You can become an official member of the congregation by signing one of the Membership Books that goes back to our founding in 1796. This can occur in either a private ceremony, or more commonly, on a Sunday when Membership Book signing is scheduled, before or after the Service (as announced in the "Beacon" newsletter).
Steps to become an official member of the church:
- Attend UU & You: The membership process begins with your attendance at this informal orientation session, scheduled generally on the first Sunday of the month several times a year. These conversations with other visitors and current 1st UU members will help acquaint you with Unitarian Universalism and this congregation. At the end of this orientation session, you will be offered a packet of information about Unitarian Universalism and First Unitarian Church and a copy of the UU Pocket Guide. We will share more information about the “nuts and bolts” of church membership.
- Make Your Intention Known: After attending UU & You, inform a leader of the Membership Ministry Team about your intentions for joining the church. It is also suggested that you schedule a time to talk with our Minister. The Membership Book is available for signing one Sunday per month, as announced in the Beacon.
- Connect with a Buddy: Once you have chosen a date to join, you may choose a “buddy” to introduce you to the congregation at the New Members’ Ceremony. If you prefer, the Membership Ministry Team will match you up with a buddy. Your buddy will answer any questions you have about the church, church membership, and the New Member Ceremony.
- Submit Biography: If you would like assistance, your buddy will work with you to write a short biography. Send your biography to your buddy and to the Communications Director by noon on Wednesday before the Sunday Membership Book ceremony. The biographies will go into the Order of Service that day.
- Sign Membership Book: Either before or after the worship Service, meet with Rev. Susan and a Membership Ministry Team representative to actually sign the Book. At that time you will receive a New Member Packet.
- Receive New Member Packet: At the ceremony you will receive a New Member packet, which includes a copy of First Unitarian Church By-laws, a directory, a copy of "our Chosen Faith" and a Pledge card. Those on the Membership Ministry Team, or your buddy, can help you answer any questions about our Stewardship campaign and the pledge process. Please turn in your pledge card to the church office within two weeks after receiving it.
- New Member Ceremony: Twice during the church year we schedule a special celebration as part of a regular Worship Service to welcome new Members. This is a friendly, low-key event but one that everyone finds meaningful. Your "buddy" will introduce you at this ceremony as we recognize your commitment to this community.
That's it! Now you're a member of First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia.
If Membership is not for you at this moment, there are additional ways you can participate in the life of the First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia.
1. Become a Friend: A Friend is an official term defined in the church bylaws and refers to someone in the Philadelphia area who regularly supports the life of the church by making an annual identified financial contribution. Click here to become a friend and complete an online pledge card.
2. Become a Fan: A Fan is someone who completes a profile on this website and supports the ministry of the congregation. All Fans are encouraged to upload a profile picture so that we can be hospitable with our guests.
About the Membership Ministry Team
The Membership Ministry Team (MMT) connects with visitors in order to tell them about our liberal faith and to facilitate their joining the church, when they have made that decision. We coordinate UU & You orientation, match aspiring New Members with buddies and try to help them become integrated into the life of the church through monthly potlucks. It is very rewarding work!