Our Plan for Summer Pastoral Care

A Plan for Summer Pastoral Care

The Westside UU Congregation’s Board of Trustees has contracted on a temporary basis with Rev. Kari Kopnick to serve as an on-call congregational pastoral care chaplain through the summer as we plan for the 2022-2023 church year and beyond. This care is appropriate for those who have lost a loved one or experienced a medical or other crisis. The WSUU Congregational Pastoral Care Chaplain is available to hold confidential, pastoral counseling and spiritual presence for WSUU members. She can also officiate weddings or memorial services. You can reach Rev. Kari at kari@wsuu.org (or whatever address we designate)

Why was this decision made by the Board? The Board feels that it is important to have a pastoral care resource for our congregation, particularly in case of any crises that may arise. By hiring Kari for a small number of hours for three months, we are allowing space for more inclusive planning for our future, including discernment regarding how to meet our ministerial needs. Because our resources are limited, Kari will be available for pastoral support but will not be able to meet practical needs such as meals or rides. Our congregation will have to rebuild this capability to support each other over time and with volunteer leadership.

An letter of Introduction from Rev. Kari Kopnick

Rev. Kari Kopnick

I am honored to be serving the good people of Westside this summer, tending to the pastoral needs that may arise.
I was ordained by The Chaplaincy Institute (ChI) community in June of 2020 and since November of 2020, I have served as their Community Minister. In that role, I oversee the ministerial formation of our candidates for ordination, plan and officiate the ordination ceremonies, and tend to the professional standing of our ordained clergy. ChI’s ordination or ecclesiastical endorsement is recognized by the US Military, the Veteran’s Administration, the Association of Professional Chaplains, and the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education. It’s a big responsibility and I love it. I work about 30 hours a week for ChI with an intentional slow- down during our summer months.

Prior to my ordination, I completed a Clinical Pastoral Education internship at St. Joseph Hospital in Tacoma, a level two trauma center. I’m also a trained disaster chaplain and have a Spiritual Direction Certificate with an active spiritual direction practice. I share my professional chaplain and spiritual care experience to let you know that I am a trained, experienced chaplain and I am well prepared for whatever might come our way while I am with you.

I’m also well-grounded in Unitarian Universalism. I have been a UU since childhood and I have served as a Director of Religious Exploration here at WSUU, as a Learning Fellow at the UU Church of the Larger Fellowship, as the Director of Membership for the UU Liberal Religious Educators Association, and as the Coordinator of Community Life at Olympia UU. My husband Nic and I have three young adult sons with three beloved partners who we adore. We are originally from Minnesota and while I miss steamy midwestern summer thunderstorms, we call the PNW our forever home.

I will serve in a limited way while I am at WSUU, but I want you to really hear me when I say that I am here if you need me.
With love and blessings,

A video version of Rev. Kari’s welcome letter

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