If you are beginning to feel at home here, the All Souls Membership Committee invites you to join our Exploring All Souls series. The series consists of six interactive workshops and Small Group Ministry sessions. These provide more information to those who may be considering a deeper commitment or simply seeking to build friendships with fellow explorers. Are you considering becoming a member of All Souls? Would you like to learn more about what it means to be a member of the All Souls community? Or maybe you would like to gain a deeper understanding of the Unitarian Universalist faith. If so, "Exploring All Souls" is the place to be.
Exploring All Souls is a workshop series designed to help you find deeper connection and insight into our Unitarian Universalist community at All Souls. Most of the workshops will be held Sundays, from 11:15-12:30 at All Souls beginning March 26, 2017 and concluding on New Member Sunday in June. Childcare will be provided. We will also have a one-day Exploring All Souls with Families with Children on May 13.
March 26 "Why Membership"
April 2 "History and Principles"
April 23 "Belonging"
April 30 "Principles and Social Justice"
May 7 Small Group Ministry
May 13 (Saturday) One day Exploring for families with children 9:30 - 12:30
May 13 (Saturday) Lunch and Discernment for all explorers 12:45 - 2:30
Sunday June 4th, New Member Sunday
Sign-ups begin March 12 and March 19th. Watch for details in the All Souls weekly e-blast, monthly newsletter, on Facebook and in the Order of Service. For more information, please contact Jim Perkins at: ExploringAllSouls@gmail.com
Ultimately, we designed the sessions to offer you a process of discernment in your search for a spiritual home. Therefore, we view the process as sacred, and strongly encourage participation at all sessions prior to making a membership decision. We’ll share conversation and learn about each other’s journeys to All Souls. We’ll explore the history and values of the UU faith tradition; get to know Reverends Carolyn Patierno and Caitlin O’Brien; and enjoy the opportunity to befriend other kindred spirits. We invite you to join us for these sessions to discover more - we'd love to get to know you!
If you are unable to attend our spring Exploring All Souls series, know that the series will be held again in the fall of 2017.
Jim Perkins, Membership Chair
And the All Souls Membership Team
Welcoming New Members
At All Souls New London, we take membership seriously. We are self governed and self sustaining, and our congregation exists because members are actively engaged in all aspects of congregational life. They participate in worship, in programming and events, and in the democratic process by which we govern ourselves. Members carefully tend to the stewardship of our finances, our buildings, and the care of each other. Through all of this, we work to live out our Unitarian Universalist values and the mission and vision of All Souls. Our expectations for members include:
Presence, Participation, Practice and Pledge.
Presence: We expect members to attend worship services regularly. Reverend Carolyn Patierno calls this “Showing Up.” Your presence is important, and we miss you when you’re not there. Sometimes showing up is not just for you – someone else may need your presence. And the more you are present, the more connected you will be to the congregation.
Participation: We expect members to participate in the life of All Souls. Join a ministry team or committee; teach a Religious Education class; sing with the choir; offer to be a coffee host or bring snacks for coffee hour; become part of a Small Group Ministry group; help with the gardens; sign up to bring flowers for a worship service. Participate at a level that works for you, knowing that at different stages in our lives we have more or less time to give to these things. You may wish to start slowly by volunteering for one-time events or by saying “yes” when volunteers are needed.
Practice: We expect that members will practice their religion. Engaging in a personal spiritual practice such as meditation, prayer, or journal writing is one way to do this. Or you may choose to practice your religion by putting your beliefs and values into action through social justice work or through caring and ministry to others. There are many ways that you may choose to live out your Unitarian Universalist principles in daily life.
Pledge: We expect our members to financially support the vision and mission of All Souls by making an annual financial pledge. Each member determines for him or herself the level at which he or she is able to pledge. We ask that members work toward a goal of 5% of net income, but you are welcome to give to the extent that your circumstances allow.
Please note: In order to vote at congregational meetings, a person needs to have been a member for 6 months and to have made a contribution of record within the past year.
In summary – Presence, Participation, Practice and Pledge
Ten Good Reasons For Joining A Unitarian Universalist Congregation
by Bill and Barbara Hamilton-Holway and Mark Harris
Because here we join with open hearts and minds to worship together, seeking what is sacred among us.
Because here we are part of a long, liberal tradition of reason and tolerance, of hope and liberation.
Because here we honor our Jewish and Christian roots, and also reach out to know the great truths found in other religious expressions.
Because here we acknowledge that revelation is never sealed and empower ourselves to search for new truths.
Because here we nurture our children's enthusiasms and encourage their questions.
Because here we welcome diverse people and views.
Because here we join our strength with others to create a more just society.
Because here we respect the whole self - mind, body, and spirit working together.
Because here we encourage each other to be true to ourselves.
Because here we build a supportive community that eases our loneliness and opens our hearts.