THE PATH TO MEMBERSHIP
Perhaps you knew the moment you stepped through the door that this is the place for you.
Perhaps you came to a few services, joined a committee, group, or task force, and began to settle in to congregational life.
Perhaps you are new to us and want to make First Unitarian Society of Ithaca your spiritual home.
Or perhaps you have been with us for years and have now decided to officially join our membership.
Whatever your scenario, we welcome you and suggest that you read through the following for further information on becoming a member of our Society.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A MEMBER?
A member is, simply stated, someone who has signed our membership book. However, we think of membership as a deeper connection to the congregation. Choosing to take the step from “friend,” to “member,” means committing to the mission, vision, and principles (link) of our congregation.
Membership (if obtained at least 30 days prior to the vote) gives one the right to vote on congregational issues at our annual meeting each May, or any special votes called by the Board throughout the year. It also ensures your inclusion in mailings which may go out throughout the year, and shows your support for liberal religion in the Ithaca community.
After becoming a member, you will also begin to receive your subscription to UU World magazine.
BEFORE YOU JOIN…
We suggest that you start by attending one or more of the following before committing to membership. Attendance is not a requirement of membership, but is strongly encouraged.
* UU101 classes – These are held after service one Sunday every month and are run by our Membership Coordinator or a trained volunteer. These classes give you the opportunity to have your questions answered, and gives us a chance to find out more about you and your needs at First Unitarian Society of Ithaca.
* Newcomers’ Brunch – Twice each year – once in fall and once in spring – newcomers are invited to participate in a Saturday brunch with our Membership Coordinator, members of the Board of Trustees, a few long time attendees, and the Minister. This is largely a social opportunity and helps us to create a deeper connection to one another.
* UU201 classes – This class is run by our minister every few months. The three-hour long class goes into more depth than the 101 option, and allows you to explore the rich histories of Unitarianism, Universalism, and their merger into Unitarian Universalism, as well as that of our specific congregation.
HOW DOES ONE BECOME A MEMBER?
When you are ready to join, there are two pieces of paper for you to fill out – an new member profile and a financial commitment form. The former gives us a little bit of information about you and your family, and the latter serves as your annual pledge for the first year. The financial commitment can be in absolutely any amount; we never want finances to prevent anyone from joining.
Paperwork may be turned in to Dawn St John, Membership Coordinator on any Sunday. When the paperwork has been received, you may sign the book in the presence of the Minister or a Board member, and your membership will be official.
NEW MEMBER RECOGNITION CEREMONIES
Twice per year, we recognize our newest members in a special ceremony during Sunday service. You may choose whether or not to participate in this ceremony.
If you have additional questions not answered here our Membership Coordinator, Dawn St John, is always happy to help. You may contact her via the church office phone system – 607-273-7521, x24 or via email – firstname.lastname@example.org, or in person on Sunday mornings.
Whatever your path to get here, we welcome you and we value your commitment to our congregation.