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Love Right Through-The Journey Continues, LRT Forums, and More!
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Pacific Western Region
Newsletter February 25, 2021
Love Right Through - The Journey Continues
By Rev. Carlton E. Smith
Lead - UUA Pacific Western Region


For those who might not have been able to make it to Regional Assembly, I thought it might be helpful to share some of the highlights on our blog. There you can read an excerpt from the land acknowledgement given by Pacific Southwest District board member Kia Bordner, plus highlights of the messages from UUA president Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray, Commission on Institutional Change chair Rev. Leslie Takahashi,  UUA Director of Congregational Life Jessica York, and UUA co-moderator Charles Du Mond.

The District Boards of the Pacific Western Region chose The Mountain Top – A UU BIPoC Community as the recipient of the first Widening the Circle of Concern Award, for “taking significant congregational action based on the recommendations of the Widening the Circle of Concern Report and in recognition of their efforts to foster diversity, equity and inclusion.” To learn more about The Mountain Top and the Honorable Mentions for the Widening the Circle of Concern Award, please click here.


As I said in my remarks toward the end of the day, Love Right Through is the continuing theme over the next several months in the life of the Pacific Western Region as we discern together what the next phase of being a region will look like.

With that in mind, we hope as many of you as possible will make yourselves available for the upcoming Love Right Through Forums on the first and third Mondays, 6:30pm – 8:00pm PT, March 1 through May 17. March 1, we will be joined by Rev. Leslie Takahashi as we discuss how the next phase of regional life could support the recommendations of the Widening the Circle of Concern report. You can register for that and other upcoming forums here.

Hope to see many of you there! Thank you again for making our first all-virtual Pacific Western Regional Assembly as successful as it was.

In faith,
Carlton
In this Issue
Love Right Through-The Journey Continues
Love Right Through Forums
PWR & UUA News
Youth News
Mountain Desert News
Pacific Central News
Pacific Northwest News
Pacific Southwest News
InSpirit Update


PWR Links
Calendar and Events
Staff Contacts
News
Job Postings
Youth Ministries

RE Trainings


PWR Lead
Carlton Elliott Smith

PWR Field Staff
Summer Albayati
Love Right Through Forum: Widening the Circle of Concern
Love Right Through Forum: “Widening the Circle of Concern”
With Revs. Carlton E. Smith and Leslie Takahashi
Monday, March 1, 2021 6:30pm - 8:00pm PT
Join with fellow Pacific Western Region Unitarian Universalists to envision the next phase of becoming a region, in a series of six forums. This evening, we will focus on the "Widening the Circle of Concern" report from the UUA’s Commission on Institutional Change (COIC) with a talk from Rev. Leslie Takahashi, who was the COIC Chair, 2017-2020. Among the COIC recommendations we discuss are that the UUA should “work to make regional gatherings and structures possible and to regularize them so that there is some consistency and they can be used to provide a common framework for anti-oppression work and other needed changes,” and “fully implement the regional system, making space for clusters of congregations interested in equity to form." Register here.
PWR & UUA NEWS
Pastoral Care Training for and with Youth
Pastoral care is an essential part of religious community and an essential part of caring for each other as human beings. We each can be present to each other as we go through both the hard and joyful parts of life. Compassion, witness, listening, and empathy are gifts we can all give each other. To help with this, Pastoral Care Training for and with Youth series are being offered for Youth Advisors, Religious Educators and for middle school youth (grades 7-9). Each training is a three or four part series.

Peer to Peer Pastoral Care for Middle School Youth Series, March 6, 13 and 27, 2021, 10a-1p MT/9a-12n PT
Pastoral Care to and with Youth for Youth Advisors Series, March 3, 17 and 31, 2021, 4-7p MT/3-6p PT
Pastoral Care to and with Youth for Religious Educators Series, March 10 & 24, April 7 & 14, 2021, 2-5p CT/1-4 MT/12-3p PT
Small Congregation Webinar Series on Sharing
Are you in a small congregation of 120 or fewer members? Your Congregational Life Staff are offering a series of Small Congregation Webinars on ways congregations can share programming and services. Each session runs 1.5 hours and they are free! Please join us for one or all.
Spring for Change: A Season of Sacred Activism
Build Connections with UU Climate Activists!

          • Get Inspired
          • Gain Tools
          • Grow the Movement

Opening Celebration and Convergence: Saturday, March 20th, 2021




Witness, Connect, Act! A Social Witness Convening
Wednesday, March 24, 7-9 pm ET/4-6 pm PT
While many of us celebrate the promise of a new administration in the White House, things we care about — advocating for racial justice, countering white supremacy, protecting our democratic freedoms — are still at risk. By the thousands, Unitarian Universalists made their voices heard through the UU the Vote campaign. UU the Vote showed us all how vital and powerful we are acting together. Inspired to grow more connections for collective social witness action for a wide range of values at risk, the Commission on Social Witness invites all UUs to Witness, Connect, Act! A Social Witness Convening to share and connect UUs doing similar work for inspiration and ideas.

The spring Convening will bring together those focused on the most recent collective social witness statements. Commissioners will also review how to make new statements at GA 2021, and provide an opportunity to connect and plan in advance of GA. If you are doing work related to any of these statements, or seeking inspiration and ideas for such work, this meeting is for you. We will share ideas, build relationships across the country, and envision new ways to bring our values to life in the world. Register here. For questions, email socialwitness@uua.org.

News from the UUA Office at the United Nations
Climate & Food Justice – get grounded, connected, & equipped for action!
This year’s Spring Seminar hosted by the UUA Office at the United Nations is open to all ages (14+) and will take place all virtually April 9-11, 2021! The UU@UN has an incredible lineup of presenters and activities to connect participants to one another and to the issues at stake in the joint struggles to heal people and planet. This Seminar, on the theme “All In for Climate Justice: Food Equity and Sustainability” is part of the UU Ministry for Earth’s Spring for Change Season of Sacred Activism which focuses on the path to healing and regeneration. Come learn alongside change-makers across the generations about how to take spiritually-grounded action to advance climate justice through equitable and sustainable food systems (and have fun as well)! Registration is open through March 18 and offers a flexible fee scale for equity and accessibility. Learn more and register.

Will You Achieve the Sixth Principle Congregation Award? Qualify by March 31
The UUA Office at the United Nations announces a new annual award to recognize congregations that show their support of the UU@UN and their commitment to our Sixth Principle’s “goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all” through their actions and financial giving. These “Sixth Principle Congregations” must have completed certain activities between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021 and submitted a brief report. Through this award, the UU@UN hopes to form closer ties with congregations throughout the U.S. and Canada who value international engagement and local action on global issues relating to human rights, peace, and climate justice. Detailed information about the Sixth Principle Award and how to qualify is here; contact unitednations@uua.org with any questions about how your congregation can get more deeply involved.

Learn the R.A.C.E. Method of Dialogue for Dismantling Racism
Join the Canadian Unitarian Council on two Saturdays in March (March 6 & 13, 2pm-4pm EST) for a dynamic 2-part workshop with Dr. David Wiley Campt that will prepare you to engage in transformative conversations around issues of systemic racism. Be ready for a hands-on and practical training that will help you feel confident moving forward. No prior skills or expertise required. All are welcome. Get tickets here.

Breaking Covenant - Repair Restore Renew
Saturday, April 10, 2021, 09:00 am - 12 pm Pacific
Every congregation has experienced destructive behavior that has caused upset, tumult, and conflict, from microaggressions to outright aggression, and other forms of inappropriate behavior. In the process, covenant is broken, even when the covenant might not be explicitly stated. The impact of the behavior can baffle leaders, and congregations often don’t know how to repair, restore or renew their community. It is therefore important that every congregation recognize that the holy space between each of us is everyone's responsibility to grow and maintain and when it's broken between any people it's broken between us all. We need to have policies and procedures in place to deal with destructive behavior. Congregational Life is offering a workshop on April 10 on Breaking Covenant. Learn more here.
Virtual General Assembly 2021: Register Now!
Circle 'Round for Justice ● Healing ● Courage is the theme for General Assembly 2021. General Assembly is a time to circle ‘round in community. We circle ‘round in care and healing; for liberation and justice; and for love and courage. We share stories of the work happening at our Association and in our congregations. We study ways to implement and live into our mission. UUA GA 2021 will incorporate recommendations from the Commission on Institution Change report, "Widening the Circle of Concern" and dialogue with the Article II Commission about our Principles and Purposes.

    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.
    YOUTH NEWS
    Upcoming Youth Events
    Pacific Western Region (PWR) Events
    • Spring Con - Virtual - ChUUse YoUUR Own AdventUUre, a multisensory month-long experience of UU community and UU faith. April 4 - May 1. Registration opens soon.
    • FUUsion 2020 - Virtual Camp July 11-18.

    District Specific Programs
    PCD MUUGs

    PSWD Camp de Benneville Pines
    MOUNTAIN DESERT DISTRICT NEWS
    MDD Winter Chalice Lighter Call Now Open!
    We know that circumstances may mean some may not be able to give more than good wishes, but we’re hoping that those who can will step up and help fill in for those who must take a break. The Winter Call will assist the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Missoula, Montana replace their roof. It is way past time it was done. They have used buckets in the kitchen to catch the drips, but it is time for a more permanent solution. Visit the MDD website to read the call letter and make a donation.
    PACIFIC CENTRAL DISTRICT NEWS
    PCD Winter Chalice Lighter Call Now Open!
    The Winter 2020 Chalice Lighter Call for the Pacific Central District will be devoted to the UUA Disaster Relief Fund. Many members of congregations in the PCD, as well in other districts of the Pacific Western Region, have been affected by the wildfires that have raged through Northern and Southern California, Oregon and Washington. Now Colorado is experiencing climate-related wildfires. The disaster fund is a general fund, but we want to support it because it is actively supporting UU families that have lost their homes to wildfires this year. In addition, individual UUs and UU communities in our district have been supported in the past and will need support in the future. Visit the PCD website to read the call letter and make a donation.
    PACIFIC NORTHWEST DISTRICT NEWS
    PNWD Winter Chalice Lighter Call Now Open!
    The Winter call is again dedicated to supporting PNWD congregations struggling to survive in the wake of the coronavirus. Why, despite evidence of need, have we not received more applications for these funds? Some have told us that while operating virtually, the challenges of signing up the requisite percentage of their members as Chalice Lighters has been a deterrent. In response, the PNWD Chalice Lighter team and board have agreed that only 20% of members need to be Chalice Lighters in order to apply for pandemic relief grants, rather than the standard 30%. This should put applying within the reach of every PNWD congregation. Others have said that they are “treading water” and overwhelmed. To help, we have further simplified the application. Others have not yet experienced budget shortfalls, but fear problems in the coming months if online or deferred worship services fail to attract new members to replace attrition. Consequently, the deadline for applications is extended until all funds collected for this purpose are disbursed. Visit the PNWD website to read the call letter and make a donation.
    PACIFIC SOUTHWEST DISTRICT NEWS
    PSWD Annual Business Meeting 2021
    Exchanging the Love
    April 17th, 2021
    9:00am-12:30pm Pacific
    In conjunction with our annual business meetings, the Pacific Southwest District of the UUA (PSWD) & Camp de Benneville Pines (DBP) are offering an opportunity to Love Right Through locally, by connecting with other UU Pacific Southwest Service Area congregants. You can exchange ideas, actions and thoughts in breakout rooms on a variety of topics. For a tentative schedule and agenda, registration, and delegate certification please visit our website.
    Camp de Benneville Pines Annual Meeting 2021
    Camp de Benneville Pines is a Unitarian Universalist retreat center on a 16-acre campus in a tall tree forest at an elevation of 6,700 feet. It is an independent 501c(3) and is owned by the UU congregations who are geographically in the Pacific Southwest District (PSWD). This geographic area will be referred to as the Camp de Benneville Pines Service Area.

    Camp de Benneville Pines (deBenneville) will hold its annual meeting by Zoom following a PSWD meeting at 9:00 am, Saturday, April 17, 2021. Delegates will be required to approve a bylaws change, to vote on the continuation of service for Board members, and possibly to vote for a new person to join the Board.

    DeBenneville has good news about stewardship initiatives including the Emergency Relief Fund, as well as plans to celebrate 60 years since its founding and a belated celebration for 25 years of service from our Executive Director, Janet James. You are encouraged to attend, participate, represent your congregation, join our stewardship activities, and nurture the sustainability of Camp de Benneville Pines. For more information, please visit the PSWD website.
    Updates from UU Justice Arizona
    For a complete list of events and offerings, please visit the UUJAZ website.
    Beloved Conversations: Spring 2021
    Register by February 26th, course begins March 15th

    Beloved Conversations curriculum developers at Meadville Lombard Theological School have responded to the needs to learn how race and ethnicity shape our personal and collective lives and practices, in a virtual format. In 2020, 93 UUs from Arizona joined 1200 UUs in participating in the first half of Beloved Conversations: Within.

    The first phase, Within will open for registration in February, and focuses on the internal work that each of us needs to do as we engage racial justice. This work is different for White folks and for Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC) and will be done entirely in race-based caucuses. You do not need to have taken the Fall session to register for Spring: the two halves of Within can be taken in any order. We hope you join us to embody racial justice as a spiritual practice, to heal the impact of racism on our lives, in order to get free together. Visit the website for registration and additional information.
    Race Matters in the Supreme Court
    Tuesday, March 9th, 5-6:30 pm AZ time, 7-8:30 pm Eastern
    Tuesday, March 16th, 4-5:30 pm AZ time, 7-8:30 pm Eastern
    Tuesday, March 23rd, 4-5:30 pm AZ time, 7-8:30 pm Eastern

    As UUs, we recognize the existence of many realities and even more so, how those realities are interwoven. The connection between law and race is one of these ever-present truths. Join Political Science Professor Emeritus and UU, Howard Tolley, for three 90 minute sessions examining Supreme Court caselaw involving slavery, native American rights, racial discrimination, segregation, mass incarceration, the death penalty, affirmative action, rights of protesters, and qualified immunity for law enforcement personnel. In this course taught through UUJAZ and UUJO, Tolley considers the impact of race, political ideology, legal principles, and personal preference on the selection of Justices and the decisions they reach.

    This course is free to all our monthly sustaining donors. If you wish to join but aren't a donor, you can contribute a suggested donation on a sliding scale. There is also an opportunity to contribute to racial justice organizing at registration. If you aren't financially able to donate, join us anyway! Register here.
    White Memorial Theological School Scholarship 2020
    Are you currently a student in theological school? Could you use some help with tuition and expenses? If the answer to the first question is yes, likely the second question has the same answer. The PSWD can help.

    The White Memorial Fund was established in the 1920s with a $10,000 gift from Charles White of Pasadena, CA. The interest from this amount is used to further the theological education of students preparing for Unitarian Universalist ministry. Over the years, the White Memorial Scholarship has provided a one-time annual gift of $2000 available to help support Unitarian Universalist Ministerial students, with preference given to those who have a connection to the Pacific Southwest District. All UU students attending theological school are encouraged to apply. For more information and to apply please go to our website.

    InSpirit UU Book and Gift Shop
    2020–2021 Common Read Discussion Materials Available
    A Common Read invites participants to read and discuss the same book in a given period of time. The UUA Common Read can build community in our congregations and our movement by giving diverse people a shared experience, shared language, and a basis for deep, meaningful conversations. The 2020–2021 UUA Common Read is Breathe: A Letter to My Sons by Imani Perry, published by Beacon Press.

    Discussion materials for this Common Read offer two plans: one for use by a BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) UU group, the other for any congregational group. Both plans invite groups to choose a one- or three-session program. With online gathering now a norm, readers need not live near one another to form a group.

    Emotionally raw and deeply reflective, in Breathe Imani Perry issues a challenge to society to see Black children as deserving of humanity. She shares her fear and frustration for her Black sons in an increasingly racist atmosphere in which white people at times seem irredeemable. However, as a mother, feminist, writer, and intellectual, Perry offers an unfettered expression of love—finding beauty and possibility in life. She exhorts her children and their peers to find the courage to chart their own paths and find grounding and inspiration in Black tradition. Breathe offers a broader meditation on race, gender, and the meaning of a life well lived and is also an unforgettable lesson in Black resistance and resilience.

    For more information about the Common Read program and how you and your community can participate visit our website.
     
     
     
     
     

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