Fostering Sexual Safety in Our Congregations, Stewardship Videos, News and more...


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PWR Newsletter


Fostering Sexual Safety in Our Congregations

"HOW we know we keep children safe is the thing. Not WHO, or if we trust them." – Cindy Beal

Unitarian Universalists all over the country were shocked and horrified last week at the news of an Oklahoma minister's arrest for possession of child pornography. He has since been suspended from ministerial fellowship and removed from the UU Ministers Association, as well as the leadership roles he held.

One of the many responses on social media came from Cindy Beal, an OWL trainer and consultant: "HOW we know we keep children safe is the thing. Not WHO, or if we trust them."

Because even the kindest, sweetest, most trustworthy-seeming people can have well-hidden proclivities to violate boundaries, it's our policies and practices (the HOW) that keep us safer—not just for children, but for people of all ages. We now have an opportunity to take very constructive steps to establish good boundaries for healthy programs. The Religious Institute outlines 18 sexually safer best practices for congregations that help us prevent sexual abuse and sexual harassment as well as the sexual misconduct of the minister and staff.

Your congregation is invited to become a Sexually Safer Best Practice Congregation, earning a seal from the Religious Institute that you can place on your website and hang in your building. By establishing clear expectations, boundaries, and codes of ethics for your professionals and your members alike, you communicate that your congregation is a place that truly promotes the wholeness and health of people of all ages and life stages.

Congregations are welcome to pursue the Best Practice seal on their own: the Religious Institute's website describes how. If we have enough UU congregations pursuing recognition at the same time, we can set up an online learning circle where we can support one another through the process.

Interested in pursuing the Best Practice Seal? Let me know! I am your Pacific Western Region contact on the UUA Safe Congregations Team. If you have a safety issue in your congregation, get in touch with your primary contact first. You can also explore Safe Congregations on to find resources on how to make your congregation safer in all ways.

Your partner in promoting health and wholeness,
Rev. Sarah Gibb Millspaugh
PWR Congregational Life Staff

April 6, 2017
In this Issue
  • Fostering Sexual Safety in Our Congregations
  • New Videos on Stewardship
  • District and UU News
  • Job Postings
  • Youth Ministries
PWR Quick Links
PWR Field Staff

Events, Training and Webinars


New Videos

Rev. Jan Christian on Stewardship

What happens to our congregational giving at a time when many Unitarian Universalists feel their values are being threatened? Rev. Jan Christian reflects on highlights of a recent conversation she hosted with Kay Crider of Stewardship for Us. [5min 55sec]

Creative Responses to Budget Shortfalls

Video from the April 4 online conversation exploring the many ways that congregations can respond creatively to budget shortfalls or pledge campaigns that didn't meet their targets. Rev. Jan Christian, Congregational Life Staff, and Kay Crider of Stewardship for Us, share guidance from their years of experience working with congregational finances. [66min 12sec]

What Does Innovation Look Like in UU Religious Education?

Join a one-hour webinar in April to hear from today's faith development innovators working in UU congregations. A year ago, the UUA's Faith Development Office brought together UU leaders for a roundtable discussion of creativity and innovation in religious education and faith development. Participants described a wide variety of initiatives in youth ministry, family engagement, social justice work, and other areas that support faith development in new ways. With religious educators Tracy Beck and Joy Berry, the April webinar will provide a recap from the 2016 Roundtable and explore new ways of growing together in faith. Webinar host Jessica York, UUA Faith Development director, will explain how to apply for a small seed grant to fund your innovative project. Register online for Tuesday, April 18 at 1 p.m. EST or Wednesday, April 19 at 9 p.m. EST.

Save the Date


Denominational News


PWR Congregations in the News

Church group to leave for Mexico
"Volunteers from the United Church of Los Alamos and the Unitarian Church of Los Alamos will form a Circle of Love Saturday morning, as they prepare to leave for Puerto Penasco, Mexico, to build homes for the poor. The 50-plus-member team will build for three families this week, including a 78-year-old mother and her daughter that make $35 a week, a five-member family that makes $42 a week and a six-member family that makes $170 a week."
Read more in the Los Alamos Monitor

Boulder County faith communities consider sanctuary for immigrants
"For Unitarian Universalists, one of our primary foundational beliefs is the inherent worth and dignity of all people. That's central to our work on immigration because we're looking at the human indignity of our current immigration process where you go in and take people from their home or workplaces and the effect that has on children and families," Boulder Valley UU Fellowship Senior Minister Rev. Lydia Ferrante-Roseberry said."
Read more in the Times-Call

Hands Around the Mosque Celebrates Unity, Denounces Division
"Standing, arms outstretched and hands clasped with their neighbor's, Jews, Catholics, Protestants, Muslims, Buddhists and pagans surrounded Santa Clara's Muslim Community Association (MCA) building for Hands Around the Mosque, an interfaith showing of solidarity in support of American Muslims on March 19. First Unitarian Church of San Jose congregation member Shelley Leister showed her solidarity by wearing a hijab. "I'm here because I'm very opposed to Islamophobia," she said, adding that she was part of People Acting in Community Together–PACT–an interfaith social justice group. "People were silent in World War II. Silence is complicity and ... together, peacefully, we can resist and we will prevail."
Read more in the Santa Clara Weekly

Churches answer call to offer immigrants sanctuary in an uneasy mix of politics and compassion
"At the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fresno, the Rev. Tim Kutzmark hopes his congregation will agree to host immigrants. The church's board voted last month to do so, but needs affirmation by the congregation to move forward. Kutzmark's church is affiliated with PICO, a national network of faith-based community organizations and congregations. PICO leaders estimate their congregations could immediately house 150 people in Los Angeles County alone."
Read more in the LA Times

Reverend Jason Cook Leads Fullerton's Unitarian Universalist Congregation to Success
"Jason Cook retrieves a navy-blue stole from a couch in his office. The reverend of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Fullerton regards a patch sewn on the stole that marks his 2014 ordination: "We need not think alike to love alike." When Cook sought to lead the church last summer, the very same quote greeted him from behind the pulpit, a sign that his seemingly unlikely path from gay Midwestern teen to a preacher in Trump times proved providential."
Read more in the OC Weekly

Want to make your congregation more accessible and inclusive?

Rev. Tandi Rogers, our region's Accessibility & Inclusion Ministries specialist is gathering congregations interested in (or actively working through) the UUA's AIM certification program. The AIM certification program is very much like Welcoming Congregations or Green Sanctuaries, only for Accessibility & Inclusion. Imagine a year of mutual support and cross-pollination from other congregations while working together toward certification. We're better together! Contact Tandi at

Worship Attendance Increase Focus Group

For those of you experiencing a Trump Bump (increased seekers and perhaps membership engagement), or as I like to call it, the Lifting of the Veil or the 21st Century Great Awakening — would you be interested in being part of a virtual, regional focus group? Your Pacific Western Regional Staff has prioritized designing and curating resources to help you navigate these times. We want to hear how this increase has changed your congregation's understanding of membership, pathway to membership and/or your congregation's sense of mission. We want to hear how you are responding to the increase, what's working, what's not, and what you need to succeed. If you are interested, please contact Rev. Tandi Rogers at

PWR Job Postings




Youth Ministry Revival Video

In September of 2016 in Portland, Oregon the PWR hosted an incredible event called the Youth Ministry Revival. See some of the keynote speaking highlights with our youth / young adult staff Paloma Callo, Karoline Moore, and Louise Hewitt, as well as melodious music by the peerless Matt Meyer! The video also includes reflections about the project from PWR Congregational Life Staff, Rev. Dr. Jonipher Kupono Kwong, Rev. Tandi Rogers, Rev. Sarah Movius Schurr, and Eric Bliss, the PWR Youth Ministry Specialist. We hope you'll check it out.

Watch the video. [8min 7sec]

Summer Camps for Youth: QUUest and Spirit QUUest

July 2-8, 2017 in Colorado Springs, CO

QUUest—UU Youth Summer Camp

QUUest is a Unitarian Universalist summer camp immersion experience for youth from rising 9th grade to 12th grade graduates. Campers, counselors and staff will spend time exploring being in relationship with one's self, others, and the wider world. Understanding relationships is necessary for a healthy spirit and for saving our lifeboat Earth. At QUUest, youth learn about community, spirituality, justice, equality, and also have a ton of fun! QUUest Camp is based upon four basic pillars. After attending, the youth will be able to: articulate beliefs grounded in UU theology and values; develop spiritual discipline; engage in social change rooted firmly in faith, love, and trust; build personal and religious resilience.

Spirit QUUest—UU Middle School Youth Summer Camp

If you will be in 6th - 8th grade this camp is for you! We are committed to providing a meaningful, energizing experience for all youth while honoring individual spirituality. Each camper is treated with respect and kindness and celebrated for his or her individual gifts. Experiential activities create a sense of wonder and pride for the interdependent web of which we are all a part. Camp days are packed with fun activities and infused with UU exploration. We will participate in workshops exploring the many sources from which UUism draws. We will also experience youth and adult-led worships, and take part in crafts, field games, hiking, swimming, and walking the labyrinth.

Goldmine Youth Leadership School

Applications are open! April 30 is the deadline for applications!

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 23-29, 2017 in Golden, CO (just outside Denver) at Jefferson Unitarian Church.

Rad American Women A - Z

Kate Schatz & Miriam Klein Stahl, City Lights, 2001

Rebels, Trailblazers, and Visionaries who Shaped Our History . . . and Our Future! Like all A-Z books, this one illustrates the alphabet—but instead of "A is for Apple", A is for Angela—as in Angela Davis, the iconic political activist. B is for Billie Jean King, who shattered the glass ceiling of sports; C is for Carol Burnett, who defied assumptions about women in comedy; D is for Dolores Huerta, who organized farmworkers; and E is for Ella Baker, who mentored Dr. Martin Luther King and helped shape the Civil Rights Movement.

Earth Bound: Daily Meditations For All Seasons

Brian Nelson, Skinner House, 2004

Features 365 readings, one for each day of the year. This unique daybook draws from Earth-based spirituality and all of nature—the animal and plant kingdoms, the senses and capacities of the human body, the accomplishments of extraordinary men and women and humanity's poetry and prose. "Brian Nelson's daily musings remind us of both the responsibility and the humanity we share on this earth—and within the embrace of the cosmos." &emdash;Aimee Liu, author of Flash House and Cloud Mountain.


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