11135-65 Avenue Edmonton, Alberta T6H 1W3 · Traditional Lands of Treaty 6 First Nations



A compassionate community of free religious thought, inviting all people to rest, grow, and serve the world.

Sounding Board Notes- June 2021

Sounding Board from June 09, 2021

We were all pleased to welcome incoming Board members (Brenda Niska-Aro, Alfred Falk, and Rebecca Patterson) who attended to get a head start on their roles. The Board was really pleased with the number of people who attended our Annual General Meeting in May which was in competition with a gorgeous, sunny day.  It is heartening to see so many Westwoodians participating in our decisions.

The Worship team has decided that Sunday services will continue to be on-line until at least the end of October to make planning clearer and to ensure we keep everyone safe.  If provincial guidelines permit, we will be resuming our front lawn socials in September – stay tuned. There will not be a minister’s zoom coffee chat during the summer months. Our summer services are going to be exciting! Saskatoon has arranged for Westwood, Kelowna, UCE and themselves to alternate services for July and August. We will have a chance to explore and get to know each other. The zoom links will be different each time but are easy to find on our Westwood website calendar (www.westwoodunitarian.ca). Please note that the July 11 service is the Annual Genocide Memorial service led by Rev. Audrey Brooks. Westwood has accepted an invitation to be one of the sponsors along with UCE and the Edmonton Interfaith Centre.

Our treasurer, Jacqueline Willette, gave the last report of her term, letting us know that contributions from members and friends are holding steady as we had hoped, and we are also receiving contributions from online visitors.  We heartily thanked Jacqueline and our administrator, Elaine, for all their work navigating these unusual times.

Our next casino window will not come up until the middle or late 2022.  We are offering to jump in sooner if an unexpected opening comes up as that would certainly help next year’s budget. Brenda Jackson has valiantly agreed to lead the casino efforts once again.

The Board unanimously approved the addition of short-term disability/medical leave to the minister’s contract for up to two months paid leave per serious incident, at regular contracted salary & housing rates. This covers the gap until the minister’s Green Shield long-term disability plan begins. This benefit immediately provides peace of mind, with no additional budget cost to the congregation, as these costs are already in our budget and we have the capacity to manage without additional professional support for that short period. We heartily hope we won’t need this, but it represents our goodwill and high regard for Rev. Anne. (Note: we have an existing agreement regarding Rev. Anne’s second knee replacement surgery – which is covered by banked vacation and sabbatical time.)

Westwood is so popular that we have attracted some wildlife who have been digging near our main entrance. Rest assured that we are aware of this and are taking appropriate (and caring) steps

What is happening about a proposed CUC UU 8th principle?

CUC is sending out a package of background information soon explaining a process where all voices will be heard.  Congregations will have time to delve into this in preparation for our delegates to vote at a special CUC meeting on the last Saturday in November (the 27). This is the weekend when we would typically have had our Fall Gathering. 

CUC will also hold a national service that Sunday.The Board has authorized the Health & Safety team to work out details for renters to resume use of our building in the Fall as long as this meets requirements of health regulations. We are also reviewing our rental fees. 

Submitted by Lorian Kennedy

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