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"Love Right Through", PWR & UUA News, and more!
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Pacific Western Region
Newsletter January 28, 2021
Love Right Through
By Rev. Carlton E. Smith
Lead - UUA Pacific Western Region


Your Pacific Western Region staff and members of the PWR District Boards are striding down the final stretch of preparations for this winter’s virtual Regional Assembly, February 13-14.

This marks the first time during the pandemic and the first time at all in almost two years that we will convene. We gather under the theme “Love Right Through”, which reminds us of what a powerful source love can be for guidance, strength, and transformation in difficult times.

The afternoon will begin with inspiring music from Reggie Harris, Co-President of the Living Legacy Project, which does tours and programs honoring the changemakers of the Civil Rights Era. Then we will have a series of short breakout opportunities where we'll get to connect with new friends and perhaps reconnect with folks we already know.

The President of our UUA, Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray, will offer words of greeting, as will the Presidents of the PWR’s District Boards.

Member congregations and covenanting communities have stories to share with one another – stories of disappointment, of resilience, of loss, of courage, of trials, and of triumphs. One of the features of this Regional Assembly is its focus on voices from our congregations and covenanting communities. Prepare to be inspired by your fellow lay leaders who are tapping into their own resourcefulness and finding ways to do well in spite of the pandemic.

We will also highlight congregations taking on the recommendations of the UUA’s Commission on Institutional Change as found in Widening the Circle of Concern. For those who are looking for ways to engage their congregations in the work of racial justice and countering white supremacy, this is a time for you to connect with others dedicate to this work.

We know there are many questions about what is happening with Sunday worship on February 14…and we have a response! If we were doing an in-person gathering we would have organized a special worship service unique to the Region. However, we acknowledged that the Side with Love campaign already had Sunday, February 14 as the end of its 30 Days of Love programming.

Because they already had a service planned and we choose to cooperate rather than compete, we determined that we would love right through by letting their service also be ours and that we would hold a Community Hour in the afternoon, which is open to PWR Regional Assembly attendees and anyone else who wishes to gather. The link to that will be in your registration email in the coming days.

The Side with Love service coordinated by Rev. Erika Hewitt will be available for download and/or viewing the week of February 7 and can be used in local services at their regularly scheduled time. We PWR staff hope that local congregations that could use a break from Sunday service prep will take this as an opportunity to give their ministers and Worship Committees a little downtime from the rigors of creating worship from scratch. Click here for more details.

We look forward to seeing you at Regional Assembly… Let us know if you have any questions!

In faith,
Carlton
In this Issue
Love Right Through
Regional Assembly 2021
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
Register Now for Regional Assembly 2021: Love Right Through
This has been a difficult year and we have done many things to Love Right Through all the challenges. Join us for an afternoon of celebrating our accomplishments and challenges with sharing from spotlighted congregations. Engage with small groups around shared identity and how that impacts church and life. Hear what is happening for good in the world and opportunities yet to come. Regional Assembly will run from 12 pm- 5 pm (Pacific) Saturday, February 13th, opening with a lively celebration, welcoming, and congregational spotlights before a break headed into identity-based discussion groups and back for collective sharing and more celebration. Register Now!

We also hope you and your congregation will join us for worship with the UUA and Side With Love on Side With Love Sunday, February 14th. The full worship service will be available for download before the 14th, so you may watch it at any time. More information can be found on their website. PWR will host a virtual Community Hour on Sunday afternoon from 1 PM to 2 PM Pacific, which is open to all. Bring your coffee or tea. An a
ccess link will be published Feb 12 to Regional Assembly registrants and PWR ministers, admins, and presidents to share with their congregants.

The Pacific Western Region encompasses four districts, which are gathering at various points over Regional Assembly Weekend. Register once and stay informed. Mountain Desert District will host a Saturday morning business meeting (details here), and Pacific Northwest District will gather socially at that time. Pacific Southwest District and Pacific Central District will gather during Community Hour Sunday afternoon.

PWR & UUA NEWS
Got Financial Issues at Your Congregation? Welcome to … Generosity Labs!
This 5-part series engages congregations in creative conversations about pressing needs around generosity and stewardship, connect with each other to share best practices, and develop plans for taking their generosity ministry to the next level.This interactive series will engage stewardship through a lens of anti-racist generosity as a tool for dismantling White supremacist culture and building a sustainable future together.

Each lab can be done independently and the full set dovetails one to the next.

February 3: Building a strong foundation: theological and practical grounding for stewardship and generosity
February 10: Budgeting in a time of uncertainty
February 17: Help! Our big fundraiser isn’t happening! Fundraising in a global pandemic
February 24: Stewardship for Sustainability
March 3: Congregational life cycle and use of resources.

To learn more about each section, click here. To register, click here.
Small Congregation Webinar Series on Sharing
Are you in a congregation of 120 or fewer members? Are you interested in learning how congregations are sharing different aspects of congregational life? The Small Congregations Task Force is offering a free 3 part series to help:
Stewardship Webinar Options For Congregations
In an experiment, the UUA Congregational Life Team and Stewardship for Us are jointly offering two national webinars this February to help you with your Annual Pledge Drive. These sessions aim to provide strategies and ideas for pledge drives during our challenging times. Participants can register for either session, or both.
Registration closes February 5 for both webinars.
Greeley Sermon Competition on Climate Justice
The UUA Office at the United Nations invites you to submit a sermon to the 2020-2021 Dana McLean Greeley Sermon Competition. This year’s competition theme is “All In for Climate Justice: People, Power, Planet.” Beyond an analysis of the dangers of the climate crisis, sermons should address what it means for people of faith to be all in for climate justice, looking toward the ways power can be leveraged to help people and planet achieve justice and liberation. Submissions that draw on the work of the UN and our UUA Office at the UN will receive priority consideration. The selected winner will receive a $500 honorarium prize and a video of their sermon will be featured on the UU@UN website. Please send submissions to unitednations@uua.org by February 23, 2021 and learn more about submission requirements here.
New Day Rising Conference National
Is your congregation ready to take a new step in racial justice work? Want to learn what your fellow congregations are working on, and how you might apply it at home? Join a continent of UUs as we explore next steps in creating Beloved UU Communities.

On Your Own: Watch compelling video TED-talk style testimonials from selected congregations around the continent sharing their learnings, hopes and next steps in their quest for racial equity in their congregations

Together: Worship·Workshops·Caucusing. With plenty of breaks on Saturday, February 27th, 9 AM-6 PM PT

Registration is open! Fees are on a sliding scale of $20-$50 per person, congregations sending a team should pay $20 each. Learn more and register. Brought to you by the Unitarian Universalist Association.
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.


If your congregation wants to send delegates to General Assembly, then you must be certified by February 17 (note this deadline has been extended). Not sure what certification means? The UUA Certification Page explains and links to resources to help your congregation complete this important step.
    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
    • Youth Peer Pastoral Training (formerly Youth Chaplain Training). February 19-20, register through February 8th.
    • Winter 2021 Middle School Conference. Saturday, February 27, 2021, 11:00 am - 7:00 pm PST. Middle school UU youth (11-14 years old, in grade 6-8 or equivalent) from across the U.S. will come together to play, worship, and explore their UU faith. Register through February 19th.

    District Specific Programs
    PCD MUUGs

    PSWD Camp de Benneville Pines
    MOUNTAIN DESERT DISTRICT NEWS
    MDD Annual Meeting
    The Mountain Desert District Annual Meeting will be held in conjunction with the PWR Regional Assembly, Saturday, February 13 at 9:30 am-11 am PST, 10:30 am-12 pm MST. Register here! (Sneak peek – MDD will be recognized by UUA President, the Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray!)

    We need to have a quorum of delegates attending the MDD Annual Meeting. Please make sure that your congregation has appointed delegates and that they are planning to attend. Your congregation is entitled to the same number of lay and ministerial delegates based on the calculation established by the UUA for representation at the most recent General Assembly of the UUA. If delegates are not planning on attending the PWR Annual Assembly, they can still attend the MDD Annual Meeting, at no cost. Register delegates here.

    We have not received any applications for the Walk the Talk Award; therefore, we have extended the deadline to February 2.  For more information and/or to make a nomination, see below or visit the website.

    MDD "Walk the Talk" Award
    We need something to celebrate!  Do you know a lay person in the Mountain Desert District who is living a life which exemplifies Unitarian Universalist principles?  Nominate them for the “Walk the Talk” Award.  We need your help to lift up the people who further this faith.

    Even though you probably have the principles memorized, it never hurts to be reminded! Follow this link to reflect on them and see who might come to mind to nominate.

    Visit our website and tell us who you think should win the award and why. The winner will have their registration paid for our next annual assembly, plus receive a $100 prize. Nominations are open until February 2, 2020.

    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
    A District Update from the PCD President
    Dear Ones,
    According to the traditional Japanese lunar calendar, by the time you will be reading this newsletter, we will be in the very end of the season of deep cold, when streams are hard with ice, but chickens, feeling the imminent arrival of spring, prepare to lay eggs. As I write, the mountain peaks of Hawaii are laden with snow. Whichever season of life you are in at this moment, may there be joy and a softening to the possibility of hints of spring.

    On behalf of the PCD Board, Catherine Ishida
    pcdboard@pwruua.org

    Chalice Lighters Mini-Tech Grants Are On Their Way!
    The UU Church of Fresno, the UU Society of Sacramento, the UUs of Petaluma, the Humboldt UU Fellowship, and the UU Church of Davis will be receiving tech mini-grants from the Chalice Lighters 2020 Fall Call. These congregations have been investing in a wide range of software and hardware to “keep alive a vibrant worship experience” that is accessible to as many people as possible now and into the future. In addition to the software and hardware that make online worship on multiple platforms possible, some congregations have invested in voice amplification systems that help in the recording of services but will also be helpful in the days to come when people may gather outside while maintaining a safe physical distance.

    A common point of learning was the need to engage paid specialists to use new technologies sustainably and well. The total financial cost of adapting to online life has been in the thousands, not hundreds of dollars, for most congregations.
    And these investments have kept congregational life alive and vibrant during challenging times. Thank you for your investments in lifting the spirits of all those creating and attending worship!

    Widening the Circle: Seeking Projects Seeking Funding
    In March, the Chalice Lighters will begin offering their financial support to a new project. Do you have one that needs funding? The Board is committed to funding projects that grow our movement through greater inclusion. Please, just reach out directly to Chalice Lighter Coordinator Karen Urbano (pcdchalicelighters@pwruua.org), or the board (pcdboard@pwruua.org), with your commitments, and together we can find ways to invest in our shared future.

    January 24 Conversation on Youth and Young Adult Inclusion Postponed
    Apologies for all of us who were looking forward to a time of sharing! The board had hoped to host a conversation on how UU communities can honor the Youth and Young Adult Resolution from the 2020 General Assembly. However, we decided we needed better preparation and more collaboration to host this conversation in a way that might benefit us broadly.

    For your information, this resolution:
    1. Encourages member congregations to hire and pay staff to support youth and young adults, and to financially support youth and young adults, especially those with multiple, intersecting marginalized identities, and that new ministers be charged in their call to cultivate youth and young adult ministry; 
    2. Invites congregations to incorporate participatory and collaborative experiences of spiritual deepening — such as circle worship — into congregational life, recognizing younger Unitarian Universalists experience worship differently; and
    3. Invites congregations to incorporate input from youth and young adults in congregational decision-making processes, including youth leadership on congregational and district/regional boards, recognizing that many younger Unitarian Universalists often are excluded from decisions that directly affect their community and faith development.

    You can learn about other responses to the resolutions happening within our movement on the UUA website. How might we as UU communities respond to this encouragement and invitation in the context of COVID-19 and Widening the Circle, the recommendations from the UUA Commission on Institutional Change?

    Seeking New Board Members
    How should we be as a people together? The PCD Board is one “node” for engaging in a movement-wide conversation about how UUs might support one another in living into our shared values on different organizational scales. Volunteer leaders in the PWR districts and regional staff are preparing to enter a chrysalis stage of creative possibility, and we want more co-conspirators.Whom do you know that could help the UU movement imagine and implement governance structures that embody our values and support ours and the world’s thriving? Whom do you know that is willing to imagine boldly and act with discipline? Whom do you know that could be a glue for groups small and large in times of creative tension? Would that be you? We would love to know. Help us by reaching out to the PCD Nominating Committee or the PCD Board.

    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 Chalice Lighter Grant Funds Available!
    Helping to grow PNWD congregations, and helping them to survive the upheaval associated with the pandemic, are goals of the PNWD Chalice Lighter program. We have funds available to award, donated by generous Chalice Lighters through the Fall and Winter Calls. In addition, we are soliciting proposals to receive the proceeds of our Spring Call; the deadline for these applications is Feb. 1. If your congregation has a need, please encourage your leaders to apply. Details are online.
    PNWD Gathering During Regional Assembly
    The Board of the Pacific Northwest District will host an informal gathering of district congregations the hour before Regional Assembly begins on Saturday, February 13th.  We’ll shine a light on congregations and programs who have done innovative things over the past year and we’ll welcome your feedback about how the district can serve you better. Watch for a Zoom link and plan to join us for a lighthearted conversation that connects us all. 
    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
    Save the Date: PSWD Annual Meeting
    The Pacific Southwest District will hold its annual business meeting on the morning of Saturday, April 17th, 2021 online via Zoom. Watch this newsletter for more details in the coming weeks.
    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
    New Study/Action Guide  for Widening the Circle of Concern
    Appointed by the Board of Trustees in 2017, the UUA Commission on Institutional Change served through June 2020. Their final report, Widening the Circle of Concern, analyzes structural and systemic racism and white supremacy culture within Unitarian Universalism and makes recommendations to advance long-term change.

    A new study/action guide has been created for congregations and other UU communities. This new guide outlines eleven sessions for a group or taskforce in a congregation to break down the various components and recommendations of the original report.

    “More than a discussion guide, this Study/Action Guide provides framing and helpful hints on how your community can actively participate in transformative liberation. Widening the Circle is joyful change work that’s deeply rooted in our shared UU theology. We hope that engaging with this guide offers your community an opportunity for meaningful connection during this time of isolation. Many thanks to the Commissioners and professional group leaders who came together quickly to develop this additional resource.”

    Visit uua.org/widening to access the guide. You can also sign up for an email list that will send updates on new learning opportunities, resources, and insights as we continue the work of co-creating a transformative faith. Widening the Circle of Concern is available from inSpirit: The UU Book and Gift Shop and bulk discounts are available.

    Looking to purchase from inSpirit: The UU Book and Gift Shop? You can place orders online, email bookstore@uua.org or call 1-800-215-9076. Thank you for your continued support!
     
     
     
     
     

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    Pacific Western Region - UUA
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