I am thrilled to welcome to our staff and community, M. Jamil Scott, our new Director of Lifelong Learning. Jamil has been a religious educator in 3 of our UU churches both in California and in the Denver/Boulder area. He is a graduate of Naropa in Boulder where he received his master of divinity and he is an ordained Buddhist minister. He will officially start on Aug. 7. He is currently at the General Assembly leading programs for middle school aged youth. He will finish his position at the downtown UU Church in Denver on July 31, pack up, and head our way!

Jamil and BhodiI am quite excited that Jamil has chosen to come to WUUC. He is a recognized leader in our UU movement. Jamil has many skills and talents to share with us. He is sensitive, able to listen deeply, be both lighthearted and serious, and full of ideas for programming. He is extremely collaborative. He is committed to his own and others learning. He is rooted in his Buddhist practice and brings with him a spiritual depth. Whereas I am an extrovert with introvert tendencies, Jamil is more introverted with extrovert tendencies and capabilities. He will work both on site at the church and from home some days of the week.

Jamil will need to find housing. He is drawn to Redmond because of the racial and ethnic diversity there. So if any of you have leads on potential housing for him and his 3 year old rescue Chihuahua mix, Bodhi, please pass that information along to Leslie Schmidt so that she can get it to him. (I am trying to keep the number of emails that he receives from us before he arrives to a minimum.) Given how expensive rents are in our area, it will take all of us keeping an eye out to help Jamil and Bodhi find a place to settle into.

When Carrie Krause arrived to be our DLL, she found a desk and chair that were ready for the trash to welcome her. I was on vacation and she was left to make her way alone. I vowed to never let that happen again to any staff person. The REALL Committee has already begun its work with Jamil. Lindsay Rogers will overlap with Jamil for several weeks to bring him up to speed. Whenever you see Jamil, tell him your name, as he will be trying to learn about 200 names and put them with faces. Remind him of who you are especially if you run into him someplace other than church. Share your favorite places to eat, coffee shops, bookstores, and things to do in Seattle and on the Eastside.

Jamil is here to support and create programming that will allow all of us, from cradle to sage, to be engaged in lifelong learning, spiritual and personal growth. I ask that you not only welcome him but ask him how you can help. Beginning any new job can be daunting if not overwhelming. Respond to his requests for volunteers and practice saying “yes” to our religious education commitment to lifelong learning at WUUC. Make sure he takes his day off and respect that day off.

But most importantly, open your hearts to Jamil and what he will bring to us.

Peace, Shalom, Salaam,