Take a “Forest Shower” at WUUC!

Take a “Forest Shower” at WUUC!

Hinrin-yoku, is a Japanese phrase which translates to “forest bathing” or “absorbing the forest atmosphere.” The practice encourages people to simply spend time in nature, reducing blood pressure, heart rate and anxiety in general, leaving one in a calmer state. It involves only going into a natural space and being mindfully present, breathing deeply and listening to the natural sounds.

While the Pacific Northwest is abundant in forested areas, there can be impediments to enjoying these spaces for many people. There is concern about being alone in a remote area, difficulty with parking access, challenges in moving on uneven ground, and cost of parking or access passes among them.

Adjacent to the parking lot – on the right as you enter from the driveway – is WUUC’s Meditation Grove, a small patch of native vegetation that permits a wonderful short “forest shower”.

You’ll see native plants like salal, snowberry, sword fern, native blackberry and bracken fern under the tall evergreens and big leaf maples. A huge cut tree and stump remain to decompose slowly back into the earth. There is a short, looping path with a bench at the midpoint, including an original art installation. You’ll also see the memorial monuments noting members who have died.

Listening, the wind in the trees and the birds are soothing (except when the stellar jays get excited about something!). Perhaps you’ll even see some hawk feathers in the shrubs.

In a stressful world, a few moments in this space can be peacefully grounding.

Look for a small opening in the wooden fence that runs along the east side of the parking lot. (While generally cleared and tended, use caution as weather may have dropped branches or made puddles.)

– Bridget Agabra

Hiring Director of Religious Education

  • Compensation: $25/hour
  • Part-time: 20 hours/week

The Director of Religious Education (DRE) oversees the vision, planning, management, development and evaluation of religious education programs for children and youth in order to nurture religious and spiritual growth.  

For more details about the duties and qualifications for this position, please see the position description here or below.

To apply for the Director of Religious Education position, please send your resume and a cover letter telling us why you’re interested in the position (and why you’d be good at it) to mjohnson@wuuc.org.

Open until filled; position begins in Fall 2022.

Director of Religious Education Position Description – Woodinville Unitarian Universalist Church 

Reports to: Minister 

Status: Part-time, 20 hours per week (0.5 FTE)

FLSA: Non-exempt

Effective: July 2022

Compensation: $25 per hour, based on UUA fair compensation guidelines. Benefits include prorated health, retirement, and paid time off, study leave and professional development expenses.

Work Schedule

20 hours per week to include at least 3 Sunday mornings per month.  The remainder of the time will be split between working from home, regular office hours (to be coordinated with the minister), attendance at meetings, events and training. Some limited travel may be required.

Job Summary

The Director of Religious Education (DRE) oversees the vision, planning, management, development and evaluation of religious education programs for children and youth in order to nurture religious and spiritual growth and encourage Unitarian Universalist identity formation. 

The DRE will affirm the principles and values of Woodinville Unitarian Universalist Church (WUUC) and the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), and abide by the WUUC Staff Covenant. 

Essential Functions

  • Recruit, vet (including background check), train and lead a team of volunteer teachers, youth advisors and others who support the religious education program.
  • Supervise the Childcare Supervisor staff member.
  • Coordinate with the minister and the worship team to provide support for mini-worship services, weekly Time For All Ages messages during Sunday worship services, and occasionally lead other worship for children and youth.
  • Work with the Minister to develop and lead rites of passage for children and youth; assist with other ceremonies as requested.
  • Encourage and support the involvement of children and youth in all aspects of church life, including worship services. 
  • Publicize the children and youth religious education program to the congregation and the community at large (when appropriate).
  • Integrate social justice learning opportunities for children and youth.
  • Coordinate and schedule special religious education programming and activities such as Our Whole Lives sexuality education, Coming of Age, and youth conferences and trips.
  • Manage RE program records and files. Maintain records for religious education activities, including attendance, field trips, background checks and program expenses. Manage budget for RE program.

Other Responsibilities

  • Attend staff meetings, Religious Education Committee meetings, and other meetings as requested by the Board or Minister.
  • Provide monthly reports to the Board, Ministry Council, and RE Committee.
  • Set goals and develop a plan for personal professional development.
  • Maintain the church’s resource library on religious education topics for the use of the congregation.
  • Coordinate planning for youth service trips every other year with youth input.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Ability to model appropriate, effective and welcoming behavior and attitudes toward the children, youth and volunteers under their supervision.
  • Working knowledge of the functions and philosophy of Unitarian Universalist religious education programs.
  • Skill in coordinating, leading, and delegating to volunteers and religious education staff. 
  • Ability to work collaboratively with the minister and volunteers in planning creative programs, including worship, for children and youth.
  • Proficiency in English language communications, both written and verbal.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office and Google applications, email, calendaring, social media and Zoom. Ability to learn membership database and other new programs as needed.
  • Ability to move and lift children’s furniture in order to set up classroom space.  Reasonable accommodations will be made according to physical ability.
  • CPR and First Aid training is strongly desired.
  • Must submit to and pass a background check.

Core Competencies

  • Compassion and Care
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Developing and Motivating Volunteers
  • Mission Ownership
  • Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Verbal and Written Communication
  • Resilience in Times of Change and Transition
  • Decision Making and Problem Solving
  • Attention to Detail
  • Organization and Time Management
  • Technical Expertise
Introducing the R&R Team

Introducing the R&R Team

Conflict.  Difference of opinion.  Changing perspective.  Curiosity.  Connection.  Relationships and Resolutions. 

Like all congregations, WUUC has our share of conflicts.    Before the pandemic hit, for a variety of reasons, turmoil was rumbling at WUUC causing discomfort and dissatisfaction.     As we begin to gather again after two years of imposed isolation, WUUC has developed a small team who are learning methods and developing programs whose goals are to help improve our skills when faced with conflict and differences of opinion.  Strength and opportunity in conflict adds to our perspectives and increases understanding.  We want the WUUC be a place of trust, caring and exploration, a place to grow safely without the risk of attack from within our community.   

This requires learning how to engage in difficult conversations while maintaining relationships of mutual respect and curiosity.  The R&R Team are not experts in conflict resolution, but our skills are improving.  We are not here to determine who is right or wrong.   We’re learning how to listen and developing methods we can share with the congregation so when conflict arises, we have tools in our toolbox to resolve them. 

What does R&R stand for?  

Rest and Relaxation, of course, but the WUUC R&R Team is about resolving relationships with-in the congregation.   We’ve got some work ahead of us.  Understanding reasons for different positions, clarifying concerns and reducing tensions or resentments requires a willingness to engage with those who disagree with us.   Calmly and with curiosity.

The R&R Team is aiming to help establish and maintain both respectful curiosity and respectful honesty in difficult conversations.  We hope the result will be stronger relationships and a sense of renewed community within our congregation.

And about those R&R’s … First we are about  Relationships. 

That second R has a lot of meetings  —  Reconciliation    Re-covenanting    Repair    Restoration     Renewal     Reconsideration     Revitalization…

It’s a choose-your-own situation – and we can try them all!

Thank you for being part of our WUUC Community.  We are glad you are here and we want to create a space that is full of love and understanding – with respectfully different opinions and perspectives. 

The WUUC R&R Teams Members (in alphabetical order) are Mary Alexander, Jane Flood, Lori McConnell and Grace Simons.  With the Reverend Dan Lillie as our anchor. 

September 2022: ASJ Update

September 2022: ASJ Update

On September 18, our Special Collection sponsored by Advocates for Social Justice will replenish WUUC’s Black Student and Families Fund (BSAFF). This money, along with WUUC volunteers, assists families of students in the Northshore School District (especially those living at Greenleaf, a subsidized housing community) with a variety of needs – from essentials like food, shelter, and monthly bills, to community organizing, leadership development, and support for future dreams including college and career development. Your contributions will fund programs and services with the goal of providing a safe environment for students to explore and express their identity as they navigate the racial constructs of their world. This past August the fund supported the second annual Roots Summer Circle and Community Camp. It took place every Tuesday at the Bothell United Methodist Church, which has generously provided space and other support for Greenleaf families in partnership with WUUC.

Keep your eyes peeled for more information by email and during church announcements for the Social Justice Fair on Sunday, October 2 after the service. Members and friends will have the opportunity to learn more about ways to get involved with our social justice ministries and vote for our 2023 Special Collections recipients.

The ASJ Committee thanks WUUC members and friends for their generous support of our monthly special collections, which take place during services on the third Sunday of every month. Instructions for giving are posted during the service, and you can also donate anytime the following week at https://onrealm.org/wuuc/-/give/now, or by sending a check to WUUC at P.O. Box 111, Woodinville, WA 98072. Please make checks out to WUUC and write “ASJ Special Collection” in the notes.

Pop Up Blood Drive September 19-21

Pop Up Blood Drive September 19-21

The pop up blood drive is back this September! The pandemic has created lots of challenges for our community blood collection process.  Please consider being a donor if you can. As of 8/23 we have 54 of 158 appointments booked.

Book a Donation Appointment

All donations are by appointment only. No walk ins, guests, or people under age 16 are permitted on site. Please check in with photo ID, and all donors and staff are required to wear face masks. There is no waiting period to donate blood if you recently received a covid vaccine/booster.

“After 10 months of blood and platelet infusions, tomorrow is my husband’s bone marrow transplant, the only true cure for his cancer. I have over a 100 donors to thank for getting us to this point. Thank you all for your selfless donations, it is truly appreciated.”