What is the Right Relations Committee?

What is the Right Relations Committee?

We are a Board Committee that works for East Shore’s Board of Trustees and the congregation to improve relationships within the community of East Shore.  We do this in a number of ways including the 3 C’s – covenant, communication and conflict resolution.


The entire congregation is responsible to create, practice and uphold the Covenant.  The Covenant is the collective commitments that provide the landscape and inspiration for us to be our best selves in the ESUC Beloved Community.  In 2018, the congregation adopted a Church RR Covenant that is below and is a living document to be revisited and revised as needed.


Right Relations support/facilitate a range of communications that include emails, meetings, listening circles, town halls and restorative events.  We support direct communication and deep listening – individuals, pairs, groups and congregation wide.  Creating a space where all voices and perspectives can be heard is often at the heart of these communications.

Individually and as a group, RR continues to seek out relevant trainings with the goal of improving our own skills and sharing those knowledge/skills with the congregation.

Conflict Resolution

Tandi Rogers, UUA minister says “conflict is a faith formation opportunity and part of religious community and the human journey”.  RR hopes to normalize conflict at ESUC and help our congregation recognize, name and lean into discomfort, impact and harm.  The UUA RR training says “conflict that occurs within Covenant, means that we are prioritizing restoration of relationships over being proved right or wrong.”

Practicing with small conflicts helps us develop the skills and be prepared for larger conflicts if/when they occur.  Goals for conflict at East Shore:

  1. Direct communication with other person about conflict (no triangulation)
  2. Bring a friend if needing support to communicate with the other person directly
  3. Come to any RR member to get additional support

Upcoming Opportunities to Learn More About RR
April 28 Worship Service
Join members of the RR team after service for an informal discussion to learn more about what we do at ESUC including communication and conflict resolution.

Right Relations Committee
Susan McDonald
Milly Mullarky
Mark Norelius
Maury Edwards
Nancy Barnes
Amanda Strombom
Karin Elofson

Covenant of Right Relations, East Shore Unitarian Church (2018)

We respect and honor our beloved community, ourselves, and others when we:

  • Enter this space with a spirit of gratitude for this community and share it openly.
  • Hold this community as sacred, balancing our personal spiritual needs with those of others to preserve a brave and safe space.
  • Openly share our real selves, being vulnerable and trusting.
  • Seek the joy and richness of diversity of people, experiences and culture. Embrace the voices and leadership of marginalized people in all areas of the church.
  • Listen to others to discover their deepest needs and intent, with a willingness to be changed.
  • Speak our perspective with honesty and respect, recognizing and caring about the possible impact on others.
  • Commit to personal life-long learning of skills to help resolve and restore relationships through healing and forgiveness.  
  • Support the success of our staff, minister, board, and our congregational groups and committees.  
  • Strengthen and promote the values of our beloved community and Unitarian Universalism and carry them into the future and the larger world.
New Rentals to Campus

New Rentals to Campus

East Shore will be a little busier starting in September. In the Education building during the weekdays you will see a group of about 25 high-school aged students using Spring Hall and a few upstairs classrooms. We are renting space to a homeschool enrichment group from September until June! They follow a nature-inspired Waldorf curriculum and they are so excited to be able to learn on our beautiful 5-acre campus with the trees, plants, and native wildlife. If you need to use the Education building during weekdays, it is possible but please confirm with Dianne Upton on those arrangements so we can respect school security protocols.

The lower gravel parking lot will also be a little busier than before. Parking spaces rented through Diamond Parking are striped in yellow; please avoid parking in those spots during the week. During evenings and weekends, the entire parking lot is ours to use so don’t worry too much about finding a spot on Sunday.

Rentals help with East Shore’s bottom line financially and we work hard to make our church events happen seamlessly around other uses of our campus. If you have any questions about what’s going on at East Shore, please reach out to Dianne Upton our Facilities Manager who keeps the calendar updated. Dianne can help you book space for your team’s needs; email to [email protected] for help.

by Rebecca Chatfield, Director of Finance & Operations

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!

Volunteer to watch kids during the June 11 congregational meeting!

Do you enjoy taking care of kids (for a short time)? Are you less than thrilled to attend the congregational meeting? This may be a perfect opportunity for you! We need 2-4 adults to take care of kids (ages 8 months to 17 years) during the June 11, 2023, congregational meeting. We want all church members who are parents of kids to be free to attend the congregational meeting and know that their kids are cared for. We need at least 2 adults and additional adults to keep the ratio below 8 kids per adult.

The June congregational meeting is where church members vote on changes to church bylaws and on a slate of candidates for the Board of Trustees and the Nominating Committee. Note that you can volunteer to watch the kids and still vote by absentee ballot — your vote is counted, and you don’t have to sit in the meeting!

The congregational meeting should go approximately 12-1:30 PM on Sunday June 11, 2023. It will probably take less time than that, but we have no way of knowing exactly.

You will be watching the kids in the church playground. If the weather is bad, Spring Hall and Rm E-106 are reserved for your use.

PLEASE CONTACT Martin Cox if you would like to take this opportunity to volunteer for the kids, the families, and the democratic process at East Shore!

If you need childcare, please RSVP here.

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 esuc.org.

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 uua.org/ga.

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.

Installation Ceremony of Rev. Dr. María Cristina Vlassidis Burgoa

Installation Ceremony of Rev. Dr. María Cristina Vlassidis Burgoa

Join us on Sunday, April 23 at 10:30 a.m. as we Install Rev. Dr. María Cristina Vlassidis Burgoa as our settled minister at East Shore!

Answering the call to ministry is more than just a career choice. Being ordained into professional religious leadership and accepting a call to parish ministry are both life-changing events. With careful planning, the services of Ordination and Installation are opportunities not only to celebrate these profoundly transformative moments, but also to embody our Unitarian Universalist history and theology in meaningful and just ways. It’s our shared responsibility to create services that reflect the depth and power of our tradition as well as our unique identities and cultures.

An installation service formally celebrates the covenantal relationship between a minister and the congregation that has called the minister. 

An Installation service marks the congregation’s successful completion of the ministerial search process—the weeks and months of self-examination and self-promotion as they hope to attract someone who is qualified to be, and who wants to be, their new minister. The congregational vote to call the minister—often held months earlier, during the minister’s candidating week—is the act that leads to the installation, which is a celebration of the joy both parties feel for having found one another, and their agreement to enter into a covenant of shared ministry.

The Installation isn’t something the congregation does for the minister; rather, it honors and celebrates the promises you are making to one another as you knit yourselves into shared ministry. As a result, the Service of Installation is centered around a spoken ritual that lifts up your covenant of shared ministry. As with the Service of Ordination, it’s a worship service that offers an invitation to individual and communal transformation as well as an opportunity to live our faith in the world.

The connection between a minister and a congregation is especially apparent in a service of Installation, as an affirmation of the covenant between them: minister and congregation are accountable to each other, as well as to the larger denomination and world in which they live out their shared ministry.

Yet another relationship exists as the source of call: that between minister and Spirit, the Divine, the Beloved, Humanity, or however you name it. “It is this beckoning from the divine, a desire to do our work and live our lives in constant relationship with the divine that constitutes a ‘call.’”

An installation service—which uplifts covenant and shared ministry—is about more than the match between an individual and the congregation: it’s an opportunity to affirm our covenant to work together to create the beloved community. 

In the Act of Installation, the promises focus not on the minister’s lifelong commitment to serve, but rather on the new covenant between minister and congregation. These promises bind us to one another: we choose one another in a radical act of faith.

[Adapted from the UUA Ordination & Installation Handbook]