Why become a member of Cedar Lane?
Becoming a member of a Unitarian Universalist congregation is a significant commitment that people make in their lives.
Unitarian Universalism is a covenantal, not a creedal, religion. By covenantal, we mean making intentional promises out of our own free will to support ourselves and one another in our spiritual and ethical living, while seeking to bear witness to our highest values and convictions in our daily lives, and in that way striving to build a more just and peaceful world. When people enter into this meaningful covenant, they promise each other a safe and loving community in which to "travel together" through the joys and sorrows, agreements, and conflicts of our individual and shared lives. Find out more about UUs and the concept of covenant here.
There are two sides to the coin of the covenant. On one side, the word “Promise” is inscribed. The very real prospect of spiritual growth and fulfillment awaits those who agree to journey together on this shared pilgrimage. The word “Obligation” may be found on the obverse of the coin. Our pilgrimage is made more meaningful when every member shares a portion of the load.
Membership is a personal commitment to participate in a process of sharing your time, talents, and treasures with others in a quest that is personal, social, spiritual, practical, and institutional.
No one in this community will ever be asked to assume a burden beyond their capacity, to make an unreasonable commitment, or an illogical sacrifice. We do ask you to believe in the promise, and to accept the obligation. The rewards of belonging to this congregation are wholly commensurate with the level of commitment we each are willing to bring to it.
How does one become a member?
You become an official member of Cedar Lane by signing the membership book during a new member recognition ceremony on a Sunday during worship or at a private signing, witnessed by Rev. Abhi or Rev. Katie or the Director of Communications & Membership Engagement, Sara Davidson.
When can I sign the book?
- New Member Recognition Ceremonies: Welcoming new members is an inspiring and joyful occasion in the life of a congregation. We would be honored to have you sign the book in a ceremony during one of our worship services. Our next New Member Recognition date is Sunday, Oct 27, at 11 am. Please email Sara Davidson, firstname.lastname@example.org, if you wish to participate.
- If you prefer to sign privately we will be happy to honor that request as well. Contact Rev. Katie Romano Griffin to arrange to sign the book privately.
While signing the book is the official marker of membership, please refer to the pathways to membership below for more information about steps to take upon becoming a new member.
Pathways to membership at Cedar Lane:
- Review our Unitarian Universalist Principles & Sources and Cedar Lane’s Covenant to determine if they resonate with your own beliefs and convictions
- (Recommended) Have a 1:1 meeting (phone or in person) with Rev. Abhi Janamanchi or Rev. Katie Romano Griffin about your intent to join and have your questions about membership answered
- (Optional) Get a feel for us through Chat with a Minister series on 1st Sundays between 9 & 11 am worship services
- Attend a Faith Forward: Seekers class or a Faith Forward: Roots class
- Sign the Membership Book
- (Optional) Attend a New Member Recognition on a Sunday during worship
- Make a financial pledge within your means and an engagement commitment to support the mission and ministry of the congregation by serving on a ministry team or at a Cedar Lane event.
- (Recommended) Join a Sharing Circle Small Group
What are the responsibilities of membership?
- Participate in Worship: Coming together to worship is what binds us together and makes us a religious community. If you can't make it in person, live stream or catch-up with us during the week on YouTube.
- Engage in Service: There are many ways to give back to congregational life - volunteer on Sunday mornings, join the choir, teach in our lifespan religious education program, participate in a social justice project. Read Cedar Lane's eNews and Newsletter to learn about opportunities to get involved. Note: to sign-up for the eNews or newsletter, please email Sara Davidson, email@example.com.
- Connect with Others in the Community: Join a Sharing Circle or another group. Check out our calendar to see what's up group activities are coming up!
- Give Generously: Members are encouraged to give generously by making an identifiable financial commitment to Cedar Lane in the form of a yearly annual pledge. Pledging members are voting members of the congregation. Members can be excused from pledging in case of financial hardship by speaking with a minister.
Through worship, service, connections, and giving, we grow. We deepen our understanding of ourselves and our connection to one another and our community. In this way, active membership is a spiritual practice.
What are the benefits of membership?
- Members have the right to vote in congregational meetings, including resolutions, election of board members and lay leaders, and the calling of ministers, six months after signing the membership book and making a financial pledge of record.
- Members are entitled to have a rite-of-passage (child dedication, coming of age ceremony, wedding, or memorial service) at the church for a nominal fee for the space and with no charge for the officiant. Committed groups and ministry teams within the church such as the Alliance and the Flower Team provide assistance for members' memorial services.
- Members are eligible to serve on the board or chair a ministry team.
- Members receive discounts on fees charged for adult religious education classes.
- Members receive official church mailings.
Are there rules about who can join?
Members must be at least 16 years old. Voting members must be at least 18 years old to vote on changes to the church's Articles of Incorporation.
Please contact Director of Communications & Membership Engagement, Sara Davidson, firstname.lastname@example.org / 301-493-8300 x202.
EXPLORE OUR Newcomers MINISTRIES
Want to chat with a minister about Cedar Lane? About the Unitarian Universalist faith? Join us for an informal, drop-in style chat with one of our ministers on the first Sunday of each month, October 2019 through June 2020.
Visitors, newcomers, and new members are invited to participate in the Seekers Series – the first step on our Faith Forward Path. The Seekers Series meets at 9:30 am on Sunday mornings in the Beacon Room. It is a series of 6 conversations that offer a general introduction to our congregation and Unitarian Universalism. The series is ongoing, so you are welcome to participate in the sessions in any order, as you’re able.
Unitarian Universalism is a liberal religious tradition that grew from Christian roots. Our churches do not have specific beliefs you must profess before joining and yet we do share commitment to encouraging spiritual growth, moral development, and ethical living. We affirm the worth and dignity of all people; advocate justice, equity and compassion in human relations; and encourage free and responsible search for truth and meaning. We’ll talk about all this in …ROOTS!
Cedar Lane centers our worship life on a timeless spiritual theme each month (e.g. Intention or Wholeness.) Part of our thematic ministry includes our Sharing Circles. Participants gather monthly for opening/closing words, personal check-in, and engagement with the monthly spiritual theme. These groups are a great way to connect with other members of Cedar Lane, whether you're a newcomer or a long-time member.
This short celebration invites those of you who have recently signed the membership book or are ready to sign the book, to come before the congregation during worship and share a responsive reading with the congregation as we officially invite you into the community. If you are interested, please email Sara Davidson (contact info below).
At the end of each church year, we gather to celebrate those that have joined us over the course of the church year. We'll meet after the 12 pm worship service for brunch at Cedar Lane member and Membership Engagement Ministry Team member Maryann Dillon's house, close to the church. Date to come for 2020!