If you have been attending worship for a while and think that you would like to become a member, please contact the Minister, Rev. Jenn Gracen, a greeter, or a member of the Board of Trustees. We encourage those seeking to become members to attend a “New UU” class or a “Visitor Orientation” to learn more about our church. These are often scheduled on an as-needed basis, so please contact the Rev. Jenn Gracen if you are interested in attending one.
Membership in our church is a simple processes, but one with deep meaning. Members do not have to follow prescribed beliefs. The Membership ceremony consists of signing the book in the presence of a board member. We usually do so in the presence of the congregation during a worship service, but private membership ceremonies can be arranged. 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 church governance in accordance with our bylaws. This means that the members vote on church business, especially electing our board and setting our budget.
Participation at UUCEL
We see our membership journey in three stages: visitor, friend, and member.
A Visitor is a newcomer to UUCEL.
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, you are eligible to receive a Mentor, a member of the congregation who will help you meet other members and inform you of church events. Our mentoring process is very informal. If you would like to receive a mentor, please contact a member of the Membership Committee. We have regular Visitor Orientation Sessions for visitors, which is a short session following the church service which includes a building tour and a question and answer time with the minister or informed lay leaders of the congregation.
Once you have been attending regularly, you have become a Friend of UUCEL.
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.
Once you have been attending regularly, we suggest you attend one of our “New UU” classes. These two-session classes follow the church service and help you get to know members and other newcomers. The sessions cover UU history, worship and spirituality, and our church’s governance. We suggest people attend “New UU” before becoming members, if possible.
A Member at UUCEL is someone who has signed the Membership Book to signify a formal commitment to UUCEL and to his/her identity as a Unitarian Universalist.
A member at UUCEL 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 church meetings and receive the UU World magazine. Members are registered with the Unitarian Universalist Association, and dues are paid to the UUA and to our district, the Heartland District for each member.
For new members, we will schedule a brief ceremony in the worship service, where the new member is formally welcomed by the congregation with great rejoicing!