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Embracing Change

By Linda Fippin, president of the Board of Trustees

Even though this morning is chilly and wet, it seems like winter is finally losing its sovereignty as warmth and regrowth slip from under its heel. Spring’s flowers and new green leaves, which in that January week of ice and snow seemed like a fantasy, now remind us of the inevitability of change as the earth makes its way along its path around the sun. Most of us welcome the change of seasons as we tire of winter’s cold and summer’s heat and look forward to spring and fall. Spring, as opposed to fall, when the need is to store energy for the coming cold and dark, is a time of letting energy burst forth. All this is a lead-in to what I bet will not surprise you: change is afoot at Westside.

If you attended the Congregational Meeting this past Sunday or diligently read the meeting announcement and attached documents, you will know that this year the Board of Trustees is proposing a “visionary budget,” which is a change from the way budgets have looked in the past. This budget is reflective of two things: increased financial stability and increased vitality. Paying off the mortgage on our building eliminated a burden that was both financial and psychological. It relieved us of thinking “what if [insert catastrophic event here] were to happen and we weren’t able to make the mortgage payments” and enabled us to think more positively about our financial resources. The increasing level of energy in the congregation as a whole and in new and revitalized committees led the Stewardship Committee to recommend that it was time to start looking for ways to invest in the future of Westside that will enhance its ability to thrive.

The proposed budget includes funds for several committees under the heading of Ministry. It’s easy to think of “ministry” as just what the minister does, but it has a larger meaning in which there are other “ministries” that function to support the work of the minister, but also the larger work of the church. The funds proposed in the budget for the Marketing, Green Sanctuary, Aesthetics and Safety Committees are intended to enable their “ministries” and support Westside’s overall ministry.

Last month’s blog focused on some of these committees, their volunteers, their goals and what they are doing or are planning to do, but not how they are going about it or how their activities and projects will support the overall ministry of Westside by carrying out their own ministries. On Sunday, April 7, there will be a special service focusing on these committees. A representative from each of them will present the vision and work of the committee and how it will support and enhance Westside. There will also be time for questions after the presentations. I hope you will join us and take this opportunity to learn more about the exciting things that are sprouting up at Westside.

It's a cliché to say that change is hard, but clichés are clichés because they contain at least a grain of truth. (Hmm. I guess that’s a cliché, too.) But the change from winter to spring is welcome even though it means yard work and spring cleaning and sometimes crazy and scary weather. A change from a budget focused on just getting by to one that looks forward positively to a more vibrant future should be welcome, too, and worthy of support.

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