Westside Public Support Documents
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Westside Unitarian Universalist Church Picks Rev. Carol Bodeau As New Minister by Brad Kurtz
In a unanimous congregational vote, Westside members chose Rev. Carol Bodeau as minister.
Bodeau, who currently serves as Director of Religious Education at Westside, will be installed in a ceremony in July. Westside president Len Walker presided over the meeting and called the vote “exciting.”
“Rev. Carol brings in a lot of experience, and the younger crowd. I know that many long-time Westsiders are happy, and so am I. It’s really very exciting,” he said.
Bodeau is a Michigan native, “but I’ve moved around a lot,” she said. Most recently she resided in California, where she graduated from the University of California at Davis, and Starr King School for the Ministry. Before being called to Westside, Bodeau was a Unitarian Universalist religious leader for 15 years, both as a Director of Religious Education and then as an ordained minister.
Bodeau plans to remain active with the children and youth, even as she moves into her role as full-time minister. “That’s my focus,” she said. “The UU [Unitarian Universalist] community in Knoxville, and our community here at Westside is ready for a growing number of youth who are embracing UU values. And we really want to tap into that energy.” According to the Unitarian Universalist Association, “Unitarian Universalism is a liberal religion characterized by a "free and responsible search for truth and meaning,” which may include Christian traditions, as well as insight from other world religions and philosophies.
“I can’t wait to get started,” Bodeau said. She will begin to wrap up her Religious Education classes this week. The new Director of Religious Education has not yet been chosen, but the search is well under way. “The children and teens know that I’m not going anywhere. My door will always be open. But this is definitely a transition. I want to spend as much time with them as I can before the installation. So we’re going to have a few talks and maybe a lock-in.”
The date for the July installation ceremony has not been set, but it will be a cluster-wide event and open to the public.