UUCSS Policy – Membership

Adopted January 27, 2021

A.  Individuals 16 years of age or older who seek the fellowship of this Church are expected to participate in a Pathways class offered at least twice a year.  If they decide to join the church, they may do so by signing the membership book in the presence of the Minister or a member of the Board of Trustees.  Those who are already familiar with Unitarian Universalism and wish to join before taking the class may do so, with the permission of the Minister or a Board member. 

B.  All members are expected to make an annual financial contribution of record.  Making a pledge of financial support or donating money or assets are ways to fulfill that expectation.  A gift of cash does not qualify as a financial contribution unless the donor can be identified. 

  1. A member seeking an exemption from making a financial contribution should contact the Minister, who will consider the member’s financial circumstances and may grant either a temporary or permanent exemption based on the member’s financial hardship.  The Minister will inform the Board Secretary and chairs of the Annual Budget Drive of the exemption. 
  2. Unless exempted by the Minister, individuals must make a pledge or other financial contribution of record before signing the membership book.
  3. A member who fails to make a financial contribution of record within the 15 months prior to a congregational meeting is ineligible to vote at that meeting.

C.  A member may withdraw from membership by sending written notice to the Communications Administrator, who is responsible for maintaining the membership roll.  If a member informs an ABD chair or chair of the Membership Committee of their wish to withdraw from membership, the chair will send that information in writing to the Communications Administrator.   Any member who has died will be removed from the membership roll.

D.  Once during each church year, the Communications Administrator will send letters to members who have not received an exemption and who have not made a financial contribution of record during the preceding 15 months.  The letter will lay out options for the member to consider:

1.  Making a financial contribution of record and remaining a voting member of the church.

 2.  Asking the Minister for an exemption from making a financial contribution of record.

3.  Changing their status to friend, and consulting the Minister about how they might best support activities of the Church through contributions of time and talent.

  4.  Resigning from membership, with an option of continuing to receive electronic  communications from the Church.  Once a year, the Communications Administrator will contact those receiving such communications to determine whether they wish to continue doing so.

The letter will state that failure to respond to the letter within a month will be construed as a resignation.  If the member’s contact information is no longer valid and the member cannot be reached, the member will be considered to have resigned.

E.  Individuals who wish to be considered friends of the Church should inform the Membership Committee and the Communications Administrator.  Friends are expected to participate actively in the Church, to the best of their ability, through contributions of time, talent, and/or money.  Friends may participate fully in the committees and programs of the Church, with the exceptions listed in the Bylaws.  They may attend congregational meetings, but may not cast votes.  They may use Church facilities for weddings or memorial services, but they must pay the normal rental fees unless they have made a financial contribution of record at least six months preceding the event.  The eligibility of friends for free pastoral counseling will be left to the discretion of the Minister. 

F.  At least once each church year, the Communications Administrator will communicate in writing with friends identified by the Membership Committee and the Minister as not having been actively involved in the Church for the past year.  The Administrator will inquire whether the friend would like to continue receiving communications from the Church.  If so, they will remain on the mailing list but will no longer be listed as friends in the database.  If not, they will be removed from the mailing list and the database. 

G.  If a complaint is made against a member or friend for engaging in actions that threaten the well-being or safety of the Congregation, the Board will consider it under Board Policy 12, Management of Conflict within the Congregation.  Following those procedures, the Board may take actions that include removal of the member from the membership roll, or of the friend from the database.  Removal requires written notice to the individual, an opportunity for the individual to meet with the Board, and a two-thirds vote by the Board.