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SpringBoard - Governance in Motion


Beth Sandidge, President, Board of Trustees

You must be the change you wish to see in the world. ~Mahatma Gandhi

Change is a happening here at Westside. Change is rough, but it is a sign of progress. We have voted in a new minister. I am delighted that Reverend Carol Bodeau has been called and is agreeable to working with us here at Westside. That was the easy part. Now is the nitty-gritty time of learning to reconcile our bold and wonderful ideas with our very real limits of time, talent, and treasure. Our ability to imagine a better world is one of the many things that makes Westside a special place. In order to realize our ideas, we must take a look at the practical reality: Who are we? What do we have? Let's focus on how to better strengthen our offerings. So during this time when the leaves are changing, let us take some time to reflect on how we have changed, and prepare for the changes that may be needed in the future.

Board Business

Whoo whee, has this been a busy time for our church. I am excited about the retreat. I plan on catching up on some R'n'R. Nevertheless, I want to commend our Congregation for it's participation in the October Congregational Meeting. Attendance was excellent and input was lively. I am glad folks felt comfortable enough to voice their opinions regarding the issues so that we on the board can take your comments into consideration and provide you with additional information.

One important topic we need to address is how the congregation wants the board to handle the protection of the property. Currently, there is a lack of clarity on how much acreage WUUC legally owns. This may affect our compliance with the City of Farragut's guidelines for churches. At our next board meeting there will be a discussion of how we can better represent the information regarding our property. We feel the issue of the disposition of our property should be handled through a stronger worded bylaw. We will be working on this change with the goal of stabilizing the future management of these grounds. We will keep you informed of our progress.

Another important property issue is in regards to easements. The board would like to suggest a plan to insure more financial protection in the future. We would like to establish governance with property management providing guidelines for future benefit of this congregation. The TDK development project (high occupancy condos with an access road across our property) has highlighted some openings in need of closing. Your involvement will be needed in the passing of any new guidelines or bylaws aimed at protecting this property. We are located in a good area. We want to do good deeds. If we establish guidelines for managing easements, we can help Westside secure a strong place in this community for many years to come, allowing us the ability to share our social justice and goodness.

I would like to thank you all for your understanding in regards to the recent dismissal of our music director, Wendel Werner. I am saddened by the necessity of this decision. Leadership is tough and I dread this part of it. As your elected board, we had to make a decision based on the information we had, and balance that with the need for a safe congregation. In the end, safety won out, and I am confident that we made the right decision.

Finally, I am excited about upcoming events here at Westside. Debbie Schleiffer is doing a wonderful job of rustling up interest in the auction (December 5th); decorating for the holidays will happen onDecember 7th; organizing the hosting our next Family Promise (December 28th) is becoming a more collaborative effort; and Spectrum West is going strong. We have much to offer. I am proud to be a part of this church community.

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