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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October Recap & Introducing the Committee on Ministry

Thanks, everyone for another great month at Westside. In worship, we focused on the theme of “Relationship,” which led to such beautiful and gratifying programs. Many thanks to all who kicked off October at the Community Connections Retreat, both organizers and attendees. I was so impressed by the number of people who dedicated so many hours on a beautiful fall weekend to be together and learn about how to navigate conflict with more care and intention. With Lisa Reitzes’ leadership, Deb Dahrling of PFLAG and Scott Farrell helped us to honor National Coming Out Day with their stories. It is

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On Beginning a New Friendship

Meet Percy! Baptiste and I recently adopted this one and a half year-old bundle of affection, energy, and frankly, chaos. Neither of us has ever had a cat before; we’ve only lived with roommates’ cats. So, this has been quite a new adventure for us, as he gets to know us and we get to know him. You may notice he has an AirTag on his collar. That’s there because two days into living with us, he broke out… by literally breaking the side panel on our window AC unit. After a couple of nights outdoors, we got him back,

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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,

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À Bientôt! (See You Soon!)

Dear Westsiders, This is the week that summer really begins for me. By the time you read this, I will be in France, on a long-awaited trip to get to know my spouse’s family. Here I’ll offer some of the back story because it’s a part of my life that is important to me. I’ve been to France once before. It was over New Year of 2020, after my partner, Baptiste, and I had been dating for about a year. I spoke a small amount of Duolingo French, and while our relationship was serious enough to warrant the trip, it

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Faithfully Becoming: GA Reflections

Last week, I had the immense privilege of gathering with a couple of thousand other UUs in Pittsburgh and online for our 62nd annual General Assembly (GA). This all-in-one conference included professional networking opportunities, celebratory worship, important business meetings, lectures, and workshops. Each year I attend GA, I experience it as a place for Unitarian Universalists to re-center their attention on the wider faith community and connect across the vast diversity within our larger community. This year in particular, with the theme Faithfully Becoming, we asked a lot of questions about our future as a denomination; who we are, where

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Celebrations and Rest

An unexpected joy that I’ve discovered in serving Westside on a part-time basis is that each week I spend in Seattle feels like a joyful reunion. Even after only a week or two away, I arrive with curiosity about how this community has been doing, and enthusiasm about the time we will spend together. What a gift to experience this quality of presence so often, and to be received with the same curiosity and enthusiasm. This week in particular, I want to thank you for all the ways this community has shared in the joy of my ordination. Becoming an

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All Things Worship

It has been a real pleasure for me to experience these past two months of worship life here at Westside. I’ve had so much fun collaborating with Worship Associates, musicians, the RE Team, and now the Environmental Justice Team and a guest speaker (coming up this Sunday)! I believe in worship programs that feature many voices, many subjects, and many modes of engaging, and have seen that this congregation strives to offer that. Just more evidence to me that I have ended up in the right community. And now, the time has come that there’s something I need to tell

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2023 GA Delegate Nominees

Below are the nominee’s names some biographical information and an answer to the question: “What do you want to be a GA Delegate for WSUU this year?” Leilani Davenberry: Leilani Davenberry identifies as a disabled queer BIPOC cis femme. She and her spouse Soph have been members of Westside for over 10 years, and they live in Boulevard Park with their animal companions: three birds, two cats and one dog. Leilani served as a WSUU delegate in 2020 and 2021. If she’s selected and affirmed by the congregation as a delegate again, she is planning to attend this year’s hybrid

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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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