Installation of Rev. Dr. María Cristina Vlassidis Burgoa!

Installation of Rev. Dr. María Cristina Vlassidis Burgoa!

On Sunday, April 23, 2023, East Shore Unitarian Church officially installed their new settled minister, Rev. Dr. María Cristina Vlassidis Burgoa! You can see parts of the Installation at, but here are some selections. Relive the day here.

The Welcome by Connie Hirnle on Behalf of the Ministerial Search Committee:

Welcome to East Shore Unitarian Church. On this very special day we will formally install our new minister, Reverend Maria Cristina.

My name is Connie Hirnle and I use she/her pronouns, and today I am representing the Ministerial Search Committee, many of whom are up here with me today. The Committee includes Ann Fletcher our chair who is not able to be here today, Leta Hamilton, Julie Heise, Dave Baumgart, Martin Cox, David Langrock and myself.

Just over 20 months ago we came together to begin our search process for East Shore’s next settled minister. A little less than one year ago, our congregation unanimously voted to call Reverend Maria Cristina and she accepted that call. Four months later, she gave her first service as East Shore’s settled minister and today we have the honor of celebrating her installation.

As her example leads us, we at East Shore Unitarian Church welcome theological diversity and practice radical welcoming so that every person who comes through our doors or online would know that they are fully valued here for their whole selves.

And on this special day, we especially welcome distinguished luminaries in the larger Unitarian Universalist movement and in our partner indigenous communities. We know many of you have travelled great distances to be with us and we are so grateful to you all for your loving support of our beloved minister and for your presence here today.

The Act of Installation with David Langrock, Board Vice-President

It is a great honor and a blessing for the members of the search committee, the BOT, and this congregation to gather today to celebrate the installation of our dear minister, the Reverend Doctor María Cristina Vlassidis Burgoa.

In this past year, Rev. María Cristina has become our beloved Minister and we have witnessed her many gifts. Today, we wish to make public our celebration of being brought together by spirit. We wish to convey our trust, joy, commitment, and love and invite the larger community to bear witness to this precious and holy occasion.

This is a profound event in the life of our congregation. It is with a deep feeling of grace manifest and hope realized, therefore, that we formally recognize the relationship now existing between the people of East Shore Unitarian Church and the Reverend Doctor María Cristina Vlassidis Burgoa, whom we have freely chosen and who has freely chosen us as we keep on moving forward building the Beloved Community.

Will the members please rise in spirit and/or body and join me in the following words:


We, the members of East Shore Unitarian Church recognize this installation ceremony as a celebration of a new shared journey. We are a welcoming community that understands radical hospitality as a spiritual practice. We are committed to the spiritual well being of our community and vow to continue to remain engaged in meaningful transformative work. We  promise to speak the truth in love and to strive to live into right relationship with our words and deeds. We recognize in Rev María Cristina a compassionate and visionary leader who will accompany us on our journey towards wholeness. We believe that together we can bring much  needed healing, compassion, support, encouragement, and love to our congregation, our staff, our community partners, our neighbors, and the friends who have not yet arrived. We are proud to call Rev. María Cristina our Minister!

We cherish our church for what we have done in the past, what we are today, and our ever-changing vision of what we can become. We celebrate its devotion to freedom, its belief in the inherent worth and dignity of every person, its commitment to social justice, and the care of our spiritual health.

We choose to install the Reverend Doctor María Cristina Vlassidis Burgoa as our Minister. In doing so, we choose to journey together in the same direction – and in the name of love. 

Church Board Vice-President: David Langrock

In representation of our BOT, it is my honor to express our gratitude and joy for your presence as our Minister. On this holy occasion, we reaffirm our trust and love. We have witnessed your prophetic preaching, your compassionate pastoral care, your welcoming smile and disposition in welcoming visitors and new members, and your delight in supporting our children in their religious exploration. You come to us fully prepared to lead us and fortify us as we strive to live into our mission and vision. You understand the complexities and challenges of both individual and communal spiritual development. Your years of experience as community advocate and organizer illuminate your approach to our developing authentic community partnerships. Your multicultural lived experience illuminates our efforts to deepen our social justice work. Your deeply held cultural values and earth centered traditions are gifts that shape our own commitment to environmental justice. Your experience as an immigrant helps us to understand that building the beloved community is to become sanctuaries and to cultivate hearts without borders. Your pride in being a Two Spirit/Queer woman inspires us to continue to expand the welcoming table. We are grateful for your gifts. … In the spirit of solidarity and true equal partnership, we vow to model speaking the truth in love, listening deeply and with an open heart, being in right relationship, being willing to forgive, supporting your spiritual well being, encouraging your self care, and offering opportunities for continued professional development, so that your ministry may thrive and flourish among us.. We pledge ourselves to remember that the work of this church belongs to us all. As we would ask you to be compassionate towards our short comings, so will we also remember that you are beautifully, imperfectly human and can falter. We recognize that we bear a responsibility in your material welfare and spiritual development. We pledge ourselves to maintain the freedom of the pulpit. We pledge to assist and collaborate with you in our common growth as a community of faith.

Rev. María Cristina, today we solemnly declare our trust and love for you and recognize that this act symbolizes a covenant together. It acknowledges our hope that you would dwell among us preaching the truth in freedom and love. Will you journey with us as we strive to put into practice our principles and together renew our commitment to working for peace and justice in our hearts, in our communities, and our world? Will  you recall us to our best selves when we fall short of honoring our covenant of right relationship? Will you lead us in a mutual quest toward a greater understanding of spiritual practices that encourage us to bring our whole selves? 

Minister: Yes, I will with your support, love, and solidarity.

Members: We, the members of East Shore Unitarian Church, do install you as Minister of this church and offer you our encouragement, support, compassion,  solidarity, and love.

Minister: With a deep sense of gratitude, clarity, and awareness of my responsibilities, I accept my duties. May our relationship promote justice, radical hospitality, inclusion, and unconditional love, among us and in the larger community. Asi Sea! May it be so! And let the people say AMEN!

Welcome Reverend María Cristina

Welcome Reverend María Cristina

It was a blessing on our East Shore hike day To know you in a more personal way

Nueva Ministra de nuestra iglesia Reverenda María Cristina

You snapping photos, we walked at the back Sharing some of our lives along the track

A fresh first trillium shyly peeking through Sign of Easter rising anew

Innocent white, of babies, rebirth

Turning pink then purple, each stage with worth As we walk the ups and downs of life’s trails Rising with beauty when we fail

I welcome you now all others above With blessings, gratitude, light and love.

by Hazel Wolf

Congregational Meeting: June 11, 11:30 a.m.

Congregational Meeting: June 11, 11:30 a.m.

Voting members will elect a new Board and Nominating Committee and vote on some bylaw changes. More information will be available in the coming weeks, but please mark your calendars. The meeting will be on Zoom in the same room as worship and in the Sanctuary. Please keep an eye out for details about voting which will be sent in mid-May.

2023-24 Slate of Candidates

The East Shore Nominating Committee has completed the slate of candidates for next year’s Board of Trustees and Nominating Committee positions. This slate will be voted on at the June 11 Congregational Meeting.

The positions in bold print are up for election. The others are informational, to provide a complete list of members who will serve during the next church year.

In addition to the slate of candidates from the Nominating Committee, our church bylaws allow Nominations by Petition. Members in good standing may nominate themselves or others for any position up for election. To do so, signatures of at least fifteen members of the congregation must be presented to the church office at least 21 days in advance of the Annual Congregational Business Meeting along with a signed statement from each prospective nominee of willingness to serve if elected. The deadline this year is May 21, 2023. No additional nominations will be received after the stated period.

Questions about the election process may be directed to the current members of the 2022-2023 Nominating Committee: Ryam Hill, Marcy Langrock, Elaine Cox, Beth Wilson.

Please join us in thanking all our candidates and current Board and Committee members for their dedication to our church!

Members Vote on Membership Coming!

Members Vote on Membership Coming!

A more inclusive Membership bylaw has been approved by the Board! The proposal will be voted on in June by our members, at our congregational meeting.

The membership section describes qualifications to be a member, responsibilities of membership, privileges of membership, and resignation and removal of membership.

Two of the most significant changes, if approved, would be:

1. Separating donations from membership. That means no longer requiring a donation in order to become a member or maintain your membership. Requests and asks for donations would still happen. Separating donations from membership is recommended in order to be more welcoming. We avoid elitism based on affordability and eliminate a perceived barrier to engaging with East Shore.

Do any privileges of membership require a member to have money?

No. Privileges of membership are: to vote at congregational meetings, to serve as a trustee, to have access to records of the church, and attend church meetings except when any group is in executive session or their charter prohibits it.

Will the church lose money by making this change?

Most donors are on automatic donation plans, rather than one time only donors, which provides a steady income to East Shore. There will still be a need to donate funds for the budget of the church. Events such as the Auction and the Mission Fund Drive will still need to happen. The call to donate will still need to be put out and people will still need to be motivated to donate to keep their community going. Those don’t end by not requiring a donation in order to join. We want to be a place where people want to donate, not have to donate.

Donating even a small amount of money shows commitment to East Shore

What kind of relationship with East Shore do we want to encourage in members? A financial one is predominant if we require a donation. It is preferable to ask for engagement with East Shore in ways that demonstrate our Mission, as the Pathway to Membership does. Prospective members are being asked to participate and engage with East Shore, thereby encouraging them to make connections to our community. Let’s be a church who people want to donate to, not have to donate to.

Will current members feel it is unfair that new folks won’t have to donate, when they had to in order to become a member?. Members who have been a member for a long time probably didn’t have to participate in congregational life as much as new members are being asked to before they become a member. Previous membership orientations were one class and/or signing the book depending on if you were new to UUism, or they had lesser requirements. We still want and need donations, of course, and members will still be appreciated for their donation. Big donors can still be appropriately asked and thanked.

2. To remove the Non-discrimination section because it is not needed in bylaws per WA law. However, the Unitarian Universalist Association still recommends including a non-discrimination clause in the Membership section so fundamental understand of member responsibility is set. Today’s UUA and wider world are striving to end many -ism’s and oppressions. The proposed new Membership bylaw is a broader statement of member responsibilities than non-discrimination.

See the original wording of the Membership bylaws and the changes proposed here. Two zoom discussion forums are scheduled:

  • June 4, 1:00 pm via Zoom: 835 4738 9519, Passcode: Bylaw
  • June 6, 7:00 pm via Zoom: 868 4124 1445, Passcode: Bylaw

If you have immediate questions or concerns, contact [email protected].

June’s Beacon will tell you about the remaining changes that make membership more inclusive of others and of new proposed policies to go with the new Membership bylaws. For a sneak peak of both, go to

by Grace Colton, Policy and Governance

2023 General Assembly

2023 General Assembly

June 21-25

General Assembly is the annual gathering of Unitarian Universalists, where we conduct business of the Association, explore the theological underpinnings of our faith, and lean fully into our mission and principles. Please join us Wednesday, June 21 through Sunday, June 25 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and/or online for this 5-day immersive experience where we participate in inspirational worship services and informative workshops, reconvene with friends and colleagues, and explore our bustling exhibit hall. GA is an unforgettable experience for the thousands of UUs who attend. Meet us online or in Pittsburgh and you’ll leave with renewed energy and innovative ideas to share with your congregation and community-at-large! Learn more and register at

Please note, several staff will be going to General Assembly in person or virtually, as well as their professional days which often happen on the day or two before GA.

Delegates Chosen

At the April 25 Board meeting the Board voted to approve the slate of delegates proposed by the 8th Principle Team.

The criteria for delegates (as approved by the Board of Trustees):

  • willing to or have educated themselves about the issues being voted on;
  • have signed up to attend GA (scholarships may be available);
  • support the 8th principle and UUA leadership;
  • accept they are representing ESUC not themselves as individuals.

Those chosen to represent East Shore are: Mike Radow, Dave Baumgart, Maury Edwards, Grace Colton, Marcy Langrock, Paul Buehrens, Ryam Hill, Beth Wilson (Alternate)

All volunteers are long time ESUC members and have served on the Board of Directors, as Officers, or Chaired Committees. The Majority have attended and voted at other General Assemblies.

Join the Salish Sea CUUPS!

Join the Salish Sea CUUPS!

Salish Sea CUUPS, East Shore’s chapter of the Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans, is now meeting on the 2nd Mondays of each month at 7 PM on Zoom. We are a ministry team of ESUC and are open to all members, friends and anyone from the local community.

We share inspiration and resources for Earth-Centered and Pagan spiritual practices, readings and songs that resonate with us, and connect with each other in community and friendship.

In addition to our annual Winter Solstice service, we have provided readings, blessings, and music that enrich our worship services and social events. Please reach out if you would like us to contribute to your event.

This fall, we hope to offer a three-session introductory course on Pagan and Earth-centered spirituality over three weeks. We are also working with the church to create an outdoor worship space in the future.

If you would like to learn more, we welcome you to attend a meeting. Reach out to one of our officers: me, LeAnne Struble or Carrie Coello.

by Chris Struble