A Letter from Rev. Karen Taliesin

Sep 28, 2019 | News

Dear East Shore friends,

Warm and heartfelt greetings! When I first signed the Minister Affiliated covenant in 2004 between East Shore, myself, and the Rev. Dr. Peter Luton (with the addition of the Rev. Joan Montagnes in 2012), I was touched and honored to be welcomed with and supported by such open and affirming hearts. Over the years, I have greatly enjoyed the worship services, auctions, potlucks, social justice endeavors, and friendships deepened over hours of coffee and warm fellowship.

East Shore helped me grow and deepen as a minister and, most importantly, as a person. I am profoundly grateful for the support, compassion, kindness and wisdom I have received from the members, ministers, and everyone at East Shore. And though my ministry as a chaplain and manager of Spiritual Care at Seattle Children’s Hospital has prevented me from being as present at East Shore as I would have liked (especially these past few years), I have continued to keep the East Shore community in my heart with fond affection and care.

It is, however, time for me and my husband Brian to say goodbye. Brian and I will be moving to Nairobi, Kenya this October. Quite a few years ago, Brian and I went to Transylvania with a group from East Shore that included members David and Linda Lubinski. David then worked at PATH, which has a 40-year history of finding appropriate technologies for health, especially in lower-income countries. In 2012, David recruited Brian to work with him at PATH where Brian has since been creating and managing ideas and programs concerning malaria, HIV/AIDS, women and child health, etc.  To accelerate the cycle from ideation to introduction, Brian will be moving the base of operations in human centered design to a regional office in Nairobi, and supervising multidisciplinary teams across the countries where PATH works.

After my 17 years at Seattle Children’s, I will take some time in Nairobi to rest, rejuvenate, and explore our new life. Though I will retain my membership with the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association, I look forward to this new adventure in Nairobi which may or may not involve hospital chaplaincy. We will be in Nairobi for three years or possibly longer, after which we hope to come back to our friends in Seattle.

Due to this move to Africa, I have sent a letter to Dennis Fleck, President, as well as to the Rev. Dr. Stephen Furrer requesting the cordial and respectful dissolution of my Minister Affiliated role with East Shore.

The years at East Shore have been rich and full for me. I have felt supported both professionally and personally as well as deeply appreciated, challenged, stretched, and profoundly grateful for being a part of such a caring and vital community. The many kindnesses, wisdom, joys and sorrows you have shared with me have made me not only a better minister and chaplain but a better person. My immeasurable gratitude to the Board of Trustees and to the congregants of East Shore for allowing me to be a part of your journey. Both Brian and I hold this cherished community in our hearts as we wish you all deep wells of wisdom and wide margins of grace for the years to come.


Rev. Dr. Karen B. Taliesin, BCC