Becoming a Member
Joining our congregation doesn’t involve assent to any dogma, but rather signifies a commitment to relate to others in a spirit of respect, mutual support, and shared responsibility. Thus membership in First Parish is not defined by a creed, but rather by a “covenant,” an old New England term for a voluntary agreement about how we wish to order our lives together.
From a legal standpoint, signing our membership book entitles you to become a voting stakeholder in our community, one among equals. As a member, you may be elected to leadership roles (serving on our Board of Trustees, for example) and you have a voice in selecting whoever the congregation chooses to be its minister.
Members are expected to contribute their time, treasure and talent to sustain the congregation’s ministries and physical facilities. We are a volunteer organization with a small paid staff, so many of the good things that happen at First Parish, from offering fine music on Sunday morning to providing teens with sexuality education and guidance in building healthy relationships, depend on member initiative.
Watch the newsletter for New Member Orientation sessions offered throughout the calendar year, and please contact our Minister, Marjorie Matty, if you would like to join First Parish.
We welcome you to make this your spiritual home.
From the by-laws
ARTICLE IV – MEMBERSHIP
A. First Parish affirms that it welcomes all persons and will not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, age, sexual orientation, faith, nationality, ethnicity, marital status or physical disability.
B. Any person may become a member who:
1) Is at least 15 years of age or has completed the Coming of Age program; and
2) Sympathizes with the spirit and purpose of First Parish and its programs; and
3) Recognizes his or her responsibility to contribute to the life of First Parish through service and/or financial support; and
4) Signs the Membership Book.
C. A member is eligible to vote thirty (30) days after signing the Membership Book.
D. Membership shall cease upon receipt by the Membership Committee of notice of resignation or notification of death.
E. Any member who has not participated in First Parish’s activities or made financial or service contributions within two (2) years shall be contacted by the Membership Committee for an expression of interest in remaining a member. If, when contacted, the person indicates a desire to remain a member, membership in First Parish shall be continued. In the absence of a clear affirmative response, the Membership Committee, with the consent of the Board of Trustees, shall consider that the person has resigned membership although he or she may remain a friend.
F. The Membership Committee shall maintain the Membership Book, noting against each signature the date of membership commencement and cessation of membership by resignation or death.