Generosity in All Things, District Events, Be the Love, News and more...


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PWR Newsletter


Generosity in All Things

Dear Pacific Western Region Congregational Leaders,

We Congregational Life Staff speak of "Generosity In All Things" as we do our work because we know that generosity is a core religious value and that it is foundational to cultivating joy in our own lives, sustaining our congregations and doing what we are called to do in the world.

We are always listening to you to discern how we might be of greater service to you and how together we might better serve our Unitarian Universalist values. To that end, Kay Crider of Stewardship for Us and I have scheduled two focused conversations to share our thoughts and to hear yours.

  • Thoughts on Congregational Pledge Drives in These Times - Tuesday, Feb. 21, 6:30-7:30 PT
  • Creative Responses to Budget Shortfalls - Tuesday, Apr. 4, 6:30-7:45 PT

Congregational Leadership can join by going to Keep in mind this is Pacific Time. We encourage you to gather your leaders together to sign on to these.

The time has passed for taking anything for granted in our lives—so many of our beloved institutions are at risk and so many of our values seem to be under assault. And yet we look to our congregations and to our partnerships with other Unitarian Universalists for support and inspiration as we live out our values in bold new ways. Together we will create the vital partnerships in our communities to bend the arc toward justice.

From time to time, I am asked by a congregational leader to "make the case" for why their congregation should pay its full contribution to the District or our UUA and I am happy to provide my thinking on this here.

Let our work continue to be marked by the spirit of generosity as we seek to "build the common good and make our own days glad."

We need one another. We have what we need. And we are not alone.

In gratitude,
Rev. Jan
Pacific Western Region Congregational Life Staff

February 16, 2017
In this Issue
  • Generosity in All Things
  • Webinars
  • Events & Training
  • District and UU News
  • Youth Ministries
PWR Quick Links
PWR Field Staff

Events, Training and Webinars



Webinars offer a convenient way to engage in online collaborative learning. Participating as a learning community in your congregation gives your team a starting point to gain insight, discuss with religious leaders, and focus your congregation on what matters. Webinars are just $20 per connection and can be watched by one person at home or with a group from your church.

SpiritJam: Fun, Engaging Faith Formation

Katie Covey
Mar. 8, 2017 - 7-8pm PT

Are you having trouble recruiting teachers? Check out a new model of Religious Education called "SpiritJam" developed at the UU Fellowship of Boulder, CO.

  • Staff teachers lead the program.
  • Align Religious Education with Thematic Ministry.
  • Provide consistency, professional leadership and safety for the children.
  • Free up the energy of parents with paid lead teachers.
  • Offer service opportunities for all ages.

Register for SpiritJam: Fun, Engaging Faith Formation

Reaching Out to Millennials & Young Families

Rev. Annie Gonzalez Milliken & Rev. Sarah Gibb Millspaugh
Mar. 18, 2017 - 9-10am PT

This webinar is designed for UU congregations who know their community has something to offer young adults and families with young children and want to intentionally reach out to those groups. We'll explore characteristics of successful outreach efforts and help you identify concrete ways your congregation can build meaningful connections with members of these groups.

Reaching Out to Millennials & Young Families


Other UUA Webinars

Offered by the UUA's Office of Church Staff Finances
Strategies for Setting Staff Salaries

Jan Gartner, UUA Compensation and Staffing Practices Manager

The UUA Salary Recommendations provide clear, consistent guidance based on sound compensation principles, but they aren't customized counsel that perfectly fits any single congregation. Join Jan for an overview of the UUA Salary Recommendations and related resources, followed by suggestions and strategies for applying our guidelines sensibly and justly in your context.

Ministerial Compensation: Unraveling the Complexities for Lay Leaders

Rev. Richard Nugent, Director, Church Staff Finances

Are you a lay leader with responsibility for ministerial compensation or payroll? We'll help you make sense of ministers' dual tax status (including the enigmatic "in lieu of FICA"), housing allowance rules, withholding options, and more. We'll also talk about good practices for ministerial benefits and contracts. Come with your questions and your curiosity.


Events and Trainings

Religious Education Trainings
Learn more about RE Trainings
Save the Date
  • PNW District Assembly
    Eugene, OR
    Feb. 25
  • PSW Justice District Assembly
    Southern Arizona
    Mar. 31 - Apr. 2
  • UU Buddhist Convocation
    Corbett, OR
    Mar. 31 - Apr. 2
  • PNW UU Administrators and Membership Professionals Retreat
    Olympia, WA
    Apr. 4
  • UUMA PCD Chapter Retreat
    San Juan Bautista, CA
    Apr. 21-23
  • PC District Annual Meeting
    Walnut Creek, CA
    May 5-6
  • UUMA PNW Chapter Retreat
    Federal Way, WA
    May 5-8
  • PCD-LREDA Pot of Gold Conference
    Oakland, CA
    Sept. 30



PWR Congregations in the News

Mother of four fears deportation, declares sanctuary at Denver church
Jeanette Vizguerra, avoided a scheduled meeting with U.S. Immigration and Customs and Enforcement (ICE) officials and instead declared sanctuary at the First Unitarian Society of Denver. Vizguerra's declaration of sanctuary came after her "stay of removal expired" and she feared a scheduled meeting with ICE on Wednesday would have resulted in immediate detention and quick deportation. "It will not end today," Vizguerra said Wednesday to the applause of supporters.
Read more in the Denver Post

Cheyenne residents support local Muslims at service Friday
The Unitarian Universalist Church of Cheyenne, the Wyoming Association of Churches and community faith leaders promoted the service. The service came in response to President Donald Trump's recent executive order temporarily banning travel to the United States from seven predominantly Muslim nations, which a federal judge temporarily halted Friday.
Read more in the Wyoming News

Alameda County leaders rally for immigrant rights
Before she became an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister, the Rev. Maria Cristina Vlassidis Burgoa can still remember her family's diaspora from Chile to the United States, where they sought refuge from military junta leader Augusto Pinochet and his regime following the 1973 coup d'etat that elevated him to power. These days, the Starr King Unitarian Universalist Church leader is not afraid to say that she is an immigrant and refugee in the same country that backed Pinochet's overthrow of then Chilean president Salvador Allende.
Read more in the East Bay Times

A return to native habitat
"It's World Wetlands Day — that's why it's important to be out here," said Jessica Bukowinski, who came with her 18-month-old son, and several members of her church, UU Fellowship of Santa Cruz County. "There are so many people out here today that we have to take turns with the shovels — I like that. It's so important for the kids of our community to see everyone out here helping our environment.".
Read more in the Register Pajaronian

Faith leaders gather, speak out on behalf of the marginalized
The Rev. Greg Ward, the interim minister at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Vancouver, said his faith has taught him to "live as large as the times demand." This moment in history is "a moment that matters. We will always show up for one another," he vowed.
Read more in the Columbian

Congregation stands by Syrian refugees coming to Reno
The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Northern Nevada believes that refugees and immigrants are a part of our nation's history and future. The current executive order on immigration does not represent our congregation's values or the better virtues of this republic. As Unitarian Universalists, our support of refugees is guided by our seven principles, which include the inherent worth and dignity of every person; equity and compassion in human relations; and the goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all.
Read more in the Reno Gazette-Journal

UU Fellowship to Consider Sexuality & Spirituality
Anna Royer has participated in the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Durango for the past three years and serves there as a volunteer Worship Associate and as a member of the LGBTQ Social Justice Team. She also attended the Pagosa Fellowship between 2005 and 2011. She draws on her life experience for this message, whether it's growing up a child of the 1970s in California, serving as a case manager for homeless teens in Tucson, teaching sex education to the 9th grade wrestling team in Pagosa, or currently volunteering at the 4 Corners Rainbow Youth Center in Durango.
Read more in the Pagosa Daily Post

Be the Love

Enemy Images Be Gone From Me - Rev. Deborah Holder
When the most recent issue of Tikkun magazine arrived, I opened it immediately eager to read the editorial by Rabbi Michael Lerner, "Overcoming Trumpism: A New Strategy for Progressives." It isn't what I expected. It isn't about the psychopathology of Donald Trump. Instead Lerner invites readers into a timely and complexifying conversation about the unintended consequences of "Us" vs. "Them" tactics in what was already a dangerously polarized United States.

Do Your Teaspoon - Meck Groot
I'm remembering what Rev. Dr. Katie Geneva Cannon taught us in her Liberation Ethics classes at Episcopal Divinity School during the Reagan-Bush years. In the words of her mother: "Ain't but me one." There's only one of each of us, but we are not alone. We are lawyers and healers and teachers and sign-painters and artists. We are trades people and cooks and comics and listeners and speechifiers.We are everywhere and we are legion. And we have teaspoons. A LOT of teaspoons. More every day.

Chalice Lighters Across the Region

The Pacific Northwest District's Winter Chalice Lighter Call is raising funds for a new roof for the first permanent congregation home for Magic Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Twin Falls, Idaho. The Chalice Lighters grant will help MVUUF put roots in the ground and attract future UUs needing a liberal religious home.

The Mountain Desert District's Winter Chalice Lighters Call will go toward the UU Fellowship of Bozeman Montana, who are purchasing and enlarging a building to accommodate their growth. The enlarged building will provide Sunday service space, a kitchen and social hall, RE classrooms and office space.

The Pacific Southwest District's Winter Chalice Lighter Call is going toward the renovation of rooms at First UU Church of Los Angeles. Assistance from Chalice Lighters will allow them to bring two lovely but badly-worn rooms back to attractive shape. They will become spaces that communicate UU values with beauty and warmth.

The Pacific Central District's Winter Chalice Lighter Call opens February 20th. Look for the announcement in the next PWR Newsletter.


The Annual Award for Distinguished Service to the Cause of Unitarian Universalism is one of the most prestigious awards given by the UUA. The deadline for nominations is March 1, and the Board will make a final selection at its April meeting.

With escalating threats to communities of color and an intensifying backlash against powerful movements of resistance, the struggle for racial justice requires a new level of clarity, commitment, courage, and community. To help our movements respond, join Grow Racial Justice 2017 in New Orleans, LA, June 17-20, in the days prior to the UUA General Assembly.

The Music Leadership Certification Program is a unique, three-year program that summons music leaders to their calling of music ministry, enriches their service to Unitarian Universalist congregations, and enhances their professional perspective and skills. Apply by March 15.

The Black Lives of UU Convening will take place in New Orleans, LA from March 9th to 12th. This historic event will bring together Black Unitarian Universalists from across generations. Over the course of four days together we will co-create spiritual nourishment and healing through ritual, worship and pastoral care.

Want to go to Transylvania to see the important Unitarian historic sites such as the place where the Edict of Torda was debated and the cell where the imprisoned Francis David died? Want to know some of our Transylvanian Unitarian kinfolk? The UU Partner Church Council invites you to join in one of its two Pilgrimage Opportunities in 2017.

The elections of people to serve the members and congregations of the UUA are at the heart of our fifth principle of our faith and our trust in the democratic process. In June of this year we will vote for the next President of the Unitarian Universalist Association. We encourage you to become an informed voter by reviewing basic information [PDF] about candidate forums and where/how to vote, reading the complete FAQ on how UUA elections work, and learning more about each candidate. You can find links to this information plus much more on the UUA's Elections homepage.




Goldmine Youth Leadership School

Goldmine is a week-long community building and training space for high school youth interested in leadership, activism, and spiritual growth. Goldmine 2017 will be held July 23-29th, 2017 in Golden, CO (just outside Denver) at Jefferson Unitarian Church. The application will be available in mid-March, but the staff application is already open. Goldmine is traveling and will be in the Pacific Southwest.

High School Youth Civil Rights Pilgrimage

Join a life-changing and awesome summer experience! High School Youth Civil Rights Pilgrimage to Selma, Montgomery, and Birmingham, Alabama being offered June 5th to 9th for rising 9th grade - graduated 12th graders.

This trip is being planned by the Living Legacy Project along with UU DREs, retired UU ministers, song leaders of the music of the Underground Railroad and the modern Civil Rights Movement, and Civil Rights Era Veterans. This High School generation may be one of the last generations to hear the Veterans of the Civil Rights Era share their stories firsthand!

Visit the Living Legacy website to get more info about this amazing opportunity and register! Youth Leadership Grants are also available for this trip!

Contact Tina DeYoe - or Jules Jaramillo - for more information.

Seeking a PNW Youth Con Coordinator

The Pacific Western Region is hiring a part-time Con Coordinator for the Pacific Northwest. The purpose of the role is to support vibrant youth ministry in PNWD congregations by helping to ensure well-organized, covenantal, and healthy district conferences for high-school aged Unitarian Universalists.

If you know someone who would excel in this role, please encourage their application. If not, please publicize in your networks. Deadline for applications is March 1st. Find more details about this position.

PNW Chaplain Training

March 3-5 - UU Congregation of Salem, OR

Youth Chaplain Trainings are designed for the participants to learn invaluable life skills of affirming and emotionally supporting our fellow UU's by helping manage crises, ensure a healthy and safe environment, and bringing spiritual resources and support to the various communities in which one resides. This training is for youth, adults, and young adults!

Learn more and register

Upcoming Youth Ministries Events

They Can't Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America's Racial Justice Movement

Wesley Lowery, Hachette, 2016

A deeply reported book that brings alive the quest for justice in the deaths of Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, and Freddie Gray, offering both unparalleled insight into the reality of police violence in America and an intimate, moving portrait of those working to end it.

True South: Henry Hampton and "Eyes on the Prize", the Landmark Television Series that Reframed the Civil Rights Movement

Jon Else, Penguin Random House, 2017

The inside story of Eyes on the Prize, one of the most important and influential TV shows in history and Henry Hampton, the man who utterly changed how the civil rights movement is told, taught, and remembered today. Published on the 30th anniversary of the show's initial broadcast.