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Assistant Minister's Column

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    We have five expectations of membership at the Unitarian Church of Baton Rouge. These are different from requirements. The only requirement of membership is that one fills out a card declaring sympathy with purpose of this church and is welcomed by a majority of the board. The expectations are much more extensive and map out a path to right engagement with Unitarian Universalism. Here are those 5 expectations.


    Worship Together. We expect that you are here with us. We gather together to give thanks for this world, to grieve loss and support each other. Worshipping together means being a part of that supportive community. It also means sharing your experiences and ways of understanding the great mysteries of life and God with us.


    Be Generous. Nothing in this church exists without the generosity of our membership. Every chair, hymnal, and shingle on the roof came from the gifts of a member or friend. Because this is not a top-down church, there is no higher denominational entity giving money to the church. Rather, we give a percentage of our budget to other Unitarian Universalist churches and non-profits that are doing good work that is inline with our values. Generosity is not about a number. It is not about an amount, or a quantity of time given (giving of your talents is a form of generosity). No one but you and your family will know what is the “right” amount to give. We are only as strong as you are generous. The more of your time, talent and treasures you give, the farther this salvific message can reach.


    Be in Covenant. We expect that you will be with us and stay engaged. This is a promise that you will not pack up and leave as soon as being together gets difficult, or life becomes complicated. Church is the opportunity to practice building the world we dream of. This means being engaged in a loving way come hell or high water. It means letting us know when things are tough so that we can be with you.


    Make the World a Better Place. We expect that you will make yourself a blessing to the world. This could be through advocacy and community organizing like our work with Together Baton Rouge. It could be through community service like signing up to go with church members and serve food at St. Vincent DePaul’s.


    Be open to transformation. This does not mean that we expect that you will be transformed by this church. We have no power over that. Rather, we expect that you are open to the ways this church and life will transform you, and know that you aren’t in it alone.


    As I said in the beginning, none of these are requirements. Instead, we see these as ways of being that build a stronger and healthier church. Through these expectations, we build a strong and holier world.