Why join our church?
- You want to Connect – to belong to something bigger than yourself. A lone individual can only accomplish so much.
- You want to Grow – to find a safe place for your spiritual journey. Our church is a place where your mind will be stretched, your heartstrings tugged, and your conscience called to action – if you let it!
- You want to Serve – to commit to living out your values in a community of like-minded seekers.
What are the expectations of new members?
Because we are a covenanted congregation, members have certain expectations in their relationship to the congregation and to one another. These are:
- Become connected to our community. Regularly attend congregational events and worship. Weekly worship cements the bonds of community, and keeps our attention directed to our highest values, while nurturing our spirits. Enrichment and Social Action events are ways to get to know others and become engaged with the life of our church.
- Participate in church governance. Read leadership newsletters, attend Town Hall meetings and vote at congregational meetings. Responsible participation includes imagining the needs of the entire congregation, rather than focusing only on your own needs or desires. Consider how issues affect all members of the congregation, as well as potential members and others in the world outside the congregation.
- Work on your own spiritual growth and development, while supporting others’ spiritual journeys. Working deliberately at your own spiritual development is a gift to the congregation and to the larger world. Likewise, the congregation is here to support you.
- Continue to learn about Unitarian Universalism and how to live out your values in the world.
- Contribute your time and talent. Congregations work because our members find ways to give of themselves, whether through singing, financial management, educating children, sharing our passion for social justice, organizing, cooking, greeting—the list of tasks goes on. Finding ways to give back that also nurture your own soul helps to avoid resentment and supports your own growth. Contact a member of the Membership Path or Campus Advisory Teams to find ways you can get involved.
- Practice generosity. Your financial pledge is the most important financial commitment you can make to our church. But there are other ways that you can regularly practice spiritual generosity – bring food for Sunday hospitality, donate to our weekly Outreach and Shared offerings, special collections, such as Minister’s Discretionary Fund and Inspiration Sunday, as well as contribute to longer-term Capital Campaigns.
Exploring UU Workshop
While not a requirement for membership, we hope you can attend one of our “Exploring UU” workshops to learn more about membership. These workshops will:
- Help you get to know new people.
- Learn more about Unitarian Universalism.
- Learn more about First Unitarian Universalism Church of Houston. Learn more about your campus and how to get involved.
- Discern how good the fit is for you and your family.
We try to offer membership and “Exploring UU” workshops on a regular basis on each campus. These are usually on a Saturday morning, or after services and can be found in the Events calendar. Childcare is available upon request.
What is the meaning of membership at First Unitarian Universalist Church?
Because we are a democratic community, members are collectively vested with responsibility for the congregation. Members may vote at any congregational meeting, serve on the Nominating Committee, be elected to the governing board, and participate in any activities of the congregation
Okay, how do I join?
In a nutshell, these are the requirements for membership at First Church:
- Make an annual pledge of financial support as you are able. Not only does this provide for the support of the congregation, but it also serves as a spiritual discipline. Many Unitarian Universalists aim for a modern tithe—that is, giving 5 percent of income to the congregation, and another 5 percent to other organizations and causes that represent their values. It is not uncommon for new members to make a commitment to this practice by growing their pledge over several years.
- Make a monetary contribution of record. This can be by online, check, or cash in an envelope marked with your name.
- Sign the membership book. By this act, you are joining with the congregation to support the Vision (Purpose) and Mission of this church.
- Annual renewal – make a monetary contribution of record, submit a pledge of financial support, or sign a statement of renewal.
- While not a requirement, we kindly ask you to inform us if you no longer wish to be a member, or wish move to “inactive” status.
Our Welcome Team can set up a meeting and bring the book out when you indicate your intention to join. Most people usually join after a Sunday service (during coffee hour) or after an Exploring UU workshop. Once have decided to become a member, let the Welcome Team or the Campus Minister know you are ready to make a commitment and to sign the book.
Not everyone is ready for membership.
There are certain commitments expected from members. Some guests are ready to join right away — others may take a year or two. In the meantime, after you’ve been around too long to be a just a visitor, you are invited to be a “pledging friend.” This means attending regularly, involving yourself in any of the activities which call to you, and pledging the financial support that makes everything ‘church’ possible.