Leaning Into Community Vibrancy

Thanks, all, for offering me such a warm welcome back this past Sunday. I continue to feel cared for by this congregation. Your warmth and enthusiasm give me so much hope for this community, and the possibilities for welcoming in newcomers of all kinds – not just new ministers.

Luckily, we’ll get a chance to do just that, quite soon. Our annual Ingathering Service, on September 10, will be a chance to re-gather as a community for the new church year. A celebration of this community, I encourage you to come, even if you haven’t been in a while. Or, maybe you’ve got a friend or neighbor who has always been curious about Westside UU and wants to learn more; this is the Sunday to bring them!

On Saturday, the Board of Trustees had its annual retreat, where we collaboratively set priorities for the Board’s work this coming year. There was one theme that we felt unified around, and that is Community Vibrancy.

We are hoping to cultivate and grow this congregation in a direction of community vibrancy. This can manifest in many ways. We have some ideas to get us started, but we need your imagination and effort too! Think of diverse programming fitting different needs and interests every Sunday, more time for fun, fellowship, shared learning, and caring for one another. We envision more engagement in the wider West Seattle community, and a culture that is so good at welcoming that newcomers can seamlessly build relationships and find their place among us. You can read more in the Board’s Westside Week post about the things we want to do to get there. But it starts with Ingathering, a multi-generational service and post-service festival that celebrates what we can become when we come together.

And, as we prepare for the upcoming church year, I have an invitation. Our Worship Team has put together monthly worship themes that we will be using throughout the year. They can point us to topics that are close to our heart, and help us grapple with the spiritual questions of our lives. And yet, they are broad enough to be taken in many directions, to apply to many settings. In your committees, covenant groups, other activities in our community, and personal spiritual practices, please feel welcome to use these themes to the extent that they are helpful.

September Transformation

October Relationship

November Ancestors

December Hope

January   Purpose

February Promise


April   Compassion

May Joy

June Growth

Some final reminders about Ingathering:

  • Please bring small containers of water for our Water Communion, and stones to give to our new ritual collection.
  • If you are part of a committee, team, or group of any kind at this congregation who would like to host a table in our Community Faire, please be in touch with Jill Jackson. (jill.mobile@hotmail.com)
  • Bring a sweet treat for the revival of the Westside Dessert Contest after the service.

Please reach out to me if you have any questions.

In faith and hope,

Rev. Carter


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