What Does It Mean to Become a Member of the First UU Society of Burlington?

Friends and visitors are always welcome at the First UU Society of Burlington and may participate in nearly all aspects of congregational life, including Sunday services, small groups, classes, special events, ministry teams and financial support of the Society. Becoming a member of the congregation, though, is an important step for many people. It may be a way of expressing that you have found your spiritual home here, a way of deepening your commitment, a way of making a public statement about your beliefs, or it may be all of these things.

There are a few tangible benefits available only to members. These include:

  • The right to vote at congregational meetings.
  • Reduced rates for renting our facilities.
  • No minister’s fee for rights of passage.
  • Access to scholarship funds for training and conferences.
  • Eligibility for serving on the Board of Trustees.

Most people would agree, though, that the most significant benefits of membership are not tangible or measurable. Among these are spiritual and personal growth, deep connections with others and a sense of being part of something larger than yourself.

When you become a member of FUUSB you enter into sacred covenant with the congregation and you join us in our mission to inspire spiritual growth, care for each other and our community, seek truth and act for justice.

How Does Someone Become a Member?

To become a member we ask that you:

Attend New UU Part 1 and Part 2 orientation sessions:

New UU Part 1: Getting Acquainted provides an overview of Unitarian Universalist history and beliefs. It’s a great way to meet other newcomers and learn more about Unitarian Universalism. Click here for more information.

New UU Part 2: Getting Connected is run in a small group format and includes some spiritual exploration between newcomers and existing First UU Society members. The session also includes information about activities, programs and ministry teams here at our First UU Society and covers what it means to become a member of the congregation. Click here for more information.

Make a financial commitment (“pledge”):

We are entirely self-sustaining and rely on the financial support of our congregation to maintain our historic building, pay our staff a livable wage and offer high quality programs. The pledge is an amount that you plan to give annually and is usually paid monthly. You choose the amount based on your financial situation and the role the First UU Society plays in your life. We encourage members to be generous within the context of their circumstances. The pledge should not be a barrier to joining, though, and we do make exceptions if a pledge is simply not possible. Click here for more information on stewardship.

Sign the Membership Book:

The final step in becoming a member is signing the Membership book. We have the Membership Book in the Sanctuary after each service on the third Sunday of the month for people who are ready to become members, although you may arrange to sign the book at another time if you prefer. After you have signed the book, you will be invited to our next New Member Recognition Ceremony. If you have any questions or would like additional information about membership, please email [email protected].  As you can see in the photo below, even during COVID we had people signing our membership book!

What Are the Responsibilities of Membership?

There are some expectations that come with membership. We expect members to be present in the life of the congregation. While this may be a little different for everyone we encourage you to:

  • Be present and participate in ways that are meaningful to you and feed your soul.
  • Become involved with a smaller group such as a Theme Circle, a Chalice Circle or one of our ministry teams.
  • Contribute to the vibrancy of our community by sharing your time and talent in service of our mission.
  • Make an annual financial commitment consistent with your financial situation.

We also hope that you will attend services regularly, make a commitment to personal spiritual growth and cultivate a regular spiritual practice.