October 2022: ASJ Update

October 2022: ASJ Update

The ASJ (Advocates for Social Justice seeks your input! Every member and friend of WUUC is invited to fill out the Special Collections survey at https://forms.gle/eQqDwycdG5D8PvD68. On the third Sunday of each month, WUUC donates the worship offering to a non-profit organization which supports our Unitarian Universalist values. The ASJ is conducting this survey to solicit member/friend input into which organizations should benefit from this offering in the coming year (Nov. 2022 – Oct. 2023). The organizations in this survey have been curated from prior year’s Special Collection recipients and/or nominated by Justice Ministry teams. 

Our primary guiding principle for Special Collection recipients is that they support our UU values. We give priority to organizations who operate in our community (King/Snohomish Counties), to which our gift (typically $500 – $750) would have a significant impact, and who work to address the unique dynamics and effects of intersecting forms of discrimination. The organizations in the survey meet these priorities to varying degrees. Please take a moment to visit our survey and choose your top 10 organizations out of the 20 listed.

On October 16, our Special Collection sponsored by Advocates for Social Justice will go to Honor the Earth, a native initiative to create awareness and support for Native environmental issues and to develop needed financial and political resources for the survival of sustainable Native communities. Honor the Earth develops these resources by using music, the arts, the media, and Indigenous wisdom to ask people to recognize our joint dependency on the Earth and be a voice for those not heard.

In July we collected $661 for the Woodinville Storehouse Food Bank, operated by a coalition of churches and denominations serving the local community by providing nourishment and ministry to those in need. They are a faith-based non-profit that is unique in the quality of fresh food they provide including dairy, baked goods, fresh produce, meat and vegetables. August’s special collection of $331 went to JUUstice Washington, which strives to inspire, educate, empower, and nurture the capacity of Unitarian Universalists (UUs), as well as our community allies, to collaboratively advocate for and undertake social and environmental justice initiatives. They support legislative change that aligns with our UU values in Washington state and beyond.

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.

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

Nonfiction Book Club – Fall 2022

Nonfiction Book Club – Fall 2022

Join us on Saturday, November 5, 2022 @ 6 pm for a meeting of the WUUC Nonfiction Book Club, hosted by Alaine Davis and Lane Owsley at their home in Kenmore. We will be discussing Our Dogs, Ourselves: The Story of a Singular Bond by Alexandra Horowitz. RSVP to Alaine <alaine.davis@yahoo.com>.

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Alexandra Horowitz, an eye-opening, informative, and wholly entertaining examination and celebration of the human-canine relationship for the curious dog owner and science-lover alike.

We keep dogs and are kept by them. We love dogs and (we assume) we are loved by them. We buy them sweaters, toys, shoes; we are concerned with their social lives, their food, and their health. The story of humans and dogs is thousands of years old but is far from understood. In Our Dogs, Ourselves, Alexandra Horowitz explores all aspects of this unique and complex interspecies pairing.

As Horowitz considers the current culture of dogdom, she reveals the odd, surprising, and contradictory ways we live with dogs. We celebrate their individuality but breed them for sameness. Despite our deep emotional relationships with dogs, legally they are property to be bought, sold, abandoned, or euthanized as we wish. Even the way we speak to our dogs is at once perplexing and delightful.

In thirteen thoughtful and charming chapters, Our Dogs, Ourselves affirms our profound affection for this most charismatic of animals—and opens our eyes to the companions at our sides as never before.

 (Modified from Amazon.com)

Four times a year, the WUUC Book Discussion Group gathers to read and talk about a nonfiction book. You only attend the meetings about books that interest you, so we end up with a different group of participants every time. We meet to connect and talk about a book in depth. Anyone is welcome to suggest a book and/or lead a discussion. Contact Alaine to RSVP, suggest a book, or offer to host a future discussion.

September 2022: Board Report

September 2022: Board Report

– Written by Leslie Morton

Hi there!

I currently have the honor of being your Board President. I would like to take the opportunity to make regular comments on what the Board is up to. At our last meeting we had the opportunity to thank outgoing member David Simons for his service. He will be sorely missed. We also took the time to welcome our newest member Jeff Lu. I am looking forward to getting to know Jeff. We will be having a retreat September 9-10 and look forward to a time to get to know one another better and to set some goals for the coming church year. The rest of the Board includes: Jan Radoslovich and Jessica Belmont (co-vice presidents), Kermit Sprang (Treasurer), Terry Santmann (Secretary) and Linda Sherry and Jeff Lu (members at large).

It was brought to our attention by a member of the ASJ team that there is currently a proposal to make changes to Title IX that would explicitly name protections for transgender/non-binary students public comment. The rule is currently open for public comment until midnight September 12, 2022. The Board are strongly encouraging people to take the time to seriously review this and submit responses as they feel moved. To be clear, we are not asking for a formal endorsement from the congregation as a whole, but for individual support.  

The Board meets the third Wednesday of each month from 6-8 pm and all are welcome to attend.  

Thanks you,

Leslie Morton

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.