Membership Process
At most churches there are two types of people who attend: visitors and members. At First Unitarian Society (FUS) (and at all Unitarian Universalist congregations), there is the additional category of “friend.” Friends are those who have been attending for a while and want to be more than just a casual visitor; they have benefited from their experiences, and seek a closer relationship with the congregation. At FUS, friends are welcome and invited to participate freely in worship and enjoy fellowship and volunteer opportunities as well as serve on committees.

Membership denotes a deeper interest and commitment to the FUS community. Becoming a member is a very personal choice and an important step. Membership is a public affirmation that one supports the principles of FUS and of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA).
Members are encouraged to become part of the decision-making body of FUS and may vote during annual and congregational meetings. Beyond serving on committees, after a year as a member, they can stand for the Board of Directors, thus allowing them to take a more active role in shaping the future direction of the congregation. Membership within the FUS community is analogous to citizenship within the broader community.
Both friends and members are listed in the directory and contribute to the well-being of FUS through donations of talent, service, and financial support.

What Does It Take To Be a Member? Our desire is to have active members who are educated about Unitarian Universalism in general, and FUS in particular. We have committed ourselves to welcoming and educating new members.

Our Bylaws list four requirements to be a voting member:

1. Being in sympathy with FUS’s purpose and program
2. Attendance at a new member orientation
3. Signing the membership book
4. Making a contribution of record.

Being in Sympathy. “Being in sympathy” really 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 and friends of this congregation. FUS has been designated a Welcoming Congregation and a Green Sanctuary by the UUA. For more information, see our website at

New Member Orientation. New member orientations occur several times a year. Orientation classes are available occasionally throughout the year, and those interested in becoming Members are expected to participate in one of the following options:

  • “UU in a Nutshell”: One-session orientation class (traditionally on Sundays after service) which focuses on UU history and provides an introduction to life at FUS. Prospective members learn about the heritage of Unitarian Universalism, its principles, and the responsibilities of commitment to the congregation. You will receive a packet with information about UUism and the workings of FUS. (Look for dates for these and the following programs in the newsletter Chalice Flame.)
  • Alternate orientation can be provided at the discretion of the Membership Chair. This may be on an individual basis or as a small group session, as convenient to the parties involved.

The Membership Book. The membership book is available for signing at “UU in a Nutshell” classes and on any Sunday. Please contact the Membership Chair ahead of time if you wish to sign the book—we like to make a ceremony of it! Signing the book is a public statement of your wish to belong to this community.

Contribution of Record. What is a “contribution of record”? It is any amount that you feel you are capable of giving to the church before or at the time you sign the membership book, as long as your name is attached to the contribution; e.g., a check, or cash in an envelope with your name on it.

Pledging. Each year, we ask both members and friends to support FUS by making a financial pledge. Pledging is a tangible statement of our ongoing support for the shared ministry and vision of FUS. We run a pledge drive in June in preparation for each new fiscal year (FY). Our FY runs from July through June, so pledges are made by FY calendar—our pledge year starts July 1. We ask new members who join throughout the year to consider making a pledge for the remaining portion of the FY, and then renewing or increasing that pledge when the next FY begins. When you become a member, (or even before!), please consider pledging. Give until it feels good!!

Annual Congregational Meeting. FUS’s annual congregational meeting traditionally takes place on a Sunday in early June. At this time, the membership approves the new budget, elects new Board members, and votes on policy changes or resolutions regarding social justice issues. Members are encouraged to participate in shaping the future of FUS. In order to vote in congregational meetings, all four of the membership requirements must be met at least 30 days prior to the meetings.

Welcome! We are excited that you are contemplating becoming a member of this vibrant, growing, and loving community! If you have any questions, please contact the Membership Chair or other member of the Board.