Themes for 2021/2022 at Northlake
– Rev. Nancy Reid-McKee, Minister
For the coming year we have several themes that will guide our worship services and classes.
The first theme is “Widening the Circle.” Because we are so committed to being a close community, it is easy for churches and congregations to become insular. This can mean many of us don’t know about the larger UU Association and all that is offered. This can also mean we forget that we are not diverse or representative of the general population; our way of thinking and being is reflective of a culture that differs from many others. This can lead to a racist culture that we don’t acknowledge or notice. We are particularly focused on bringing in voices of those we don’t often hear, which is why you will notice religious professionals from across the country offering sermons.
Our second theme is “Care for the Soul.” This is a focus on how we search for meaning in life, and how we deepen our spiritual journey. Too often we forget that this is a religious institution. We come here not just for social justice or community. Those are things we can find in secular institutions. We come to the UU church because we are also seeking to find meaning and authenticity in life.
The final theme is “Our Sources.” We find our religious inspiration from multiple sources, and we list these as our six primary sources. These range from the mystery we find in the natural world, the wisdom of ancestors, the wisdom from world religions, and others.
All three themes will weave through the sermons and the Wellspring Wednesday evenings. I hope you find them inspirational and challenging as we move into the new church year together!
The 8th Principle
– Rev. Nancy Reid-McKee, Minister
The text of the 8th Principle says: “We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote: journeying toward spiritual wholeness by working to build a diverse and multicultural Beloved Community by our actions that accountably dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions.”
I hope many of you have heard about The 8th Principle by now. This year Northlake is working toward being one of the congregations that affirms the 8th Principle. To that end, we have been inviting speakers who address various aspects of racial culture that may be subtle and elusive to many of us. So far as part of our 8th Principle Series, we have heard from Aisha Hauser, Rev. Anthony Johnson, and Rev. Kimberly Quinn Johnson. In October we will hear from Nicole Pressley (who ran the national UU The Vote campaign last year) and Paula Cole Jones who is co-founder of The 8th Principle Project.
I invite all of us to read “Widening the Circle of Concern”, a report from the UUA Commission on Institutional Change, that addresses how we all must change if our institution is to live into the new world we see coming. It is available to read online, and has an audible version.
Also, explore what it means to adopt an eighth principle. Here is an excerpt from the initial report:
Unitarian Universalism is no stranger to movements that call for racial justice both within and beyond our institutions. Over and over again, pockets of people have worked to say racism is a problem, racism is a problem *for us,* and that we are committed to fighting racism and other oppressions. In 1997, the General Assembly voted to commit to intentionally becoming an anti-racist, anti-oppressive, multicultural institution. Yet, almost 25 years later, we continue to fall short of our commitments and promises.
When the 8th Principle project began, it addressed something vital that had been missing in our UU movement, namely that anti-racism and anti-oppression must be central to congregational life and our community building. The mammoth project of fostering conversation within congregations and other communities, and then calling on those communities to make an explicit statement in the form of the “8th Principle” has become a true groundswell within Unitarian Universalism. In this way, thousands of Unitarian Universalists have become part of the real, fundamental work of anti-racism and anti-oppression in our own communities.
I invite all of Northlake to become engaged in the process of affirming this new principle, making it a living part of our faith.
– Rev. Nancy Reid-McKee, Minister
In the Unitarian Universalist Association, the designation of being a Welcoming Congregation signifies that we have committed to live into our principle of “Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations,” particularly in regard to the LGBTQ+ community. Some years ago, Northlake instituted the process of being recognized as a “Welcoming Congregation” by demonstrating support of the LGBTQ+ community, and examining our community habits and assumptions to assure that all felt welcomed and included.
Since 2015, when the fight for marriage equality made many of us feel that our work was done, there has been less focus on how we welcome and include folk into the church community. While many lesbian and gay UUs may have experienced inclusion, those who are transgender, genderqueer and/or non-binary have not felt as included.
In order to challenge a possible complacency that might arise, the Welcoming Congregation program now requires that we renew our commitment every year through worship services that focus on LGBTQ+ history, rights and concerns, along with acknowledging Days of Observance, providing financial support to local or national LGBTQ+ organizations, and providing educational opportunities that will engage Northlake.
We will begin this process of renewal this October, LGBT History Month, and continue throughout the year by calling attention to how we acknowledge and attend to all who come through our video screens and doors.
October is LGBT History Month
– Rev. Nancy Reid-McKee, Minister
On July 4, 1965 the first organized annual “homosexual” civil rights demonstrations began. In these early years few people would publicly identify themselves as gay, and so only forty people carried signs and attended the rallies. By July 4 1969, one month after the Stonewall riots, 150 people showed up for the demonstration, and in 1970 5000 people congregated in New York’s Central Park. This became the catalyst for the first gay pride parade in NYC, which was emulated in cities across North America and eventually galvanized an international civil rights movement.
There are four figures who are acknowledged as early gay pioneers: Barbara Gittings, Frank Kameny, Lilli Vincenz and Rev. Robert W. Wood. They were among those who established the Annual Reminders (the July 4th demonstrations), attended year after year, and helped transform these into the Pride Parades.
For more information you can explore LGBT History Month website, or read these books (available from inSpirit, the UUA bookstore):
A Queer History of the United States by Michael Bronski
Coming Out In Faith by Keith Kron
Courting Equality by Patricia Gozemba
The Stonewall Generation by Jane Fleishman
After Marriage Equality Book Series by Michael W. Yarbrough, Angela Jones, & Joseph Nicholas DeFilippis
Zoom Art Group for rainy days (and sunny too)!
With summer behind us and rainy days ahead, the NUUC zoom art group would like to invite you to join us. Everyone is welcome, from beginners to old hands. We do drawing, painting, ceramics, tattoos, doodling – and any other type of art you like to do. And there’s plenty of conversation! You can share your work and learn from others, or just do your thing.
We currently meet on Mondays from 1:30 to 3:00 on Zoom.
We’d also like to hear from you: What other kinds of things would you enjoy? Different types of art? Occasional presentations? Different meeting times? Send your suggestions, comments, or questions to John B. at
Children’s/Youth Religious Education Program News!
It’s registration time for Children and Youth programming at Northlake! Northlake is participating in a Pacific Northwest collaborative for online Children and Youth Religious Education programs for children (Elementary, Middle School, and High School Youth).
In addition, we will be offering some in-person activities as we are able based on the current pandemic conditions along with home-based resources for families. To receive information on all programming, please register your family, then register children and youth in the programs that would be of interest to them. For more details, Children’s RE (mcusercontent.com)
Adult Religious Education – Upcoming Programs
“Making a Place at the Table” Compassion in Action Workshop with Tim Dawes
October 17th @ Noon – 1:30 pm (after the service)
Your kids don’t want to clean up their rooms, your co-worker keeps stealing your ideas…
What if there was an answer that was faster and more effective than calling them to task? Come to our workshop, “Making a place at the table,” to find out what it is…and get in a little practice.
Northlake’s speaker for Sunday, October 17th, Tim Dawes, offers an engaging workshop to follow his sermon on Compassion in Action. Tim has made a career of teaching empathy skills; concrete practices that forge alliances, resolve conflict, broker deals, and make sales. In the healthcare industry, Tim’s work led to an award-winning book, Healing from the Heart, which has been called “an important contribution to the humanization of healthcare.” In hi-tech, he has led or created training in sales, negotiations, influence, and difficult conversations for management teams from across the U.S., China, Latin America, and Africa. Check out Tim’s Ted Talk video on compassion here.
Chalice Circles/Covenant Groups starting in October
Northlake’s Chalice Circle small groups begin in October! Chalice Circles are small groups (usually 6-8 people) who commit to coming together to create community and have meaningful discussion around monthly topics. They are a great way to get to know folks in the Northlake community. Our themes for the next six months are Relationship, Joy, Bearing Witness, Resilience, Connection and Community, and Interdependence. Chalice Circles meet twice per month for six months. There are still a few spots available in our Monday afternoon and Thursday afternoon Chalice Circles. You can register here for Monday afternoons and here for Thursday afternoons.
In addition to the Chalice Circles, we will be engaging with similar thematic resources on a drop-in basis one Sunday each month. If you are interested in joining occasionally for a drop-in conversation, please email Margaret Rogers for more information. The schedule for the drop-in option is still being finalized, so if you have a preference for time or which Sunday of the month, please contact Margaret (email@example.com).
Eastside Insight Meditation Group at Northlake
1st and 3rd Thursdays @ 7 – 9 pm
Steve W. leads the Eastside Insight Meditation group on the first and third Thursdays of the month. All are welcome to join. For more information and how to connect, please contact Steve.
Since September we’ve been offering classes and gatherings each Wednesday evening at 7:00 p.m. The schedule will change once we can gather in-person (and let us pray that is soon!), but for now we plan to offer Spirit In Practice on the second Wednesday of each month and a UU History program on the 4th Wednesday of the month. For more info, please contact Margaret.
Welcome New Staff Members
Our new Campus Administrator is Stephanie Chia. She will begin with us in early October, and will primarily work from home. She will be dividing her time between us and the Whidbey Island UU Church where she has been working as the office administrator for several years.
Stephanie grew up in Montana where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Communication Theory. She has lived on both coasts, farmed, run her own business, coordinated engineers, managed offices and has lived on Whidbey Island with her husband and two children for the last 16 years.
Sara Geiger will be our on-site office staff. She has been working with Northlake for several years, helping with the Religious Education programming. Sara lives in the Capitol Hill area and will be on campus several times a week, with her schedule to be determined.
Please take time to welcome Stephanie and Sara, and introduce yourself if you run into them!