By Elizabeth Corbett, Programs & Membership Coordinator
On Thursday, May 4, Reverend Carol and I finally made it to The Bottom! We have been making plans to visit with them since their presentation to us in February….working with three busy schedules has been a challenge.
Just to recap, The Bottom is a Black-owned and Black-focused community space on Magnolia Avenue. This organization offers many ongoing programs to the local community: sewing classes, ceramics classes, podcasts, and books that affirm the Black experience. The events tab on their website also lists many varied “one time” happenings centered around music, painting, and storytelling. You can click here for the events tab and see for yourself everything that’s coming up. I hope some of you can make it to one or two of these events. I’d love to carpool down with someone–I’ll post something on Westside’s Facebook closer to the time!
Reverend Carol and I spent about an hour with Kalil and Doretha, the two women who came out to Westside. We toured their space and learned more about what they do, their plans for the summer, and ways we as a congregation can support them in both short-term and longer-term projects. We hope also that we Westsiders can become more aware of racist structures in society and move toward changing our behaviors both as individuals and as a congregation.
The Board discussed Westside’s possible relationship with The Bottom at their May meeting this past Sunday, and the Welcoming Team will talk about it in their June 18 service, with conversations to follow at the potluck afterwards. We’ll have lots of opportunities to learn more, share thoughts, and decide together how this might work. Stay tuned for more information on our friendship with this organization!
Here are some pictures from the visit: the four of us by their outside sign, then four plaques hanging on a wall, Reverend Carol looking at the books for sale.
I am also a member of the Marketing Committee, and we have been thinking about the image that Westside projects through social media, if that image is what Westside really “is,” and how to account for all the variety in our services. We’ve also been “snooping” on some area churches, both virtually and in person. By snooping I mean we’ve looked at their websites and other social media, viewed services online (if available), and commented on the pluses and minuses, thinking about what we can incorporate (if feasible) into our services. We will also meet with the Worship Committee in June to think about how our two committees can work together. Other members of the Marketing Committee include Brad Kurtz, Curtis Dush, Michele Neifing, and Alice Thornton. If you have suggestions or comments for us, you can email me at membership@ westsideuuc.org.