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"Regional Assembly,  PWR & UUA News, and more!
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Pacific Western Region
Newsletter April 2024
Pacific Western Regional Assembly is Almost Here: Register Now!
by Rhonda Whitney, Member
PWR Transitions Team

Come one, come all to the 2024 Pacific Western Regional Assembly at my home congregation, the First Universalist Church of Denver, the evening of Friday, April 19th and all-day Saturday, April 20th. You do not want to miss it.

Come and connect with UUs from the Pacific Western Region which includes all states in the Mountain and Pacific time zones plus Alaska and Hawaii. There will be time to connect at a reception, breakfast, lunch, workshops, and in a craft room. You can visit tables hosted by various groups in the Region or find a spot in the church to chat informally. There is also the opportunity to attend virtually, whether you live in the PWR or not. To online attendees: Please know that a dedicated team has been working for months to ensure your experience is as worthwhile as being in-person.

On Friday evening, we have our keynote conversation between our Unitarian Universalist Association President Rev. Dr. Sophía Betancourt and the United Church of Christ General Minister and President Rev. Karen Georgia Thompson. For an hour, these two dynamic national leaders will address the theme “The Future of Liberal Religion: A Quest for Justice and Liberation”.

Saturday begins with continental breakfast and an in-gathering time followed by several workshops, addressing themes of UUs countering white supremacy culture, UU camps and conferences, UU newsletter publication, multi-faith UU worship, multigenerational UUism, and a UU gun buy-back program. You can click here for descriptions of workshops. Then,We will have the opportunity to a lunch catered by a family member of First Universalist and mix and mingle while enjoying a delicious meal.

In the afternoon, the PWR Transitions Team will present a program called "What’s All this I Hear About a New Pacific Western Region?” We will begin with an opening ceremony, tell you what we have been doing for the last several years, share our hopes for the future as well as hear about your hopes, and end with a short worship service.

Saturday afternoon members will host a tour of the beautifully renovated First Universalist Church including the thoughtfully created common and worship spaces and both the geothermal heating and cooling and solar electricity. Saturday dinner members of First Universalist invite you to join them at nearby restaurants for dinner in small groups. You can sign up at the check-in table when you arrive Friday evening or Saturday morning.

All attendees are invited to worship the following day with Earth Day-themed services at the local UU churches. You will find details in your welcome email as Regional Assembly draws near.

On behalf of the Transitions Team and your PWR Staff, we look forward to seeing you there! If you haven't done so already, register now for in-person or online Pacific Western Regional Assembly 2024.

Rhoda Whitney is a 48-year member of First Universalist Church in Denver. She has been active there for most of that time and nationally in the 1980s and ‘90s on the UU Women’s Federation Board and the UUA Nominating Committee.
In this Issue
Regional Assembly
Saying Good-bye
PWR Chalice Lighters
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
Saying Goodbye
by Annie Scott, CRE
PWR Field Staff
It is with both joy and sadness that I share with you my decision to retire as of June 30. I’ll be 72 and it is time to turn more of my energy toward my beloved spouse, Mick, my kids and 2 grandkids, my pug Sammie and myself. I will have completed my certification as a Spiritual Director from Meadville Lombard so will begin a practice in May. I have loved serving five UU congregations and then ending my career serving for five years with the UUA. I have loved working with my PWR Staff teammates and so many others beyond the Region. Blessings to all who read this, and blessings to the
new staffers who will join the PWR Congregational Life team.

Six Things to Know About....
PWR Chalice Lighters
What is PWR Chalice Lighters?  PWR Chalice Lighters is the regional crowd-funding program for UU congregations that will replace three of the four district-based Chalice Lighters programs after the Mountain Desert, Pacific Central, and Pacific Southwest Districts have legally merged. Over decades, Chalice Lighters programs have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to support our congregations with building improvements, essential equipment, and staff expansions.

Where did Chalice Lighters originate?  It started in our Region's Pacific Northwest District (PNWD) in 1990 and spread across the country, with most (if not all) UUA Districts having their own Chalice Lighters program. Thousands of Unitarian Universalists households and individuals have given into Chalice Lighters programs through their own congregations, and hundreds of UU congregations have received grants because of all that generosity and camaraderie. Though the PNWD dissolved in 2023, its legacy of service to UU congregations in that area continues on through Cascadia Chalice Lighters which is managed by Cascadia Growth Fund, a nonprofit offshoot of PNWD.

When will PWR Chalice Lighters begin accepting grant applications, selecting grantees, and making Chalice Lighter “calls” for donations to those grantees? Some conditions will need to be met before PWR Chalice Lighters is ready for take-off, including the hiring of the next Regional Administrator for PWR, the organizing of the PWR Chalice Lighters Ambassadors in local congregations, the recruiting of a grantee selection task force, and the completion of the merger into a legally-unified region mentioned above. Thoughtfully and prayerfully, these things will happen within the next few months and by the end of the year, PWR Chalice Lighters will be disbursing funds to selected grantees.

Why should I care about PWR Chalice Lighters?  For decades, Chalice Lighters programs have been one of the ways our congregations have affirmed their relationship to each other in mutual support. Generosity is one of the core UU values at the heart of the revisions to Article II of our UUA Bylaws, and Chalice Lighters is an expression of that. Your own congregation might have already been a Chalice Lighters grantee or might apply for and become a PWR Chalice Lighter grantee at some point. Through PWR Chalice Lighters, members of your congregation can be instrumental in helping other congregations realize their mission and their goals.

Who is currently working on PWR Chalice Lighters?  The PWR Transitions Team has assigned the task of generating the new program to the PWR Chalice Lighters Helping Circle, which is Janet Murphy (Pacific Southwest), Karen Urbano (Pacific Central), Judy Bentley (Mountain Desert), and Rev. Carlton E. Smith (Regional Lead). It will also include the new Regional Administrator once hired.

How do I learn more about PWR Chalice Lighters, and even become involved in its success?  We thought you’d never ask! You can send an email with your name, congregation, email and phone number to We look forward to hearing from you!

— PWR Chalice Lighters Helping Circle

  Liberation and Joyful Resistance
Mosaic National Learning and Practice Gatherings support organizations and congregations’ long-term commitment to carry out AR/AO/MC transformation. These 90-minute virtual gatherings include a mix of facilitated learning from trusted voices in the movement for AR/AO/MC transformation and opportunities to be in conversation with fellow UUs. 

Join us for the next Mosaic National Learning and Practice Community: Liberation and Joyful Resistance. Rev. Ranwa Hammamy, Congregational Justice Organizer with UUA Organizing Strategy Team, is our special guest. Sunday, May 5th 12pm HT; 2pm AT; 3pm PT; 4pm 5T; 7pm CT; 6pm ET 

For questions and/or more information contact Dr. Melissa James at
To learn more about The Mosaic, visit their webpage. 

Treasurers' Roundtable
Summer Camp Panel
Join us for a 90-minute webinar on Wednesday, April 3 from 10:00 to 11:30 am ET to discover an important ministry to children and families: offering summer camps at UU congregations! Hear from experienced religious educators and volunteers as they share insights about camp activities, staffing, challenges, and tips for starting your own camp.

Bring your questions for a lively Q&A session with our panelists. For those unable to attend our live session, we will be recording the webinar and posting it to LeaderLab so that you don’t miss this opportunity to explore how summer camps can enrich your ministry to children and families. Please register whether you plan to attend live or watch the recording; you will receive all pertinent information and links as they are available.

Registration is free and required. You will receive the Zoom link in your confirmation email, and as a reminder before the event. Registration will be open through the day of the event - Wednesday, April 3. We look forward to you joining us!
Reimagine Together: From An Extractive Age to a New Era - The UU Climate Justice Revival
Register Your Congregation Now! Reimagine Together: From An Extractive Age to a New Era - The UU Climate Justice Revival, September 28-29.

Join with hundreds of sibling congregations across the continent for our national UU Climate Revival, offering inspiring collective worship, creative learning, and new frameworks at the intersection of climate and justice. The UU Climate Revival will equip UU congregations to enter into a new era of climate action—one that intentionally and faithfully breaks down silos and cultivates relationships that lead to flourishing collaborations that transform our congregations through climate justice. Open to every UU congregation of every size and budget, we will provide facilitation toolkits, training, music, projects, coordinated justice action and more! Find out more at the event page.
From the Office of Staff Church Finances: Updated and Revised Webpages
We've been reviewing and revising some of our webpages. In our lead article below, we share what's new. Stay tuned for more new and improved pages in the months ahead.

Please let us know about changes to your staff and lay leadership all year long. For staff, this includes salary and hours changes, new home addresses, terminations, and retirements. Keep these links handy:

New and Improved webpages on LeaderLab:
  • Worker Classification - There are two types of worker classification: Employee versus Independent Contractor and Exempt versus Nonexempt (under the Fair Labor Standards Act). This guide helps you learn about both.
  • UUA Benefit Recommendations - We've republished our Benefit Recommendations page, with Benefits Process Guidance right at the top, followed by our Recommended Benefit Levels, which are unchanged for now.
  • Hiring Staff - This page contains valuable resources for bringing on new staff, including guidance on special topics such as hiring members and staffing for diversity.
  • Staff Development and Support - Performance evaluations, professional expenses, and compassionate terminations are just some of the topics you'll find here.
“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
Tending Congregational Life Training: What Is It?
Guiding the membership journey in our congregations is a team effort! Come learn about our new training Tending Congregation Life and have your questions answered.

Are you already taking the training? You are also welcome to attend and share your experiences so far!

Join us April 17 at 8 pm ET. Register today!

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, May 9th at 8p ET/7p CT/6p MT/5p PT. Details and registration.
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.
Green Sanctuary 2030 Orientation
Green Sanctuary 2030 Orientation
April 3 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! Orientation meetings are held on the first Wednesday of the month at 4PT - 5MT - 6CT - 7ET. Register to join us.
Side with Love Monthly Mixer
April 15 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. This gathering happens monthly on the 2nd Monday of the month at 5 PT, 6 MT, 7 CT, 8 ET. Register to join us.
Green Sanctuary 2030 Community Meeting
Green Sanctuary 2030 Community Meeting: Nourishing Impactful Teams
April 18 at 4pm PT / 7pm ET
As we work to transform our congregations and communities through climate justice, a strong and dynamic team is critical. Join Rev. Cathy Rion Starr, Side With Love Leadership Development Specialist, for tips on how to bring together and nourish a cohesive and impactful team!

Come together for shared learning and mutual support with other UUs working on congregational transformation through climate justice on the third Wednesday of the month at 4PT - 5MT - 6CT - 7ET. Each meeting includes a brief introduction to the Green Sanctuary 2030 process and a presentation on a climate justice topic usually led by a Green Sanctuary 2030 Team followed by an open discussion. Register to join us.
Getting Started with UU the Vote: Community Gathering
April 18 at 4p PT / 7pm ET
Need some support with your UU the Vote work? Confused about what electoral work is “allowed” for non-profits? Want help finding a local partner to work with? Join us on Thursday, April 18 at 7-8pm ET as we talk through some of the first steps to making a plan. In the meantime, check out our UUTV 2024 Launch Guide to get started. Register today.
Faithful Grounding
April 25 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. This gathering happens monthly on the 4th Thursday of the month at 4:30 PT, 5:30 MT, 6:30 CT, 7:30 ET. 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 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 2023-24 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

Now Available for Pre-Order

Seeds of a New Way: Nurturing Authentic and Diverse Religious Leadership

What will it take for diverse leadership within Unitarian Universalism to truly thrive
and contribute to a radiant and inclusive future? In Seeds of a New Way, editors Manish
Mishra-Marzetti and Nancy McDonald Ladd and contributors explore how to foster and nourish diverse and authentic leadership within congregations.

Building on the foundations of the groundbreaking Centering: Navigating Race, Authenticity, and Power in Ministry, this collection offers a glimpse into the forming edge of the shared journey happening right now to make diverse leadership, both lay and ordained, more survivable and vibrant. Rather than presenting one definitive
pathway or roadmap, Seeds of a New Way recognizes that the specific context and relationships within any given setting will shape the journey and so brings together a diverse array of perspectives, experiences, and strategies to
illustrate a range of considerations and possibilities.

As congregations strive to live into the potential and joy of
Beloved Community, these essays will inspire them to seed and nourish a new way.

Rev. Manish Mishra-Marzetti serves as senior minister of
the First Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Ann Arbor, Michigan. He has served extensively in denominational
leadership, including as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee and the Unitarian Universalist Association, as well as president of
Diverse Revolutionary Unitarian Universalist Multicultural Ministries (DRUUMM). He is co-editor of Justice on Earth: People of Faith Working at the Intersections of Race, Class, and the Environment and Conversations with the Sacred:
A Collection of Prayers.

Nancy McDonald Ladd serves as senior minister of
the River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Bethesda, Maryland. She is a national leader in broad-based community organizing and has served on the adjunct faculty at Meadville Lombard Theological School. She is the author of After the Good News: Progressive Faith Beyond Optimism.

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