By Linda Fippin, president of the Board of Trustees
It’s a truism that the holidays are busy times for most of us. In October, it’s Halloween costumes and jack-o’-lanterns and candy for the kids, plus maybe a few ghosties and skeletons in the yard. Skeletons are very popular in my neighborhood anyway. Then in November, it’s traveling to visit relatives or relatives traveling to visit us for Thanksgiving or gathering your friends for Friendsgiving, and the preparing and cooking (and cleaning) that goes along with those feasts. And then, Christmas, Hannukah, Winter Solstice and Kwanzaa loom on the horizon with more shopping and decorating and traveling and cooking and eating. It’s a wonder we all make it to New Year’s Day (where there will be yet more celebrating).
In amongst all those activities, the Westside Board of Trustees has been busy, too. With input from the Marketing, Green Sanctuary, Safety and Stewardship Committees, here are some of the recent developments.
• The Safety Committee's Andy Gault and our Office Administrator, Brad Kurtz, researched enhancements to our existing security system and the Board approved the purchase and installation of new equipment.
• The Marketing Committee developed a new Westside tagline (Where love unites, caring connects and community thrives) and a secondary tagline for some uses (Westside UU: Open Minds, Open Hearts, Open Doors). You can already see these on our website and other materials.
• The Board approved the institution of a new Spiritual Practices service that will begin on Sunday, January 7, 2024. The Spiritual Practice service will precede the regular 11:00 am service and will be led by Reverend Carol or a lay member of the congregation. Look for details in the Westside newsletter and on our website. The Board approved an initial 6-month trial period, which will be extended if the services are going well.
• Our Finance Chair, Anne Harvey, and the Marketing Team have been working hard on planning for our annual auction, which is scheduled for Sunday, January 21. They have come up with a theme and activities that should make this a fun event. Look for more information in the newsletter and on the website and be thinking of things you might donate or the ever-popular dinners and outings you might host.
Along with items that were approved, here are some of the things that the Board is currently doing.
• Working with the Green Sanctuary Committee to obtain an energy audit. The TVA is offering free energy audits to churches, and our Treasurer (and Green Sanctuary Committee member) Craig Brandt will be attending an informational meeting this week.
• Looking into having CPR and AED (Automated External Defibrillator) training and the means to fund this.
• Perennial activities: reviewing and updating current policies and procedures, developing new policies and procedures, assessing and addressing needs of the congregation, planning for our Mars colony. (OK, I made that one up, but we do try to look to the future.)
However busy we all are, I hope we can remember to set aside a few minutes now and then to take a deep breath and enjoy the season. Happy Holidays to all!