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Get renewed, recharged, inspired

Dear Pacific Western Region Congregational Leaders,

Being a leader in a Unitarian Universalist congregation is difficult work, whether you are a religious professional or a lay leader.

Yes, at times, it does provide you with the rewarding opportunity to make a tremendous difference in people’s lives and the meaningful chance to make the world a better place.

But, at times, it can leave you feeling chewed up and spit out, though hopefully still breathing. It can leave you feeling like your giddy-up has gotten up and left you behind. It can leave you as ready to take on the world as an iPhone 6 running on an old battery. Especially in times like these.

That’s why my number one goal for PWR’s 2018 Regional Assembly is for people who attend to come away feeling renewed, recharged, and inspired.

The world has never needed strong, vital Unitarian Universalist congregations more than it does today, and our congregations have never needed strong, vital leadership from both religious professionals and lay leaders more than now.

So do yourself and your congregation a favor. Come to Portland. Get renewed. Get recharged. Get inspired. Register for PWR’s 2018 Regional Assembly.

The early bird discount ends Wednesday, January 31, at 11:59 p.m. but don’t delay! Register today at

Rev. Dr. James Kubal-Komoto
Pacific Western Regional Lead

January 18, 2018
In this Issue
  • Get renewed, recharged, inspired at RA
  • PWR Webinars
  • Board Development Days
  • Job Postings
  • District and UU News
  • Youth News
  • Technology and Communications
PWR Quick Links
PWR Field Staff

UUA Annual Certification of Membership

The deadline for completing the UUA Annual Certification of Membership is 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time on Thursday, February 1. Check the List of Certified Congregations to see if your congregation’s information has already been submitted. Details were sent to congregational leaders from UUA Data Services. You can also find information on the UUA Congregational Certification website. There are several components to this submission process, so please don’t wait until the last minute in case you need to get information from someone else on your staff. If you have any questions, contact


Events, Training and Webinars


PWR Webinars

Webinars offer a convenient way to engage in online collaborative learning across the Pacific Western Region (PWR). Participating as a learning community in your congregation gives your team a starting point to gain insight, discuss with religious leaders, and focus your congregation’s learning community on what matters.

This year, the PWR staff provide a variety of exciting offerings with individual webinars at $20 per connection. A connection is one link that is viewed by as many as desired from one place, such as your congregation.

View the PWR Webinar Archive 

Questions about PWR Webinars: Contact PWR Congregational Life Staff, Rev. Dr. Jonipher Kwong at

Policy-Based Governance Tune-up

Feb. 27, 2018 at 7:00pm Pacific - Rev. Helen Carroll

The successful transition to Policy-Style Governance is a multi-year process, marked by change, reflection, adjustment, and assessment. In this webinar, we'll address some of the common experiences of congregations in the first 3 years of that transition and explore strategies that help smooth the way toward governance with confidence.

Register for Policy-Based Governance Tune-up

Fostering Safer Congregations Online Course

The UU Leadership Institute is offering an online course with consultant Kimberly Sweeney called Fostering Safer Congregations starting at the end of January. The course is an affordable $30, and will give your minister, religious educator, safety team and perhaps a few board members a comprehensive understanding of safety issues and possible responses for your congregation.

Board Development Days

A day for congregational teams (board members and clergy) to explore and learn together. Note: This day may supplement your traditional Board Retreat, serve as part of it, or provide the foundation for it.

  • January 27 at UU Society of Sacramento (Sacramento, CA)
  • February 3 at Granite Peak UU Congregation (Prescott, AZ)
  • March 3 at Olympic UU Fellowship (Port Angeles, WA)
  • March 3 at UU Fellowship of Redwood City (Redwood City, CA)
  • March 17 at Edmonds UU Church (Edmonds, WA)
  • March 18 at Two Rivers UU (Carbondale, CO)
  • April 14 at UU Fellowship of Bozeman, MT (Bozeman, MT)
Register Now

There are still opportunities to bring a Board Development Day to your area. If you are interested in hosting a Board Development Day in the coming year, let your PWR Primary Contact know.


PWR and UUA News


PWR Congregations in the News

Millennials reject organized religion but still find meaning in Christmas - The Sacramento Bee
The Sunday after the presidential election, the Unitarian Universalist Society of Sacramento had a full house, said the Rev. Lucy Bunch. "We’re at our highest membership in 10 years and average about 300 people." The new members include millennials from a broad range of religious traditions who talk openly about their need to find a community and help the vulnerable, Bunch said. Her church offers support programs for refugees, the homeless and gay congregants. "There’s an urgency now," Bunch said. "People need to find others to share their values, they need spiritual sustenance, they want to feel connected and they want to make a difference."

Blessing Box: Give what you can, take what you need - KKCO 11 News
A start up food and supply pantry has popped up in the past few weeks, in order to help those needing a little extra help. It's called a Blessing Box, designed by a local carpenter for the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Grand Valley. The idea is for people to donate everyday items like food, diapers, and warm clothes for others to take as they need them. The church says so far it's been very popular, with new things taken out and added daily.

Progressive religious leaders hold prayer vigil at Idaho Statehouse - KIVI TV
Leaders of the Interfaith Equality Coalition gathered along the statehouse steps, calling on legislators to "Widen the circle of love to include all." The group includes advocates for climate care, human rights, equality, religious freedom, and economic justice. "We are inviting our legislators to draw the circle wide to create policies and enact laws that serve all Idahoans," said Reverend Sara LaWall of the Boise Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.

Multicultural Transformation Opportunity: Curiosity Circles

Curious about how our Unitarian Universalist movement can become more multicultural and inclusive? Want to learn with a supportive group of leaders from other PWR congregations? We are pleased to announce a launch of Curiosity Circles in 2018.

Here’s what we’re envisioning:

  • Pick a religious leader from your congregation (e.g., minister, religious educator, board president, or chair of your anti-racism, anti-oppression, multiculturalism, or immigration justice team) to join a Curiosity Circle.
  • Eight people form one team, committing to meet once a month for 10 months beginning in February (actual days/times vary). Teams meet via the Zoom video conferencing platform which can be accessed from computers, phones, and mobile devices.
  • We’ll have a variety of teams to create safer spaces, such as a people of color-only team or a religious professionals-only team. You can indicate a preference when you sign up.
  • Each person presents a case study from their congregation on blessings and challenges faced by their congregation when it comes to doing this work. The others listen attentively and ask wondering questions.
  • The last session will be spent coming up with a charge/mission for a region-wide racial justice team modeled after the New England Region’s G.R.A.C.E (Growing Racial and Cultural Equity) Team.

Together, we can shift our culture and dismantle systems of oppression. Sign up for a Curiosity Circle today. Questions? Contact Rev. Dr. Jonipher Kūpono Kwong or Rev. Sarah Gibb Millspaugh.

New Unitarian Universalist Mental Health Blog

A blog has been created to be a beacon for education about mental health in order to remove stereotypes and prejudice and to promote understanding and justice within Unitarian Universalism and beyond. It is a joint project of the EqUUal Access Mental Health Caucus and the mental health community ministry of Rev. Barbara F. Meyers. Access it and sign up to follow the blog at

Congregational Study/Action Issues with the Congregational Certification Form

The ballot for the Congregational Poll includes an opportunity to vote for proposed new Congregational Study/Action Issues (CSAIs) to be placed on the 2018 agenda for the UUA General Assembly. The Congregational Poll is posted on-line with the Congregational Certification Form. Access is by congregational log-on. Congregations must cast their vote by February 1. For the proposed CSAIs to be placed on the Final Agenda, twenty-five percent (25%) of all certified congregations must participate in the ballot vote concerning these proposed CSAIs, and a majority of those must vote in favor of placing the CSAI on the Final Agenda.

The Congregational Poll includes two proposed CSAIs for four years of study and action by congregations. Each congregation may vote for both, one, or neither. The purpose of this vote is to determine whether there is sufficient interest in an issue to include it on the agenda for the 2018 General Assembly, where the vote to select a new CSAI will occur.

In the hopes of combining issues and avoiding pitting one issue against another, the Commission on Social Witness (CSW) postponed making draft CSAIs available until January so that the proposers could explore the possibility of combining issues. Our desire was to avoid having "winners" and "losers" when so many social justice issues need our attention. The CSW now submits for consideration only two possible CSAIs: "Undoing Intersectional White Supremacy" and "Dismantling Intersectional Oppression." If you have questions or concerns about this decision, please send a note to

The White Memorial Seminary Scholarship 2018

The White Memorial Scholarship is a one-time annual scholarship of $1000 available to help support Unitarian Universalist Ministerial students, with preference given to those who have a connection to the Pacific Southwest District. Any seminary student with connections to the PSWD is encouraged to apply online.

More information can be found on PSWD’s White Memorial Scholarship page. Applications for the scholarship are due by Feb. 4, 2018 and can be submitted online.

The winner of the 2018 scholarship will be announced at the PSWD business meeting at Regional Assembly in Portland, April 27-29, and be given a check for $1000 to use to defray costs of their schooling. Applications are now open!

If you have any questions regarding the scholarship or the application, please contact

PWR Job Postings


Pacific Northwest News


Healing the Racial Water Workshop with Robin Diangelo

January 21, 1:00-4:00pm - Learn more

This workshop will explore the way race shapes the lives of White people, explain what makes racism so hard for White people to see, and identify common White racial patterns that prevent us from moving towards greater racial equity. Weaving information, analysis, stories, images, and familiar examples, she provides the framework needed to develop White racial literacy. Although the focus is on White racial identity development, people of color may also find the analysis valuable as it is one that is rarely affirmed or provided in mainstream society.

Seminary for a Day

Please plan to join us as Seminary for a Day returns to First Unitarian Church in Portland on Saturday, January 27. Dr. Robin DiAngelo will offer our keynote presentation, "Seeing the Racial Water," as well as a follow-up afternoon workshop. Learn more and register now for the stand-alone morning session ($20), or the full day including lunch ($65).

Dr. Robin DiAngelo is a former Associate Professor of Education whose scholarship is in White Racial Identity and Race Relations. In addition to her academic work, Dr. DiAngelo has extensive experience as a workplace consultant in issues of race relations and racial justice. She has numerous publications and books, including, "What Does it Mean to be White?: Developing White Racial Literacy." Her work on White Fragility has influenced the national dialogue on race and been featured in Alternet, Salon, NPR, PBS, The New York Times, The Atlantic, Slate and Colorlines.

Additional afternoon workshops on such topics as Lectio Divina, Writing As a Spiritual Practice, Anti-Racism and Spiritual Organizing, Sacred Movement: Tai Chi & QiGong, and many more, offered by local clergy and other Unitarian Universalist teachers, will make this a rich and rewarding day.


Pacific Central News


PCD Women's Retreat March 8-11

The annual PCD Women's Retreat is coming up on March 8-11, 2018. All self-identified women are welcome to join us for a calming respite from our busy lives. Usually held at a retreat center near Napa that was severely damaged in October by the wildfires, this year we will be meeting at the Anubhuti Center in Novato. We were very lucky to find a place that could accommodate a group of our size and our preferred dates at a reasonable price. Anubhuti is a contemplative retreat center run by Brahma Kumaris, the largest spiritual organization in the world led by women. It is housed in a group of historic buildings that were fully renovated by the sisters 7 years ago, and sits on top of a hill, surrounded by 1,600 acres of protected open space, water and a wildlife preserve, with spectacular views of the Bay, Pacheco Pond, Novato Creek and the rolling hills of Marin County. Anubhuti usually holds meditation retreats at the center, but once a month rents the space to outside groups. Our retreat offers something for everyone: delicious meals; workshops for mind, body, and spirit; conversations with new and old friends; time for quiet contemplation; and a boutique, silent auction, and book swap. To learn more about the PCD Women and Religion organization and to register for our retreat, please visit our website. We hope to see you there. Invite a friend!


Pacific Southwest News


Memorial Service for Rev. Elizabeth "Bets" Wienecke

A memorial service for the Rev. Elizabeth "Bets" Wienecke, who died on December 28, 2017 at the age of 81, will take place at 2pm on Saturday, February 24, 2018 at the Live Oak UU Congregation of Goleta, California.

Rev. Bets served as the minister at Live Oak for 18 years and then worked as a Ministerial Settlement Rep in the Pacific Southwest District for several years following her retirement from parish ministry. As many as four of our women ministers credit her nurturing and inspiration as essential to their pursuit of ministry. And countless colleagues remember her grace, good humor and kindness.

Notes of condolence can be sent to Peter Haslund at 3224 Serena Ave, Carpinteria, CA 93013. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Live Oak UU Congregation of Goleta, 820 North Fairview Avenue, Goleta, CA 93117.


Mountain Desert News


MDD Chalice Lighters

The MDD Winter 2017-18 Chalice Lighter call is open through February 26. The winter call goes toward helping the UU Fellowship of Sheridan contract with its first minister, Rev. Kali Hayslett. The Sheridan Fellowship has been experiencing an increase in visitors and membership in recent months, perhaps due to Kali’s presence. Thus, there is hope that the Fellowship will grow with a minister’s continuing presence. They are planning to renew Kali's contract and would like to be able to increase the minister's salary to a more equitable $1300/month. This Chalice Lighter call will allow the congregation time to adjust to the additional cost of a minister as it takes this leap of faith.

You can read the full call letter on the MDD website. You can submit your donation online. You may also write a check and mail it to MDD Chalice Lighters, 7511 Greenwood Avenue North, #414, Seattle, WA 98103-4627. If you send a check, please write MDD CL in the memo line of your check and on the payment envelope.

Thank you for your generosity!

All About Stewardship in Boulder

Join PWR's Rev. Sarah Schurr and Kay Crider from Stewardship for Us for a day that is All About Stewardship! We will cover: Fostering a Culture of Generosity; Building and Sustaining a Good Stewardship Process; and Capital Campaign Readiness & Basics.

Register now!

February 10 • 10am-3:30pm
Boulder Valley UU Fellowship
1241 Ceres Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026

Contact Rev. Sarah Schurr at for further details.

MDD Awards Open

Dale Arnink Award

The Dale Arnink Preaching Award goes annually to the preacher of a sermon that explores and promotes understanding and application of Humanist teachings in Unitarian Universalism. All Unitarian Universalist professional religious leaders, as well as those studying for professional leadership, are eligible to be considered for this award. Sermons are judged through a blind process by a panel of UU religious and lay leaders. The award will be presented at the MDD board meeting at the PWR Assembly on April 27-29, 2018 in Portland, Oregon if the recipient is present, and will be posted on the Mountain Desert District website.

Have you preached or heard a good sermon reflecting Humanist teachings lately? Submissions for the Award should be received no later than 5:00 p.m. February 16, 2018 in order to be considered.

Download the Nomination Form for the Dale Arnink Award – 2018

Walk the Talk Award

The Walk the Talk Award is given to a Unitarian Universalist lay person for living a life which best exemplifies Unitarian Universalist principles. The award will be presented at the MDD board meeting at the PWR Assembly on April 27-29, 2018 in Portland, Oregon if the recipient is present, and will be posted on the Mountain Desert District website.

Complete and return the Nomination Form for the Walk the Talk Award by 5:00 p.m. February 16, 2018.


PWR Youth News


Are you a leader in UU Youth Communities?

We are now accepting applications for Goldmine staff for 2018. Our 2018 leadership school is going to be a little shorter, July 7-12, at a location TBA soon in the Pacific Southwest District (likely Southern CA or AZ). Staff will arrive for training and meetings on July 5th or 6th.

We’re excited this year to hold our youth and adult leadership schools at the same place at the same time. The Russell Lockwood Leadership School and the Goldmine Leadership School will be distinct programs with some opportunities for shared learning and shared worship. We’ll be at a university or a retreat center, rather than a congregation, so we can be more accessible and offer everyone more comfort and privacy.

If you have extensive youth ministry experience, please consider applying to serve as staff! Complete the online application. Deadline to apply is February 6, 2018

Wishing you all the best,
Adult Dean, Rev. Sarah Millspaugh and PWR Youth Specialist, Eric Bliss

PSWD Youth Spring Con

The PSWD Youth Board will be holding Spring Con at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Ventura, California, March 2-4 2018. We are committed to making Spring Con radically inclusive, spiritually deep, and religiously contagious. Most importantly, we are committed to making Con a physically and emotionally safe space for all youth. We will be following all District & Regional event health and safety policies/guidelines.

Our events help youth develop skills in leadership, community building, event coordination, and public speaking while accepting them into a loving community of their peers. Youth who have been to our events leave the community with the skills and peer support necessary to succeed and grow going forward in their lives and in their faith.

For more information, visit

PNWD Youth ProUUd Con

This Spring's Pacific Northwest Youth Con theme is ProUUd. Over the course of the weekend we will be oxploring ways to strengthen our own personalized connection to Unitarian Universalism, going deeper on what being a Unitarian Universalist really means, celebrating our pride in our faith and con community and looking at ways to take the empowerment we find here out into our wider communities.

March 23-25, 2018 - Camp Cispus, Randle WA

Find more information and register

Summer Regional Mission Trip for Youth and Adults

  • Do you have a passion for environmental justice?
  • Have you been interested to partner with grassroots organizations to create a lasting partnership in solidarity with local communities?
  • Have you ever wanted to make a real difference while learning hands-on skills and concepts?

Pacific Western Region Justice Journey: Roots, Reflections and Relationships - An Environmental Justice Journey. A week-long immersion experience focusing on Environmental Sustainability through service, learning, and through a meditation practice designed to be reflective and to sustain future justice work.

Logistics: Sat. night, July 14 - Sunday afternoon, July 22, 2018 at Throop Unitarian Universalist Church 300 S. Los Robles Ave. Pasadena, CA 91101

You are invited! 25 multigenerational participants - youth (rising 9th - rising 12th graders), YA’s and adults. Families with youth, YA’s and adults welcome. Cost is $550.00 per person for 8 days. All meals, lodging at the church, local transportation. (Air and ground Transportation to the Throop Church is not included.) Staff: Eric Bliss, PWR Youth Specialist, Rev. Jaelynn Scott, Buddhist minister and UU Religious Educator, Katie Covey, PWR Mission Trip Lead.

The Pacific Western Region Mission Trip provides an opportunity to practice environmental sustainability in the unique permaculture urban garden at Throop, as well as a variety of community projects and events. In addition, the group will engage in centering meditative UU and Buddhist practices as developed by Rev. Jaelynn Scott’s Mutuality Movement as a way to build a lifelong foundation for justice work and compassionate understanding. Register online.

Contact: Katie Covey, PWR Mission Trip Lead at Find more information about the PWR Mission Trip.

Upcoming Youth Events

  • PNWD Youth Leadership Development Con
    February 9-11, 2018

    Woodinville UU Church, WA
  • PSWD Youth Advisor Training
    Spring 2018

  • Roots, Reflections, Relationships - A UU Justice Journey - Pasadena, CA
    July 14-22, 2018
    Throop UU Congregation in Pasadena, CA
    Only 15 youth slots available
    Register Now
  • Thrive West (For Youth and Young Adults of Color) July - August TBA
  • Summer Seminary Late July - Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago, IL.
Yoga Planet - 50 Fun Activities for a Natural Life

Tara Gruber, Barefoot Books, 2016

Encourage healthy habits early with activities and games that help little ones get in tune with the world around them. Through yoga poses, breathing exercises and solo, pair and group activities, Yoga Planet promotes awareness, mindfulness and sensitivity to other people and our planet.

Good Night Yoga - A Pose-by-Pose Bedtime Story

Mariam Gates, Sounds True, 2015

Kids love yoga and it's great for them, so much so that the President's Council has added the practice to the annual President's Challenge fitness activities. For parents and caregivers looking for a fun and effective new routine for bedtime, Good Night Yoga, a playful yet wholly practical book for preparing for sleep.