Welcome to the 2017-18 RE Year! -Cynthia Westby, DRE

The new RE year is upon us!!  Woohoo!  Several themes will run through this RE year: social justice, diversity, and inclusivity.  We are also working with an evolving reality for religious exploration, for both WSUU children and within the UU world.  Some of the evolutionary forces are discussed in a thought provoking article in the UUA Bulletin about the “Death of Sunday School and the Future of Faith Formation.” I don’t agree with everything in the article by any means but the article is an important contribution in a larger discussion about the ways religious exploration is evolving in UU

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Minister’s Musing Amoung the Mountains – Week of September 18

This week I am thinking with great sadness about Lewis Brancati and his family including the whole family of Westside UU Congregation. A life changes between one moment and the next and then we all must adapt to those new circumstances. It can happen to a 3-day old infant or someone who is 80. As we get older or become more aware of death and aging we may tend to obsess about it. I know I do. At one level, the progression of aging means we prepare documents ‘just in case’ we fall ill or suffer a sudden loss of

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Space Has Opened Up for Leavenworth Women’s Retreat – An Auction Item

We have an exciting opportunity coming up for October 20th to 23rd in Leavenworth. Some vacancies have opened for you to join us for this 3rd annual auction item and its a big fun event with five multi bed cabins this year to accommodate more ladies. It should be colorful there and a lot of fun with leaf changes and just a great place to be hiking, exploring and hanging out. There is game room, heated pool and hot tub as well. We will do pot luck some of this time, singing and have an abbreviated Sunday service if you

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Minister’s Musings Among the Mountains Week of Sept. 11

Where did summer go? We might say it went up in flames and smoke with all the wild fires in the Western states and provinces. We could probably say summer was lost in the winds and waters of two major hurricanes in two weeks. Both are true as well as tragic events all over the world. But that’s not all of summer this year. Summer was a time of vacations and time off from work if personal circumstances allowed it. Twilight over the Olympic mountains was later and so walks along the Sound could be joyous moments. Trees and plants

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Minister’s Musings Among the Mountains – Week of August 21

“Torches and Candles: A Short Reflection” Since last week’s events in Charlottesville, Virginia I have reflected on the basic difference between the use of candles and torches in American life. I watched the (small) parade of mostly young white males carrying torches on the first evening of what turned out to be a tragic weekend confrontation. Granted, these weren’t the robust flaming torches of old. Tiki torches simply don’t have the pizzazz of older flaming sticks of fire. That really didn’t matter. The sight of young men carrying torches and chanting slogans immediately caused me to have a visceral reaction.

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We’re All in This Together – “To Support One Another”

Your Board of Trustees will be meeting in just over a week for the annual Board Retreat deciding on our areas of focus and setting our goals for the coming year.  Then, once decided, determining how those goals will support our Mission Statement.  In case you’ve forgotten, our Mission Statement reads: To support one another, expand our minds, and build a more just world. In this letter, I’d like to talk about the first part of our statement,  “to support one another…”.  We are a vibrant, loving community and I am reminded of that before, during and after every Sunday service;

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Minister’s Musings Among the Mountains – Week of August 7

“You Will Speak When Spoken To…” Anyone remember words like that? Can we imagine making them into a spiritual practice? I’d not thought of those words in many years. I remember how I felt punished and voiceless – in childhood and teen years especially. Perhaps a few of you have experienced similar words and worse. Old memories like that tend to go underground. Skillful therapy, spiritual practices and prayer, relationships and work can all help those parts of our story be more at rest. Something happens to awaken those old words and humiliations. Then we have a choice to make.

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Minister’s Musings Among the Mountains – Week of August 1

“Goodness, it’s warm…” Many of you know that this summer I drove to the East Coast and back on a vacation road trip. It was somewhat eventful with a failing fuel pump and a decision to return quickly to be of assistance to Debra and the Zen community in Eugene, Oregon. The fuel pump was resolved efficiently thanks to the mechanic recommended by my grad school friends in Alexandria, Virginia. Support for Debra and the Zen sangha in Eugene was harder to do from afar but I got back just in time to be helpful with a tragedy in that

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We’re In This Together — “Transitions” A Message from Patti McCall, Board President

I have the honor to serve as your Board President for the next year along with a remarkably intelligent and competent group of six filling the remaining positions: Jill Jackson as Vice President; Allan Lang as Treasurer; David Cycleback as Secretary; and Judi Finney, Jean Mendel and Scott Iverson as Trustees At Large.  That is, there are four Board Members returning for a second year and only three new members; that is promising continuity in Westside’s leadership and something to consider in the future.  This new Board will be meeting at the end of August for a Retreat when we

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Minister’s Musings Among the Mountains – Week of June 26

Several of us from Westside UU Congregation just returned from the UUA General Assembly that happens every year in a different city. This year it was in New Orleans. A special thanks to Jill Fleming, Steve Burrows, John and Viveca Monahan, Cecelia Hayes and Cynthia Westby for attending workshops, asking lots of questions about the UUA, and being voting delegates. My role at GA this year was to be co-lead chaplain with an African American colleague. We had been concerned that General Assembly this year might be a very intense gathering given all the issues that have come up in

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