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"We Need Each Other", PWR & UUA News, and more!
"We Need Each Other", PWR & UUA News, and more!
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Pacific Western Region
Newsletter October 29, 2020
We Need Each Other
By Rev. Carlton E. Smith
Lead - UUA Pacific Western Region


As I write, we are one week away from Election Day. All the debates are over, and our nation’s candidates for President and Vice President starting in 2021 are criss-crossing the country, as are their surrogates, in hopes of energizing voters and volunteers. An abundance of requests for donations and campaign materials arrive in my physical and virtual mailboxes everyday, so much so that I barely look at them before putting them in the trash.

Meanwhile, the fires continue to rage in our Pacific Western Region, threatening lives, livelihoods and lifestyles. The social unrest in cities like Seattle and Portland is no longer at the top of the news cycle but remains a real concern for citizens and those who love them. COVID-19 cases and death rates are spiking and coming closer to home. Many see the most recent appointee to the Supreme Court as a pulling away from values of justice, equity and compassion.

Some of us wonder what lies in the days, weeks and months ahead. Now more than ever, we don’t take fair elections, peaceful transitions of power, our healthcare system and general human-kindness for granted.

Part of the genius I find in our seven principles of Unitarian Universalism is how they lift up essential human rights as religious values that we affirm and promote. Included in those are the “right of conscience and the use of the democratic process in our congregations and in society at large.” It’s no wonder that thousands upon thousands of Unitarian Universalists and our allies have become part of the UU the Vote campaign, with our President, Rev. Dr. Susan Frederick-Gray, leading the way.

Here are some gatherings and resources that you might find supportive:

We on your PWR staff encourage you to save the date for the Pacific Western Regional Assembly, February 13-14. Our theme will be “Love Right Through” — That is, we can let love be our guide and our practice as we navigate the heartbreak of the pandemic, the devastation of the wildfires, the protests against state-sanctioned violence and, hopefully, the restoration of our nation’s democratic conventions. Some of our PWR districts will have their annual meetings that Friday, and we hope that our regional worship that Sunday will provide a blessed rest opportunity for clergy and lay leaders alike who’ve been valiantly generating online worship service after online worship service since the spring.

While we don’t know what the days ahead hold for us, we do know the values we seek to make real every dayJustice. Compassion. Equity. Liberty. Peace. Democracy. Dignity. Acceptance. Responsibility. Community. Respect. Interdependence. Love.

And we know that regardless of what happens, we will still need each other. We can love our way right through these troubled times, and we will.

In faith,
Carlton
In this Issue
We Need Each Other
Wildfire Response
PWR & UUA News
Youth News
Mountain Desert News
Pacific Central News
Pacific Northwest News
Pacific Southwest News
InSpirit Update


PWR Links
Calendar and Events
Staff Contacts
News
Job Postings
Youth Ministries

RE Trainings


PWR Lead
Carlton Elliott Smith

PWR Field Staff
Summer Albayati
Wildfire Response
We on the UUA’s PWR staff are so sorry to hear about the wildfires burning all across our region.We want all of our congregations to know that we are here for you if these fires are taking a toll on you and your communities.

The generous donations of UUs across the country support our Disaster Relief Fund. You are welcome to apply for a grant if your congregation meets the criteria. Checks are distributed weekly.

Additionally, the UU Trauma Ministry offers support for individuals, communities, and caregivers contending with trauma and potential trauma during a disaster.

And if you’re not sure what you need, or you just need some moral support to help you get through this extraordinary time, don’t hesitate to be in touch your Primary Contact.  We are holding you all in our thoughts and prayers
.
PWR & UUA NEWS
"New, Newer, Virtual DRE" Webinar Series
The "New, Newer, Virtual DRE", is a 3 part webinar series designed to aid newer UU religious educators in a time COVID19 with the compelling need to provide virtual religious education programming. Co-facilitated by Annie Scott and Nancy Combs-Morgan, Congregational Life Consultants of the UUA, who are also veteran UU religious educators. We will explore new ways to connect with other DRE's, the virtual opportunities for professional development; resources and approaches to children, youth and adult online programming, and weaving in anti-racist lens and resources to your existing programming. There will be additional co-facilitators who are religious educators of color who will lead a Black, Indigenous or person of color (BIPOC) breakout group.

3 webinars on Tuesdays: November 10th and 17th and December 1st
8:30 am-10:00 am Alaska/9:30 am-11 am Pacific/10:30 am-12:00 pm Mountain

Register here!
Claiming Our Spiritual Leadership
Claiming Our Spiritual Leadership, originally developed as a popular in-person workshop by the New England Region staff, is now accessible nationwide as an online training through the UU Leadership Institute!

Consider taking this training if you and your congregation are looking for ways for congregational life to be more about:
  • soulful engagement with your faith;
  • finding energy and meaning in the gifts already present in your congregation; and
  • the transformative power of communities living their values in ways that challenge dominant culture — both within and beyond the congregation.
Are You Considering In-Person Gatherings?
The UUA's COVID resource team has updated the UUA guidance for congregations on COVID-19. This new guidance includes things we were hearing from congregations that they needed, including specific metrics and tools for determining when it might be safe to regather and sources for scientifically-accurate data and prevention information. See the second half of our webpage, UUA Guidance on Gathering In-Person When COVID-19 Subsides. Your congregation’s primary contact on PWR UUA staff can also help your leaders figure out how to make these difficult decisions in this challenging time.
Virtual "Guest In Your Pulpit" Directory
Over the past few months, more and more of our congregations have been remembering that they can have guests even if we're worshipping online - and many community-based religious professionals have wanted to be on a list to be considered, especially since we can now lead worship in parts of the country far from us. The UUMA is maintaining a list to make it easier for congregations (minister-led and lay-led) to find speakers.
Save the Date for Regional Assembly 2021: Love Right Through
Please watch this newsletter and the PWR website for more details on our virtual Regional Assembly:

Love Right Through  
Feb 13-14, 2021
A Virtual Regional Gathering
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.
YOUTH NEWS
Upcoming Youth Events
Pacific Western Region (PWR) Events
  • Series Fall Con - Virtual, Nov 20-21. Hosted by PSWD. Register here!
  • Youth Advisor Training - Pandemic Iteration for Online Youth Groups in Two Sessions - Virtual, Nov 10 & 17.  6:30 - 8 pm PT / 7:30 - 9 pm MT Register here!

District Specific Programs
PCD Coming of Age  
  • There will be no PCD COA Events this year. Please contact our COA Coordinator, Rachel Nannini, to discuss your COA program (nannini.rachel@gmail.com).

PCD MUUGs

PSWD Camp de Benneville Pines
MOUNTAIN DESERT DISTRICT NEWS
MDD "Walk the Talk" Award
We need something to celebrate!  Do you know a lay person in the Mountain Desert District who is living a life which exemplifies Unitarian Universalist principles?  Nominate them for the “Walk the Talk” Award.  We need your help to lift up the people who further this faith.

Even though you probably have the principles memorized, it never hurts to be reminded! Follow this link to reflect on them and see who might come to mind to nominate.

Visit our website and tell us who you think should win the award and why. The winner will have their registration paid for our next annual assembly, plus receive a $100 prize. Nominations are open until December 31, 2020.

MDD Fall Chalice Lighter Call Now Open!
Thank you for your generous commitment to growing our faith by helping other UU Churches in the Mountain Desert District (MDD). The first call for FY21 is to assist the Unitarian Universalist Church of Ogden, Utah with an accessibility building project. Visit the MDD website to read the call letter and make a donation.
PACIFIC CENTRAL DISTRICT NEWS
A Message from the PCD President
Community-to-Community Conversation in November!
The next District-wide community-to-community open conversation is
Sunday, November 15th, 2020 at 3 - 4:30 pm PT and will be hosted by Rev. Dr. Roger Jones, Unitarian Universalist Society of Sacramento. Register here to receive a Zoom link and tell the District Board what your community wants to talk about with other UU communities.

We’ll address at least one of the top five concerns that emerged from the last conversation and whatever issue is alive among us now. The Board invites the participation of leaders of all UU identity communities!

Summaries of the September Conversation
Thank you to those from Stockton, Livermore, Walnut Creek, Humboldt, Santa Cruz, Sacramento, Honolulu, and Lake County, who gathered to exchange information and support each other last month!
Here are links to:

Help Us Stay in Touch with Each Other
District volunteers and Regional staff are committed to making sure that there are ongoing opportunities for communities to share and collaborate with one another.
Please help us facilitate these by:
  1. Inviting all members of your community to sign up for the Pacific Western Region Newsletter. This is the primary information broadcast channel for the Region and the District.
  2. Sending up-to-date contact information for people in leadership positions in your community to Rhiannon Smith (rsmith@uua.org). This will allow us to send specific information to those responsible for specific ministries.

Chalice Lighter Call Coming Soon!
Please thank Karen Urbano for coordinating this program and creating opportunities to grow our movement! The District Board is working with Karen on reimagining our Chalice Lighters program, as well getting ready to disburse grants for the call that is just about to close.

Love,
Catherine
On behalf of the PCD Board
Email: pcdboard@pwruua.org
Weekly HS Youth Gatherings with First Unitarian San Jose
Dearly Loved Colleagues,

I'm First Unitarian's Director of Faith Formation, mx. jo mosher (they/them), and I am inviting any and all of the high school youth in your congregations to join ours for our weekly Youth Group Zoom gatherings: Sunday afternoons at 3:00 p.m. Pacific!

Are you experiencing low turnout in your Youth Groups? We are, and I've heard from many of my own colleagues that their youth participation in these pandemic times has dropped--maybe because they're experiencing just too much Zoom over the course of the week? We can speculate--and we can also band together to build something that fits this moment.

Want to collaborate and give our youth great ways to connect, without having to build something from scratch on your own? Please do get in touch with me at mxjomosherdff@sanjoseuu.org.

With Blessings For Your Day,
jo
PCD Fall Chalice Lighter Call Now Open!
The Fall 2020 Pacific Central Chalice Lighter call is designed to help congregations further their virtual communications during this unprecedented time of social distancing when we cannot join together in person at our physical churches. Church is not a building even though that is where we meet, when we can. To quote the UUA website “The Church is open. It is the building that is closed.” Visit the PCD website to read the call letter and make a donation.
PACIFIC NORTHWEST DISTRICT NEWS
News from the PNWD Board
PNWD President Susan Howlett says, "We’d like to start sharing good news each month from some of our congregations so that others can get inspired by their successes and feel more connected to them. We think people are hungry for success stories and connection these days, and we want to be shining a light on the benefits of being connected with our fellow UU leaders.

"PNWD Board Member Christina Davitt was making her regular contact with a congregational president in the Northwest and discovered that that fellowship was worried about their only teenager, who was missing out on RE and youth activities simply because there were not enough youth to justify programming.  So Christina reached out to another congregation on her list with a robust youth presence, and they happily included the teen in their online RE and youth programming.  Another benefit to having relationships across the District and Region!"
PNWD Fall Chalice Lighter Call Now Open!
The 2020-2021 Fall Call will help support PNWD congregations who are struggling to stay afloat in the wake of the coronavirus tidal wave. On top of restrictions on meeting for worship and the challenges of pastoral care, many congregations are struggling to meet staff payrolls and mortgage payments. We PNWD Chalice Lighters can help alleviate this need. We want to ensure that our congregations retain key staff and emerge from “Stay Home, Stay Safe” restrictions able to continue the faith and justice work so sorely needed in our communities. Visit the PNWD website to read the call letter and make a donation. If your congregation is interesting in applying or a grant, click here. We will accept applications until the call closes on October 31, 2020.
PACIFIC SOUTHWEST DISTRICT NEWS
PSWD Fall Chalice Lighter Call Now Open!
The Fall call for the 2020-2021 church year will benefit Unitarian Universalists San Luis Obispo in San Luis Obispo, California to help them hire a Congregational Life Coordinator. Visit the PSWD website to read the call letter and make a donation.
InSpirit UU Book and Gift Shop
New Study/Action Guide for Widening the Circle of Concern
Appointed by the Board of Trustees in 2017, the UUA Commission on Institutional Change served through June 2020. Their final report, Widening the Circle of Concern, analyzes structural and systemic racism and white supremacy culture within Unitarian Universalism and makes recommendations to advance long-term change.

A new study/action guide has been created for congregations and other UU communities. This new guide outlines eleven sessions for a group or taskforce in a congregation to break down the various components and recommendations of the original report.

“More than a discussion guide, this Study/Action Guide provides framing and helpful hints on how your community can actively participate in transformative liberation. Widening the Circle is joyful change work that’s deeply rooted in our shared UU theology. We hope that engaging with this guide offers your community an opportunity for meaningful connection during this time of isolation. Many thanks to the Commissioners and professional group leaders who came together quickly to develop this additional resource.”

Visit uua.org/widening to access the guide. You can also sign up for an email list that will send updates on new learning opportunities, resources, and insights as we continue the work of co-creating a transformative faith. Widening the Circle of Concern is available from inSpirit: The UU Book and Gift Shop and bulk discounts are available.

Looking to purchase from inSpirit: The UU Book and Gift Shop? You can place orders online, email bookstore@uua.org or call 1-800-215-9076. Thank you for your continued support!
 
 
 
 
 

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Pacific Western Region - UUA
P.O. Box 567
Brighton, CO 80601
United States