Stewardship Testimonial – Tracy Burrows 4.23.23

This morning, as I was considering what to say about why it feels right to invest in Westside’s future in this moment, I thought of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s poem How do I love thee? Let me count the ways…So bear with me as I riff off this poem to show love for WSUU  The ways in which we have endured. A pandemic, difficult leadership transitions, social change and social justice movements that have challenged us. Yes, and. We are still here, sprouting up new ways to heal ourselves and the earth (as you’ll hear about today), setting out on new

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In Praise of Fullness 4.23.23

This past Sunday service at Westside, I worried about going over time. There is just so much happening in the life of our congregation, so much to fit into our shared time together. And it makes for a long announcements section, and a long newsletter for that matter. We’ve got the auction bidding well underway, a UUA General Assembly to prep for, a stewardship drive to round out in time for budget season, community circles, interfaith justice gatherings, youth worship, a growing hospitality ministry, and so much more! For our relatively small staff (remember, we’re largely part-time too) and dedicated

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Update on Right Relations at Westside April 21, 2023

A message from your Core Team (Don Wahl, Henry Bennett, Jade Wilde, Kristina Darnell, Shannon Day, and Tracy Burrows)  This is fruitful work!! We want to share with as much clarity and transparency as possible, what’s been happening.  Here we are in the middle of our fourth month with Pam Orbach as our guide, and we are experiencing profound shifts in our learning about how to hold caring and inclusive community.   Our path forward with Pam has been grounded in Nonviolent Communication, Restorative Justice, and circle structure. And it has become even more than that.  We are learning how to

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News from the Village – Partner Church Easter Service

Easter in our partner church village of Torockószentgyörgy in Transylvania lasts for three days. Fortunately, Reverend Emese gets help from a theology student who comes early to help her get organized. On the first day, members of the congregation attend a Sunday Easter communion service. Communion for the village’s Unitarian congregants signifies reaffirming the link to their covenant with God. Then they return home for a festive Easter dinner, which usually includes lamb. After dinner, the boys engage in the tradition called “watering the girls.” They call on the homes of girls, aunts or grandmothers and first recite a poem.

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[UUA] Board Announcement about the Article II Idea Submission Form

(Sent 3/31/2023 from UUA Article II Study Commission to their email list) At General Assembly (GA) 2023, Unitarian Universalists will take an initial vote on proposed changes to Article II of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Bylaws, which includes the current UUA purposes, principles, sources, and clauses on inclusion and freedom of belief. The UUA Board of Trustees encourages you to read the full proposal from the Article II Study Commission (Webpage) and get more information about the process. The UUA’s goal is to maximize discussion and engagement with this proposal, which addresses the foundational values and purposes of our

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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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About My Schedule & How to Reach Me

Welcome to the first installment of “Faithful Connections” a blog series for sharing my reflections, notes of encouragement, and maybe a word from the occasional guest writer! It will be a space for reflecting on our life together at Westside, highlighting the achievements and learnings of our various ministries here, and strengthening connections to our larger faith movement. But first, there is business to get to. I have to report that I found my first two weeks “in-residence” in West Seattle to be a whirlwind and a delight. I had long anticipated the joy of worshipping with this community, and

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Considering Being a GA Delegate for WSUU? All Your Questions Answered!

Why (Become a Delegate)? The primary reason is to ensure WSUU’s collective voice is included in decisions made nationally about our faith, and to keep our congregation informed of new developments and decisions at the national level. Ideally, we would fill all four of our delegate slots and those delegates would represent a variety of identities within the congregation. The (Serious) What: Delegates give our congregation a voice and a vote on national denomination matters at General Assembly (GA, the annual conference of UUs held by the Unitarian Universalist Association. These business matters can be surprisingly interesting (also occasionally dull),

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How Our UU Faith Evolves Over Time—and How the Heck That Relates to “Article II”!

Did you realize you are part of a Living FaithDid you realize UUs are courageous enough tokeep their minds open about their beliefs, and to update them periodically (ideally every 15years) in light of the evolving world around us and our understanding of it? The last full review was done in the 1980s, so the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) waslong overdue in initiating the current review in 2021. Each update is intended to help UUs liveinto the future with a UU faith that is appropriate for the times and can continue to hold itsmembers in the face of great need

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8 week Thursday Evening Online Nonviolent Communication Foundations course

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new sights, but in looking with new eyes.” Marcel Proust.  When we experience our and other peoples needs not being met, and we also hear that some of what we do has impact for others, it can become confusing and disconnecting.  In this course, we will explore the stories we tell ourselves, or those that have been told to us, and the limiting beliefs and fears that cloud our thinking. The course will create the possibility for us to have more power and capacity to be the change we want in the community

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