The Path To Membership

 

How do people typically become “a member?” of West Shore?We’ve outlined a suggested path for you to consider, from the first time you set foot in the door to (we hope!) your signing the membership book.How long does it take?Many people join the church within the first year of attending; others take a little bit longer.Because we believe the joining a church is an individual decision, you won’t be pressured to join the church.The door is always open to you.

Step 1

Coffee and Conversation.  A 45-minute conversation, after the service, held the 2nd Sunday of the month,  from 11:15 – noon.This conversation led by a member of the membership team.  It’s geared towards discovering more about you and providing you with some basic information about the church and about Unitarian Universalism.

Step 2

Getting to Know UU.This two-hour class, usually held in the evening, with a minister and a member of the Membership Team.We’ll explore in more depth the history and traditions of Unitarian Universalism, West Shore and the values, mission, and vision of both. Held monthly.  Dates for this class can be found on the home page of the website blog, the monthly newsletter "Shorelines" and on the new member bulletin board; as well as in the West Shore Weekly (bulletin insert) and in the e-news, a week or two before the scheduled date. 

Step 3

Become a Member! .In this class, we discuss expectations--yours and ours. We talk about some of the benefits of membership, which include:

Generally two hours long, with childcare provided upon request, you’ll be invited to sign the membership book at the end of the class if you’re ready.

Step 4

New Member Sunday.We invite you to participate in a short ceremony of welcome in the Sunday morning service.At least twice a year the Membership Team arranges a social event to meet, mingle, and get to know other members and the minister.

Step 5

Engage.  If you’re willing, you’ll be assigned a mentor or a fellow church member who you can meet with, have a cup of coffee or tea, ask questions and who will check in with you from time to time to see how you’re doing. 

Then – as a full fledged member – we ask you to consider the four “P’s of membership:

West Shore is a non-creedal church, which means you don't have to sign a confession of faith or adhere to a creed. We are a covenantal community, which is based on the promises we make to one another as members of this community.

 

Once I join, am I a member for life?

We hope so!  We hope that as long as you choose to participate in the life of the community you'll remain a member of West Shore.  Sometimes, however, life circumstances change.  For members who wish to remain connected to the church, they may ask to be granted "Emeritus Member" status.  That means that you'll continue to receive information about the church, but the annual pledge requirement is waived.  We do this to honor long-time commitment to the church. 

 

Sometimes people move or their interest has changed and we don't hear from them for a while.  If a member hasn't responded to the Stewardship Campaign for two years, the staff sends out a letter from the Board in September and ask if the individual wishes to remain a member of the church, or if there is something that is a barrier to participation.   However, if we have not received any communication from a member for two years and,  if they have not communicated with the church or has moved away with no forwarding address, their name may be removed from the Membership roster.