Camp Blue Boat's Maiden Voyage, PWR & UUA News, and more!
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Camp Blue Boat's Maiden Voyage, PWR & UUA News, and more!
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Pacific Western Region
Newsletter August 8, 2019
Camp Blue Boat’s Maiden Voyage
This was the best UU event ever, better than Cons, Goldmine, Summer Seminary and General Assembly,” heard on the final day of Camp Blue Boat.

In late June of this year, thirty plus youth and adults came together in the scenic mountains and on a gorgeous lake outside of Harrison, Idaho for the first ever Camp Blue Boat, a high school youth camp for Pacific Northwest District Unitarian Universalist youth.

By all accounts, the camp was a smashing success!  Indeed, Camp Blue Boat was inspired by QUUest, set in the Mountain Desert District, which started with only 12 participants, so to have that many in its inaugural edition felt like an achievement in itself.
Offerings at Blue Boat included transcendent worship, faithful spiritual practices, identity caucusing, and workshops from scone making to Decolonial Organizing as Self Care (Thank you, Eli Breidford)!

The leadership team and counselor group, led by the extraordinary Jessica Laikeman, ably guided the community through a week of learning, laughing, and living into Unitarian Universalism’s principles and values.

Songs around the campfire were shared.  Dancing was encouraged, both spontaneously and in programs, and the s'mores were toasty and delicious.  Hikes, swims, and social justice were at the fore.  

This is Unitarian Universalism at its best.  Living into our interdependence. Striving for justice and living a life reveling in love for one another and for our covenant with this faith and with the natural world.

Hope you’ll consider joining us, either in person or as a contributor, next year!

Leadership Experience 2020
Leadership Experience is the PWR staff’s acclaimed program to equip and nurture congregational leaders (board members, team leaders, committee chairs and others who get things done). The program runs from November 1, 2019-April 30, 2020. It involves about 10 hours of learning assignments in the late Fall with a small group from your congregation, a weekend retreat in January, and participation in 6 conference calls with your cohort of leaders (bi-weekly). There’s about an hour of prep work with each 90 minute call. 

Subjects cover topics like grounding yourself as a leader, a philosophy of healthy congregations, help in understanding diversity in congregations, and nuts and bolts like recruiting and managing change. Last year’s participants were very positive about what they’d learned, which many were able to use right away. They felt that they got a lot of resources for time and money spent. They loved being connected to other UU leaders and having the ability to ask questions of their group, and getting a better understanding of UU culture.

The retreats are held at retreat centers in the following areas and dates:

  • January 10-12, Seattle
  • January 17-19, Oakland
  • January 17-19, Denver
  • January 24-16, Scottsdale

Participants may register for whichever of the retreats suits their travel preferences and schedule, however the Denver retreat will have a specialty group of leaders from larger (400+) congregations, with the post-retreat zoom group led by Rev. Christine Robinson. The basic curriculum is the same for each retreat. Leadership Experience participants are encouraged to sign up with another leader from their congregation.

Ministers and Presidents, please encourage some leaders in your congregation to come this year! Since we know that vital congregations pay attention to leadership development, see if you can’t find at least some funds to assist attendees. 
Registration opens August 1, and the deadline is November 1. You’ll have an even better time if you come with at least one other person from your congregation! Click the link for more information and registration forms.

Kudos from Last Year’s Leadership Experience
“Thank you PWR, for making this excellent leadership training accessible to those of us from small congregations out here in the 'sticks'. Our congregations may be small, but we're doing big stuff, and it's important to each of us to become the best leaders we can be, so our congregations can fulfill their promise.”

“Deep, powerful, insightful, profound, and incredibly useful! So grateful I got to be a part of it.. All congregational leaders should take this course”.

“Even seasoned leaders will find this experience to be inspiring and invaluable”.

“I am beginning my first year as the President of our Board of Directors and I would not feel as comfortable if I had not taken this course. I am stepping into this position with confidence and knowing that I have a whole community to connect with if I should need the guidance”.
Save the Date-Regional Assembly 2021!
Pacific Western Regional Assembly
When: February 12-14, 2021

What’s Regional Assembly: Fellowship, Learning, Growth, Service and Fun - Unitarian Universalists from across 16 western states gather for a weekend of worship, service and learning in community.

Where: We are excited to announce that the next PWR Regional Assembly will be held at the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa & Marina in sunny San Diego, California.

Why: In reviewing venues, we selected San Diego because of the ease of airport access and the relative cost of venues. Located on a beautiful marina and close to the beach, the most compelling aspect of the Hyatt is their commitment to sustainable, organic and farm to table catering. In addition, we will be the only group on this beautiful property.

What’s New: We are excited to announce a new collaboration. The UUMA Institute for Learning Ministry will be held the preceding week to allow our religious professionals to combine trips. The planning committees are already busy brainstorming collaborations!

Keep an eye on the newsletter and our website for more information!
Giving to Chalice Lighters Now More Convenient
Regional staff, in consultation with the four district boards, have recently made changes to the Chalice Lighter programs in all four of our districts to make giving generously more convenient.

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.

Beginning now, it is now possible to have a gift to Chalice Lighters automatically charged to your credit card or debit card as a monthly recurring payment. Will you please consider setting up a $5, $10, or $20 monthly recurring gift online today and encourage others in your congregation to do so as well? You’ll never have to worry about missing another Chalice Lighter call letter, forgetting about whether or not you donated already, or even forgetting about where you put your check book.

It is also possible to make a one-time gift online today to your district’s fall, winter, and spring Chalice Lighter calls for the 2019-2020 fiscal year and then not have to worry about making another gift for the next 12 months.

To set up a recurring monthly gift online or make a one-time gift online, please visit your district’s website at:

·       or

Of course, it is still possible to write a check after receiving a letter about each Chalice Lighter call if you have signed up to receive them. Call letters for fall calls for all four districts are in the process of being sent out.

If you are a board president or minister, please consider sharing the information in this article with your congregation. Chalice Lighters allow many small gifts to make a big difference in the life of another congregation.

You might also visit your district’s website to find out how your congregation might apply for a Chalice Lighters grant.
Welcome Our New Coming of Age Coordinator, Rachel Nannini!
Rachel Nannini is the Pacific Western Region's new Coming of age retreat coordinator. She has spent the last several years working as an outdoor educator during the summer and fall seasons and as a substitute teacher during the off-season. She is a lifelong Unitarian Universalist, was a participant in her church's coming of age program, and last year co-ran the Coming of Age program with two wonderful co-leaders at the Oakland UU church. She is excited to be running the COA retreats for this year's cohort of participants, and can't wait to see them grow from start to finish.
Meet and Greets for UU Religious Educators
Do You Have a New Religious Educator? Then tell them about these upcoming Meet and Greets! We’re hosting two online Meet and Greets for professional UU religious educators who are: new to your congregation, new to the field of UU religious education, and/or new to the Pacific Western Region. Sign up: Thursday, August 29th, at 10 PT/11 MT or Wednesday, September 4th, 11 PT/12 MT.

Participants will get to meet
our brand new congregational life staffer Annie Scott, Credentialed Religious Educator, as well as continuing staff Eric Bliss (youth ministry specialist) and Rev. Sarah Gibb Millspaugh (lifespan faith formation specialist). We’ll talk about all the ways the Pacific Western Region can support your congregation’s work with children, youth, and families, and help new religious educators get connected with colleagues and resources.
Fundraiser: Help Free Church Unitarian to offer Our Whole Lives Classes
Free Church Unitarian is a congregation of 50 members in Blaine, Washington. The congregation will be offering Our Whole Lives programming for youth for fourth, fifth and sixth grade youth. The OWL class is supported by the minister Reverend Amy Moses-Lagos, the Religious Education Coordinator Lisa Moeller, and the Board of Trustees of Free Church Unitarian. Two members of the congregation plan to take the OWL facilitator training in Bellevue, Washington in September. The class for youth will begin in October. Click here to donate to this important project!
Small Congregations Focus of Year Long Program
Small Numbers, Infinite Possibilities is a year of learning and connection for Smaller Congregations brought to you by your Regional UUA Congregational Life Staff. We know that small congregations are sharing the Love and Grace of Unitarian Universalism with their people and their communities every day. We also know that small churches can be faced with big challenges. Together we can help small congregations reach toward their greatest potential. This series will feature four webinars in October, November, January and February and culminate with in-person events near you on Pi Day - March 14, 2020. Details available on the Central East Region website, registration opens August 15th.
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.
Issues + Action Day with UUJAZ
Unitarian Universalist Justice Arizona Network (UUJAZ) is hosting Issues + Action Day on October 26th + 27th at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Surprise, Northwest of Phoenix.

Amazing worship services, incredible music, delicious vegan lunch, workshops from justice partners from around the state, and in the evening, the first annual "Jazzy Awards" to recognize justice work in our congregations and communities!

Please save the date, and look for more info and for tickets to go on sale soon on the UUJAZ website.
DRUUMM Los Angeles Gathering
We invite UU People of Color in the Greater Los Angeles area to gather on Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019 at Throop UU Church in Pasadena for dinner and a facilitated meeting. We will have a worship led by local UU religious professionals of color. Our goal is to nurture new relationships between UU People of Color in the area, discuss some of the historical development of UU People of Color and anti-racism efforts, and learn more about what the community needs and interests are among those who attend. We will share a new working timeline chronicling the major milestones and development of UU People of Color ministries.

Please RSVP with Rev. Joseph Santos-Lyons at or (503) 512-0490 ideally by August 15, 2019.  We ask participants to bring a side dish to share if they are able for dinner.  We will have several main dishes catered. The event is open to UU People of Color and People of Color interested in Unitarian Universalism.

DRUUMM is the Diverse & Revolutionary Unitarian Universalist Multicultural Ministries, a volunteer-led national organization dedicated to serving the spiritual growth of UU People of Color and fulfilling the our vision of an anti-racist/anti-oppressive/multicultural faith. Learn more on our website.
InSpirit UU Book and Gift Shop
Mistakes and Miracles
Congregations on the Road to Multiculturalism

Nancy Palmer Jones and Karin Lin, Skinner House Books, 2019
What calls Unitarian Universalists to create multicultural, antiracist Beloved Community? What do congregations need when they embark on this journey? What common threads run through their stories? Nancy Palmer Jones and Karin Lin—a white minister and a lay person of color—share how five diverse congregations encounter frustrations and disappointments, as well as hope and wonder, once they commit to the journey. Mistakes abound. Miracles of transformation and joy emerge too. Extensively researched and thoughtfully written—with reflection questions at the end of each chapter—Mistakes and Miracles: Congregations on the Road to Multiculturalism will guide readers to apply these stories to their own communities, develop next steps, and renew their commitment to this hard but meaningful work.

Visit InSpirit to learn more or pre-order Mistakes and Miracles