PWR Assembly-All Aboard!
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Pacific Western Region
Newsletter January 2022
PWR Staff Sarah Gibb Millspaugh, Melissa James, Amanda Radak, Summer Albayati, and Carlton Smith pose outside the fabulous Regional Assembly hotel in November.
Pacific Western Regional Assembly-All Aboard!
by Rev. Carlton E. Smith
PWR Lead

Holiday Greetings, Unitarian Universalists of the Pacific Western Region!

I hope this newsletter finds you in the middle of a restorative holiday break, appreciative of the blessings of 2021 and open to the gifts that lie ahead in 2022.

As the year dwindles down to its last few days, our attention turns to the future. For those of us on your Regional staff, that means the Pacific Western Regional Assembly 2022, happening online and on-site along San Diego’s Mission Bay, February 4th-6th. We invite you to join us!

It will feel so good to be together in-person and online as we go deeper into this new year. The PW Regional Assembly is the first of our UUA’s multi-platform events, a glimpse at what the UUA General Assembly will be like in June. Our featured speaker for Opening Gathering Friday, January 4 is UUA President Rev. Dr. Susan Frederick-Gray. All of our workshops will be available online before, during, and after the event, with opportunities to engage in live conversation with presenters on Saturday, February 5.

We’ll be creating powerful worship together and offering many opportunities for making personal connections with UUs from other congregations in the West. With small identity/interest groups, discussion platforms, and social times, “conference magic” can happen as we make friends, live our values, and deepen our faith.

This will be the Pacific Western Region’s third Regional Assembly, but the first since two of the districts within it voted to merge and one district authorized its dissolution, all en route to PWR becoming a legal entity itself. We are grateful for the ways that faithful district leaders have drawn closer to one another and collaborated with PWR and UUA staff to arrive at this point. We will highlight the histories of the districts and the ongoing work of the Regional Transitions Team while we are together.

To ministers and other religious professionals attending the UUMA CENTER Institute in San Diego either virtually or in-person in San Diego January 31-February 4: Take advantage of the additional days of connection with other UUs, either virtually or in-person!

The last day to register for in-person attendance is January 4, and the last day for online registration is January 23.

In consultation with lay leaders earlier in 2021, we chose “Reflect, Rejoice, Renew” as our theme. We have designed this event to be one where we look back to what the region has been, celebrate the good that is happening in our "community of communities,” and invite new ideas and new ways of being together organizationally and otherwise.

In faith,

***Please note: The UUA will be closed from Saturday, December 18th through Sunday, January 2nd. Thank you so much for honoring your hardworking staff's need for rest and renewal. In the event of an emergency, please call or text (720)-663-7693.
In this Issue
PWR Assembly-All Aboard!!
PWR & UUA News

Youth & Emerging Adult News
Pacific Central News
Pacific Northwest News
InSpirit Update

PWR Links
Calendar and Events
Staff Contacts
Job Postings
Youth Ministries

RE Trainings

PWR Lead
Carlton Elliott Smith

PWR Program Staff
Summer Albayati
Holiday Greetings from Your PWR Staff
As 2021 comes to an end we, the Pacific Western Region Congregational Life Staff team, wish you, your congregation, and your families hope, joy, and love. See more of our holiday greetings (which may be shared with your congregation) here.
Pacific Western Regional Assembly 2022 Updates

RA "Shorts"
Regional Assembly calls for Shorts. Selected short videos will be made available to all who participate in Regional Assembly 2022. Some may be used in RA programming, some will be available for viewing leading into the weekend and some will be available for participants to use in a future worship service.
  • Natural beauty near your home, or a short nature trail
  • A great congregational program to share with others.  
  • A song or Story for All ages that you have the rights to play & share
  • Maybe you want to update us on a bit of cluster news.  
  • A chalice lighting - reading & lighting

Here is a great format for just that kind of communication. We are not seeking commercial submissions. Professional film crews are not needed. Cell phone or Zoom videos are often very good. Regional Assembly is our joint gathering-won’t you contribute? Details and submissions.

RA Workshops
We are excited to announce that Regional Assembly 2022 will have a slate of incredible on-demand workshops available to all participants on the Whova app. Topics include theology, stewardship, social justice, spirituality, and leadership. Check out some of our workshop offerings:
  • “Unlocking the Power of Covenant” presented by the Article 2 Commission on Appraisal
  • “Covenantal Funding for Multi-Platform Church: Envisioning the Future in a Time of Uncertainty” with Stewardship for Us
  • “Companioning Children in Play”, a workshop on equipping leaders to meet the emerging demands of religious education and family ministry with Annie Scott, CRE and Dr. Melissa James
  • “So You Want to be a UU Minister? The Ever Evolving Credentialing Process Demystified” with Rev. Dr. Jonipher Kwong

Already excited? Us, too! Add to that list workshops from the Salaam Network, UURISE, congregational leaders and more! You can take your experience deeper with many of our workshop presenters will be available during a Question and Answer session on Saturday of assembly! Register today to make sure you get access!

Call for RA Chaplains
Now accepting applications for volunteer chaplains and Right Relations Team members for Regional Assembly 2022.

Are you trained in chaplaincy and have a desire to serve our region? Consider applying to be a Regional Assembly Chaplain or member of the Regional Assembly Right Relations Team! You can find out more about the Chaplain Job Description here. Or the Right Relations Job Description here. Apply by January 5th by filling out this form.

For more information, contact Melissa James ( or Annie Scott (

RA Sunday Morning Worship
This worship is an embodied, multi-generational service focusing on unity and interdependence. It is a testimony, embracing the power and possibility of regionalization — that is, combining resources and congregations to better and more equitably serve our “community of communities" stretching from Western Nebraska through Alaska and down to Hawaii. Told in four voices, this service is built upon a parable of four rivers converging as they bring nutrients and gifts to a life-giving flow much larger than each of them. It is a "both/and" story of interweaving threads to create a new tapestry of relationships and a new culture. It is a story that mirrors Unitarian Universalism, a movement founded through the combining of two strong religious traditions, from which a strong new entity emerged. Would your congregation like to use this worship as your own? Materials list and video links will be made available in January. Watch this space for details.
Leading from the Heart 2022
In this three-part series for budding and experienced leaders, you will ground yourself in your own spiritual soil, acknowledge our shard roots, discern fruits of our faith, find abundance in serving, and preserve seeds to ensure the harvest of leadership for years to come. March-May, Details and Registration.
UUA Board Meetings and Open Houses
Open Houses
The Board will, once again, hold open houses on the 2nd Tuesday of each month.
  • Tuesday, January 11, 2022; 4pm PT/ 5pm MT / 6pm CT/ 7pm ET. Pre-register.
  • Tuesday, February 8, 2022; 4pm PT/ 5pm MT / 6pm CT/ 7pm ET. Pre-register.
  • Tuesday, March 8, 2022; 4pm PT/ 5pm MT / 6pm CT/ 7pm ET. Pre-register.
  • Tuesday, April 12, 2022; 4pm PT/ 5pm MT / 6pm CT/ 7pm ET. Pre-register.
  • Tuesday, May 10, 2022; 4pm PT/ 5pm MT / 6pm CT/ 7pm ET. Pre-register.
  • Tuesday, June 14, 2022; 4pm PT/ 5pm MT / 6pm CT/ 7pm ET. Pre-register.

Board Meetings
The Board meets monthly. Here are the dates/times for each meeting. Please note that a registration link for the meetings will be available on this page in advance of each meeting.
  • Friday, January 21—Saturday, January 22, 2022; Schedule TBD
  • Monday, February 14, 2022; 4:00pm PT / 5:00pm MT / 6:00pm CT / 7:00pm ET
  • Monday, March 14, 2022; 4:00pm PT / 5:00pm MT / 6:00pm CT / 7:00pm ET
  • Friday, April 22—Saturday, April 23, 2022; Schedule TBD
  • Monday, May 9, 2022; 4:00pm PT / 5:00pm MT / 6:00pm CT / 7:00pm ET
Stewardship Lunch and Share
Stewardship Lunch and Share for stewardship and fundraising lay leaders.
Join PWR staff and congregational leaders from around the region for conversation and sharing about stewardship, generosity, and fundraising. Each gathering will include brief presentations and plenty of time to bring your questions and ideas to one another.
12:00pm to 1:00pm Pacific on the 2nd Friday of the month.

January 14th Topic: The Impact of the Pandemic on Giving Trends
Register for upcoming lunch and shares here.
Taproot: A National BIPOC Space
The work of spiritual community is complicated in the 21st century. The need for faithful leadership that is grounded and resilient is imperative. This is all the more true for leaders within our communities and congregations who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPoC). All too aware of this need, Congregational Life is excited to explore and co-create a network with congregational leaders that support them in this time in emergent ways through Taproot: A National BIPOC Space. BIPoC Leaders rooted in the Unitarian Universalist congregations are invited to take part in this monthly, virtual gathering.

Second Thursday of the month. ***PLEASE NOTE NEW TIME*** Next meeting February 10th at 8p ET/7p CT/6p MT/5p PT. Details and registration at the UUA website.
A Second Slice of Pi: An Online Conference for Smaller Congregations
Join us online at the UU Institute (UUI) on Saturday, March 12th, 2022 from 3 to 5 pm ET for A Second Slice of Pi - an updated, pandemic safe conference for smaller congregations and covenanting communities! What will we be doing? Easy on-demand resources for small congregations, opportunities to connect with leaders of other small congregations, and a chance to share your story. Registration is open!

Has your small (<120 members) congregation done something interesting lately? A new partnership? A unique social justice project? A new way of connecting your members? Would you like to share your success with others? A Second Slice of Pi is looking for stories to share with participants at the conference via a short video (we can help!). Contact your regional staff to let them know you’re interested or submit your idea with this form. Deadline for material submissions is February 1.

“Congregations in PWR Have Held Strong”: A Message from the UUA’s Congregational Giving Director
Dear Friends,

The times continue to challenge us and we are given the opportunity to live out our highest values. The sustained attacks on the very foundations of our national democracy call us to protect our most cherished theological principles. The assault on the autonomy and rights of our beloveds who are women, people of color, and LGBTQ, undermines our commitment to everyone’s inherent worth and dignity; our very planet is suffering because the reality of interdependence is being ignored.  Meanwhile a global pandemic still rages, disrupting and destroying lives. And yet, we continue on: our congregations find new ways to gather, to minister, to give, to receive, to serve, to love.

Through all of this, our congregations in the Pacific Western Region have held strong. You have adapted magnificently in the ways you worship and remain connected.  Your unflagging commitment to that which affirms, sustains, and enriches has meant that, in spite of all, our institutional health has remained strong.

I want to thank you for your continued contributions to the Unitarian Universalist Association through the Annual Program Fund. You are making it possible for congregations across our UUA to be companioned, connected, coached, and challenged.

As always, the future remains uncertain and is ours to co-create.  We might at times be weary and discouraged, but together and with each other’s help, we will continue on. We do this in order to strengthen the precious gift of Unitarian Universalist communities for those who will follow. Thank you for helping to make that possible with your support of the Annual Program Fund. May your holiday season bring you peace, joy, and health.


Rev. Vail Weller
Congregational Giving Director
Unitarian Universalist Association
Pastoral Care Training for Religious Educators
Many parents and teens turn first to their Religious Educators for pastoral care, being prepared to receive those conversations is the focus of this series. The class will be based on the Spiritual Leadership program in Leader Lab created by the New England regional staff. Led by: Rev. Sunshine Wolfe and Annie Scott, CRE

2nd & 4th Wednesdays February 23 - June 8
6:30 pm Eastern / 5:30 Central / 4:30 Mountain / 3:30  pm Pacific / 2:30  Alaska / 12:30 then 1:30 pm Hawaii.
Further information and registration.
Faithify: Pastoral Care and Faith Formation for DRUUMM
Diverse Revolutionary Unitarian Universalist Multicultural Ministries (DRUUMM) welcomes donations in support of expanding access for pastoral care and faith formation with BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) UUs. This Faithify will help us develop a lay pastoral care training that we anticipate launching by the end of 2022, and produce our Elder Spiritual Odyssey programs that connect stories of faith journeys of our elders with younger and future generations.

We live in a religious moment where our Unitarian Universalist BIPOC ministry is essential in helping members of our congregations and beyond thrive in our liberal religious tradition. DRUUMM has grown to have over 400 members, and we are working intentionally to develop programs that meet the needs identified by our community. Our 2019 DRUUMM Survey heard from over 140 BIPOC UUs, nearly half of our current membership, who expressed a desire for spaces that center the experiences of BIPOC UU, including more worship and liturgical experiences, programs that cultivate faith formation, and opportunities to grow culturally competent pastoral care and restorative justice practices. Learn more and donate here.
PWR Job Postings
Job openings in PWR congregations are now included on the UUA Jobs Board. Don't worry — even though the URL says "ministrysearch", you'll find all positions posted here. If your congregation has an opening you’d like listed, please complete the online submission form and we'll get it posted for you.
JUUst Breathe Live
JUUst Breathe Live-Bonus episode January 9th at 5p PT/8 p ET
Interview and music with Rising Appalachia. 
Chloe Smith and Leah Song join Eric and Shannon to discuss music, love and community. 

Regular Monthly episode will be January 23rd at 5p PT/8 p ET
Topic will be Climate Justice. Noella Prescod and Zoe Johnston will be joining Eric and Shannon to talk about this important topic.  

Be sure to like and subscribe to this page, follow us on Instagram - Juustbreathelive…and spread the word.
Camp is Back in 2022!
Exciting news! Camp will return in 2022. Dates have been confirmed for our week-long, residential high school & middle school camps in the mountains.
QUUest: July 3-9, 2022 in Casper, Wyoming.
Camp Blue Boat: July 17-21 in Ellensburg, WA.
Watch the newsletter and our website for more information as it becomes available.
Staff applications open until positions are filled.
Donations to support camp always welcome.
Ministry with Emerging Adults Webinar
Pacific Western Region (PWR) is offering a webinar early next year called Ministry WITH Emerging Adults. It will be Tuesday, February 22, 2022 at 7 pm PT / 8 pm MT.

Presented by the PWR Emerging Adult (EA) Task Force. Resources, Tips, and Insights from EA's themselves to help you up your game when it comes to supporting and ministering WITH this keystone cohort in your congregation. Not to be missed! Register here.

Free Radical Ministry
For emerging adults who are free range, in college, working, or doing whatever and who want to worship and connect in a social and social justice setting. For UUs across the country! No UU campus ministry where you are? No problem. Get radical! No UU church near you or offering Emerging Adult ministry? No problem. Get radical! Sign up here.
PCD Winter Chalice Lighter Call Now Open!
This is your notification of the PCD Winter Chalice Lighters call, benefitting Sierra Foothills UU (SFUU) in Auburn, CA. SFUU was founded in 1982 by 15 people and since then has been serving people from all over Placer and the surrounding counties who are interested in exploring UU beliefs, making a difference in the world, healing from past religious wounds, connecting meaningfully with other people, and learning how to be the best they all can be. The mission of SFUU is to build beloved communities that respect diversities as we nourish the spirit, care for the earth, and inspire faithful acts of peace and justice.

Their building is approximately 100 years old, and they have deferred the roof replacement and HVAC systems as long as they could with continual repair costs. A new roof and HVAC system will allow them to make their building more energy efficient and healthier for their congregation and the planet. SFUU looks forward to creative ideas to improve what they have and build on their work dedicated to being a “Green Sanctuary”. The very old HVAC in particular has challenged them with proper protection during COVID. This is an imperative that they look forward to improving.

Visit the PCD website to read the call letter and make a donation. The Winter call closes February 28, 2022.
Meeting Notice: Special PNWD Board Meeting
Sunday, January 30th at 1:30 pm PT

Dear friends in the Pacific Northwest,

As we prepare for the official dissolution of the Pacific Northwest District so we may join with the other Districts to become the Pacific Western Region, we’d like to invite you to continue to participate in and witness the process.
Please join us for a special PNWD Board meeting on Sunday, January 30th at 1:30 pm PT. At this meeting we will share a little bit about how we’ve come to this decision, we will express our thankfulness to the many leaders who have come before us, the Board members will vote on dissolution and share about the next steps in this journey. You are invited to witness and share in our expression of gratitude, sorrow, and anticipation for what is to come.

Please fill out this RSVP form, to let us know you will be there and to receive the Zoom link for the meeting. Please contact either of your PNWD Board co-Presidents, Aria Curtis and Susan Howlett, with any questions at

In faith,
Your Pacific Northwest District Board
Aria Curtis, Co-President
Susan Howlett, Co-President
Craig Cyr, Vice President
Susan Christie, Secretary
Joseph Bednarik, Treasurer
Christina Davitt, Member at Large

Joint Statement re: PNWD Chalice Lighters Agreement
We are pleased to announce an agreement to transfer the PNWD Chalice Lighters Program to Cascadia Growth Fund, formerly known as the Pacific Northwest UU Growth Foundation, a decision that will preserve the vital role of the Chalice Lighter program in strengthening UU congregations in the Pacific Northwest. Through a process of discernment and collaboration, the Pacific Northwest District Board (PNWD), Staff of the UUA's Pacific Western Region (PWR), and the Board of the Cascadia Growth Fund have agreed to transfer management and support of the program currently provided by the PNWD and PWR respectively, to Cascadia. The Cascadia Growth Fund already provides funding to support Pacific Northwest UU congregations through legacy gifts and donations. ‘Cascadia Chalice Lighters’ will continue to collaborate with PWR Staff, and with Chalice Lighter programs in other areas of the Pacific Western Region. The transition is expected to be complete by end of this fiscal year, June 30, 2022. Details are being worked out and will be communicated to you in the upcoming months. Beneficiaries of and donors to the PNWD Chalice Lighter program should experience little change due to this transition. Donors will be contacted directly with an opportunity to opt out. Our express thanks to PNWD Chalice Lighter Coordinator Dave Cauffman for his counsel and continuing support.

Aria Curtis, President, Pacific Northwest District Board of Trustees
Rev. Carlton E. Smith, Lead, UUA Pacific Western Region
Rev. K. Antonia Won, President, Cascadia Growth Fund
PNWD Winter Chalice Lighter Call Now Open!
Thank you for being a stalwart and generous donor to Chalice Lighters! This is your Winter Call for the 2021-2022 church year: Please help equip the Eastrose Fellowship Unitarian Universalist in Portland to provide hybrid church services. As congregations decide when to reopen, interest in “hybrid” in-person services, that can simultaneously be attended virtually by congregants in their homes, has mounted. This capability is especially valuable to serve those whose immune systems are compromised or who cannot or choose not to attend indoor worship services. Eastrose has planned a comprehensive professional turn-key solution to the problem and is willing to share their equipment list and operating experience with other UU congregations.

Your congregation may be one of those who need equipment to provide such capabilities. If so, encourage your leaders to apply for a Chalice Lighter Growth Technology grant. An application form is available through the PNWD Chalice Lighters web page. The form contains further guidance on award criteria. We will review applications as they are submitted. At the present time, funds from the Fall Call are available to make immediate grants. We also invite applications to receive the full proceeds of the next Spring Call.

For more information, to make a donation, or to apply for a grant, visit the PNWD website. The Winter call is open until February 28, 2022.
InSpirit UU Book and Gift Shop
UU Common Read Discussion Groups
This UU Common Read invites us to ask ourselves, “Why is it important for UUs to Defund Fear?”

Plan to gather for a deep dive into Zach Norris’s Defund Fear: Safety without Policing, Prisons, and Punishment (Beacon Press, 2021) in Spring 2022. While Zach Norris’s book is secular, the issues it confronts and the solutions he offers raise core theological questions for Unitarian Universalists. Groups can meet for one 90-minute session or adapt the discussion materials to go deeper together with multiple meetings. Three different, parallel discussion tracks will support any UU group, an exclusively BIPOC group, or an activist group to explore personal connections to America’s public safety story and bring UU theologies to bear. Video materials, including conversations with author Zach Norris, will be available starting in April, 2022 to support our exploration.

Get started now:

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