Become a Member
Path to Membership
Membership means you are ready to make a deeper commitment to this community and to your own spiritual well-being. It also means you believe in our mission and the work to which we aspire both inside the fellowship and in the wider world, such that you are willing to help sustain that vision for the future; building the world we dream about together. Membership is not required to participate in the life of the fellowship, but does offer some specific benefits and opportunities.
While there are no “belief” requirements for membership, such as creeds or statements of faith, members are asked to complete the Path to Membership. Membership is open to anyone sixteen years or older. There are just a few easy steps to membership:
- Complete 3 sessions of the Inquirers series (see below)
- Meet with the minister or designee for an informal discussion
- Find ways to regularly participate in the BUUF community, as you are able
- Respect the principles and purposes of the UUA, and the mission and covenant of the Fellowship
- Make an annual financial pledge (Pledging)
- Sign the membership book
Once you have signed the membership book you will have the opportunity to participate in a membership ceremony. These are offered regularly throughout the year at services called “Joining Sundays.”
Benefits of Membership
Everyone is welcome to worship with us and to participate in our programs, including friends, visitors and non-members, but membership is a special step, one that shows a deepening commitment to your spiritual journey, the values of this fellowship & Unitarian Universalism, and a willingness to contribute to our beloved community. Consider your membership journey in the following areas:
- Renew & Deepen
Commit to your own spiritual growth and learning. Attend worship regularly, play around with different spiritual practices, check out some of our small groups that offer spiritual deepening.
- Connect & Engage
Participate in the life of the congregation. When you are a new member, diving into this existing community can be intimidating. We urge you to connect with others outside of Sunday worship. As you know we have a variety of gatherings happening on zoom. We invite you to think about how you would like to serve the fellowship in a volunteer capacity; serving on a social justice ministry team or other committee, or perhaps leading your own small group. Joining any of these activities can help you meet people and feel like you are part of the fabric of the fellowship.
- Support & Sustain
We ask all new members to make a financial pledge to the church each year and to support additional fundraisers as you are able. This fellowship’s primary revenue source comes from the financial pledges of our membership. We use those pledges to build our budget each year. We hold an annual pledge drive every spring, but you can begin making a monthly pledge at any time. A pledge card and more detailed information ia available on our website HERE. We recognize that we are all at different financial places in our lives. When considering a pledge, we ask you to make a contribution that is significant and meaningful for you based upon your income and budget. And, we understand if pledging presents a financial hardship, we just ask that you let us know.
- Components of the Path to Membership
Meeting the Minister
You are invited to meet with our minister, Rev. Sara LaWall, at any time during the membership process. Rev. Sara will schedule a Sunday afternoon during each Inquirers cycle where she will meet with interested attendees. She is also available during her monthly “Coffee and Conversation” community hours. If those dates are not available for you, you can schedule a one-on-one meeting HERE.
Newcomers and others interested in learning about the basics of Unitarian Universalism (UU) are invited to attend the Inquirers Series. This is a series of five conversations built around our church, our faith and our community. To complete membership you will need to attend 3 sessions: “UU History, Principles and Sources,” “Membership 101,” and a third session of your choosing. The series is offered regularly throughout the year.
Participation includes: regularly attending a worship service or spiritual practice at BUUF, including Sunday worship and/or meditation groups; attending annual fellowship events, volunteer your service and skills for a ministry team or project; join an affinity group, or other small group. Contact our Membership Coordinator, Nancy Harms, for more information.
Although children under the age of sixteen are unable to complete the path to membership, they are eligible for child dedication. Contact our Religious Exploration Coordinator, Gem Emerson Paige, for more information.