A Statement on Palestine

From WSUU Minister, Board of Trustees and Racial Justice Change Team Dear members of the Westside UU Community, As world leaders negotiate for a ceasefire deal between Hamas and the Israeli government, we wanted to send this note of care to you all. Over the past 8 months, we citizens of the world have witnessed unprecedented levels of violence and destruction: the brutal attack that killed over 1,000 people in Israel on October 7, and the more than 36,000 people killed in Palestine since. The numbers are staggering. These statistics, along with personal stories and images from this war, haunt

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Board Reflection for November 2023

THE JOY OF CONNECTING IN COMMUNITY Board Reflection from Lisa Maynard This fall I attended Pam Orbach’s nonviolent communication course with some WSUU members and others not connected with the congregation. At the final meeting we went around the zoom room naming needs that had been met by our participation in the class. Many people mentioned that their need for ‘community’ had been met, and I was struck that people from WSUU named other needs instead, such as ‘learning’ or ‘growth.’ It made me think that involvement in the congregation meets a need for community that is hard to meet

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A Personal Reflection from Your Out-going VP

Dear Westside Congregation, Serving as the vice president of the board of trustees at Westside UUfor the past two years has been a very fulfilling experience. I don’thave to tell you that there were ups and downs, but there was neverany doubt that what the board was working towards together wasmeaningful. Working with the dedicated staff members and the manyvolunteers from Worship to RE, from Music to Facilities, was veryinspiring. One of the greatest benefits of serving on the board of trustees isthe opportunity to work with a diverse group of individuals towards acommon goal. We came from different backgrounds

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Investing in our Spiritual Home

The Westside UU Congregation has been through some hard times over the past few years. The pandemic, being without a fully-present minister, and the difficult conversations associated with the 8th principle have tested us. Inability to gather together frequently as a community has led to isolation for many, serious misunderstandings, and limited capacity to address all of the needs of our members. Our children and youth, along with many adults, have filled their Sunday mornings with other pursuits. We are not alone in needing to rebuild our congregation. Churches in the US have lost an average of 36% of in-person worship

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Westside Welcomes Carter Smith, Our New Contract Minister

The Board and the Search Committee are extremely pleased to introduce Carter Smith (she, her pronouns) as our half time contract minister beginning March 1. Carter has been granted Preliminary Fellowship by the UUA and will be ordained by her home congregation in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, in May. At that time, she will formally take on the title of Reverend. We were impressed with Carter’s integrity, her curiosity about all things WSUU, her ability to problem solve, to connect with people of all ages and backgrounds, her love of Unitarian Universalism,  her actions that demonstrate a real commitment to

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Board Update August 2022

Dear Westside Community, As the fall approaches, your Board of Trustees is hopeful and excited about what is coming for Westside. We had the opportunity to come together for a retreat on Saturday, July 30, and set priorities for the coming year.  We will soon have an action plan available, but here is a preview: This year, our overarching principles guiding our work are equity, joy, and service.  Our priority areas of focus are community building (including right relations and racial justice work), selection of a part-time contract minister, and sustainable operations. We will also continue our ongoing commitments to

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Board Update 3.11.22

Beloved Community, As promised in our discussions this weekend, the Board would like to provide more context around the mutual agreement of Rev. Christopher’s transition out of his ministry with Westside UU. We will focus on the Board of Trustees ministerial supervision process in this communication.  In the fall, the Board designated Laura Pierce and Marco Deppe as leads to work regularly with Rev. Christopher in a supervisory capacity with the goal of nurturing the health of our congregation, building collaboration, supporting effective leadership, responding to issues or concerns together and mutual respect of open communication. Supervision of our minister

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Congregational Survey on the Proposal for an 8th Principle

The WSUU Board strongly encourages each of you to engage in the upcoming opportunities within our congregation to learn about and reflect on the proposed 8th Principle of Unitarian Universalism addressing racism and other oppressions. This work began in September, when Westside’s Racial Justice Change Team (RJCT) worked with Rev. Christopher to organize a workshop entitled “Building a Culture of Inclusion,” led by PaulaCole Jones, a lifelong UU and leader in advancing the proposed 8th Principle. As part of the workshop, participants broke into small groups to discuss the relationship of the 8th Principle to the current Seven Principles of

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Board Update for November 2021

Hello friends. You read the subject correctly – although it is now early December, I (Kristina) am writing to provide a November update from the WSUU Board of Trustees. This is often a busy time of year even in normal circumstances; so much has been happening that this month we thought the most sensible thing to communicate would be a summary of the various things we’ve been working on the past few months. Because I am a librarian and I can’t pass up a chance to share resources, I will take this opportunity to remind everyone (or let you know if you didn’t

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Evaluation of Rev. Christopher

Last month, we indicated that the board is working to establish a supervisory relationship with Rev. Christopher and will implement an annual performance review. Here is some more information about the process and how you can participate if you wish to provide input. Approach to Ministerial Supervision & Evaluation Since Rev. Christopher is in a period of preliminary fellowship, there is a process in place which requires annual evaluations to support Rev. Christopher’s ministry. The board is working with the Committee on Ministry to provide Rev. Christopher with feedback that will allow him to grow as a minister and better

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