What is in a Name? Cynthia Westby, Dir. of RE for Children and Youth

What is in a name? Great question! I just read a wonderfully provocative book by Rabbi David A. Cooper’s book “God is a Verb: Kabbalah and the practice of mystical Judaism.” His suggestion? That we begin to think of all beings as verbs rather than nouns. So, you would see your child and see “Carol-ing” rather than “Carol,” for instance. This way of naming with verbs captured my imagination and I worked with this as a spiritual practice over the past few weeks. Language and naming are important. They affect how we experience ourselves and other living beings. Consider this

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We’re In This Together: Springing Forward – A message from Patti McCall, Board President

Good grief! It’s that time again. This past weekend we were reminded to Spring Forward – moving our clocks ahead by an hour. I love it that the days are getting longer and the many reminders that spring is just about upon us. But I hate moving my clock ahead and losing that hour. Time is so precious and every year I resent losing those 60 minutes. Yes, I know I should feel like I get it back in the fall, but I don’t. So, what does this have to do with a message from the Westside Board President. What

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Minister’s Musings Among the Mountains – Rev. Alex Holt Week of March 2

“May you live in interesting times.” I wonder if people remember this phrase above? ‘May you live in interesting times’ is an oft-spoken term that is alleged to be a proverb from ancient China. It certainly sounds wise and appropriately cryptic. It can be meant in many ways and often said as a warning of trouble and danger ahead. Unfortunately, it is neither Asian or ancient. The history of the term takes it no further back than about 1939. Robert Kennedy used a version of the expression when he gave a speech in 1966: “There is a Chinese curse which

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What is Interfaith? – Cynthia Westby, Dir. of Religious Exploration for Children and Youth

Interfaith ministry is a hot topic these days in UU circles.  Starr King Seminary’s relationship with the Interfaith Chaplaincy Institute and support of double divinity degrees in UU and Interfaith is a powerful example of this keen gravitation to Interfaith.  Knowing I am going to be ordained as an Interfaith Minister many people have asked me what Interfaith means.  Great question!  It is a question each person who is drawn to Interfaith ministry or work will answer differently.  I wanted to give you my current answer, knowing that my understanding is in process and evolving just as all our understandings

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We’re In This Together: As Promised, an Update

A Message from Patti McCall, WSUU Board President There continues to be discussion about Sunday services, the Worship Council and the Board so, as promised in our effort to be transparent, I wanted to bring you up to date on what your Board has been working on.  At the end of this letter, you will find four links:  one to the Mid-Year Report I offered on January 28th; one to the video from our Regional Transitions Coach, Rev. Nancy Bowen; a link to the Letter of Affirmation to the congregation from your Board; and one titled Norms for Sunday Service

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Mid-year Report from the WSUU Board of Trustees

The following is a transcript of the Mid-Year Report delivered by Board President, Patti McCall on Sunday, January 28. Good afternoon.  I don’t think I see any unfamiliar faces, but just in case, I am Patti McCall and I am the current President of the Board of Trustees at Westside.  We are just about halfway through our church year and, as the representative for the entire Board, I’d like to share what we’ve been working on since July 1st 2017 and what we will continue to work on through June 30th of this year. Our plan for this meeting is

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To be Called: What does #MeToo mean to us? Margo Rinehart, Ministerial Intern

This coming Sunday Reverend Alex Holt and I will be sharing the pulpit, preaching about #MeToo.     In preparation for sermon writing, I interviewed many men and women on this topic.   I also put aside four hours to sit and surf the web for responses to #MeToo.    What started as a concern for women, children and men who have experienced sexual harassment and sexual assault, quickly became a macabre tour into the Twilight Zone of why is it so difficult for our society to wrap their minds around this. What is at the heart of almost all of the #MeToo stories

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Minister’s Musings Among the Mountains – The Nine Contemplations

Greetings, good people of Westside UU and beyond I was in Tampa, Florida last week for a UUMA conference held every three years. Generally, it was great. The clergy worship services were energetic and entirely not what I am used to. They made my stout New Englander heart a bit less armored, but they were very new to me. They were very powerful. They (along with our normal services) are part of the future. The worship presenters knew this and talked about how important our traditional and known expectations services were as well. In other news, people complained how cold

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Religious Exploration – Cynthia Westby, Director of Religious Exploration Column for January

The world is made of stories.  We are all storytellers.  Every day we tell stories – to our friends, families and co-workers.  We share our experiences and whether we are aware of it or not, we share what we have made of these experiences in that moment.  Telling our stories we end up reflecting on and exploring what is meaningful to us.  Stories are powerful. They can teach.  They can inspire us – possibly to act. Each Sunday, near the beginning of our service a storyteller offers a story relating to the theme of the sermon and service that day

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