What does membership mean at Shelter Rock?
Joining this congregation means becoming a member of a religious community that is grounded in the long history of Unitarian Universalism. It is also an affirmation of principles such as universal human dignity, justice and compassion in human relations, and respect for the inter-dependent web of which we all are a part, as a foundation for every individual’s free search for truth and meaning. Being a member provides a framework for the everyday pursuit of meaning through activities, worship, and spiritual and intellectual development. Joining is an expression of commitment to the vision of UUCSR: “we aspire to be a loving religious community where we can grow spiritually and build a more just and joyful world.”
- Enjoy the satisfaction of being actively engaged in a religious community which ministers to personal needs and hopes while being sensitive to our place in the world;
- Experience opportunities to develop relationships of depth and explore questions of ultimate concern;
- Have a vote in congregational meetings that direct the congregation and help to shape its future;
- Are eligible to serve as leadership of the congregation and on select committees;
- Receive a subscription to the bi-monthly magazine UU World, and to publications from UUCSR;
- Are entitled to child dedications, weddings, funerals, memorial services, and other rites.
- Members of this congregation are enrolled as members of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) headquartered in Boston, the Central East Region of the UUA and the Long Island Area Council of Unitarian Universalist Congregations. Members are welcome to participate in conferences, retreats, summer institutes, leadership training, and other events offered each year.
How does someone join Shelter Rock?
We rejoice when anyone decides to join their religious quest with ours by joining this congregation. In order to do so, newcomers attend orientations, called “Inquirers Sessions” offered throughout the year. Once you have participated and feel in accord with the values of Unitarian Universalism and the vision of this congregation, you need only sign the Membership Book and make a financial commitment to the program budget of the congregation. (Waivers are available in the event of financial hardship with the approval of a minister.) New members are invited to participate in a New Member Recognition Ceremony during a Sunday Service and to get-acquainted social events. If you, as a new member, request it, a longer-term member can serve as a “mentor” or “partner” for the first year of membership.
- Participate in Sunday worship and other events which provide a core of common experiences.
- Learn and grow together in a community that is strengthened by understanding of: UU history and traditions; the pursuit of spirituality and a fulfilling spiritual life; lifespan religious education classes and faith development ministries and programs.
- Enjoy right relationships. UU Principles and the UUCSR Mission statement affirm the inherent worth and dignity of every person. By developing healthy, interpersonal relationships that honor each person’s unique experience and beliefs. Respect and trust guide congregational and personal actions.
- Share congregational ministry. Every person has individual gifts and a unique “calling” to serve the needs of the world. Every member is encouraged to discern their special gifts and find ways to share them.
- Support UUCSR financially. All members make a financial pledge to the congregation every year to support programs and ministries of the Shelter Rock Congregation; Unitarian Universalist work locally, regionally and in the world. This congregation’s denominational connections are with the Long Island Area Council of Unitarian Universalist Congregations, the Central East Regional Group of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), and national UUA, headquartered in Boston, MA.
Making a Financial Commitment
A financial pledge to the program budget at UUCSR is required to maintain membership privileges, unless you receive a ministerial waiver. We pledge based on the fiscal year from July 1 - June 30. A pledge campaign begins in the spring for the coming year. There is no minimum commitment, and nobody is denied membership due to financial hardship. Annually, pledges and initial payments should be submitted before July 1, but a grace period until December 31 is allowed. At least one payment must be made by December 31 or membership privileges lapse. Voting membership can be re-instated with a pledge and payment, but requires 60 days following receipt of that payment for reinstatement to occur.
Membership in a Unitarian Universalist congregation is as much a becoming as an arrival. Ours is a religion which allows for lifelong spiritual growth, for unending receptiveness to new insights and perceptions, for a realization that scientific knowledge need not be at odds with religion, and for affirmation of both the open mind and the caring heart. Ours is a religious community which honors diversity, amid values in common. People of all backgrounds and faiths are welcome. We measure religious commitment not with creeds, but good deeds. If you are seeking a caring congregation, where love is a central doctrine and the quest of truth is its sacrament, you may find a congenial spiritual home in the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock.
Conflict of Interest
UUCSR has a Conflict of Interest policy which establishes that what each member chooses to do to benefit the Congregation is done as a volunteer without compensation or financial reward. This policy can be found in UUCSR’s By-laws which are printed in the Membership Handbook.