Would You Like to Serve on Westside’s New Music Council? – Jade Lowry

As Scott Farrell steps into his role as our Music Director, we want to offer him strong supports to create a path of success for this next phase of Westside’s music ministry. As with our DRE and our Religious Exploration program, he will have the supportive supervision of our minister. He will benefit from the professional development, resources, and mentoring offered through the Association of Unitarian Universalist Music Ministries. He collaborates with local UU music director colleagues. And we are re-establishing a music council, that Scott and our Chorale are calling our “Music Worship Support Team!”

Scott, the board, our Nominating Committee (Amy Hance-Brancati, Don Wahl, and Mia Shaughnessy) and Rev. Deanna are working together to form this team, with input from Westside’s musicians. The purpose of this team, as with our active RE Council, is to support our music director with guidance and input that will be part of shaping the evolution of our music ministry. Once identified, the team will engage in a formation period to covenant with each other and Scott; to update Westside’s music ministry mission and vision; and to update the structure and operating procedures of the team.

Specific functions of this team will include:

  • Formation to be a high functioning team, and creation of a right relations covenant for the team and music program.
  • Collaborative planning for the elements of our music program, including mission and vision.
  • Communications with the congregation and with other program areas and committees, both sharing information out, and inviting input and feedback in.
  • Sharing in problem solving and use of the Equity Decision Making Tool for decision making necessary to maintain a healthy and thriving music ministry.
  • Supporting right relations processes among those involved in the music program, and between musicians and the larger congregation.
  • Coordinating Westside music events, calendars, and outreach with the music director.
  • Supporting the music director with tasks outside of the director’s job description or time capacity.
  • Managing a Music Worship Support Team budget, and supporting the music director in discerning and advocating for the funds needed for the music ministry.

Envisioned structure of the team:

  • We are inviting at least seven team members to commit to serving for the remainder of this 2019-2020 church year, and through the 2020-2021 church year.
  • The team will represent diverse musical interests (choral and instrumental, music from various genres, and possibly one youth), and diverse interests of the congregation.
  • The minister and possibly another representative from the Worship Planning Team will be members of the team.
  • At least one team member will be a congregational advocate who is not participating in the music program.
  • There will be a chair (or co-chairs) who will coordinate team meetings and activities, will participate in our Leadership Assembly, and will work closely with the music director.
  • The team will likely meet monthly, though that will be determined together with Scott.
  • The team will have a board liaison who will determine their engagement level with the team.


The discernment group listed above (Scott, the board, our Nominating Committee–Amy Hance-Brancati, Don Wahl, and Mia Shaughnessy–and Rev. Deanna) are looking for a team that represents the congregation in important ways (also described above). They will invite some members to consider this opportunity. We are also inviting all who are interested in being part of this team, to please self-nominate by sending an email message to the Nominating Committee at nomcom@wsuu.org.

All input is welcome, for the benefit of our music ministry and everyone who is part of it! Please share any input by writing or talking with the board (board@wsuu.org), Rev. Deanna (minister@wsuu.org), and/or Scott Farrell (music@wsuu.org).

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