Dear Beloved Westside Community,
In this month of long hours of darkness, as I feel pulled to go inward with introspection and also outward to participate in holiday ceremonies and festivities, I’ve noticed how grateful I feel to be living in community.
Our community has an incredible generosity of spirit, and we have seen that through the past month as we received input from over 70 of you, sharing your experiences with our bridge and music ministries. We are committed to opening pathways for all voices in our community to be heard and honored, and for all voices to have influence. We are also committed to growing our transparency, to acting on what needs attention, and to welcoming our differences in experience. We are naming this to invite accountability and support, as these are messy processes.
We received a wide spectrum of input regarding our bridge and music ministries, which we compiled and shared in summary with Rev. Deanna Vandiver, our bridge minister, and Scott Farrell, our Acting Music Director. The board and Transition Working Group are clear that we are continuing our relationships with these two religious professionals who are serving us with great care during this time, and we are continuing to navigate those details now. At this time the Board will offer Rev. Deanna a 60% bridge minister employment contract beginning January 1st to ensure congregational continuity for worship, pastoral care, and staff support before Rev. Christopher Wulff (our called minister) arrives.
Our Acting Music Director contract concludes at the end of January, and we will share next steps with that in the coming weeks. As we honor all experiences in our music ministry–-current experiences and those that have been painful in our past–-the Board is seeking to allow the space and breathing room for important right relationship work to grow. We are honoring and holding in love the deep investment Scott Farrell has been making in his relationship with our community. We are equally honoring and holding in love the depth of emotion and vulnerability that congregants have shared around their experiences with our music ministry. This healing work is important, and the board is choosing to make space for it.
We are grateful for everyone’s involvement and concern, and all questions or other inputs are welcomed. Please visit with us at our board and Transition Working Group table any Sunday during coffee hour, and/or be in touch (firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com).
Holiday blessings to all!