitarian Universalist Congregation:
1. Attend Sunday services to get to know the OUUC community – the members, friends and other newcomers.
2. Attend some or all of the Inquirers Series classes, held the 2nd and 4th Sunday mornings of each month from 11:00 am – noon. Childcare is provided.
3. Attend four membership classes sponsored by OUUC Adult Education. Classes help newcomers determine whether Unitarian Universalism is right for them. UUs transferring from other UU congregations need attend only class #4 (the last class in the series). If you need childcare, please request it when you register.
4. Complete a Membership Intent form and a New Member Information form, distributed at class.
5. Make a pledge of ongoing financial support based on individual circumstances. Guidelines are available and discussion with the minister is welcomed.
6. Sign the OUUC Membership Book and participate in the Sunday service when new members are recognized and welcomed by the congregation.
Journey with Us! Although the members of our community may have begun their spiritual journeys in very different places, each has arrived at Olympia UU Congregation.
The congregation’s staff includes a Community Life Coordinator who assists members to connect with the activities and programs at OUUC that utilize their talents, respond to their needs, and contribute to their growth. The congregation’s website is also a source of inspiring information about the opportunities for members to “journey together.”