Gaia Community is a spiritual home to many different kinds of people, and some of those folks have gone the extra mile in their commitment to Gaia to become Members of the community. You don’t have to be a Member to come to our rituals or classes, to join our mailing list, or to participate in most of our regular activities. In fact, many people participate at Gaia Community for a long time without becoming Members. This is fine – the more the merrier! But what is membership about? What do you have to do? How does it benefit you?
Why have membership at all?
Well, for one thing, we’re a Unitarian Universalist congregation. In order to maintain this affiliation with the UUA, we need to keep track of how many people consider this “their church.” There are some other legal reasons… like keeping our church status as recognized by the government and such. But it also helps us know who, of the people who come to Gaia, are the folks willing to dedicate time, effort, and support to our community. It helps us know who cares deeply about Gaia Community’s continued existence and prosperity. There are other ways to help, of course, and many people do – but without financial support from our Members, we cannot pay the rent, the bills, the teachers… all those horribly mundane details that we each deal with in our non-Gaian lives as well.
If you are a Full Active Member of Gaia Community, you receive:
- full decision-making privileges at Rituals for Business, including voting in elections and participating in the consensus process;
- the option to join a Ritual Team (if you’ve taken the Excellence in Ritual class);
- a subscription to the UU World magazine;
- access to the Virtual Lending Library.
The guidelines for membership were established by the membership committee. They are:
- to take the new member class to learn an overview of the history of the UUA and Gaia Community and how we function as a community. (education is good, ignorance is bad);
- to sign the membership book indicating you are in accordance with our Mission Covenant statement and the Seven UUA Principles.
- to fill out a pledge card for each fiscal year, pledging at least the minimum amount required to cover the aforementioned benefits package;
- to keep up-to date on that pledge, or at least cover our costs for the benefit package.
At this time the minimum pledge works out to $10/month. Those who donate more are able to help defray the costs of rent, paying our KidSpace teachers and childcare providers, and other expenses of the community. We appreciate all that is given, whether it is pledged donations, loose bills and change (called “Greening the Basket”), or donations from Friends of Gaia and former Members who live at a distance but wish to support our growing community. All funds collected in excess of expenses for a given year go to our Home Fund, which supports maintenance and upgrades to our current shared space.