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"Regional Assembly,  PWR & UUA News, and more!
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Pacific Western Region
Newsletter February 2024
Threads That Connect, Stories that Inspire: Pacific Western Regional Assembly
by Rev. Sarah Schurr, PWR Congregational Life Staff

All Unitarian Universalists in the Pacific Western Region are invited to gather at the lovely First Universalist Church in Denver, Colorado, April 19-20.  Registration is now open for in-person and online participation.  Here are some highlights — Just a few of the things we have planned for this year's Regional Assembly.

  1. Our scheduled keynote conversation will be amazing.  Our own UUA President, Rev. Dr. Sofía Betancourt will be in dialogue with Rev. Dr. Karen Georgia A. Thompson, President of the United Church of Christ.  Two women of color, passionate about justice, leading liberal religious organizations in this time of change.
  2. Rev. Summer Albayati and Rev. Sarah Gibb Millspaugh will offer a worshipful workshop where we find the spiritual resources in our UU faith, that help us to live into our interdependent reality, where every person is sacred, inherently worthy, and entitled to flourish.
  3. The Boulder Valley UU Fellowship will share about their hugely successful gun surrender program, including how they planned and funded this large-scale event.
  4. Scott Fitzgerald will host an online gathering for newsletter editors, beginning a network for newsletter volunteers all over the PWR.
  5. UU Rise will offer a workshop on their work with immigration justice and support.
  6. We will have a craft room to explore using crafting as a spiritual practice or simply to enjoy paper, pens, glue, water paints, etc. If you bring your knitting or crocheting with you, join in for some reflection and crafting together.
  7. There will be ideas about youth ministry from the Pacific Central Emergence.
  8. Explore offerings from our exhibitors, from books to stewardship resources.

We have made two unique promises for this year’s Regional Assembly.  We are dedicated to making the online experience a good one. In fact, we have a special Zoom inclusion team to help that to happen.  Also, our Regional Assembly is a family-friendly event.  Not only do we have childcare on site for those who want it, but many of our offerings are appropriate for children to attend with their parent/guardian(s).

Register Today!  Follow this link to register for Regional Assembly.

We have a block of rooms reserved at the Courtyard Marriott at Cherry Creek, a few miles away.  Use this link for hotel registration.

See you there!
Rev. Sarah Schurr
In this Issue
Regional Assembly
PWR & UUA News
Youth & Emerging Ad
ult News
Mountain Desert News
Pacific Southwest 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
Mosaic Virtual Spring Gathering
Saturday, March 16, 2pm-3:30pm ET / 1pm CT / 12pm MT / 11am PT
The Mosaic is a hub of connection, resources, and support for Unitarian Universalists dismantling racism and oppression. Through resources, programs, trainings, and gatherings, The Mosaic fosters belonging and liberation in Unitarian Universalist congregations and communities. Our work for collective liberation can be as colorful, multi-faceted, and diverse as the tiles of a mosaic. Together, all of our contributions create something beautiful.

Join us as we worship together and discern our way forward as an association of congregations committed to dismantling racism and oppression in all its forms. We hope you will join us as we recommit to a more inclusive and liberated Unitarian Universalism. Registration is coming soon!

To learn more about The Mosaic, visit their webpage.

Treasurers' Roundtable
Faithify Pause for March and April
Are you considering a Faithify, UU Crowdfunding campaign in March or April? Please note that we will be taking a 7 week pause in launching new campaigns starting March 6th. No submissions will be reviewed in the period from March 6, 2024 through April 28, 2024.

Faithify campaigns and the Faithify website will operate as normal otherwise.

Campaigns approved before March 6th can be open and running during our new campaign pause period. Please submit your new campaigns by March 5th for review by our staff.

Why are we taking this pause? Faithify staff will on sabbatical, so we are streamlining our services during this block of time. Questions? Contact

Last Stretch Success: Tips & Tactics for Completing Your Pledge Drive
(previously Canvass Clean Up webinar) March 14 and April 25, 2024 online, 4:30-6 pm PT.
Within a cultural context rife with greed-flation, fluctuating predictions about economic stability, and generational trends full of shifts and shockwaves of uncertainty—leaning into the spiritual value of generosity can be a tough mandate! And still, in this context more than any other, we know that how we steward our collective resources is a moral issue for our times. Join UUs from across the country in conversation about how we harness generosity to resist scarcity mentality and pledge our way into new possibilities for a more prosperous future together.

Register today for this two-part webinar: come ready to share ideas, commiserate, and celebrate as we make our way towards the pledge drive finish line! Learn more and register here. Registration closes on March 12th!

From the Office of Staff Church Finances: Resources and Reminders
Property Insurance Challenges
We've heard from a number of you about problems with your property insurance. Rates are going up, carriers are leaving states, and certain categories of insureds are being terminated (for instance if your building is in a hurricane or wildfire zone). And it doesn’t take much to get your policy terminated. Even one missed or late payment can cause your insurance to be reviewed for termination by your insurance company.

We can’t make these problems go away, but we can offer some suggestions. Read Property Insurance Challenges in LeaderLab.

Our Monthly Publication
Are you a leader whose responsibilities support staff (board, finance, personnel)? A supervisor of staff? A staff member eager to stay in the loop about employment-related information? Sign up for Compensation and Staffing News for monthly tips and resources on compensation, benefits, and personnel matters.
“Amplifying the Charge” Equips Congregations to Explore Article II Changes through Learning and Worship.
Amplifying the Charge is the latest offering from the UUA to help congregations engage with the proposed Article II bylaws revision.

Amplifying the Charge is a four-week, small group ministry discussion series paired with resources for worship. The materials invite Unitarian Universalists to learn more about our theology, practice, and governance and to engage with our personal experiences of faith, spirit, and humanity.

In anticipation of the upcoming vote on the bylaws at General Assembly, Amplifying the Charge supports learning, reflection, and faithful conversations for individual and collective discernment. Its creation was led by QuianaDenae Perkins, a third-year seminarian at Starr King School for the Ministry and the Learning Resident for the UUA Mid-America Region.

Download Amplifying the Charge (PDF, 33 pages). Engage your congregation’s religious professionals, worship team, lay leaders, and others to integrate four weeks of worship resources and four weeks of small group ministry into your spring congregational calendar!
Save the Date: Building Beloved Community
Join us Saturday, April 27, 2024, at the Beyond the Binary: building beloved community event. “A place to find community with transgender, nonbinary folx and our allies. A conference for us to gather, learn, and grow.” In-person and online! Registration is now open
New “Path to Membership” Training Drops March 15!
Tending Congregational Life: Guiding the Membership Journey is our first post-lockdown “growth and vitality” resource, in collaboration with the UU Association of Membership Professionals (UUAMP).  Instead of focusing on growth for its own sake, we focus on the transformative power that Unitarian Universalism has in people’s lives and how our congregations can be provide a welcoming and inclusive experience for everyone who comes through our doors.  This training is designed for application across your ministry teams. Learn to work together to reinforce life-affirming and creative frameworks and use practical tools for welcoming and inclusion, connection and belonging, all as foundational to a membership journey in your congregation. Let us know you are interested now and we’ll send you a notice when the training is open and a promo code for $5 off the price (good until March 31st).
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. The next gathering of the year will be Thursday, March 14th at 8p ET/7p CT/6p MT/5p PT. Details and registration.
Worship and Small Group Content Curation Opportunity Available
The UU Addictions Ministry is seeking someone to curate a collection of worship resources addressing addiction.  We are looking for readings, prayers, poems, sermons, songs, and offertory words that address addiction. Whole services encouraged. This project seeks to make it easier for congregations to lead worship and talk about addiction.  A stipend of $2500 will be provided for the work.

We are also seeking someone to create a small group ministry guide for use in UU congregations. We are looking for 3 one-hour sessions that can easily be picked up for any small group. Multi-platform and online options encouraged. Guidelines for the scope of the project will be provided. A stipend of $2500 will be provided for the work.

Proposals for worship materials and small group ministry sessions need to be sent to the Unitarian Universalist Addictions Ministry by March 15, 2024.  Please send along a proposal and a resume to Responses to proposals will go out by April 1, 2024.  Once a proposal is approved, final submissions need to be made by May 15, 2024.
Seminary Scholarships Available
Seminary Scholarships available! Are you, or is someone you know, a lay leader in Unitarian Universalism who will be entering the first year of seminary in 2024, or is undertaking undergraduate work to prepare for seminary?  The Rev. Chuck and Nancy Thomas Scholarship honors Rev. Chuck Thomas’s career and his family’s commitment to lay leadership in Unitarian Universalism by awarding this scholarship to one such student each year. Thomas Scholars qualify for this award by demonstrating their outstanding commitment to Unitarian Universalism as lay leaders. 

For more information and to apply for this and other ministerial scholarships available from the UUA, please visit the UUA website. Applications will be accepted beginning February 15, 2024 and must be submitted no later than April 15, 2024.

Turning Points in UU History - Online Class Open to All
Wednesdays, April 3 to May 8
7:00pm-8:15 pm CT on Zoom
The Faith Forward program out of the First Unitarian Church of Dallas is excited to offer an online session of our “Turning Points in UU History” series for all congregations! This series explores turning points and controversies in our history, delving into the complexities of these historical moments through primary texts, to understand how they shaped Unitarian Universalism and how we relate to our faith today. Free for current Faith Forward congregation subscribers; $100 for non-subscriber congregations (no participant limit) or $25 per person. For more information or to register, email Faith Forward Coordinator Rev. Lora Brandis at Deadline to register is Monday, April 1st. Please share this invitation with your congregation!

Turning Points in UU History - Online Class Open to All
Registration is now open for the spring session of Spiritual Deepening through Worship and Small Groups, presented by Congregational Life in conjunction with the Center for Congregational Spirituality.

This four-session course will lead participants through a process of planning a liturgical year that is authentic to their congregation, gathering resources on the year’s seasonal themes, integrating those themes through communal spiritual practice in worship, creating opportunities for spiritual practice in small groups, and inviting participants to engage in individual practices centered on the theme.

The structure of the course will include both on-demand videos and in-person virtual sessions beginning with a 90-minute session at 11:30am Eastern on Saturday, May 4, and continuing each of the following Saturdays until May 25, 2024. While the course is open to individuals, congregations are encouraged to have two to four people participate. The registration fee is $350 for 4 people, $300 for 3 people, $225 for 2 people, and $125 for one person.

The course is compatible with a variety of UU Holidays, Holy Days and Worship Themes, including Earth-centered Wheel of the Year celebrations and monthly theme-based subscription services like Soul Matters or Touchstones.

For more information on Spiritual Deepening through Worship and Small groups, visit the Congregational Spirituality website.
PWR Job Postings
Our UUA is hiring for three positions on the Pacific Western Region Staff Team, specifically Regional Administrator, Congregational Life Field Staff, and Regional Lead. Please visit the UUA website for positions descriptions and application instructions.

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.
UU the Vote 2024 Launch
March 14 at 4pm PT / 7pm ET
We are entering the work of UU the Vote 2024 grounded in the current political and spiritual conditions of our faith and national community. The work that is needed in 2024 will require us to anchor in our power and connect authentically to mobilize UUs, voters, and our local communities. UU the Vote 2024 is an ambitious strategy to grow a powerful pro-democracy majority. This year we will build our commitment to democratic practices and recommit to showing up for social movements building infrastructure and relationships to sustain us the beyond the electoral year.

Join us for our launch, Thursday, March 14th from 4–5:30pm PT / 7–8:30pm ET, as we highlight our upcoming work. You’ll learn about our work with State Advocacy Networks and their partners in key states, key ballot initiatives, political education and spiritual grounding opportunities and our mass voter contact program. Register today!
Green Sanctuary 2030 Orientation
Green Sanctuary 2030 Orientation
March 4 at 4pm PT / 7pm ET
Get to know the new Green Sanctuary! Join the monthly orientation session to get a better understanding of the program and learn how your congregation can engage in ongoing climate action. Green Sanctuary 2030: Mobilizing for Climate Justice can transform your congregation through climate justice! Register to join us.
Side with Love Monthly Mixer
March 18 at 5pm PT / 8pm ET
We know that these times ask a lot of us and that we need one another to stay in the work with hope, joy, impact, and accountability. Join us if you are doing the work on the ground, if you are showing up for and with Side with Love, and/or if you are just learning about Side with Love. Come connect with one another, build community across issues, and have some facetime with our staff. Register to join us.
Green Sanctuary 2030 Community Meeting
Green Sanctuary 2030 Community Meeting: Climate Justice and Racial Reconciliation in a Predominantly White Congregation
March 20 at 4pm PT / 7pm ET
Integrating justice in our climate work is essential, but many UU congregations struggle with this component of the Green Sanctuary 2030 process. Join Dorothy Swain from UUs of Grants Pass, OR, and her colleague Gabi Johnsen from the Pursuit Church of the Nazarene, to learn about the ways their congregations are advancing climate justice in a predominantly white, rural community Register to join us.
UU Stop Cop City Monthly Action Huddle
March 21 at 11am PT / 2pm ET
Our huddle this month will focus on writing letters to those imprisoned for protesting Cop City in Atlanta. Writing letters to folks locked up is a ministry, a political act, and a great way to invite new folks into decriminalization work. As always, we’ll also review what’s happening and what you can do with Stop Cop City more broadly. Join us to get activated or to jump back in. Learn more.
Faithful Grounding
March 28 at 4:30pm PT / 7:30pm ET
Join our Side with Love Fun & Spiritual Nourishment Squad for an hour of spiritual sustenance and grounding with others organizing on the side of love. Come drink in the music, meditation, play, and prayer. We end with a Connection Cafe for those who wish to talk together. Show up as you are, whatever is in your heart, and with your camera on or off as you need. Register to join us.
New Emerging Adult Web Content
The UUA has new web content specifically for emerging adults and / or for congregations seeking to better support their 18-24 year olds. There's information about pastoral care, worship, and about the National Emerging Adult Taskforce (NEAT). Check it out at the UUA website.
Save the Dates - 2024 Camps
Young UU Project
Have you heard of YUUP yet? The Young UU Project began in 2020 as a way for young UUs to keep in touch with each other and their faith during the pandemic, and is held by Lifespan Faith Engagement. The purpose of YUUP is to be a national community care network and multi-directional communication channel that centers BIPOC, trans/non-binary and neurodivergent youth and offers a transition zone for young people moving into emerging adulthood. 

Anyone (youth, caregivers, religious professionals, lay leaders, everyone!) can tap into the social ministry of YUUP by following them on Instagram @yuup.uua and signing up for the YUUP newsletter. YUUP also has a community sphere just for youth, those who bridged in 2022 and support adults. These “Third Monday Meetups” are where youth swap ideas they can take home to their local communities. In August they swapped Favorite Check In Questions. In September they swapped favorite youth group games, which will soon be released on Instagram and in the newsletter.

Adult readers - We need your help connecting youth to this community! Please point them to UUA.ORG/YUUP to connect at whatever their capacity is.
Young Adult Revival Network Worship
UU young adults and friends from around the world are invited to attend our monthly worship service, held on the third Sunday of each month. Each month our Worship Team puts together a fabulous, faithful, spiritual program that reflects our faith and the fact that we are young adults. From our song choice, to the content of our reflections, this isn’t your traditional UU worship experience. So join us, and discover a different way to embody our faith. This is an intergenerational event, all people ages 18 and older are welcome to attend. Register here.  
Emerging Adult Database
If you or another emerging adult UU (18-24) are interested, please sign up and join our community. Our Pacific Western Region 2022 EA Database signup can be found here.
Grant Funding Available for MDD Congregations
The Midwest Unitarian Universalist Conference has endowed funds, established in the early 1900s, to offer financial support to elderly Unitarian Universalists, both lay persons and retired ministers and their partners in the UUA MidAmerica Region and Mountain Desert District of the Pacific Western Region. Funds have been used to assist in the purchase of hearing aids, mobility devices, and medical expenses. More than $3,000,000 has been distributed since the Conference was formed.

In 2018, the Midwest Unitarian Universalist Conference also established a Munroe Husbands Grant fund to assist Lay-led congregations in the MidAmerica Region and Mountain Desert District of the Pacific Western Region. These funds have been used for leadership development, procurement of technical equipment needed for multi-platform meetings and services, attendance at conferences and General Assembly, and religious education program development. Since its inception, more than $21,000 has been distributed in support of Lay-led congregations.

For more information visit our website.

Updates from Camp de Benneville Pines
For those folks who seek other adventures, there are always plenty of choices for great things to do at Camp de Benneville Pines. Check out our events calendar for the 2023-2024 programming year.

Want to be the first to know about registration dates and more? Be sure to subscribe to our mailing list.

Save the Date: PSW Service Area Assembly
InSpirit UU Book and Gift Shop

New UUA Pamphlets

With the start of a new year upon us, we'd like to highlight some new pamphlets for your faith community. You can browse inSpirit: The UU Book and Gift Shop’s full selection of congregational resources online.

Environmental Justice Pamphlet—A helpful introduction to
environmental justice, this pamphlet lays the groundwork for anyone interested in this crucial work and provides examples of Unitarian Universalist organizing happening right now all across North America.

The Work of Antiracism Pamphlet Pack—The Work of
Antiracism includes two paired pamphlets, one for people of color and one for white people, as we journey together to create new multicultural, antiracist faith communities. This bundle contains 25 of each pamphlet for a total of 50 pamphlets for your community.

Unitarian Universalist Views on Sex Pamphlet—Unitarian
Universalism celebrates sexuality as a good and healthy part of the lifelong human experience. Firmly grounded in scientific evidence and with a commitment to social justice, our values have proved to be life-saving. Visitors to your community can learn more about Unitarian Universalist views on sex and the groundbreaking Our Whole Lives program with this important resource.

Worship in Unitarian Universalist Congregations Pamphlet
—Worship is our shared Unitarian Universalist practice of exploring, connecting to, and creating the ways that our individual lives fit into a larger whole. But what can you expect when you attend a worship service in a Unitarian Universalist congregation? A comprehensive introduction for visitors to your community.

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