Technology and Communications Support, Assemblies, Farewell, News and more...


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PWR Newsletter


Supporting Congregations' Communications and Technology

Dear Pacific Western Region Congregational Leaders,

"We're not sure what we're supposed to be doing on Facebook, but we know we're supposed to be there. How are others handling social media?"

"We're struggling to get people our information even though we seem to be distributing it in more ways than ever before. What do we do?"

"We want to add live video streaming to our services. What do we need to know from a technology standpoint to make it work?"

These are all questions that Congregational Life staff throughout the Pacific Western Region and the UUA have gotten before. From large congregations looking at developing their own mobile apps to small congregations looking to livestream for their house-bound members, everyone is considering ways in which technology and communications are impacting the way their congregation functions. And for many of our congregations it's not an area of strength or confidence, and so many have simply let it go or have asked for more support.

We're responding to that request for more help by offering specific support to congregations who want to do more with technology. Christopher Wulff, a recent addition to our Congregational Life staff, will be taking the lead on PWR congregational support related to technology or communications.

Some will know Christopher as the developer of the UUA WordPress theme for websites (with PWR Congregational Life staff Sarah Millspaugh and UUA headquarters) which is being used by more than a hundred congregations across the continent. Currently the Ministerial Intern at the First Unitarian Church of Victoria, he's also developed data management systems in congregations, built crowdfunding donation systems and led several congregations through branding and communications exercises. He has spent the last fifteen years working with nonprofits and community organizations on technology implementation and campaign communications, and so brings both a deep knowledge of technology and a close engagement with our UU communities.

We want our congregations to have an informed look at technology as resources get tighter or needs increase, to see how it can help the congregation's operations run more efficiently. We want to look at the ways in which communications technology can help us spread our message and invite people into our communities. And we want to be intentional about engaging new trends in technology that newcomers demand without leaving our existing folks behind.

When should you contact Christopher? If you're working on an issue or situation in congregational life that involves technology, reach out. This might include streamlining information management, building communications plans, or evaluating Requests for Proposals you've gotten for a new branding project. It might have to do with how you want to handle social media, developing a better eNewsletter or leading an evaluation of your website. The best way to reach Christopher is via email at, but you can also find him on Facebook and Twitter if those are your preference.

Whether you're dreaming big or starting small, talk to us about where you want to go.

James Kubal-Komoto
Regional Lead, Pacific Western Region

In this Issue
  • Technology and Communications Support
  • Webinars
  • Events & Training
  • A Fond Farewell
  • White Scholarship
  • District and UU News
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.


Note: We've had to reschedule two webinars, Just a Few Kids: Creative Strategies for Congregational Engagement which has been rescheduled for Feb. 16th and SpiritJam: Fun, Engaging Faith Formation which hasn't found a new date yet. Apologies for any inconvenience this may cause and we'll be sure to include the revised date when we know it.

Inclusive Youth Group Dynamics

Eric Bliss, Natalie Briscoe, and youth TBA
Feb. 14, 10-11am PT & Feb. 15, 5-6pm PT

How do we create space for real diversity in our youth groups? For believers? For introverts? For those who are differently abled? For our growing trans-youth population? This hour long webinar will examine the issues of growing complexity around an inclusive youth ministry program and provide real tools for creating safe, open spaces for our gloriously varied and multi-faceted youth participants, including a new methodology for fashioning the complicated, and sometimes tedious, youth group covenant.

Register for Inclusive Youth Group Dynamics


Just a Few Kids: Creative Strategies for Congregational Engagement

Rev. Sarah Gibb Millspaugh & Rev. Sarah Schurr
Feb. 16, 2017 - 7-8pm PT

How do you create a meaningful congregational experience when you've got a small number of kids in your congregation, few of whom are the same age? What will engage them, minister to their needs, and build a strong UU identity? You'll walk away with creative "out of the box" ideas for nurturing connections, fun, and faith across the ages and generations.

Register for Just a Few Kids: Creative Strategies for Congregational Engagement

Reaching Out to Millennials & Young Families

Rev. Annie Gonzalez Milliken & Rev. Sarah Gibb Millspaugh
Feb. 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.

Register for Inclusive Youth Group Dynamics


More UU Webinars

Offered by the UU Service Committee
Solidarity and Sanctuary

Wondering what your options might be for effective congregational action in a heightened time of hostility and violence and possible deportations? This webinar will review a range of strategies appropriate for congregations of many sizes and political contexts. Hear inspiring examples of what some UU congregations are already doing and what resources the UUA, UUSC, the UU College of Social Justice and other UU groups have to offer! Know that often your most effective step will not be to offer physical sanctuary. Content will cover a range of supportive, organizing and policy advocacy options and preview additional upcoming webinars. Learn more about UUSC's webinar series on sanctuary.

Offered by the UUA's Faith Development Office
Black Lives of UUism

Three members of the Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism collective (BLUU)—Kenny Wiley, Dr. Takiyah Amin, and Elandria Williams—will talk with religious educators, other religious professionals, and lay leaders in faith development about BLUU's objectives and plans, history and formation, and the March 2017 BLUU Convening for Black UUs in New Orleans. Come talk with BLUU and learn how our work in UU faith development and religious education can explore and support today's national and UU-specific movements for black lives.

Supporting Gender-nonconforming Children and Their Families

What are some ways to support and welcome gender-creative and transgender children and their families in our congregations? What practices and resources can enrich faith development for children of all genders? Join us and bring your questions! With Melissa James, Alex Kapitan, Lisa Rubin, UUA Our Whole Lives Program Associate Melanie Davis, and webinar host Gail Forsyth-Vail.


Events and Trainings

Religious Education Trainings
Learn more about RE Trainings

Staff Development Days for Religious Professionals

Whether your staff team is brand new or has been together for a while, this interactive day will connect both role cohorts and staff teams around common blessings and challenges and boost your ability to work as a team with a covenantal network of support. Bring the entire staff team to get the most out of the day!

  • Santa Barbara County
    Feb. 4, 2017 - Live Oak UU Congregation
    Rev. Dr. Jonipher Kwong and Rev. Jan Christian
  • Los Angeles County
    Feb. 9, 2017 - Throop UU Church
    Rev. Dr. Jonipher Kwong and Eric Bliss
  • Arizona
    Feb. 21, 2017 - Valley UU Congregation
    Rev. Dr. James Kubal-Komoto and Rev. Sarah Gibb Millspaugh
Staff Development Days details

Save the Date



A Very Fond Farewell

Saying Goodbye to Chuck Rosene

It has been more than seventeen years that the Pacific Central District's phones and emails have been answered by the inimitable Charles (Chuck) Rosene. Chuck started as the District Administrator from his home in Northern California in 1999 and has seen a full generation go through the congregations in his area.

The Pacific Western Region staff are delighted to celebrate with Chuck his new position as Church Business Administrator at the Mt. Diablo UU Church in Walnut Creek California, where he'll be supervising staff and managing volunteers, while working on finance, events and leadership support. As Chuck says, "Now I get to see if the 'good advice' that I've been giving to church administrators for the last 17 years holds any water!"

We wish Chuck all the best in his new position and on this new adventure!

If you have a question or concern that you're used to calling Chuck about, please contact Pacific Western Region Administrator Diane Brinson at 206-384-9718 or For the time being, it is fine to continue to send U.S. mail to the same address for PCD dues payments.

The G.B White Memorial Scholarship 2017

The White Fund was established with a $10,000 gift in the 1920s from a Mr. White of Pasadena, for the purpose of helping UU seminarians.

And the tradition continues: anyone preparing for our ministry who has attained Candidate status is eligible for this one-time award, with preference given to those with ties to the Pacific South West District (PSWD).

Applications for the 2017 scholarship are due by Feb 28th, 2017.

More information can be found on PSWD's White Memorial Scholarship page where applications can be submitted online.

The winner of the 2017 scholarship will be announced at the PSWD Assembly in Southern Arizona on April 1st, and be given a check for $1000 to use to defray costs of their schooling.

If you have any questions regarding the scholarship or the application, please contact

PWR Congregations in the News

U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Luján speaks at Unitarian Universalist Santa Fe
"America needs you," he told a packed house of some 400 people during a town hall on Republican efforts to kill President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act, which provides health insurance for some 20 million Americans. He joined faith and community leaders in the two-hour meeting at the Unitarian Universalist Santa Fe church on West Barcelona Road. The event was one of dozens of rallies Democrats staged across the country to highlight opposition to the GOP effort to repeal the health care law.

Read more in the Santa Fe New Mexican

Peaceful MLK Day March Draws Hundreds
Lynne Haeseler, music director with Granite Peak Universalist Unitarian Congregation, said she marched "to remind people of the core values of our humanity that Martin Luther King, Jr., demonstrated, fought for and died. As Frederick Douglass said, 'It's really important to get out and use your legs as prayer,'" Haeseler said.

Read more in the Daily Courier

Sexuality Education Offered for Teens
Sky Island Unitarian Universalist Church is offering a sexuality education program to students from 10th through 12th grades. Rev. Linda Lawrence said the course, called Our Whole Lives, or OWL, was developed by the Unitarian Universalist Association and United Church of Christ that "offers honest, accurate information presented in an educational, fun, and developmentally appropriate format."

Read more in the Sierra Vista Herald

Women's March Planned for Saturday in Yakima
"Women are encouraged to walk together to celebrate women and demonstrate support for their human rights. Partners, brothers, sons, fathers, friends and families who are in sympathy with women and their concerns are invited to march in solidarity, organizers said in a news release. Afterward, a networking opportunity that's open to participants and the public will take place at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Yakima"

Read more in the Yakima Herald

Getting More Out of the March: Mobilizing for Resistance Pre-March Webinar

From Standing on the Side of Love: "Excited and informed by the political, theological and tactical grounding provided by Lena K. Gardner, Ashley Horan and other folks in Minneapolis in preparation for the Women's March, we offered two webinars to folks across the country! We were joined by Lena K. Gardner, Rev. Ashley Horan and Caitlin Elly Breedlove."

Watch the recorded webinar

Calling All Friends of Faith and Conscience: Invitation from the UUA President and UUSC President and CEO

Sign your name to the Declaration of Conscience to commit to putting Unitarian Universalist values into action to resist hate, fear and bigotry. Get regular email updates, opportunities and stories from this joint initiative of the Unitarian Universalist Association and the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee.

Learn more and sign the Declaration




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

This Is an Uprising: How Nonviolent Revolt Is Shaping the Twenty-First Century

Mark and Paul Engler, Perseus, 2016

From protests around climate change and immigrant rights, to Occupy, the Arab Spring, and #BlackLivesMatter, a new generation is unleashing strategic nonviolent action to shape public debate and force political change. When mass movements erupt onto our television screens, the media consistently portrays them as being spontaneous and unpredictable. Yet, in this book, Mark and Paul Engler look at the hidden art behind such outbursts of protest, examining core principles that have been used to spark and guide moments of transformative unrest. With incisive insights from contemporary activists, as well as fresh revelations about the work of groundbreaking figures such as Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Gene Sharp, and Frances Fox Piven, the Englers show how people with few resources and little conventional influence are engineering the upheavals that are reshaping contemporary politics.

Love and Help Activity Book: A Program in Unitarian Universalist Identity for 7-11 year olds

Gail Forsyth-Vail, UUA, 2017

In this new and completely updated edition, this workbook helps seven- to eleven-year-olds who want to learn more about what it means to be a Unitarian Universalist. It is also suitable for those seeking the Unitarian Universalist religious emblem as part of their participation in Cub Scouting or Webelos. Using dynamic designs and fun illustrations, it provides stories, activities, and thoughtful questions to help children better understand themselves, their family, their community, and their faith.