Path to Membership
If you have been attending worship for a while and are interested in becoming a member of TPUUF, please contact a member of the Board of Trustees. TPUUF periodically provides opportunities for members, friends and those interested in becoming members to learn about Unitarian Universalism and the history and traditions of Thomas Paine Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. Attendance at these session is not mandatory, recognizing that many people find our Fellowship with different backgrounds and knowledge of Unitarian Universalism. In addition to these sessions, many find that a meeting with our minister may be helpful to answer any lingering questions.
Membership in our fellowship is a simple process, but one with deep meaning. Members do not have to follow prescribed beliefs. The final step in the membership process consists of signing the book in the presence of a board member. An official New Member Welcoming Ceremony will be held during a worship service. We ask of our members that they participate, volunteer, and pledge to the best of their ability, but there is no minimum requirement.
Members have the rights of participation in fellowship governance in accordance with our bylaws. This means that the members vote on fellowship business, especially electing our board and setting our budget.
Participation Levels at TPUUF
We see our membership journey in three stages: visitor, friend, and member.
A Visitor is a newcomer to TPUUF.
When you visit for the first time, visitor information packets are available. If you sign our guest register, you may receive our newsletter on a trial basis for several months, either by mail or e-mail. When you attend our social hour immediately following services, you will meet other members and learn about opportunities to participate in fellowship events. We have regular Visitor Orientation Sessions for visitors, which is a short session following the service which includes a building tour and a question and answer time with the minister or informed leaders of the congregation.
Once you have been attending regularly, you have become a Friend of TPUUF.
Friends are people who support our UU principles; attend regularly; and contribute time, talent, and/or financial resources. Some people stay in the friend category only a short time before moving on to Member. Others, for a variety of reasons, may choose not to become members and stay Friends.
A Member at TPUUF is someone who has signed the Membership Book to signify a formal commitment to TPUUF and to his/her identity as a Unitarian Universalist.
A member at TPUUF is defined as someone who attends regularly, contributes time and talents, and makes a “contribution of record” (a signed pledge or signed check given at any time made in the name of an individual or family). Members have the right to vote at congregational meetings and receive the UU World magazine. Members are registered with the Unitarian Universalist Association.
For new members, we will schedule a brief ceremony in the worship service, where the new member is formally welcomed to the congregation with great rejoicing!