Board Buzz: Priorities

Board Buzz: Priorities

To say I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and generosity you all showed for East Shore in the last weeks would be an understatement. I hope you have seen the new proposed budget for 2022-23 which takes advantage of that love and generosity to provide Rev. Maria Cristina with a solid foundation to get off to a good start. Thank you.

In four days, on June 5, we will celebrate the four-year tenure of Reverend Steve Furrer at East Shore. The pandemic greatly hampered Steve’s need to connect personally and get to know us. Still, despite the lack of human contact so central to his ministry, Rev. Steve helped calm our troubled waters and get us ready to call a settled minister, just as he was supposed to. We owe him a huge debt of gratitude. Please stay after worship on June 5 to join the festivities. Also, you may leave a virtual memory for Steve here .

This is my last Board Buzz article as your Board President, many thanks are in order. First, to the Nominating Team for putting my name forward, and the congregation for trusting me to lead. This role has given me a chance to grow, by turns, braver, more humble, more honest, more awed, more tolerant, more grateful. This is my exploration of spirituality, gained through service to the East Shore community. If you think your heart is too faint for Board work, think again. It grows on you, as you grow into it. This year, Sheridan Botts and Leta Hamilton are completing two years of service with distinction. It isn’t easy hearing no so many times. It isn’t easy trying to assemble a team which reflects varieties of age and viewpoint among our congregation. (This isn’t us, but one UU church in the state has no board members under 70!)

And thank you to the other Board members who have put up with my bossiness, my annoying use of Robert’s Rules of Order, my railroading of the agenda, the calling of many extra meetings. Through it all we disagreed well and agreed well.

And thank you my fellow Eastshorians and friends. We have undertaken many initiatives and ministries to spread our mission and the Eight Principles of the UU movement. Many of you have made sure I know how you feel about things. Just the way you are supposed to. I appreciate the vibrant, hopeful energy behind all your suggestions. There’s always a danger in leaving someone out, but even so, I’d be remiss if I failed to mention two folks especially: Ann Fletcher, who has seemingly been everywhere, Policy and Governance, head of the Staff leadership team review last summer, then immediately heading the Ministerial Search Team, and Grace Colton, master of the bylaws. Those two always made sure we met deadlines and didn’t run afoul of the law.

And thanks to the staff. I’ll say more about Steve this Sunday. To Nicole, for working with me on innumerable eblasts and Beacon articles and extended deadlines and last minute edits and re-edits. To Eric for his creativity and humor, to amanda alice, for her passionate advocacy for the younger people among us. To both of them for adding texture and sensory elements to worship. To Rebecca for speedy and thorough reports on any subject I ever asked for. LeAnne’ bejeweled fingers adding substance to our joys and sorrows. And to Dianne, Vanessa, Celil, Jenny, LeAnne for answering all my many, many questions with grace and accuracy.

This is an impressive community. We have done much and are poised to do so much more within and without East Shore. Let’s. And let’s take care of each other, while we do those great things, in a spirit of mutual help and camaraderie. We need each other.

Yours, in faith, Mike Radow

Help Get out the Vote

Help Get out the Vote

The next round of postcard writing is coming up to help get out the vote in states where voting restrictions are being implemented.  This time we’ll be focusing on Florida.  Addresses for the Get Out the Vote campaign in Florida’s primary have just become available.

This first batch are for a part of Florida you’ve probably not heard of – St Lucie.  St Lucie is a county on the East coast just northeast of Lake Okeechobee, the big lake in the lower third of the state, just up from the everglades.  It’s largely made up of agriculture and retiree communities, those being lower income.  The entire county is around 300,000 people with around 20% of being Black.  This Get Out The Vote campaign is aiming to contact roughly half the voting Black population in the county, described as infrequent voters.  Campaigns for other counties in Florida will likely follow this one.

Most of the southern states had early primaries – but not Florida.  Their early voting window is short – the week Aug 13-20 with the primary day Aug. 23. These cards are to be held till August 1-8, so they arrive right before the early voting starts and the final primary day.

This election may be considered an off year since the president isn’t on the ballot, but one of the state federal senators, Marco Rubio, is up for reelection, and so are 5 state administrative seats, governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state being just three that matter. Of course, all 28 house seats are also up every 2 years.  These postcards may be the only communication that these marginalized people receive, so it matters.

For more information about participating in this campaign, please contact Lynn Roesch or Marilyn Mayers, who can supply you with postcards, address labels and everything else you need!

Amanda Strombom, member of East Shore’s Get out the Vote Campaign team

Volunteer to Paint our Community Mural

Volunteer to Paint our Community Mural

East Shore’s Community Mural Project is our main community action project for 2022.  This project will help us explore collaboration and creativity, inclusion and agency across generations.  This year we will complete the first phase: a mural in the hallway outside the preschool room and bathrooms in the Education Building.  We’d like to express our gratitude to the Aesthetics Team and to East Shore’s wonderful staff who have been enthusiastically supporting the community mural.

This first phase of the mural will be painted during the Art In Community summer camp, which will run from 9am to 3pm on June 27 through July 1st.  The camp is for 5-12 year olds, with teen counselors and adult leaders.  The first-phase of the mural depicts our Pacific Northwest natural heritage, including our region’s land, mountain and water-scapes, and rich plant and animal diversity.  The campers will be encouraged to depict their favorite PNW plants and animals.

Our own Wenda Collins has designed the overall mural, choosing very calming and beautiful colors and forms.  We are so lucky to have such talented artists as Wenda in our community.  Wenda has this to say about the project:

Long ago I heard the phrase “when you touch a flower you are touching star dust”
I tried to keep this phase in mind as I designed the mural
I think we live in a place where the sea, mountains, moist air and sun, the flora and fauna affects our life and our hearts.

Above is Wenda Collin’s design for phase one of the community mural.

We are eagerly seeking volunteers to be “muralists.” Volunteer positions are available June 20-July 1 in 3-hour shifts. Muralists will help with setup, painting and clean up.  You can work with young people to translate their creative ideas onto the mural wall. All you need to bring is some work clothes you won’t mind getting splattered with paint. You can use this link to sign up for as many shifts as you can help us.  Please contact the mural project manager, Doug Strombom ([email protected], 4259858587) if you have any questions about the mural or volunteering.  Please volunteer… it will be fun!

ECAM endorses People for Climate Action

ECAM endorses People for Climate Action

People for Climate Action’s (PCA)mission is to help local governments develop and implement comprehensive climate action plans to reach the greenhouse gas reduction targets set by the King County-Cities Climate Collaboration(K4C),  which include a 50% reduction by 2030.

People for Climate Action has created a comprehensive workbook that lists and prioritizes climate actions designed to help cities develop or strengthen their climate action plans.

Visit PCA’s website  https://peopleforclimateaction.org/ to:

  1. Sign up as a PCA member so you can receive  newsletters and invitations to events.
  2. Join a local PCA group in your city and become an active participant.
  3. Review the Resources page to see past recorded events or to download a free guide for ways to reduce your carbon footprint.

Our own Ann Fletcher is  a leader in PCA Issaquah. Other ECAM members are active in Bellevue PCA.  There are PCA’s in 14 King County cities. Join others in lobbying your city to do more to address climate change.

Below is an important upcoming event in Bellevue.

PCA Bellevue’s Urgent Call to Action: All hands-on-deck for this critical “make a difference” workshop with keynote speaker, Bellevue City Councilmember Janice Zahn

Saturday, June 4, 9:30-10:30am

Why is this event so important? Bellevue isn’t doing enough. The climate won’t wait. The next few months will make or break the commitment to cut greenhouse gas emissions 50% by 2030.

THERE IS STRENGTH IN NUMBERS. PLEASE REGISTER TO ATTEND THIS WORKSHOP! Here’s how:  

Register in advance for this free event. After registering, you’ll get a confirmation email with information about joining the meeting.

 

FIRE Interfaith Dialogue on Judaism

FIRE Interfaith Dialogue on Judaism

Fostering Interfaith Relationships on the Eastside (FIRE) invites you to our 19th Interfaith Dialogue on Sunday, June 12, 7:00-8:30PM. This Dialogue will be conducted as a “hybrid” meeting which you can attend in person at Northlake Unitarian Universalist Church (308 4th Avenue South, Kirkland) or online using Zoom conferencing. Please register for the Dialogue on EventBrite at https://fire-interfaith-dialogue-on-judaism.eventbrite.com; the Zoom link will be emailed before the event to everyone who has registered.

The topic for this Dialogue is “Judaism”. Rabbi Yohanna Kinberg of Congregation Kol Ami in Kirkland will share with us on a variety of topics such as the following:

  • What is the history of Judaism? How did it originate, and how has it evolved over time?
  • How is Judaism organized on both a local and worldwide basis? How are leaders selected?
  • What would the world miss if Judaism never existed? What are its unique teachings?
  • How does Judaism spread the faith to new adherents at this time?
  • What are common misconceptions about Judaism and how do you explain them?
  • How did you first learn of Judaism? What prompted you to follow that faith?
  • How does the practice of Judaism affect your life day-to-day in modern America?
  • If one wanted to learn more about Judaism, what are some introductory resources?

The presentation will be followed by open Q&A with the audience, both in the room and on Zoom. For those in the room, participants will be able to raise their hand to be recognized and then come to a microphone. For those on Zoom, the moderator will use the Zoom “Raise Hand” feature to identify who would like to ask a question, and enable audio and video for each person in turn to ask their question live; you will need to unmute to be heard, and may enable video if you choose.

The Dialogue will be recorded and shared on the FIRE web site after the event. If you are participating via Zoom and do not want to appear on the video, please don’t turn on your video or ask to be recognized for a question. If you are in the meeting room and do not want to be on the video, an area will be designated that will not be visible on camera; please choose a seat in that area.

Following the dialogue, we will have open discussion among all attendees for those who would like to participate.

Note that this Dialogue will not include a dinner for those attending in person; please eat before coming if you wish.

If you have any questions about the Dialogue, please email [email protected].

East Shore Calls  Rev. Dr. María Cristina Vlassidis Burgoa  as our next Settled Minister

East Shore Calls Rev. Dr. María Cristina Vlassidis Burgoa as our next Settled Minister

Let the celebration begin! East Shore has voted to call Rev. Dr. María Cristina Vlassidis Burgoa and she has accepted! Let us all take time to sing, laugh, cry, dance, breathe, meditate, pray and whatever else our spirits move us to do as we live through this moment.

After accepting our call, Reverend María Cristina had this to say at our congregational celebration, “This is the beginning of a beautiful relationship. I know that we’ve only just begun, but I have a deep abiding love that will continue to grow for this beautiful community.”

How did the vote turn out? During the week of April 24 through May 1, 2022, 222 East Shore members voted 100% unanimously in favor of calling Rev. Dr. María Cristina Vlassidis Burgoa. This was well above the minimum votes needed for a quorum and of course bypassed the 90% approval required by our bylaws.

We hoped and believed we were ready for a new called minister and put our faith into action. Collectively we shared our whole selves throughout the entire process. We formed a Search Committee and generously provided input through surveys, cottage meetings, focus groups, and attendance of Beyond Categorical Thinking. We waited patiently and through the first three months of 2022 as the Search Committee did their very best to discern among the many candidates who would be the best match for East Shore. Only with the love, trust, encouragement and faith that the East Shore community continually showed, could the Search Committee have been able to execute their duties so well.

And finally, during the Candidating Week so many of you participated in worship, discussion forums and social events. During that time, we got to know and love Rev. María Cristina and Mama Lily, and just as importantly, they got to know and love us. We showed up with curiosity, practiced loving hospitality, and shared our deep commitment to our mission. In return, they engaged deeply with us and brought their wonderful passion and spirit into our presence. And now we have welcomed Rev. María Cristina and Mama Lily into our East Shore family.

Rev. María Cristina and her mother will now head back to their home in Hayward, California to tend to her duties as the minister of her current congregation. They will be back in Late Summer 2022 to begin her tenure. Until that time, the Search Committee will act as the communications channel between the congregation and Rev. María Cristina.

Getting To Know Us

While we await her arrival let’s welcome Rev. María Cristina by introducing ourselves. Women’s Perspective Team is creating a binder filled with individual profiles written by each of East Shore’s members and friends– in our own words! Your contributions will be a huge help as Rev. María Cristina gets to know her new flock. To assist you we have a form with a few questions and where you may include your personal narrative and photos as well. Copies of the form are available in the office.

Please complete and return it by June 15 by:

  • Dropping it off in the office – there will be a locked box to put it in.
  • Mailing it to Women’s Perspective at the church office.
  • Scanning and email it to [email protected]

Please remember to add a recent photo or two – they will be especially helpful to Reverend María Cristina!

Ultimately the binder, both in physical and electronic forms, will be presented to María Cristina for her use in getting to know us. Completing this small project is, of course, entirely optional but as a gift of sharing ourselves, the Women’s Perspective Steering Team hopes you will participate.

Thank you to all in the East Shore community who participated in Candidating Week and the Congregational Vote as we begin this new era in our journey.

In faith, David Baumgart, Martin Cox, Ann Fletcher, Leta Hamilton, Julie Heise, Connie Hirnle, David Langrock, the Ministerial Search Committee