The Meaning of Membership

What does it mean to be a Member of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock?

Becoming a member of a faith community is a meaningful step in one's life. When you decide to enter into membership, you are agreeing to nurture and support the vision and values that our shared community holds.
  • Members affirm and promote the 8 Unitarian Universalist Principles that we have adopted together as a congregation.
  • Members agree to be in covenant with each other, to work alongside each other in search of spiritual growth and to build a more just world.
  • Membership at Shelter Rock includes the commitment of being a part of our democratic process: members are able to vote on congregational matters and build grassroots initiatives.
  • Members both give of themselves to the congregation and also experience reciprocity of care through our caring programs, the friendships that have been built, and by having a space to truly belong.


  • Enjoy the satisfaction of being actively engaged in a religious community which ministers to personal needs and hopes while being sensitive to our place in the world;
  • Experience opportunities to develop relationships of depth and explore questions of ultimate concern;
  • Have a vote in congregational meetings that direct the congregation and help to shape its future;
  • Are eligible to serve as leadership of the congregation and on select committees;
  • Receive a subscription to the bi-monthly magazine UU World, and to publications from UUCSR;
  • Are entitled to child dedications, weddings, funerals, memorial services, and other rites.
  • Members of this congregation are enrolled as members of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) headquartered in Boston, the Central East Region of the UUA and the Long Island Area Council of Unitarian Universalist Congregations. Members are welcome to participate in conferences, retreats, summer institutes, leadership training, and other events offered each year.

How do I join?

You are invited to step onto the path of belonging and membership! To become a Shelter Rock Member, you must:

  • Attend 3 hours of Inquirers Sessions for Newcomers, one hour of which must be the "Membership at Shelter Rock" session
  • (If you are unable to attend Inquirers, you can reach out to set up a meeting with a minister)
  • Sign the Membership Book (online or onsite)
  • Make a pledge and payment of any amount to support the programs of the congregation. If you are unable to make a financial contribution, reach out to a minister at  to request a Waiver. 


  • Participate in Sunday worship and other events which provide a core of common experiences.
  • Learn and grow together in a community that is strengthened by understanding of: UU history and traditions; the pursuit of spirituality and a fulfilling spiritual life; lifespan religious education classes and faith development ministries and programs.
  • Enjoy right relationships. UU Principles and the UUCSR Mission statement affirm the inherent worth and dignity of every person. By developing healthy, interpersonal relationships that honor each person’s unique experience and beliefs. Respect and trust guide congregational and personal actions.
  • Share congregational ministry. Every person has individual gifts and a unique “calling” to serve the needs of the world. Every member is encouraged to discern their special gifts and find ways to share them.
  • Support UUCSR financially. All members make a financial pledge to the congregation every year to support programs and ministries of the Shelter Rock Congregation; Unitarian Universalist work locally, regionally and in the world. This congregation's denominational connections are with the Long Island Area Council of Unitarian Universalist Congregations, the Central East Regional Group of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), and national UUA, headquartered in Boston, MA.


A financial pledge to the program budget at UUCSR is required by our Bylaws to maintain membership privileges, unless you receive a ministerial waiver. We observe a fiscal year of July 1 - June 30, like many non-profits and faith communities. There is no minimum commitment, and nobody is denied membership due to financial hardship.

Annually, pledges and initial payments should be submitted within the congregational year in which we are in (ie: before July 1) but a grace period until December 31 is allowed. At least one payment must be made by December 31 or membership privileges lapse.  Voting membership can be re-instated with a pledge and payment, but requires 60 days following receipt of that payment for reinstatement to occur.


Membership in a Unitarian Universalist congregation is as much a becoming as an arrival.  Ours is a religion which allows for lifelong spiritual growth, for unending receptiveness to new insights and perceptions, for a realization that scientific knowledge need not be at odds with religion, and for affirmation of both the open mind and the caring heart.

Ours is a religious community which honors diversity, amid values in common.  People of all backgrounds and faiths are welcome.  We measure religious commitment not with creeds, but good deeds.