A Welcome Letter from Our President
Hello! Welcome to Westside Unitarian Universalist Church. I am Grechen Wingerter, current President of the Board of Trustees. Westside is a liberal religious community tucked away in Farragut here in Knoxville, TN. Our members and friends are a collection of people from all kinds of diverse backgrounds and beliefs. Although we come from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences, we are brought together by a shared interest, a shared respect, and a shared support of the unique spiritual journeys of each of our members and friends.
I first came to Westside in 2015 when my family and I moved to Knoxville. And while I am relatively new to Westside and Knoxville, I am one of those rare lifelong UUs. I grew up in and attended the Unitarian Universalist Church of Rockford in Rockford, IL where I was active in the youth group all throughout middle school and high school. Although I have bounced around the country throughout most of my adult life, I have always found a UU church to call home -- in Idaho, California, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and even London -- where I was always able to stay connected to and explore the UU Principles that have shaped my own lifelong spiritual journey.
Westside welcomed me from day one, and later my family, as they began to attend services over time. I was looking for a more permanent place to continue my spiritual journey, in addition to looking for a place for my children to begin their own journeys, in a similar environment in which I began mine. Westside was the right fit and has since become much like a second home to me and my family.
At Westside, connections are important. Those connections include not only the bonds we share with one another at church gatherings, but also those connections we build with our community at large -- in Farragut, in Knoxville, in Tennessee, and in the world. Although our traditional Sunday morning services, our Religious Education classes, our youth group, and many other face to face gatherings are currently on hold, we are committed now, more than ever, to finding and developing meaningful and spiritual ways to stay connected during this challenging time in our church and community at large. I invite you to join us on Facebook for our Sunday morning services, which are led by our Minister, members of our Worship committee, and members of our wider community. We have weekly virtual coffee hour via Zoom after each service, as well as weekly Kids Club events for our younger friends.
We will continue to gather virtually for the foreseeable future, but will continue to reassess the possibility of returning to regular worship in light of any new developments regarding Covid-19. Until such time, please explore our website to find out a little more about Unitarian Universalism and Westside. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns. I hope you will find something that connects you to us, and I hope we will have the opportunity to meet in person soon.
Peace, love, and virtual hugs.
President, Board of Trustees
Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees Philosophy of Governance
The authority of the Board is derived from the trust placed in them through a vote of the congregation, or the appointment by the board as in keeping with our bylaws, to the roles they now hold. It is understood that the Board of Trustees has an identity which transcends the identities of the individuals who now serve and it is understood that the board “speaks with one voice” in its decisions and policies. The sacred obligation of the Minister and Board is to serve the Mission and Vision of the congregation.
Mindful of our respective roles as spiritual leader and fiduciary guardians, we, the Minister and Board of Trustees do hereby covenant with one another to:
• talk to each other
• be kind and authentic
• listen deeply
• give all members present time to process information before responding
• assume the best of each other
• be knowledgeable of foundational documents of the church
• learn together
• build relationships with one another
• serve the community inside and outside the church together
Mindful of our respective roles as leader of the congregation and fiduciary guardians, we, the Board of Trustees do hereby covenant with the congregation to:
• communicate decisions and policies to the congregation
• listen deeply to the congregations concerns
• provide advice and counsel to the committees of the board
• live up to the Covenant of Respectful Relations
• manage the finances of the church in a conservative and responsible way
• encourage growth and change
• work to expand the membership of the congregation
• maintain, clarify and communicate the mission and vision of the congregation