Rev. Christopher’s Schedule

With the birth of baby Benjamin in July, Rev. Christopher has 12 weeks of family leave to use. Instead of taking this all at once he will be taking it gradually over the next several months. This will include periods of half-time work and some weeks of full leave. We are grateful that he is able to spread this leave out over time as our shared ministry begins to take root. He has put great thought into how to balance and prioritize his time during this transition. The board will be working closely with him to cover the needs of

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August Letter from the President, Vanessa Shaughnessy

Summer is nearing the end and we’re on the verge of our new church year.  So much hard work has been done to pave the way for Rev. Christopher’s final move to Seattle. Huge thanks to the valiant co-chairs and the team of the Transition Working Group, who signed up for what was expected to be a few months and have faithfully guided the transition for over a year, navigating through a great number of challenges and bringing us to the final phase—the Wulff family’s relocation to Seattle. In the last couple of weeks housing has been secured and plans

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Q&A from Our Annual Meeting 2020 from the Board and Finance Committee

Thank you to all who attended our first online Annual Meeting, and helped us to make it a success! There were several questions asked in our chat and with raised hands through the meeting. While we tried to answer them during the meeting, this might be helpful for more clarity. The Board and Finance Committee welcome your inputs and questions if you’d like to follow up on any of these points! (board@wsuu.org, finance@wsuu.org)   Once Rev. Christopher’s visa is approved, what are the next steps? We are thrilled that USCIS has approved the R-1 visa! To actually get the visa

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Addressing Access Issues for General Assembly Delegates

After one particularly harmful General Assembly experience for many people of color and those with access struggles, collective voices requested and demanded accountability from our Unitarian Universalist Association.  A Special Review Commission was convened.  In presenting their final report (https://www.uua.org/sites/live-new.uua.org/files/060322_src_final_rpt.pdf), this gathering of beloveds shared this spiritual reflection and faithful commitment upon which they agreed:   This is not about nametags This is about people This is about relationships This is about power This is about how we treat each other This is about communication This is about the assumptions we make about each other This is about human limitations

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Some things I’ve Learned from our Finance Committee

… in this role as board president (Jade Lowry) Westside has been fortunate to have had a long line of committed volunteers with strong budgeting skills supporting our financial health. And this year was no exception! Our board benefited enormously from the deep and thorough research work and budget planning this year’s Finance Committee offered (Paula vanHaagan—chair, Shelley Webb—treasurer, Alan Mendel, and Shannon Day). They took the time to meet with us and made incredible spreadsheets to educate us about the important details of Westside’s budget. Below is what I’ve learned about triple bottom lines, how a budget is a plan,

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President-Elect, Vanessa Shaughnessy’s Address from 2020 Annual Meeting

My Dear Westside, it’s an honor to be your next board president! I’m humbled by the work of my predecessors, and deeply grateful for lasts year’s board navigating us through a time of so much upheaval, while still moving forward with increased transparency, connection, and deepened commitment to justice. It’s amazing to me what they’ve accomplished. We’ve been without a called minister for almost exactly 5 years, and there have been times that have tested us deeply. But I’m incredibly proud of the ways this congregation has grown. We are at the threshold of a new beginning, and we’ve built

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Changes in Congregational Care Clusters – Thomas Terence and Jade Lowry

Many thank you’s to our Cluster Facilitators, who have helped us to connect and support one another as we transitioned into the new normal of pandemic world. We set up these clusters as an emergency measure to hold the community and focus on care, and they have been serving their purpose. Now we are in a place of needing to set ourselves up for a long haul. Our journey ahead has many unknowns. Given the generally good place we are in now with the health and well-being of most of our congregants, our care needs are actually more about social

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WSUU’s Financial Good News

WSUU recently received three financial breaks that will help our budget now and for the next twelve months. WSUU is the fortunate recipient of an SBA Paycheck Protection Program loan for $42,000, a loan that we can convert to a grant.  In addition, the UUA and Pacific Northwest UU Growth Fund offered us interest-only mortgage loan payments for one year.  These opportunities allow us to face the uncertain economic future with greater confidence. In addition, we were able to compensate our staff for their extra efforts as we converted to virtual service, no small task.   To convert the PPP

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Full-On Gratitude – We’re Rockin’ It!! Jade Lowry – Board President

We seriously rock. Our Westside community is really showing up, in all kinds of ways! Many of us shifted our priorities to caring for one another, and it’s really happening! Here is some good news about us – We truly do show up – our Sunday service attendance is higher than usual, averaging over 100 logins each week to our Zoom Webinars, which means even more people are participating since a login can represent a whole family. Our Sunday plate collection is averaging 50%  larger than before COVID-19! And our Social Hour time has been full and amazing! Check out

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Special Announcement from UUA President, Susan Frederick-Gray

In this sacred season, let’s open our communities to all who need a life-saving message. This is a significant week in so many ways. The Surgeon General predicts this week and next may be some of the most difficult and deadly in the pandemic. For me, the virus has hit close to home with both a dear friend as well as a family member experiencing symptoms. This will be true for more and more people over the course of the next couple of weeks. This week is also a sacred time in both Judaism and Christianity. The celebration of Passover

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