Exploring Membership

We look forward to getting to know you and personally welcoming you to our Society. We are an intentionally inclusive and intergenerational ethics-centered community that welcomes people of every race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religious or cultural background. We hold that ethical living is life’s central concern. We understand that personal growth and social justice are part of the ethical life, and that deeper ethical development comes through interacting with others in community.

With the recent membership meeting decision to put the Society’s activities on pause, the Board of Directors has decided not to accept new membership applications until further notice.

Ethical Community

Why Join?

Ethical Societies are microcosm in which we learn and practice the skills of bringing out the unique human worth of ourselves and others. You’ll become part of a diverse group of unique and like-hearted people, clarify your personal philosophy of life, support others and accept support during all the stages of life, and celebrate what it means to be alive.  You’ll also help this community grow and extend into the future for others to find.

Member Benefits

Members experience a culture that helps us to live and expand our ethical values.   You’ll meet and socialize with a diverse group of unique like-hearted people, clarify your personal ideas, and support others and accept support through life’s challenges and joys. You’ll also be part of the democratic decision-making of the Society, from electing board members, participating in committees, voting at member meetings, amending by-laws and the constitution. You’ll receive information about the Society’s activities and those of our national federation, the American Ethical Union.


Society Finances

How Does the Society Sustain Itself?

We are a self-sustaining organization. We are supported by the time, energy, creativity and financial pledges and contributions of our members and friends.  We also rely on past contributions and income-generating activities held in our building to fund current activities.


What Are Our Costs?

Costs include staff salaries and wages, expenses to support programming, and the operation and maintenance of our building.

Through our weekly “share the collection” we also contribute to the wider community.

We share in supporting the American Ethical Union, the national network of Ethical Societies, to promote the growth of Ethical Culture and to provide networking, skill-building, knowledge-exchange and other support for Societies such as ours.


Member Responsibilities

The energy and resources of this community are what members, past and present, have contributed and continue to contribute.

Participation: Members participate actively in the life of the Society. We hope that every member will attend platforms as their lives permit, and attend some of the other social and educational events that are part of Society life.
Democratic decision-making: Members participate as often as they are able in our semi-annual Member Meetings. At Member Meetings we vote on Board members, our annual budget, major proposals, and any changes to our by-laws or constitution. Board members meet at least monthly to make decisions to help move the Society in the direction of its vision and goals.
Volunteer teams, board, specific volunteer tasks: while we have staff at RYSEC for many functions, we cannot sustain our Society without volunteers. Most volunteers start small, with something time-limited. Members, in some years, contribute more time and energy some years in helping the Society operate successful programs and self-govern.
Financial Support: The Society is ultimately funded by generous contributions of members, past and present, within the means of each.

What Does It Cost to Join?

All members make an annual financial pledge within their means, to support the Society’s costs including programming and outreach.  Contributions are generally tax deductible.

Member pledges and other gifts support the programs, facilities, and staff of the Society, and help the Society move towards sustainability.
You can elect to contribute in one annual lump sum or to pay it in quarterly, monthly, or weekly installments. The Society will send you statements for tax purposes. If your circumstances change, you can notify the office of a decrease or increase in your pledge.
You can elect to contribute in one annual lump sum or to pay it in quarterly, monthly, or weekly installments. The Society will send you statements for tax purposes. If your circumstances change, you can notify the office of a decrease or increase in your pledge.

How to Join

Who Can Join?

Recognizing that diversity with equity and inclusion makes for a rich tapestry, we welcome as members anyone who is at least 15 years of age, who values human worth and connection, is open to growth and respectful relationships, and is willing to become an active, contributing member of our community.


How Do I Join?

If you’ve visited on a few Sundays, and feel like you know the Society’s values, direction, and community well enough, then complete an application form.  You’ll find an online version of the form a click away from this page.

If you prefer a paper copy, you can contact our outreach Director and have one mailed to you. Mail it to the office when it’s complete.

When we are meeting in person, you can give a paper application to the Outreach Director  or to the Leader.

Feel free to make an appointment to talk with our Leader if you have any questions about the Society.

The Board formally votes to admit any new members at its monthly board meeting, after which you will receive a welcome letter from the Society.  We’ll formally welcome you at the next Member Meeting, and informally at a Sunday platform meeting soon after you’ve joined.

Next Steps:

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