South Church visitors and friends may join in most aspects of congregational life—from attendance at Sunday services, participation in our classes and events, volunteering to support congregational programs, and contributing financially to the church. Still, membership represents a special relationship to South Church.
Above all, it means that you commit formally to helping South Church live out its mission:
To nurture spiritual growth through worship, learning and community;
Celebrate the worth and dignity of all people;
And inspire one another to act on our faith in the larger community.
South Church is always glad to welcome new members. Joining our community is an expression of trust, respect and commitment that expands the sum of our parts into a more vibrant and powerful whole.
Our church holds no set creed on which everyone agrees. We hold a wide range of religious beliefs and spiritual practices, and we affirm by joining that we will be generous with one another in our varied understandings of spiritual life. We commit to showing compassion for ourselves, one another, and the world.
Members have a few special privileges, including the right to vote on annual budgets, the settlement of new ministers, and changes to our mission or bylaws. In addition, some leadership positions are only open to members. That said, the most palpable benefit of membership is the sense of belonging and shared commitment that members enjoy.
There are expectations of membership as well. We expect members to be present, to show up at Sunday services, congregational meetings and events. We expect members to grow spiritually, to examine their lives and their place in the larger world and to share their insights with others. We expect members to give of themselves in service to both the church and the larger community. And we expect that members will participate in the stewardship process by supporting the church with an annual pledge.
The words of Starhawk, which we share at every new member joining express our joy and hopes for membership at South Church:
“We are all longing to go home to some place we have never seen—a place half-remembered and half-envisioned [that] we can only catch glimpses of from time to time. Somewhere, there are people to whom we can speak with passion without having the words catch in our throats. Somewhere a circle of hands will open to receive us, eyes will light up as we enter, voices will celebrate with us whenever we come into our power. Community means strength that joins our strength to do the work that needs to be done. Arms to hold us when we falter, a circle of healing, a circle of friends, someplace we can be free.”
We hope that you will be inspired to join our warm and vibrant community. If you would like to learn more about membership at South Church, please contact one of our ministers, the Rev. Chris Holton Jablonski at firstname.lastname@example.org or the Rev. Lauren Smith at email@example.com.