Dear friends, It is already spring, and while we are just beginning our pledge campaign for the coming year, my thoughts are roaming beyond our financial budget for the coming year. I’m starting to think about how we’ll spend our intellectual, emotional, and spiritual capital. Recently, the Sunday planning team discussed focusing this coming year on a wide range of justice topics. How do you see Westside reaching out into the larger community and our world as an agent of change? What are the ways we are, and can be, creating greater justice? This coming year, we’re going to focusing on learning about things that need our attention and care: the environment, people seeking homes and refuge in the United States, diversity and racial justice, and economic inequalities. Throughout the year, we’ll be practicing an action-reflection-action model of inquiry and learning. This model asks us to alternate thinking about things with doing things, then thinking about what we learned before taking our next actions, in a cycle that repeats over and over.
In the summer, we’ll be focusing in both our worship time, and our Religious Exploration for adults, youth and children, on our 7th Principle: caring for the earth. When fall arrives, complete with its focus on harvest and Thanksgiving, we’ll be talking about immigration and refugees, and revisiting the UUA’s “Reconsidering Thanksgiving” initiative. As the winter season kicks off with Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, we’ll spend a few month exploring issues of racial justice, both locally and nationally. And in spring, we’ll turn our attention to the homelessness crisis in America, as the economic divide widens both locally and nationally. Throughout the year, we hope to bring in representatives of local non-profit service and advocacy groups to share their wisdom and help us find ways to connect through action. If you know of someone who might be a good resource, please let me know. Let’s think together about how we might become more informed, more engaged, and more active as a community in living out our UU values. With gratitude for all that you already do, Rev. Carol