What does it mean to be a member of VUU?
If you decide you want to become part of this community, the expectation is that you nurture your own spirit by committing to some type of spiritual practice, i.e. attending Sunday Services, one of the alternative services, join a Covenant Group, join a discussion group, meditate, etc. We want members to become responsibly involved in the church.
What does responsibly involved mean?
Pursuing your own personal spiritual growth and supporting that of others
Developing connections within the VUU community by participating in small group activities of the church
Sharing in the mission of our church by giving of your time and talents.
Being a force for positive change in the wider community
Supporting our church community with a financial commitment
We hope that being a member of this congregation will help you to live a better balanced, more effective, more loving life. That VUU will be a place that helps you and those you love the most to grow; and where you can both continue your spiritual journey and live a life of service and integrity and joy. We want you to feel connected to VUU; for this to be a community where you can share your joys and sorrows, and feel nurtured and supported when you do.
Members should find hope, beauty, and inspiration in worship at VUU. We offer different types of small groups to encourage the development of friendship and intimacy, (Covenant Groups, Circle Suppers, etc). Members should also develop a basic knowledge of Unitarian Universalist and VUU heritage since they are encouraged to live out their spiritual values for the betterment of the larger community. This can be done both through their own work and through opportunities the church provides. Members are encouraged to share their talents and gifts with the congregation, which includes both time and money. In doing so, this enables VUU to offer many different ways of meeting the social and spiritual needs of our congregation.
By doing the above, members help ensure VUU will remain a welcoming place for others on their own spiritual journeys. Our covenant articulates what we hope being a member of this congregation means:
Love is the doctrine of this congregation;
The quest of truth is our sacrament,
And service is our prayer.
To dwell together in peace;
To seek knowledge in freedom;
To serve humankind in friendship;
Thus do we covenant.
VUU Behavioral Covenant - Approved June 2010
As members and friends of this congregation with a common purpose to nurture each other in our religious community, we hereby covenant:
- To welcome everyone who comes to VUU on an honest and responsible spiritual quest or search for community
- To accept and respect the differences among us
- To listen actively and respectfully
- To trust in the inherent good faith of each other
- To create an atmosphere where all of us feel safe
- To practice forgiving each other and ourselves
- To focus our discussions on topics, ideas, and issues rather than on people
- To speak directly to those with whom we disagree and work toward resolution
- To speak out with loving kindness when we witness inappropriate behavior or disrespectful interactions
- To be respectful of our staff’s time and commitments as professionals
- To take responsibility for our behavior, hold ourselves accountable, and keep the commitments we make
- To practice replacing “they” with “we” to begin the phrase “…ought to do something”
- To trust the process, accepting and supporting our democratic decisions while acknowledging that we may not always agree
- To remember that building our beloved community requires active participation
What is the Membership Committee?
This group carries out new member classes four times during the year and assists new members in getting acquainted with church activities. The committee will also facilitate the forming of new groups or activities that are of interest to some in the congregation.
How do I become a member here?
On the Guest Registry Forms, there is a place for you to give us your name and address and indicate how we may serve you. One item you can check is that you might be interested in joining the church - if you check that box the membership committee will contact you prior to our next class. You can also contact the Membership Committee via email.
Then if you think that you are interested in pursuing membership, the next step is to register for our “Journey To Membership” class. At the end of this class if you are ready, you will have an opportunity to join our congregation and take part in our New Member Recognition.
What is the Journey To Membership Class?
The Journey To Membership Class is actually three class sessions that explore the denomination, discuss church history, explain responsibilities of membership, and introduce the programs, structure, and management of the church.
Class 1 -- Your Spiritual Journey & UU History
In this session, the participants get to know each other and learn about the spiritual journeys that have brought them to this Church. Each person shares his/her religious/spiritual history with a partner, and draws a timeline as a visual reminder. Then the whole group hears each person share a brief outline of their partner's history. This is a great way to get to know each other, and also hear about the different paths people travel to reach VUU. Then, a short tape will be shown depicting the history of Unitarian-Universalism. Our minister will be in attendance to meet the class.
Class 2 -- THE MEANING OF MEMBERSHIP
In this session, we cover Valley Unitarian Universalist Congregation and the path to membership. We discuss the meaning of membership, the expectations and opportunities of membership, and the many ways available to create community at VUU.
Class 3 -- THE VUU PHENOMENON
This is an opportunity to hear the experiences of current members, including why they joined and what they have gained by attending VUU. Our minister will also share his history, and answer any questions you may have.
This is a social opportunity to meet the Board members and Lay Leaders. The Membership Book may be signed at this time. We also discuss the upcoming Sunday Service to recognize and welcome the new members.