Members & Friends
As we emerge from the Covid Pandemic, we are learning how vitally important relationships are in our faith community. We missed being together in worship, in fellowship, in board and committee meetings and in all the events we so love to do.
But we also learned there are new ways to be in relationship with each other which are just as meaningful. We receive six new members this past June and one of them was our first ever “virtual” member! She lives out of state but feels a connection to our church she has unable to find anywhere else. It also allows her additional opportunities to connect with her own family members here who are already members. As a virtual member, she is free to participate in the life of the church as fully as she would like, including serving on boards or committees. She’s even experienced with attending events such as the New Members Brunch when she joined us via FaceTime!
God is indeed doing a new thing!
Church membership is open to all. You may join the church by baptism if you have never been baptized before, by affirmation of baptism or by letter of transfer from a previous church where you held membership.
Why become a member? Ultimately that’s a question for you to answer! Membership in the UCC Westerly church is, in the final analysis, about making a commitment to yourself to grow in your relationship with God and with Jesus by your active participation in our faith community. Does one have to join to participate fully? Not really, although there are some board and officer positions in the church which only members can hold. And, only members can vote in Congregational meetings. So, if you want to have a say in the way the church functions, being a member is the best way
What Does It Mean That We Are A “congregational” Church?
Congregational churches function as separate, autonomous churches. Even though we are part of the denomination of the United Church of Christ, we do that in covenant – by promising to work together as God’s people adhering to a particular statement of faith. We do not have a church hierarchy which can dictate to us what to do or how to think on any particular issue. Rather, that is arrived at by consensus at the local church level.
“No one can do everything, but everyone can do something.”
An important part of membership, and of friendship, with our church is stewardship. That is the sharing of your time, talent and treasure with the church.
You give of your time as you come to worship, attend events and participate in boards, committees or groups the church offers.
You give of your talents as you share your skills and interests with others in the church by working on common events and projects such as the Christmas Bazaar, the Art Show and so on.
You give of your treasure as you support the church financially to the extent you choose and are able to sustain. This includes annual pledging to allow our Trustees to budget adequately year to year, as well as special gifts and offerings as projects and needs may come up from time to time.