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Ceremonies: “Welcoming New Members, Including Children

By Rev. Sarah C. Stewart, minister at the Starr King UU Fellowship in Plymouth, NH.

President: We at ______ welcome you as new members of our community this morning. You have come to worship, play, work and grow among us. Ours is a free fellowship; we have no creeds and you are free to bring your ideas and beliefs to this fellowship to share with others. I invite you to join with us in the religious search for meaning and purpose in life, informed by our individual beliefs and the traditions of Unitarian Universalism.

Minister: You have already signed our membership book. This morning, I invite you to celebrate that commitment in worship. In this gathering, we lift up our voices in shared song, we bring ourselves before the holy in silence and in speech, we search together for meaning and truth in life, and we share the joys and sorrows of our lives with one another. Joining ________ means being part of this gathered community, speaking out on the future of our congregation, offering and receiving the gifts of the spirit, supporting others and being supported in return. If you will join us in this mission and work, say “I will.”

New members: I will.

DRE: Some of our new members also bring their children into our community. I ask all the children of the fellowship to rise in body or spirit. Please continue to welcome _____________________into your fellowship of play, growth, learning and love. If you will do this, say loud and clear, “We will!”

Children: We will!

Minister: Will the members of the congregation please rise, and respond with the words printed in your orders of service?

Members: We receive you with open hands and hearts. As you join us, we once again renew our own commitment to this religious community. We are proud and happy to have you among us. Welcome! Welcome! Welcome!

Copyright: The author has given Unitarian Universalist Association member congregations permission to reprint this piece for use in public worship. Any reprints must acknowledge the name of the author.

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Last updated on Friday, May 24, 2013.

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