We welcome you to join our beloved community. We hope you have found your spiritual home here and you will choose to become a member and journey with us.

Becoming a Member

Come in, you and your heart and know that you are home.

Becoming a member of the First Unitarian Church of Oakland means that you are committed to the principles, values and life attitudes that Unitarian Universalism embraces. It is a public declaration that you stand with a group of people who have a liberal religious view. It is a commitment to support and encourage one’s own and others’ efforts to grow spiritually and to support the congregation’s mission and vision in the wider world.

As a member of this congregation, you will be expected to become actively involved in the life of the congregation and its ministries. All members are asked to reflect on their life circumstances, their spiritual goals and to make a serious commitment to serving the mission and purpose of the church.

Expectations of Membership

Worship and the Celebration of Life
Attending worship regularly, participating in life passages, community rituals and activities, etc.

Spiritual Growth
Cultivation of your spiritual life: for example, participating in our learning community, joining a covenant group, personal meditation, prayer, etc.

Shared Ministry
Serving the community within and beyond the church walls. For example, teaching religious education, providing pastoral care, participating in worship, working for justice, volunteering for a committee or council, taking a position of leadership, involvement in community service projects, serving lunch, ushering, etc.

Stewardship
Taking care of what we value and enabling it to improve and grow. For example, making a stewardship pledge by giving or tithing 5-10% of your income, caring for our buildings and grounds, participating in our Capital Campaign, etc.

Living Our Faith
Living out Unitarian Universalism through our mission and covenant. For example, practicing our principles in daily life, voting at congregational meetings, getting involved in justice work, supporting our Welcoming Congregation and Journey Toward Wholeness anti-racism, anti-oppression, multicultural initiatives, etc.

Sharing the Vision
Letting others know about the transformative power of Unitarian Universalism.

Next Steps

There are many ways to prepare for membership. While you are welcome to join the congregation at any time, you are also invited to take whatever time you need to discern whether First Unitarian Church is your spiritual home. Below are some of the ways you can prepare for membership and/or deepen your membership commitment when you join the church.

Preparing for Membership

  • Attend an Orientation for Newcomers. Orientations are informal opportunities to learn a little about Unitarian Universalism and our church. They are typically held after worship on Sundays in the sanctuary.
  • Attend Embracing the Journeys. This three part series led by our lay leaders and ministers explores our personal religious paths, the sources of UU living traditions, the history of the faith, and the hope it holds for the future. These classes are held periodically throughout the program year. Check our announcement page or the order of service for details.
  • Attend a Circle Supper. These suppers are held on Saturday nights every other month and are hosted in the home of a church member. Sign up during hospitality hour or contact office@uuoakland.org for more information.
  • Speak with someone from our Membership Team to learn more about the meaning and expectations of membership.
  • Spend some time reflecting within yourself about what it will mean to you to commit to being a member of this church. How will you want to help make the mission and goals of this institution real? Does the First Unitarian Church of Oakland feel like your spiritual home? How might you want to invest your own gifts of time, talent and treasure to support our mission?

How to Join

  • Sign the membership book. It is available most Sundays to sign. Your signature must be witnessed by someone from the Membership Team, clergy or staff member.
  • Participate in a formal welcoming Ingathering Ceremony. Ingatherings are a part of the services three times a year. There are special words of welcome and a covenanting with the congregation. New members receive a chalice pin and their “member” nametag. Members and their guests are invited to a special luncheon in their honor following the service.
  • As a member of the church you have the right to vote at all congregational meetings and elections. And, if you wish, can be nominated and elected to serve on any standing committee. Only members are counted by our denomination in its annual survey. Non-members are welcome to participate in many areas of church life but membership allows us to “stand and be counted” as a liberal religious body so that we may have more influence in making real the values and vision we have for ourselves and the world around us.