The Anniversary of COVID-19
– Rev. Nancy Reid-McKee, Minister
A year ago I would not have believed that we would still be living separate lives, covering our faces and distancing ourselves from each other. A year ago I could not have imagined that ½ million people would be dead from the pandemic in the U.S. alone. I could not have imagined that the virus would become a political division, rather than a health crisis. Obviously, my imagination has been stretched this past year.
And how is it with you, my friend? How are you holding up through this? How is your imagination doing with the challenges?
I am going to ask you to imagine one more thing. Imagine there is a thread between us; a thread that binds you to me, that binds you to us, that binds us all into our community. This is the same thread that I asked each of you to tie to your wrist, hairbrush or stairway handrail last year- the thread that reminds you that you are held in love.
As we move into this second year of the pandemic, I am asking you to tie on a new thread to remind you of the connections that run between us. Please join us at the service on Sunday, March 7th as we renew this commitment. If you don’t receive this thread from us in the mail, please find a piece of yarn or string so you can join this ritual!
What Is the Spirit of Our House?
– Rev. Nancy Reid-McKee, Minister
Over the year we have been exploring Our House of Belonging. This month we have moved on to explore the spirit of this house.
How does it feel to you when you join our zoom call? What is the subtle message you hear about this church? Is your spirit encouraged to explore? Is your soul recognized by others and welcomed in, no matter what foibles you may embrace?
As we explore how we want the spirit of this house to be, we will talk about welcoming, inclusion, compassion, and how we strive to make things right in this damaged world. And know this- our house is the sum of its parts. Your spirit is part of the whole spirit, and so your spirit is precious.
I hope you find ways to nurture your spirit, find ways to wholeness, because then, together, we can start the work of healing this world through our love and commitment.
Upcoming Worship Services
Sunday, March 7th: “The Spirit of Justice”
Rev. Reid-McKee will talk about the great social evils, as described by Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the practical ways we can begin the practice of bringing social reform and justice into our lives.
Sunday, March 14th: “The Spirit of Compassion”
Rev. Reid-McKee will explore compassion and what distinguishes this from empathy. So often we are unsure how to respond to others as they suffer in some way. It may be that we can learn to create spontaneous, compassion within ourselves, and how to respond to others with care.
Sunday, March 21st: “The Spirit of Change”
This Sunday we continue our celebration of Women’s History Month by lifting up the accomplishments and pitfalls of the predominantly white feminist movement. Rev. Reid-McKee will explore the impact of white privilege on women of color, the intersectionality of race, gender and white privilege, and how our Unitarian Universalist faith can be a force for radical change.
Sunday, March 28th: Reflections on Expanding Our Imaginations
Aisha Hauser shares reflections from a unique book that highlights what social justice advocates can learn from marine mammals. Marine mammals exist in community in ways that are astonishing and beautiful and are responsive to the natural world around them. Join us as we imagine together how we too might listen to our bodies and the messages from the earth.
Aisha Hauser (she, her) currently serves on the Lead Ministry Team for the Church of the Larger Fellowship. Aisha has worked with congregations and for the Unitarian Universalist Association for the last 17 years. She is an accomplished religious educator, facilitator, author, curriculum developer and anti-racism advocate. Aisha co-created the UU White Supremacy Teach-In movement to support UU congregations in understanding and fighting against white supremacy. Her writings Aisha is the recipient of the 2018 Angus H. MacLean Award for Excellence in Religious Education and is a Credentialed Religious Educator at the Master Level and current President of the Liberal Religious Educators Association
Real Rent Duwamish
This past Town Hall we had a presentation from Steve Wilhelm and Melissa Ahern about Northlake’s commitment to include rent to the Duwamish people in the annual budget. This is a momentous acknowledgement of a debt to those who occupied this land for centuries, and a first step in reparation for harm done. Many of us know this is not sufficient, but it is significant as an ongoing commitment. The next step is up to each of us as individuals, because if you live on this land it was taken without payment.
I am hoping this symbolic action of the church will inspire others to participate in the Real Rent Duwamish program, and consider paying monthly rent to the tribe. If you are inspired, please consider going to their website: https://www.realrentduwamish.org/
– Jaie Tiefenbrunn, Music Director
Since I began serving remotely in September as your Music Director, members of your choir have been gathering on Sundays for community, education, and music making. It has been different, to be sure; I am the voice they usually hear, and except for the ‘aural hug’ we share at the end of rehearsal, we can not harmonize together. But a steadfast group have been learning with me as we navigate Zoom and the effect that the speed of light suddenly has on the speed of sound.
Your choir is working hard on a special selection for Flower Communion. As part of the diverse musical heritage that is our denominations, I teach every choir that I direct the first polyphonic song ever found in written notation. Sumer is icumen in is found in a codex assembled in approximately 1265, in Reading, England. It was scribed with both Latin and Middle English words; the Latin lyric describes God’s sacrifice of His only son, while the English describe the natural exuberance of springtime. Perfect for Easter, if you ask me. I am in the midst of collecting recordings and making a mix that will serve as the backdrop for what I hope will be a very fun music video.
After that, we will tackle what I call the ‘fancy’ version of Turn the World Around, arranged by my colleague, Jason Shelton. For this recording project, we will team up with Nashville musicians for a festive celebration of Northlake’s 60th anniversary.
Choir is always open to new members; and you can always drop in and check it out without making a commitment or doing any recording. This is a great time to join; no one else can hear you, and you can learn about music reading and healthy vocal production. We also participate in other educational and musical events.
Building a shared vision for our future
-MaryEllen O., Chair of the Capital Campaign Committee
A capital campaign is often a once-a-generation opportunity for a congregation to come together and invest in the future… A capital campaign requires a collective leap of faith on behalf of the members — in one another and in a future in which Unitarian Universalism and their congregation thrive and grow in mission and impact. – Stewardship for Us
It has been almost a year since we have been physically together in our sanctuary and many of us are longing to return to the spaces that hold a special place in our hearts. While Northlake is a special place, the people of Northlake make our congregation a loving community, not the physical space that held all of us on Sunday mornings. Yet our care for our physical church reflects our values, allows us to carry out our mission, and makes a statement to our neighbors and the wider community.
While we are not in our physical church spaces we have an opportunity to proactively plan for the long-term needs of our campus. Northlake is a forward-thinking community with dreams and aspirations for how we can better live our vision and mission. We realize our Sanctuary roof is reaching the end of its useful life and our buildings are not easily accessible to all. To begin formally addressing our long-term needs, Northlake has been guided by a professional consultant and we are taking recommended steps to understand our needs and create a shared vision. Visioning Circles scheduled this March are one of the key early steps that will guide our plans. Visioning Circles are small group meetings focused on discovering our hopes and dreams for Northlake. The data collected from all that is shared will be presented to the congregation in June 2021. Some circles still have space available, if you missed the deadline you can still sign-up.
Ultimately, the visioning process will help guide a capital campaign to achieve the congregation’s long-term goals and give us the home that secures the future of Northlake. A capital campaign is an extensive fundraiser that includes a concerted effort to raise a substantial amount of money for a specific project, in this case, funding major improvements to our campus. Campaign goals can be set as soon as a year or as far away as five years or more. Since a capital campaign will fund long-term or major improvements, it specifically does not increase Northlake’s operating budget. A capital campaign is not related to the annual stewardship drive and pledges made specifically to a capital campaign are separate from Northlake members’ ongoing annual pledging. Both are critical aspects of Northlake’s ability to maintain healthy finances and make improvements to our campus.
We all share in the important process of shaping the collective future of our congregation. Will we dream big? Will we take a collective leap of faith? Will we create spaces that allow us to become the congregation we aspire to be in the future? With collective effort and commitment by this loving community, the answer of course is YES!
- Everly Peck March 2nd
- Annika Anderson March 9th
- Penda Hoge March 31st