What is Shifting in You, PWR & UUA News, and more!
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What is Shifting in You?, PWR & UUA News, and more!
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Pacific Western Region
Newsletter January 9, 2020
What is Shifting in You: From "Perfectionism" to "Wholeheartedness"
By Rev. Sarah Gibb Millspaugh

I grew up in a fault-finding family. It was one way my father’s upper-class WASP culture and my mother’s working-class Jewish culture came together: analyzing what was wrong. We’d go to a phenomenal movie, but spend the car ride home talking about the not-so-good acting of one character. When I started preaching sermons, I always could rely on an assessment of my mistakes from my parents. "That was really good… but your children’s story was way too long, and your tone didn’t match your message in this part or that part." Oh, and I did the same when it was my turn in the pew: taking the good for granted, finding the faults. In that way, we were perfect Unitarian Universalists: noticing, calling forth, calling out all that was not right. Taking careful mental notes on what was not perfect in every work of art.

Perfectionism is one of the hallmarks of Unitarian Universalist culture, and also a hallmark of what Tema Okun and Kenneth Jones name as white supremacy culture. There are some definite upsides to seeking perfection, especially when it keeps us always learning, always striving to live up to our professed ideals. But perfectionism has a cost, a serious spiritual cost. It keeps us focused on the negative, rather than nurturing the positive. Internally, it feeds our own shame and our own status anxiety. Relationally, it makes our friends, family, and coworkers feel less seen, less appreciated, less loved. And when we approach our faith communities from a stance of perfectionism, we fail to value our own and others’ contributions. We distance ourselves from the joy, the ministry, the blessings we can receive… because it’s not "just right." We don’t tolerate the genuine human shortcomings of our communities, our ministers, our staff, our leaders… and we become resentful toward one another.

I also grew up in a loving, wholehearted family. The same family, with parents about to celebrate their 50th anniversary. Supportive and kind, nurturing of my gifts and embracing of my quirks. I also found this supportiveness in Unitarian Universalism: a deep acceptance, a profound ministry to me in my brokeness, and a powerful witness to who I am called to be in this world. Perhaps you have found this, too. We have the disease, but we also have the antidote. Okun and Jones name these antidotes to perfectionism, among others:

  • develop a culture of appreciation, where the organization takes time to make sure that people’s work and efforts are appreciated;
  • develop a learning organization, where it is expected that everyone will make mistakes and those mistakes offer opportunities for learning; 
  • create an environment where people can recognize that mistakes sometimes lead to positive results.

When we are at our best, we are like this: appreciating, learning, accepting, falling down, trying again in love.

Brené Brown speaks of the antidote to perfectionism as wholeheartedness. In The Gifts of Imperfection she writes, "Wholehearted living is about engaging with our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion and connection to wake up in the morning and think, ‘No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough.’ It’s going to bed at night thinking, ‘Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging." Yes! You, your UU congregation, and Unitarian Universalism as a whole: we are imperfect, and vulnerable and afraid, AND we are deeply worthy, brave, and loving.

We are a paradox of a faith community, containing both the problem and the antidote. In this new year, and new decade, let us live into the wholehearted promise of our faith, with gusto.

Here are some resources to guide you in a shift from perfectionism to wholeheartedness.

In this Issue
What is Shifting in You?
Update on PWR Regional Lead Position
PWR & UUA News
Youth News
MDD News
PCD News
InSpirit Update

PWR Links
Calendar and Events
Staff Contacts
Job Postings
Youth Ministries

RE Trainings

PWR Field Staff
Eric Bliss
Sarah Gibb Millspaugh
Jonipher Kūpono Kwong
Tandi Rogers
Sarah Schurr
Update on our PWR Regional Lead Position
The lead staff position in our region is still open, and we are seeking applications. Check out the PWR Regional Lead Job Posting on And if you know someone who would be good, encourage them to apply!

In the meantime, our staff team and district boards have been receiving the leadership and support of Jessica York, UUA Director of Congregational Life, and since November a temporary regional lead, Connie Goodbread. Connie is co-lead for the UUA’s Southern Region and has made herself available on a limited basis to the PWR. We’ve been blessed by her presence, her gifts, and her wealth of experience.

Our whole staff team is here for you through all the joys and challenges of the year ahead. We feel so blessed to partner with you on this journey of Unitarian Universalism.
Employee or Independent Contractor? New "AB 5" Law in California
From Jan Gartner, UUA Compensation and Staffing Practices Manager

The UUA Office of Church Staff Finances doesn't generally track state laws. But once in a while something significant comes up at the state level and we’ll do our best to help interpret and communicate it to congregations. Right now, we’re paying attention to the new "AB5" law in California that tightens up the definition of independent contractor.

This law was created with the Ubers of the world in mind, not congregations. Nevertheless, it appears to have implications for certain one-off workers in congregations, including supply preachers and guest musicians.

We know about it and we’re in conversation with your regional staff. We had an informal exchange with an employment lawyer and may seek additional legal guidance. We’ll keep you posted.

If nothing else, this is a good reminder to congregational leaders – not only in California but in all states – that your regular clergy and musicians should be employees, not independent contractors. Unsure of the distinction? Check out our Employee or Independent Contractor? article in LeaderLab.
UU the Vote
The stakes couldn’t be higher in the 2020 elections. All our values, our work for justice, the communities we love and the beloved community we seek to create are under attack. Our religious community must speak with moral courage and act with prophetic clarity and determination in the 2020 electoral cycle. Our UU values of interdependence, democracy, and the inherent worth and dignity of all people are direct antidotes to the fear, bigotry, and inequity that define our world. In this political moment, UUs are called to join forces with all people who want to organize our communities and our nation to #VoteLove and #DefeatHate. Let’s UU the Vote in 2020! More info on our website.

UU the Vote officially launches in January 2020 with a live event. Register with us and host a group to participate from your home, congregation, or other location. We’ll gather on Sunday, January 12, 2020 at 1 p.m. PT/2 p.m. MT/3 p.m. CT/4 p.m. ET.
Take a Tour of LeaderLab!
Have you heard about LeaderLab, the UUA’s online resources for congregational leaders? Or, maybe you’ve visited the website and don’t know where to start. This video will walk you through the website to help you find the resources that you need.
UU Wellspring Supports Smaller Congregations
UU Wellspring recognizes that our program has been financially inaccessible to small congregations in the past. Since UU Wellspring is a yearlong spiritual deepening program designed specifically for Unitarian Universalists, we have created a path for small congregations to benefit from this powerful program that supports your Unitarian Universalist Community.

How Does the Program Work?  All participants attend an all-day retreat, followed by bimonthly two-hour in-person sessions. This year of spiritual deepening is based on readings and videos you retrieve from a "pre-session email" sent to you by your Congregational facilitator (and provided by UU Wellspring). Additionally, in UU Wellspring you participate in small group deep listening, spiritual practices, and spiritual companionship.

What are people saying about UU Wellspring? "I have found it useful to take the time to think about questions and issues that I haven't ever approached systematically. Working on developing mindful practices has benefited me in many ways, both in terms of clarifying what I actually believe and in influencing how I interact with the people in my life. In the weekly sessions, I really felt I benefited from learning about deep listening, and enjoying the luxury of the pause, the silent spaces between speaking".

What are the fees? UU Wellspring has a new pricing annual subscription that matches your size. For example, if you have 250 certified members, you will pay $250 a year. 80 members? $80 per year for as many groups as you want to run in your congregation. There is an additional fee of $300 the first year for your facilitated retreat...but if you partner with another congregation, this can be shared!

Who starts UU Wellspring in your congregation? Both religious professionals and congregational members can initiate UU Wellspring.

How can I find out more? Join an online Zoom session on Tuesday Feb. 18 at 10 a.m. PT/11MT/12CT/1ET or 4pmPT/5MT/6CT/7ET. Email for the link or with any questions you may have. You can also visit our website.

UUA Disaster Relief Fund
Wildfire season is upon us, with more than a dozen wildfires impacting California right now. This summer also saw flooding impact several congregations. Your generous donation to the UUA Disaster Relief Fund will help provide UU congregations, their people and their communities, with the tools they need to recover when they are impacted by disasters like these. Donations from individuals and congregations gratefully accepted.

If you are in a fire-impacted community, please know that we in the PWR staff are here for you. Congregation leaders, please reach out to your primary contact. We can help connect your congregation with trauma response chaplains as well as disaster relief funds if you need them. We care.

Unitarian Universalists all over the country send our thoughts and prayers to those impacted by the fires. If you are not in a fire-impacted community and you want to offer some further help and support, please consider donating to the UUA Disaster Relief Fund. Click here to donate and learn more about the Disaster Relief Fund.
Save the Date-Regional Assembly 2021!
Pacific Western Regional Assembly
February 12-14, 2021

Much of our region is cold and/or wet in February, but a typical day in San Diego is mid-60s and sunny. We expect you’ll be busy with Regional Assembly February 12-14, 2021, but you might add an extra night to enjoy what San Diego has to offer. Our hotel rate will be honored 3 nights before and after Regional Assembly (full details in January, reservations open mid February). Kayak or wander from the hotel, visit area attractions, or explore Old Town. San Diego has much to offer.
Chalice Lighter Winter Calls Now Open!
The Chalice Lighter Calls for Winter 2019-2020 are now open! Check your district's website for details.

Chalice Lighters allows individual Unitarian Universalists to make small financial contributions to help other Unitarian Universalist congregations in their district with projects, often capital improvements, they otherwise might not be able to afford. There are now nearly 3,000 individual Chalice Lighters in the Pacific Western Region.

To set up a recurring monthly gift online, make a one-time gift online, or find out how your congregation might apply for a Chalice Lighters grant, please visit your district’s website at:

·       or
General Assembly 2020: Registration Now Open!

Registration is now open for General Assembly 2020! General Assembly is the annual gathering of Unitarian Universalists, where we conduct business of the Association, explore the theological underpinnings of our faith, and lean fully into our mission and principles. Please join us Wednesday, June 24 through Sunday, June 28, 2020 in Providence, Rhode Island for this 5-day immersive experience where we participate in inspirational worship services and informative workshops, reconvene with friends and colleagues, and explore our bustling exhibit hall. GA is an unforgettable experience for the thousands of UUs who attend. Meet us in Providence and you’ll leave with renewed energy and innovative ideas to share with your congregation and community-at-large!

The theme for General Assembly in June 2020 is Rooted, Inspired, & Ready! We are in touch with our theological roots, we are engaged in transforming our faith, and we are fired up to take action in the wider world.

NEW! Registration Payment Plan: With a $50 down-payment, the cost of registration can be paid over the course several months. Final payment must be received by February 29, 2020. When the final registation is complete, special consideration for dormitory lodging bundles, financial aid and volunteer opportunities will become available.

For more information about registration, housing options, and submitting program proposals, visit the GA website.
Webinar: Myths & Paradigms About Giving
Register Now: January 30, 2020. 7-8 PM Pacific Time
Kay Crider and Rachel Maxwell of Stewardship for Us will be hosted by Rev. Tandi Rogers in a presentation and Q&A about giving, including how Joy plays into generosity and ways to break the taboo of talking about money. Registration here!

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.
UU-UNO Intergenerational Spring Seminar
Dates: April 16-18, 2020  
Location: New York City

With a deep passion for and commitment to international human rights, youth and adults from all over North America gather annually for our three day seminar to dig deeply into issues with global impact.

The intergenerational seminar is an opportunity to collaborate with others while learning how to be a global activist. Through workshops, peer and expert-led panel discussions, community building activities, and worship services, you will undergo a transformative process of learning, reflection, and growth while exploring some of the most challenging issues facing humanity today.

Registration is Open!

The cost of Early Registration (December 2 - January 20) for all attendees is $375. Regular registration is open January 21 - March 2 at an increased rate. This year we have a new model in which all attendees pay the same rate, regardless of age. This adjustment moves the Seminar towards being more sustainably funded, with all costs shared among attendees. Apply by January 13 for a reduced registration rate.
Metamorphosis Youth Leadership Camp
July 26-31, 2020, with staff arriving July 26th.   
Location: First Unitarian Portland, OR.

Student applications available soon!

Metamorphosis Youth Leadership Camp (formerly Goldmine) is a five-day community building and training space for high school youth interested in leadership, activism, and spiritual growth.

In the process of deeply listening, through exploration and learning, students and staff examine Unitarian Universalist Religious History and Values, Worship Skills, Spiritual Practices, Leadership Development, and Counter Oppression, with each lesson purposefully incorporating the lenses of activism, advocacy, and the building of Beloved Community.

All of this takes place alongside the designing one’s individual Credo, which is a statement about one’s own personal operating beliefs, within the context of Unitarian Universalism and the wider world. These are the values, beliefs, and tenets that guide your behavior as a leader within our movement and within other movements that uphold the values of inclusivity, justice, compassion, and radical love.

Questions? Visit our website or contact PWR youth ministry specialist Eric Bliss: - 303-903-3144
Upcoming Youth Events
  • Youth Advisor Training - Jan 25th.  First Unitarian Church of Albuquerque, Albuquerque, NM. Registration is open!
  • Peer Pastoral Training (formerly Chaplain Training) - Feb 7-9. First Unitarian Society of Denver, Denver, CO. Register here!
  • MDD Spring Con - April 3-5. Boulder Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Lafayette, CO
  • Quuest Camp - July 5-10. Highlands Camp and Retreat Center, Allens Park, CO
  • Spirit Quest Camp - July 12-17. Highlands Camp and Retreat Center, Allens Park, CO

Coming of Age (Registration Link)
  • Justice / Street Retreat - Jan 24-26. Unitarian Universalist Society of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
  • Nature Vigil Retreat - Apr 24-26. Unitarian Universalist Church of Davis, Davis, CA
Youth Retreats
  • Common Ground Council Spring Youth Retreat - April 17-19.  Location TBA
MUUGs (More info here)
  • Winter Retreat - January 17-19. Location TBD
  • Spring Retreat - TBD. Location TBD

  • YES Team Retreat - Jan 18-19. Saltwater Unitarian Universalist Congregation
  • PNWD Spring Con - April 3-5. Camp Cispus, Randle, WA
  • Camp Blue Boat - Aug 16 - 21.  Ellensburg, WA


  • Spring Con - Date TBA. Location TBD
Camps (More info here)
  • Winter Elementary/Family Camp - Feb 15-17
  • Summer Elementary Youth Camp - July 5-11
  • Counselor in Training Program - July 5-11
  • Summer Jr. high Youth Camp - July 12-18
  • Summer Sr. high Youth Camp - July 19-25

  • Metamorphosis Youth Leadership Camp - July 27-31. First Unitarian Portland, Portland, OR

  • General Assembly - June 24 - 28. Providence, RI
  • Thrive Youth - Dates TBA. Location TBD.
  • Summer Seminary - Dates TBA. Location TBD.
  • International Youth Pilgrimage - July 24 - Aug 2. Gyepes, Transylvania
Dale Arnik Sermon Award
Invitation for Submissions
As Unitarian Universalists, the sources of our living tradition include Humanist teachings, which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit.  Have you preached or heard a good sermon reflecting Humanist teachings lately?

Submit it for the Dale Arnink Sermon Award.  This award is granted in recognition of a sermon that best explores the place or use of critical reason in examining religious experience within the Unitarian Universalist tradition. The Unitarian Church of Los Alamos, New Mexico, where Reverend Arnink served for 24 years, and is currently Minister Emeritus, sponsors the $300 award. A representative committee using an anonymous process with standardized criteria makes the selection. Application and more info are available on our website.
MDD "Walk the Talk" Awards
Nominations now open!
The Mountain Desert District (MDD) "Walk the Talk" Award is given to a Unitarian Universalist lay person for living a life which best exemplifies Unitarian Universalist principles. The winner will be given free registration at the MDD Assembly May 1-2, 2020 in Albuquerque, New Mexico, if they are able to attend. Apply on our website.
MDD Board Recruiting Officers
Mountain Desert District (MDD) Board is Recruiting Officers!
Vice President and Secretary beginning in June 2020

The Mountain Desert District Board of the UUA has two upcoming positions open to persons across the district. The MDD is comprised of congregations in Colorado, Utah, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Texas, and New Mexico.

This opportunity is perfectly suited for persons interested in growing their UU identity and connection, helping the district accomplish its mission, and connecting congregations to the larger UU movement. All the positions are volunteer-only, but travel expenses are paid by the district.

General duties and responsibilities:
  • Attends in-person board meetings twice a year – once in conjunction with the annual business meeting and once in an MDD location
  • Participates in monthly online meetings on Zoom platform
  • Assists with 3 - 4 phone calls monthly to congregational leaders to survey them concerning their relationship with district and region and the services they receive
  • Manages the Chalice Lighters program, to include: soliciting grants, reviewing proposals, and awarding funds to congregations needing financial support for special projects
  • Is knowledgeable about MDD by-laws, business meetings, credentialing, budgets, governance, and leadership training
  • Special board need: a person with organizing skills for developing a handbook of board policies and procedures
  • MDD has a letter of agreement with the UUA for Regional Services and works closely with the PWR Lead and the Congregational Life Staff

Vice President:
  • Vice President will become President in 2021 and assume those duties.
  • The President attends the UUA General Assembly.

  • Secretary is responsible for taking minutes of meetings, distributing and posting minutes to board and MDD webpage.
  • Secretary also certifies delegates, quorum requirements, and meeting minutes.

People with disabilities, people of color, Indigenous people, Hispanic/Latinx, and LGBTQ candidates are encouraged to apply. The MDD is committed to developing a diverse and talented board.  Former and current board members and UUA staff are available to assist you in growing into this important leadership role.

Interested persons should contact Judy Bentley for more information by January 2020 at Incoming officers will be voted in at the Annual Business Meeting on May 2 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
MDD Winter Chalice Lighter Call Now Open!
The second call for FY20 is to assist the Otero County Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Alamogordo, New Mexico with a repair project and funding for a new religious educator. Learn more about this project and find out how to donate on our website!
PCD Winter Chalice Lighter Call Now Open!
The 2019-2020 Winter Chalice Lighter call comes from the Pacific Central District Board of Directors, benefiting a newly formed entity that will serve all of the congregations in the PCD. We hope you will support it.

PCD Youth Ministries Common Ground Council is an organization created by several PCD entities to give opportunities to address conflict around district youth ministry to come together to build trust and create a new future for youth ministry.

The Common Ground Council has been formed to carry the effort forward in a second phase. The charge of the Common Ground Council is to create experiences such as retreats or workshops that will provide opportunities for the parties to the impasse to develop relationships and build trust among themselves in order to empower the community of parties to develop and create a common vision for youth ministry.

Help bring new life to our district’s youth ministries by supporting an effort to build trust and find a new way forward. The newly formed Common Ground Council will work together to provide meaningful opportunities for youth, parents, ministers, religious educators, and other interested folks to experience working, playing, worship, and simply being together, creating a new atmosphere that will help us to generate a new vision for youth ministry in our district.

Funds raised though this called will be matched by the Board. They will be used to facilitate the Common Ground Council and to provide the resources needed to develop, host, and facilitate workshops and retreats for the second phase. If you wish to see more youth and young adult involvement, then I urge you to support this call. For more information and to make a donation, please visit our website.
Camp De Benneville Pines Annual Meeting
Camp de Benneville Pines is a Unitarian Universalist retreat center on a 16-acre campus in a tall tree forest at an elevation of 6700 feet. It is owned by the UU congregations that make up the Pacific Southwest District (PSWD). Once again Camp de Benneville Pines (deBenneville) will hold its annual meeting immediately following the PSWD annual meeting at the District Assembly during the last weekend of April. Both deBenneville and PSWD use the same delegate certification process. The next District Assembly will be in San Luis Obispo on April 24-26, 2020. DeBenneville has many initiatives including staying in harmony with our strategic plan, to modernize, and to coordinate with outside entities such as the United States Forest Service. You are encouraged to attend, represent your congregation, and nurture the sustainability of Camp de Benneville Pines.
Charles White Memorial Scholarship
The Charles White Memorial Scholarship is a one-time annual scholarship of $2000 available to help support Unitarian Universalist ministerial students from throughout the Pacific Western Region, with preference given to those who have a connection to the Pacific Southwest District. This connection would include growing up in the district, doing work with the district, or living in the district.    

Filling out an Application is straightforward and can be done online. The Charles White committee will notify all applicants of our decision by the end of March.

Application Deadline is February 28th, 2020.
To be considered, applicants must:
1) Have Candidate status
2) Envision their tentative goals as one of the following:
  • Parish work
  • Religious education
  • Clinical pastoral education
  • Community ministry
  • Another related UU Ministry

Visit our website for more information.
Save the Date: District Assembly 2020
PSW District Assembly 2020: The Climate of Justice

The Big Deal: 2020 UUA Pacific Southwest District Assembly Keynote Speaker Aly Tharp

The Dates: April 24-26, 2020

The Place: Unitarian Universalists San Luis Obispo, CA

"The Climate of Justice" is the theme of the 2020 PSW District Assembly scheduled April 24-26, 2020, at Unitarian Universalists San Luis Obispo, Cal.

The keynote speaker will be Aly Tharp, the program director of the Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth (UUMFE) and leader of the UUA & UUMFE's Create Climate Justice initiative.

Aly Tharp will join UUs from throughout PSWD as we strategize for a future in which our congregations are at the forefront of the fight for climate justice in their communities.

The 2020 PSW District Assembly will be the best opportunity this year for UU congregations to share how they are working for climate justice and learn from one another about how to live out our seventh principle: "Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part."

Detailed information coming early in the new year! Keep an eye on our website for updates.
Call for Workshops: District Assembly 2020
Call for Workshops!

Proposals for workshops, conference sessions, and other activities are requested for
the Pacific Southwest District Assembly 2020

How do our PSWD congregations and covenanting communities embrace and live out their passion to validate, slow, and reverse the progression of Climate Change?

Come share the programs, activities, and connections your congregation has implemented within your community as leading examples to inspire the rest of us!

Send your completed workshop proposal by January 15th, 2020, to DA planning committee co-chairs: Maggie Burbank Yenoki: or Michael Hart:

Please note: Presenters will provide their own transportation, DA registration fee, and hotel expenses
InSpirit UU Book and Gift Shop
Welcome New Members in the New Year
Joining a new faith community can be an exciting but also daunting experience. Welcome new members with this thoughtful selection of introductory materials, all hand-selected by the booksellers at inSpirit: The UU Book and Gift Shop. And stock up on other congregational resources to start the new year off right with their full selection of resources online.

The Unitarian Universalist Pocket Guide, Sixth Edition—The most complete introduction to Unitarian Universalism available, covering ministry, worship, religious education, social justice, community, and history. Extensively revised, the sixth edition gives voice to many individual Unitarian Universalists—people of all ages, coming from many backgrounds, and holding many beliefs—as they share their personal and deeply heartfelt testimonies.

UU World Seeker Issue: The Journey Is the Joy—UU World's "seeker issue" is designed specifically as an introduction to Unitarian Universalism. The 32-page magazine is an anthology of articles and photographs—a great tool for congregational or individual outreach. Available in packs of 10 or 25.

Sunday and Every Day: My Little Book of Unitarian Universalism—This child-friendly introduction puts a sampling of the Unitarian Universalist faith in a child's hands. Includes playful illustrations throughout, plus blank pages at the back for stickers or other uses. For ages 5 and up.

Welcome—A perfect gift for any visitor or new member! This primer introduces readers to Unitarian Universalist prayers and readings, including the seven Principles and six Sources.

Welcome to Our Community—A friendly and welcoming introduction to Unitarian Universalism for newcomers and anyone interested in basic information. Includes the seven Principles, the six Sources, and a brief description of the historical origins of the faith. A list of resources shows how to learn more.

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Brighton, CO 80601
United States