Becoming a Member
The decision to become a member of a church represents an important milestone in your spiritual journey. If you are feeling that the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Rock Valley (UUCRV) is your faith home and you are ready to make the commitment to becoming a member, this is the place to start you on the pathway to membership.
In joining us, you are making a public statement that you want to be more involved in the life of this community, and are committing yourself to become part of our liberal religious movement.
Before considering joining you should review the following to be sure you can support the ideas and principles included in them:
- The Mission, Values and Covenant of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Rock Valley
- The Principles of the Unitarian Universalist Association
You can learn more about Unitarian Universalism by checking out our brochures and other materials on the Visitor’s Table or by going to the Unitarian Universalist Association website.
We encourage you to visit over a period of time so you can develop a full understanding of who we are, what we do and why we do it. Join us during the fellowship time after the service and talk to some members about why they decided to commit to this faith community. As a visitor, you are also welcome to participate in other church events including social events and volunteer events in the community which may help you learn more about us.
Talk to the Minister or someone on the Membership Committee about attending a meeting to learn more about Unitarian Universalism in general and more specifically about the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Rock Valley. Generally, at this meeting you will have a chance to talk about your religious or spiritual journey before coming to UUCRV. Current members might also join the meeting to share about their journey. You will learn about both your rights and responsibilities when becoming a member.
Some of your rights include having a vote and being able to serve in a leadership role which provides an opportunity to participate in the governance work of the congregation to ensure its continued operation and growth. You will also be enrolled as a member of the Unitarian Universalist Association and will receive the UU World magazine delivered to your home. As a member you will also be able to make use of the services of our Minister for life rituals such as child dedications, weddings and memorials as well as Pastoral Care.
Responsibilities include stewardship, both pledging financial support as well as making a commitment to share your time and talents with the congregation. An expectation of membership is that you will engage in practices to grow your faith and deepen your spiritual live by engaging in daily spiritual practices of your choosing, attending weekly worship, and participating in small group work. You covenant to be in right relationship with the other members, the leadership and the Minister. As a member you also covenant to the larger community, to take our UU values out into the world to make it a better place. All are needed to help this faith community thrive!
How much are members expected to give financially to the church? Stewardship is about taking responsibility for the church, including fairly compensating a Minister, maintaining our facilities, operating our programs, and sustaining our commitment to the greater Unitarian Universalist movement. If you are curious about different giving levels, check out the Suggested Fair-Share Contribution Guide to help you determine your personal giving level. All members are welcome regardless of financial giving.
How much time must members give to the work of the church? While there is no set requirement regarding sharing your time and talents, it is important to know that the vast majority of the work of this congregation is carried out by volunteer members. Consider your work for the church to be a part of your spiritual life, extending what you gain from the worship service out into the church community and beyond as you put our Unitarian Universalist values into practice.
Any person may become a member of UUCRV who is in sympathy with our mission, purposes and programs, has signed the membership book, supports it with at least a minimum pledge, and has been approved by a vote of the Board of Trustees. Membership is open to all people who so agree regardless of race, color, sex, affectional or sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, family structure, educational or class status, mental or physical health and ability, or national origin.
The ceremony of becoming a member can be as simple as signing the membership book in the presence of the Minister and a Board member, or you might choose to participate in a formal ceremony as part of the Sunday service in which you will sign the book in front of the congregation and participate in a brief shared reading.
By joining the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Rock Valley, you are entering into a covenantal relationship where we create community through respectful relationships and live out our faith guided by love. We are excited to have people join our congregation as this means we will learn new ideas and experience new views which helps all of us grow. You and the unique gifts you bring to this congregation are welcome and we look forward to getting to know you!