What it means to be a Member of ALUUC
Members of our congregation have made a formal commitment to our community by signing the membership book. According to our by-laws, membership is available to anyone 17 years of age and older who:
- Is in sympathy with the purpose and values of the Congregation,
- Evidences a commitment to the well-being of the Congregation by completing Pathways to Membership and signing the Membership Book in the presence of the Minister or any Board Member,
- Is willing to participate in the work and activity of our community, and
- IS willing to support our values with their time, energy, and resources.
In the words of UU minister William Murry, “It [membership] means that you believe and are committed to the principles, values and life attitudes that Unitarian Universalism embraces. It is signifying publicly that you stand with a group of people who have a particular outlook on life and religion, and it is a commitment to walk with those people and to support this congregation and what we stand for. Spiritually, joining this church is an act of self-definition and commitment to an ongoing journey of self-discovery.“
ALUUC Member Rights
Members of our congregation:
- Vote in congregational meetings (after you have been a Member for at least 90 days),
- Are eligible to serve in volunteer leadership positions on ALUUC Board of Directors, Committee on Ministry, Endowment Trust, and Ministerial Search Committee,
- Can serve as a delegate to the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) at General Assembly and at Midwest Regional Assemblies.
- May be designated and trained to serve as a wedding officiant,
- Are entitled to the pastoral and liturgical services of the minister,
- Are entitled to use the church building at 50% off building rental fees (weddings, memorial services, child dedications, etc.),
- Enjoy full access to ALUUC website, including Member Directory and Photo Directory,
- May officially claim the title “Unitarian Universalist” within the Unitarian Universalist Association, and
- Receive the UU World magazine at no additional cost.
ALUUC Member Responsibilities
We make the following recommendations to Members, but these naturally apply to Friends of ALUUC as well. Regular participation and involvement help maximize the benefits of membership in the ALUUC community.
- Attend regularly. Small miracles happen each Sunday, and your presence is a meaningful addition to the community’s energy and power. The liturgy consists of word, silence, music and song – the combination may be healing, encouraging, or transformative for you. Or you might be the one to welcome someone new, offer an affirming look, or say a transforming word. A small miracle may happen through you.
- Covenant with us. Abide by our ALUUC Covenant of Right Relations…
- Volunteer as you are able. We are grateful for and encourage your gifts. Your ministry here could begin as a greeter, a kitchen helper, a singer in the choir, a religious education teacher, a grass cutter or a committee participant – whichever path calls out to you. Volunteers are essential for ALUUC to fulfill our mission and build a larger presence in central Illinois. Our church cannot thrive without your contribution of time and talents.
- Give generously as your means allow. Support the congregation’s work – we give to each other, all together, to keep our faith community strong.
- Because we are a democratic community, members are collectively vested with responsibility for the congregation. Members may vote at any congregational meeting, be elected to the governing board, and participate in any activities of the congregation.
- Commit to a spiritual practice. ALUUC offers options for developing a practice right for you – praying; meditating; chanting; reading poetry or other inspirational words; walking; journal-keeping. Care for your own spirituality, so that you may, in turn, help others.
- Join a group, class or committee. Find friends and fun while feeding your mind and spirit. Deepen your connection with others to create your unique ALUUC community.
- Serve the larger community. We help each other respond to the needs of the world with compassion and action. Because ALUUC is located in state capital of Illinois in Springfield, we have a unique opportunity to lead the way in progressive policy-making.
Become a member
If you’ve been attending ALUUC and feel you’ve found a spiritual home and a like-minded community, please consider formalizing your relationship to the church by becoming a member.
How to become a member of ALUUC
1. Attend Pathways to Membership sessions
You may not have any experience with faith communities. You may be coming from a different religious background and want clarification of UU principles and practices. If you are already a Unitarian Universalist, you may want to learn more about our particular congregation. Pathways sessions are offered throughout the year and consist of three sessions:
- We share our own stories and hear the stories of others in the first session and begin to establish meaningful connections within the congregation.
- We have a quick survey of UU history, theology, and ALUUC’s history in the second session.
- In the third session, which is often combined with the second, we hear about the-specific member benefits and responsibilities of the community.
Participation in Pathways sessions provide an opportunity to weigh your readiness to commit to the congregation, to discuss your interests and concerns, and to get answers to your questions. We invite you to sign our membership book and to pledge your time, talent and treasure in proportion to your resources in support of our community. Childcare is available on request, with sufficient notice.
2. Sign the Membership Book
At the end of the Pathways to Membership sessions (or anytime afterwards), you may choose to sign the membership book in the presence of the Minister or a Board Member.
While signing the membership book is a simple step, it has great significance. After signing, you will be formally recognized and welcomed into the ALUUC community during a Sunday service. What you receive from and what you give to ALUUC as a member are up to you; however, we encourage you to commit to the ALUUC Member Responsibilities, above.
What it means to be a Friend of ALUUC
Friends of our congregation are welcome to participate in nearly all aspects of the life of our congregation, including attending programs and services, serving on committees, leading lay-led worship, and contributing financially to support our work. A Friend believes in our values and wants to create a closer relationship with the congregation without the perks of membership.
Friends are not eligible to:
- Vote in congregational meetings
- To serve on the Board of Directors
- To serve on the Committee on Ministry
- To serve as an Endowment Trustee
If you would like to be considered a Friend, please talk to our Membership Coordinator, Tracy Zieber, so you can be listed in the church directory and receive email announcements.
Moving Away, Dual Membership
Members who move away may remain “active” members through regular financial or other support and by making an effort to stay connected with our congregation. The Unitarian Universalist tradition allows individuals to be members of more than one congregation, provided the member meets the requirements set forth by each congregation.
Youth and Young Adult Members
Youth who are active participants in our congregation are welcome to become members after their 17th birthday. Such members are considered active members during their young adult years, even if their work or school commitments leave them unable to participate regularly in the life of our congregation. We do not have a formal “confirmation” program for our youth. Youth considering this step should speak with the minister and are strongly encouraged to participate in Pathways to Membership sessions.