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Annual Membership Review

by Dirk Foster
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The Zion constitution states:

The Congregation Council shall provide for an annual review of the membership roster.

Well…. To tell you the truth, we haven’t been very good at doing this in the past, but we are working on changing that. Most churches aren’t very good at keeping their membership rosters updated, but a small group of Zion council members, along with Angela our Membership Coordinator, have been meeting regularly to create a process that fulfills this requirement. So far, we have identified activities that define membership such as communing, contributing financially, and connecting to Zion in some manner. We have also outlined the process for how we are going to review our roster annually.

Periodically, Zion sends out emails or physical mailings to all our members. And we always get a few rejects that are undeliverable because the address changed, and we didn’t get notified. However, it takes time to follow up with these individuals and get the correct email or physical address in the database. We are looking for someone that would like to volunteer to follow up and try and get accurate contact information when this happens. This is a great opportunity to reach out to members of the congregation you might not know and to visit with them, and to keep our information as accurate as possible.

Another way we will keep our membership roster accurate is to reach out to all members annually to ask that they update us with phone numbers, email addresses, and physical addresses. Following Easter, every spring, we will send out a mailing and also an email asking members to provide any updates that may have occurred. This would also include information about their children that may now be of adult age and should no longer be listed under their parent.

Ensuring our roster of voting members is accurate is also very important. Our congregational annual meeting is usually the second Sunday in December and to be considered a voting member, an individual must have communed AND contributed financially in the current or previous calendar year. For example, if the last time you communed AND contributed financially to Zion (as recorded in the database) was 2019, you would not be eligible to speak or vote at the December 2021 annual meeting. So, starting about this time every year, we will reach out to those individuals we do not have a record of communing and contributing financially to inform them and to invite them to commune and contribute before the annual meeting.

Finally, the bylaws of the constitution list criteria for members to be removed from the roster. One criterion states a confirmed member shall be removed if they have not:
communed, contributed as a volunteer, or contributed financially for two years.

The working group is proposing this statement be changed to “in the current or previous calendar year.”  The goal is not to remove members from the roster, but to inform them of their situation and encourage them to become more active at Zion.  This would be done every year at the same time the voting members are being updated.  If a member does not meet the activities of communing, contributing, or connecting to Zion in the current or previous year, additional attempts will be made to reach them, and then their name will be presented to the council and the council will vote to remove the name from the roster.

We will start updating and maintaining our membership rosters this year.  Annual update requests will start rolling out to members in the near future.  As always, you can update your information anytime by contacting Angela in the church office.

Dirk

Dirk Foster

Dirk and Sue Foster have been members of Zion since moving to Buffalo in 1992.  Dirk has served on various…

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