Changed Priorities Ahead, PWR, UUA and District News, and more...
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Changed Priorities Ahead, PWR, UUA and District News, and more...


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PWR Newsletter


Changed Priorities Ahead

It was a late spring weekend in Cambridge, England and I saw this sign on the wall along the road. "Changed Priorities Ahead" it proclaimed. I thought this was a great sign for graduation weekend in a college town. Come to find out, it is just the British way of saying the road was about to go from a one-way street to a two-way street - allowing more traffic to flow.

This is a big time of change for so many. In terms of the life of our congregations, it is transition season. Offers are made in late March for ministers who are looking for a new congregation to serve. Many churches are just now finding out that they will be looking for a new minster in their future. Other staff changes are also underway, as many congregations are searching for new religious education professionals. On our PWR staff, we are looking at a new regional lead, a new field staff generalist, and a new administrator tending to our communications. This is a time of changes.

If we look out the window this time of year, we are reminded that change is a constant. It has been for thousands of years. The weather is getting warmer. The days are getting longer. Yesterday, I saw crocuses coming up where there was deep snow just a few weeks ago. As the spring blooms all around us, we experience the ever-changing nature of our universe.

The world is filled with resilience. Spring comes out of winter every year, without fail. Many congregations face a ministry search every year. Most often, the results begin new and vibrant relationships between minister and congregation. Changed priorities ahead may be startling, but often results in wonderful new possibilities. And always remember, if you need any help or support in these times of change, don’t hesitate to reach out to your PWR staff. We are here for you!

Rev. Sarah Schurr
Pacific Western Region Congregational Life Staff

April 11, 2019
In this Issue
  • Changed Priorities Ahead
  • PWR & UUA News
  • District Updates
  • Healthy Congregations
  • Youth News
PWR Quick Links
PWR Field Staff

PWR and UUA News


Join UUs and Partners to Stop the KXL Pipeline

The Promise to Protect Training Tour will train 2,000 people this spring for direct action to stop the KXL tar sands pipeline. While the 9th Circuit Court blocked the permit TransCanada has received from the state of Nebraska for construction to start in June, the Trump administration has now granted a permit. The tour kicked off on March 23 and is taking place in ten cities and four reservations. (PWR: San Francisco/Bay Area, April 13 or 14; Seattle, April 27 or 28) Native and non-Native environmental justice activists will come together to take powerful collective action to stop the extraction and harm being caused to communities by the fossil fuel industry. The daylong training will prepare people for resistance along the pipeline route and in our local areas. Our faith calls us to heal our relationship with the earth through action in solidarity with those resisting the fossil fuel industry’s extraction and exploitation of people, resources, and lands. Sign up for the training or See the video.


FAITHIFY is a crowdfunding platform for Unitarian Universalist ministry projects. This includes everything from youth work to justice, service, buildings, staff positions, and emerging ministries. FAITHIFY itself is not a funder and does not distribute funds. It is simply the platform for projects to generate funders within communities. See the PWR projects that are currently open and those that have recently been funded.

AUUMM 2019 Conference in Denver, CO

July 24-28 the Association for UU Music Ministries (formerly the UU Musicians Network) will hold its first conference under its new name and with its new mission.

This year’s conference is designed to get us outside our heads; to release our inner creative energy; color outside the lines and bring a fresh approach to the sacred work we do, how we do it and why. Conference attendees will experience a paperless delivery system for all materials and will read repertoire by Composers of Color.

There will be something for everyone at this year’s conference! Instrumentalists, Choral Directors, Song Leaders, Ministers, Religious Educators and all other worship leaders - you will not want to miss this event.

Registration is now open!

Pacific Western Region hiring Congregational Life Field Staff and Regional Administrator

We are excited to be inviting applications for the positions of Congregational Life Field Staff and Regional Administrator to join our fantastic team here in the Pacific Western Region. Click the links to find details about the positions' responsibilities, qualifications and how to apply.

Congregation-Based Community Organizers - You are Invited to Two Events at the 2019 GA

Create Justice! The Power of Congregation-Based Community Organizing, June 20 from 1:30-4pm (Convention Center -- 300B). This workshop will explore how to build accountable community relationships that have the power to dismantle systemic racism and achieve justice. The Spokane Alliance, the Director of the National Interfaith Organizing Initiative and UU organizers from various community organizing networks will share how this model is evolving and how to build the Power of We to create justice.

Networking Gathering for UU Congregation-Based Community Organizers, June 21, 4:30-6pm (Davenport Grand Hotel, Birch Ballroom). This gathering is a private event for the leaders from 200 UU congregations engaged in community organizing. Let's savor the opportunity to meet each other, share stories and strategies for more powerful organizing, and establish sustainable relationships.

We truly hope you will join us. Please share this invitation with people in your congregation who are engaged or interested in multi-faith community organizing. Imagine the power and justice we can create together!

Online Scam Impersonating Ministers' Accounts

A warning that there is a new email phishing scam being employed against faith communities, misleading congregants into sending money. People set up fake accounts that imitate the minister's account, and send messages to email addresses they collect from the church website or published newsletters. This is a pretty helpful description of how the scam has developed and how to avoid it. Be exceedingly cautious if you receive a message from a leader in your congregation asking for rushed money.

The UU Leadership Institute

New Online Leadership Courses for Spring!

Stop Recruiting, Start Retaining: Creating a Culture of Volunteer Sustainability with Laura Beth Brown ($30)

Co-Creating Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity in our Congregations with Beth Zemsky ($15)

Core leadership courses are designed for team or individual learning ($30)

Registration is open until April 15. For more information contact

Upcoming OWL Trainings

OWL Grades K-1 & 4-6

OWL Grades 7-9 & 10-12

OWL Level Young Adult & Adult

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.


Mountain Desert News


Mountain Desert District Annual Meeting

The Mountain Desert District will be holding their 2019 Annual Meeting in conjunction with the UUA General Assembly in Spokane, WA. The meeting will convene Wednesday, June 19 at 3:00 in the Spokane Convention Center. As soon as the room is assigned, we will post it on the MDD annual meeting website. Meeting materials and delegate details will also be posted on this site as they become available.

Western UU Life Festival

Western UU Life Festival at Ghost Ranch in northern NM will be June 24-30. Rev. Kim Mason will be with us as community minister helping us explore the Bones of Our Community. Enjoy a range of activities including rafting, kayaking, hiking, stimulating conversations or just kicking back under the Wisdom Tree with fellow UUs from the Western Region. Find more detailed information in the full catalog and registration.


Pacific Central News


Pacific Central District's Annual Meeting

PCD’s annual meeting will be held online this year on Saturday, May 11, 2019, 2PM - 3:30PM PT. Please find a draft agenda below.

The purpose of the meeting is, broadly, to fulfill our promises to each other as agreed upon in the bylaws of the Pacific Central District, and, specifically, to inform each other on what has been happening in the district, adopt a budget, and elect new district leaders.

Please register if you will be participating. If you wish to be a delegate, please speak with your congregational leaders. Each congregation has been sent information on how to certify its delegates. Your minister, president, or their designee will certify delegates by submitting the Delegate Certification Form linked on the Annual Meeting page.

We are seeking people with a vision for how congregations and other UU institutions in the PCD can collaborate and support each other, people with skills to navigate institutional change, and people with a commitment to infuse anti-oppressive and liberating UU values into our institutional culture to serve on the Board and the Nominating Committee with us. If you are willing and able or know someone who may be, please reach out to the Nominating Committee at

Reports and other documents to support discussion and decision making at the meeting are posted online at the Annual Meeting page. Instructions for connecting to the meeting will be shared by May 8 with congregations and all who RSVP. Links and instructions will also be posted on the Annual Meeting page.

  • Catherine Ishida
  • Roger Jones
  • Clovice Lewis

Proposed Agenda for PCD Annual Business Meeting - May 11, 2019

  • Call to Order
  • Introduction to the Board and Technical Team
  • Addressing Technical Issues
  • Invitation for other agenda items
  • Determination of Quorum
  • Opening Words and Chalice Lighting
  • Review of Minutes from 2018 PCD Business Meeting
  • Nominating Committee Report and Election of New District Leaders
  • Adoption of Budget for 2019 - 2020
  • District and Regional Reports
  • Chalice Lighters
  • District Youth Facilitation
  • Congregational Giving
  • Region Report
  • District Board Report
  • Other Business
  • Closing and Adjournment

Chalice Lighter News

You may have thought that the Chalice Lighter program was over in the PCD. You were mistaken. Although there hasn’t been a call in a couple of cycles, there will be a new opportunity for your congregation and members to donate to one in the fall. Look for a call letter coming out in early July.

Does your congregation have an ambassador yet? It really helps if you want to sign up more donors and be on your way to applying for a Chalice Lighter grant. If you feel you are ready now to apply, go to the PCD Chalice Lighters site where you can download the application and sign up to be a Chalice Lighter or change your method of receipt of your call from mail to email.

Let’s support one another and help spread the light of Unitarian Universalism throughout the Pacific Central District.

Questions? Contact me at

Your PCD Volunteer Chalice Lighter Coordinator,
Karen Urbano


Pacific Northwest News


Pacific Northwest District Annual Meeting

The Pacific Northwest District will be holding their 2019 Annual Meeting in conjunction with the UUA General Assembly in Spokane, WA. The meeting will convene Wednesday, June 19 at 3:00 in the Spokane Convention Center. As soon as the room is assigned, we will post it on the PNWD annual meeting website. Meeting materials and delegate details will also be posted on this site as they become available.

Register Now for UU Chalice Summer Day Camp in Portland, OR

This summer, join UU children and youth from all over Portland for a week of community building, nature exploration, spiritual practice, and lots of fun, all grounded in Unitarian Universalist values and principles. First Unitarian Church and West Hills UU Fellowship are teaming up to offer two weeks of Chalice Camp for elementary-schoolers and one week of leadership training. We would love for you to join us!

Details and registration.

Final registration closes Monday, June 24, or when all spaces are filled. Your space is not reserved until you submit the registration form here and complete payment. NOTE: If you have not received a confirmation email, your registration is not complete.

Questions or concerns? Feel free to reach out to Mira Mickiewicz, Intern Minister at First Unitarian Portland, and Chalice Camp Director, at or 503-228-6389 ext. 222


Pacific Southwest News


PSW District Assembly

There was an overwhelming response to the PCD District Assembly, and we've now reached capacity! Hurrah!

Delegate Credentialing

If your Pacific Southwest District congregation has not already designated delegates to the 2019 Annual Meeting, please have your minister, president, or their designee submit the online delegate certification form by next Friday, April 19. All District Assembly Business Meeting materials received to date are posted on the PSWD website. The Business Meeting packet will also be distributed via email to all District Assembly registrants prior to the meeting.

Turning the Tides - Intergenerational Leadership Summit and Camp

Save the date - August 4-8 at Camp de Benneville Pines

Justice-seeking UUs of all ages are invited to register for this multi-day summit on the mountaintop. Adults and families will gather for restoration and imagination with Unitarian Universalists and kindred spirits from across the region.

Visit to learn more. Registration is opening soon!


Healthy Congregations


The Work of Owning

By Rev. Laura Shennum, minister of the Cascade UU Fellowship and member of the PWR Healthy Congregations Team

Concluding the three-part covenant series from the Healthy Congregations Team. Read part one and part two.

"I can live divided or bent
Conspire in my own diminishment
Or believe in the better world I've dreamt
That grows from inside out"
- Lyrics from Carrie Newcomer's song "Stones in the River"

One of the most difficult aspects of breaking covenant is recognizing our own part or what we have done by our actions to contribute to the brokenness. We get caught up in righteousness, equality, fairness, blaming, defensiveness, passive aggressiveness, all those emotions that keep us safe from being vulnerable. They help us protect the image we have of ourselves and protect our weaknesses.

It is a humble and vulnerable place to own our part. It forces us to acknowledge our imperfections. It puts us in a place where rejection is possible. It gives others power over our weaknesses. Knowing this, why would we ever want to do it?

By taking a thorough self-inventory of our actions, responses, and choices, then owning them in our relationship with another, we open ourselves up to deep spiritual growth. We no longer have the wall of excuses to protect us or the fire of righteousness to keep us warm. Instead, we are there with our soul bared and waiting to know if we will be forgiven or rejected. We have put the trust of the relationship in another’s hands. We also get the opportunity to learn more about ourselves and what type of person we want to be.

When we have realized what it is for us to own, we re-engage with the people where covenant was broken. We offer an apology, "I’m sorry," pause, then take ownership of our actions, feelings, and responses. We don’t just own our part and hope for the best. We also have to acknowledge what we will do differently. Otherwise, we just keep in that same loop of breaking covenant.

The final part is the hardest. Once we have owned our part, said we are sorry, shared our self-inventory, and listed the ways we will be different, we have to let it go and we have to let go of how others will respond. We have to be okay with baring our soul and know we have owned our part.

This is where it gets tricky, because we can get lured back into the feelings of being self-righteous so easily when we have the expectation the other person(s) will own their part as well. If we are in it to just get another person to list what they need to own, then we have limited the spiritual growth and faith formation we have set out to do. This part of the process is not yours to control and to truly grow, you have to be able to sit with whatever response you get.

May we each find the wisdom to do the work of recognizing when we have done harm, reflecting on our own part, and re-engaging the relationships where covenant has been broken.


PWR Youth News


Registration for Thrive Youth is open!

July 17-21 in Minneapolis, MN. Thrive Youth is a five-day gathering for youth of color to deepen connections to community, place and purpose. Thrive participants will be guided by experienced co-facilitators as we worship, feast, play, explore the communities we come from, engage the histories of the communities we visit, and practice the transformative leadership skills into which we are called by our histories, faith and communities.

A day at Thrive looks like this:

  • Breakfast
  • A workshop led by local community organizers
  • Lunch
  • Covenant Check-in
  • Making connections between the workshop and our own stories and our UU faith.
  • Dinner
  • Worship

Thrive Youth is for any youth of high school age who is in 9th-12th grade during the 2018-2019 school year (or the equivalent for homeschooled). It’s also open to any youth who bridges into young adulthood in the summer of 2019. July 17-21 in Minneapolis, MN.

Upcoming Youth Events

  • MDD Spring Con
    April 12-14, 2019
    Foothills Unitarian Church, in Fort Collins, CO
  • PSWD Youth at District Assembly - SOLD OUT
    April 26-28, 2019
    Long Beach, CA
  • PCD Spring Youth Retreat
    April 26-28, 2019
    Walnut Creek, CA
Camp Programs
How to Love a Country

Richard Blanco, Beacon Press, 2019

Poems from the GA 2019 Ware Lecturer. A new collection from the renowned inaugural poet exploring immigration, gun violence, racism, LGBTQ issues, and more, in accessible and emotive verses.

As Long as Grass Grows

Dina Gilio-Whitaker, Beacon Press, 2019

The Indigenous Fight for Environmental Justice from Colonization to Standing Rock. The story of Native peoples’ resistance to environmental injustice and land incursions, and a call for environmentalists to learn from the Indigenous community’s rich history of activism.


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