There are many reasons for becoming a member of the Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara, and each person in our congregation adds to the beauty, diversity, and strength of this community.
Here are the answers to some general questions about the membership process. For more information or specific questions, or to join our membership-sponsored classes, please email our membership team. Don’t forget to sign up for our various e-newsletters to get information about our events, services, and more.
How do I become a member?
Here are the basic steps to becoming a member, although there will be variation for each person on the order of things.
- Attend Sunday services on Zoom or Facebook, and join in on our other weekly activities.
- Sign our visitor log here.
- Attend membership gatherings, like the “Spirit in Action” class, to begin to deepen your commitment to USSB. To RSVP to these online membership events, email our membership team.
- Make an appointment with someone from our ministry team to discuss becoming a member by emailing us.
- Sign the book. All members add their signature and contact information to our ledger of members, a traditional, ceremonial step to joining our congregation.
- Complete the enrollment and interest forms. In order to make sure that new members can take advantage of our full range of opportunities, we ask you to fill out forms that help us get to know you better.
- Complete the pledge form and make a pledge. Members play a decisive financial role in the church’s ability to live out its mission. Please refer to the giving guide on your pledge form, and you may also discuss this with your new member pledge steward. Learn more about pledging here, fill out the pledge form online here, or set up ongoing auto-withdrawals here.
- Celebrate new membership at a special service and luncheon. Once we’re meeting in person again, the USSB Membership Committee and the USSB congregation will formally welcome you into our congregation with a brief new member ceremony, followed by an all-volunteer cooked new member luncheon. New members are also invited into their own activity group for events.
When can I join?
The timing for membership is different for everyone. Some Unitarian Society visitors attend for years before joining, and some commit to membership within months. In general, we encourage people to attend services and other community activities for three to six months before committing to membership.
How do I know if membership is right for me?
To decide if membership is right for you, attend our services and membership classes, and ask questions. Come to Spirit in Action, a two-hour class on the intersections between spirituality, self-care, and social justice that is held quarterly. To RSVP or to talk with someone, email our membership team.
What is expected of Members?
We know that you expect a lot from your religious and spiritual home, and in turn, we expect a lot of our members! Here’s what we expect from you.
Attend: Show up regularly. Be present with us when you can. We know that your lives are busy and full, and no one will be angry or disappointed if you are not here every week – but we ask you to make room for this community in your busy lives, and we hope that you will always find your time here nourishing.
Engage: We expect all our members to participate in the life of this community. Make friends, share your talents. Take a class. Eat with us, sing with us, learn and grow with us. Our community is immeasurably richer because you are here.
Pledge: We expect our members to give generously within their means to support the life and work of this church, for it is through our giving that our vision, our dream of a more just and loving world becomes real. We ask that you give from a place of hope and love, not of obligation.
Discover Yourself: We expect you to remain curious, to keep on searching and to take your own spiritual, intellectual and emotional growth seriously. Unitarian Universalism is an active religion, not a passive one – and it is up to you to keep asking questions, even the ones that have no answers. We all teach and learn together around here, and as one of us changes and grows, so do we all.
Live Your Values: Finally, we expect all our members to strive to live our Unitarian Universalist values in the world. Ours is not just a Sunday morning faith, but an everyday one. We all fall short of our ideals from time to time, but we can support one another, striving to speak, act, and live from the best of our selves. This is what it means to be a Unitarian Universalist and a member of this congregation.
Do I have to pledge?
Yes. The Unitarian Society, like all Unitarian Universalist congregations, is independently supported by our members (not by a national organization or body). As a result, your financial support is crucial for our work, at whatever financial level works for you.
Want to find out more?
Email our membership team.