Pathways to Membership
What is Membership in the Unitarian Universalist Church of Manchester?
At most churches there are two types of people who attend: Visitors and Members. At UU Manchester, there is an additional category of “Friend.” Friends are those who have been attending church for a while and want to be more than just a casual visitor, they have benefitted from their experiences, and seek a closer relationship with the congregation. At UU Manchester, Friends are welcome and participate freely in worship and enjoy fellowship and volunteer opportunities.
Membership denotes a deeper interest and commitment to the UU Manchester community. Becoming a member is a very personal choice and an important step. Membership is a public affirmation that one supports the principles of UU Manchester and the Unitarian Universalist Association.
Members are encouraged to become part of the decision-making body of UU Manchester and may vote during annual and congregational meetings. They may serve on a committee and as a member of the Board of Trustees, thus allowing them to take a more active role in shaping the future direction of the congregation. Members receive full pastoral assistance with the rites of passage in life’s journeys, including child dedications, weddings, and memorial services.
Both Friends and Members are listed in the directory and contribute to the well-being of UU Manchester through donations of talent, service, and financial support.
We want to foster a membership familiar with Unitarian Universalism in general and UU Manchester in particular. We are committed to welcoming and instructing new members.
There are four requirements to be a voting member:
- Being in sympathy with UU Manchester’s purpose and programs;
- Attendance at a new member orientation;
- Signing our Membership Book and;
- Making a contribution of record.
“Being in sympathy” means a commitment to explore the principles of Unitarian Universalism – to make decisions about one’s own faith journey, to live a life of purpose and personal meaning, and to share in the lives and journeys of the members of this congregation. UU Manchester has been designated a Welcoming Congregation and a Green Sanctuary by the Unitarian Universalists Association.
New Member orientations occur several times a year in several formats. Orientation classes are available occasionally throughout the year, and those interested in becoming Members are expected to participate in at least one of the following options:
- “Pathway to Membership”: One-session orientation class that focuses on UU History and provides an introduction to life at UU Manchester. Which may include a tour of the building. You will receive a packet with information about Unitarian Universalism and the workings of UU Manchester (Look for dates of these and the following programs in the newsletter.)
- Classes offering an exploration of UU History and ideas led by the minister and/or leaders of UU Manchester. These are offered as part of the Adult Life Enrichment curriculum.
- Alternate orientation can be provided at the discretion of the Minister and/or Membership Chair. This may be on an individual basis or as a small group session as convenient to the parties involved.
The Membership Book is available for signing at “Pathway to Membership” classes and on most Sundays. Please contact the Minister or Membership Chair ahead of time if you wish to sign the book. Signing the book is a public statement of your wish to belong to this community. If you didn’t already receive a packet with information about UUism and the working of UU Manchester, you’ll receive one at this time.