By Linda Fippin, President of the Board of Trustees
May means Memorial Day and the more or less official start of summer. I always look forward to summer, not just because I’m tired of cold weather, though I am, but also because school will be out, and the traffic on Hardin Valley Road will be less horrific. And there will be fireflies. If you are a native of Tennessee or another state in the eastern half of the U.S., these tiny, light-flashing insects may be just a familiar part of summer evenings, but for those of us who come from the West, they are miraculous and delightful creatures. I love them!
For Westside, May also means the second Congregational Meeting of the year and presentation of the final budget for a vote by the congregation. This year, thanks to the generosity of Westside’s members, as well as some new outside sources of income, the presentation of the budget was a more upbeat event than it has sometimes been in the past. This means that Westside will move forward into the new fiscal year knowing that sufficient funds are available to cover operating expenses. Of course, emergencies may occur, but we also have a quite substantial “safety cushion” for unexpected expenses. Whew! That’s a relief.
So, to all of you who pledged financial support and to the Westside Finance Committee for their efforts in organizing this year’s successful canvass, thank you! And to those of you who are not in a position to contribute financially, but offer your time and talents to help make Westside the place it is, thank you, too!
If you attended the Congregational Meeting on May 21, you will know that there was a spirited discussion of safety issues. With hardly a day going by without hearing about a mass shooting somewhere, I imagine safety has been on the minds of many of you. It certainly has been on mine! Being a liberal church in a conservative region, Westside may be more vulnerable to an attack than other churches or public places. You may have noticed that we do have a Safety Monitor at each service, but I think we can all agree that it would be a good idea to look into how we can be sure we are doing our best to make Westside as safe as we can while still remaining a welcoming place. We have had a Safety Team in the past, but its membership had dwindled to zero. Recently, however, the Board has embarked on rebuilding the Safety Team and giving it the task of investigating best safety practices and formulating a plan of action. Stay tuned.