Exploring new safety and outreach tools, OWL trainings, and more...


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PWR Newsletter


Safety and Outreach

Dear Pacific Western Congregational Leaders,

In these times when so many in our society need communities of meaning, relationship, hope, and love, our Unitarian Universalist congregations have a clear mission of healing and transformation. And in these times of #MeToo and violence, more and more of us are aware of how unsafe our communities can be if we don’t take proactive steps. In this spirit, we offer you two "relentlessly useful" resources for your congregations’ outreach and safety.

First, safety. Many of you have used the UUA’s Safe Congregations materials from the 1997 and 2005 handbooks. The UUA’s Safety Team (of which I am PWR’s representative) has just published a completely revised, online manual, Becoming a Safer Congregation by Kim Sweeney. In it you’ll find checklists and up-to-date guidance on preventing and responding to boundary violations, preparing for disasters, training your ushers for violent intruders, and more. Complementing this manual are our general Safe Congregations resources which we are continually updating. Your congregation’s primary contacts continue to be your best first stops when you need consultation.

Second, outreach. Making a connection with the people who need Unitarian Universalism in their lives is not always so easy. We have a brand-new resource called Congregations Reaching Out to assist you in building relationships with the people who haven’t found us yet. It’s transformative work for the congregation, learning to empathize with potential newcomers and to see your congregation from their perspective. The toolkit includes three guides: choosing an audience, planning events strategically, and using social media strategically. It also includes graphics that you can download and customize for outreach online and at events. You may also enjoy the video of the workshop that Rev. Tandi Rogers and I led at General Assembly last month, Outreach and Inreach: Attracting, Integrating, and Nourishing UUs.

May these resources prove to be relentlessly useful for your congregation, making it an ever-more safe and appealing home for the progressive spirit.

In faith, hope, and love,
Rev. Sarah Gibb Millspaugh
Congregational Life Staff

July 13, 2018
In this Issue
  • Safety and Outreach
  • Events, Training & Webinars
  • District and UU News
  • Job Postings
  • Youth News
PWR Quick Links
PWR Field Staff

Events, Training and Webinars


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.

  • August 4 at Unitarian Church of Los Alamos, NM
  • September 8 at UU Community Church of Santa Monica, CA
  • October 20 at First Unitarian Universalist Society of San Francisco, CA
  • November 3 at Valley UU Congregation in Chandler, AZ

Register Now

Summer OWL Trainings!

OWL Grades K-1 & 4-6

OWL Grades 7-9 & 10-12

OWL Young Adult & Adult

PWR and UUA News


Immigrant and Refugee Sponsorship

Are you or your congregation interested in the sponsorship of an immigrant or refugee pursuing their asylum case outside detention? A team of volunteers from Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) and some UUs are ongoingly volunteering their capacity to help vet sponsors which is a key step. Learn more about sponsorship from The Action Network. If you are interested in joining the team of volunteers, contact Elizabeth Nguyen at Side with Love (!

UU-UNO Spring Seminar

The Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office is seeking Youth and Adult leaders to join the planning team to create an inspiring and change-making 2019 Intergenerational Spring Seminar! Youth & Adult Dean applications are due next Wednesday, July 18 – so any help amplifying this would be appreciated! Chaplain & Planning Committee applications are due Aug. 8.

Reminder - It's Time to Update Your Leadership Information!

It's that time of the year again. Your congregation has held its annual meeting and elected new officers. You have new committee chairs appointed to lead your work for this year. But have you told anyone about these changes?

To help us and the UUA stay in touch with the leaders of your congregation we need YOU to update your leadership information on This is the same place you update your UU World lists. Need help? Let us know or check out the webpage with the details.

Help with Congregational Archives

The archivists at Meadville Lombard Theological School offer free consulting to our UU congregations. Before you toss out items you could be saving or store items you should be tossing, contact Their helpful staff can provide guidelines and answer any questions you may have about record retention. Make this your first step before tackling the decades of papers in your congregation’s storage.

Because we are all in this together

Our UUA Disaster Relief Fund, made possible through the generosity of Unitarian Universalists throughout the country, supports congregations in the event of natural disasters. In recent days, members of the Goleta, CA, congregation have been evacuated from their homes because of wildfire. The fire also affected the property immediately to the north of the congregation's property. As you are able, please consider a donation to the UUA Disaster Relief Fund.

Funds are Available to Take Your #PowertothePolls.

The Fund for UU Social Responsibility is pleased to announce that grants of up to $500 are available for your 2018 Get Out The Vote projects! Unitarian Universalist congregations frequently support the democratic process in a nonpartisan manner by participating in voter registration drives, providing nonpartisan educational materials or forums for voters, or by volunteering to help registered voters get to the polls on election day. The deadline is rolling and you can apply between March 15 and November 1, 2018. Grants will be available until the fund is depleted. Applications and more information are available online. You can also contact us at or (617) 971-9600.

Sign up for a Zoom call for board members of color

If you identify as a person of color/indigenous and will be serving on your congregation's board this upcoming church year, we'd like to put together a videoconference call to talk about the blessings and challenges that are unique to your role. We have two possible dates/times available: Tuesday, July 17 at 6 pm Pacific or Wednesday, July 18 at 2 pm Pacific. Complete the form to register

PWR Congregations in the News

Immigration rally draws hundreds to Old Town Square - Coloradoan
Among a lineup of numerous speakers, Rabbi Hillel Katzir and Islamic Center of Fort Collins spokesman Shakir Muhammed spoke about how their faith traditions teach them to stand up against injustice and to take action whether through their votes, talking to elected representatives or other ways of making their voices heard. Foothills Unitarian Church's Rev. Gretchen Haley led the group in prayer, referencing the trauma and grief everyone at the event shares with those in immigration detention centers.

San Diego Pride & St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral 'Light the Cathedral' for Pride -
Numerous faith-based organizations will also join in on the Pride celebration with music, dance, poetry, Psalms, and inspirational words. The First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego will be this year's "Light of Pride" award recipient.

Bordering on faith: San Diego spiritual leaders wrestle with the morality of immigration - San Diego Union-Tribune
If Safe Harbor is "Sanctuary Lite," the First Unitarian Universalist Church is ready to be a full-fledged sanctuary. The Hillcrest church prepared living quarters for immigrants, when and if needed. "We haven’t been called upon to take anyone in from the community," said Angela Fujii, the church’s social justice ministry team coordinator. While waiting for sanctuary-seekers, the church is actively protesting the Trump administration’s actions — and words. "We have to challenge the rhetoric that comes out, because it is the demonization of human beings," said the Rev. Beth Johnson of Palomar Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Vista. "Our immigrant siblings and refugee siblings need to be treated with respect."
See also this video from the San Diego Union-Tribune and Hundreds call for ICE to be Abolished And Protest Operation Streamline from La Prensa San Diego.

Boulder's Unitarian church welcomes new preschool following dust-up over offering sanctuary - Daily Camera
The Unitarian Universalist of Church of Boulder has leased space to a local preschool which will replace the school that left last year after the congregation voted to outfit the church as a sanctuary for an undocumented immigrant.

Helping to solve food insecurity on the Palouse - Moscow-Pullman Daily News
Caoilinn Phoenix, 10, discovered she absolutely loves kale chips Monday during the first Food Not Bombs feeding held at the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Palouse in Moscow.

Religious leaders denounce separation of migrant families outside ICE center in Richmond - Fox - KTVU
In Richmond, California, people rallied outside the West Contra Costa Detention Facility to protest the separation of migrant families at the U.S./Mexico border. "There is no spiritual law that justifies separating children from their parents," said the Rev. Jeremiah Kalendae, minister of First Unitarian Church of Oakland.

Locals rally to protest separating kids, parents - The Daily Sentinel
In Grand Junction, Colorado, more than a hundred people rallied in protest of the Trump Administration’s policy of child separation. Cheryl Roberts, a member of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Grand Valley, said she attended Sunday's rally because something has to be done about the cruel practice of separating families.

Bode bids goodbye: Retiring reverend ‘extremely thoughtful and caring' - The Daily Sentinel
When Reverend Bruce Bode was named minister of Quimper Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in 2004, he figured he would serve for about eight years, maybe 10. He ended up staying for 14. "I was enjoying my work," Bode said.

PWR Job Postings


Pacific Central News


Pot of Gold - 7th Annual Religious Education Conference

"Reimagining Sunday School" With Kimberly Sweeney & Rev. Sarah Gibb Millspaugh

Saturday, September 29, 2018 - 8:30am to 4:00pm at UU Society of Sacramento, CA. Sponsored by the Pacific Central LREDA Chapter.

All RE professionals and volunteers, UU ministers and lay leaders from the Pacific Western Region are invited to the 7th Annual Pot of Gold RE Conference, hosted by the Pacific Central Chapter of LREDA at the UU Society of Sacramento. Shared keynote presentation by Kim Sweeney, author of "The Death of Sunday School and the Future of Faith Formation" & Executive Director of Courageous Faith Consulting and the Rev. Sarah Gibb Millspaugh, Congregational Life Staff member in the Pacific Western Region. Wonderful meals, worship, keynote conversations, and workshops on skills and models for our educational ministries for children, youth, families and volunteer leaders. Nearby lodging at Larkspur Landing. Free and easy parking at UUSS. Sacramento accessible by Amtrak, airport, and Megabus. $50/person or $40/person for teams of 4 or more per congregation (incl. meals). Rates go up after Sept. 15. Registration form & workshop schedule coming soon. Questions? Contact us at


Pacific Southwest News


Call to Action: Flood the Desert August 3-5!

Love Resists and No More Deaths are calling UUs to show up for human rights and compassionate immigration policy in Southern Arizona this summer. Participants in "Faith Floods the Desert" will join with humanitarian aid workers who provide food and water in the desert and together resist government repression of this life-saving work. Nationwide, immigration justice organizers are being targeted by federal agencies. As religious people, we answer to a higher law of love and justice. We know that humanitarian aid is not a crime. Migration is not a crime. Drop the charges. Flood the desert.

Learn more and register here!


PWR Youth News


GoldMine 2018 - Lit Like a Chalice

The 2018 GoldMine UU Youth Leadership School finished yesterday in Edmonds, WA at the Edmonds UU Congregation. 32 youth, young adults and staff came from all four PWR districts to participate in a week of learning about UU worship, leadership, history, values and beloved community. They participated in credo groups, designed new spiritual practices, and built a community of relationships that will last a lifetime. Start thinking about youth in your congregation who might attend this life-changing opportunity next year!

PSWD is hiring a Youth Con Coordinator

This position supports PSWD youth in con planning, publicity, and overall organization. Please review the job description and encourage folks with strong youth ministry backgrounds, sturdy communication skills, and healthy boundaries to apply. The deadline to apply is Aug. 1, 2018.

Upcoming Youth Events

  • PSWD Fall Con
    October 12-14, 2018
    UU Congregation of Las Vegas, NV
  • PNWD Fall Con
    October 26-28, 2018
    Camp Cispus in Randle, WA
  • PSWD Spring Con
    March 15-17, 2019
    Valley UU Congregation in Chandler, AZ
  • PNWD Spring Con
    April 5-7, 2019
    Camp Cispus in Randle, WA
  • PSWD Youth at District Assembly
    April 26-28, 2019
    Long Beach, CA
  • Thrive Youth West (For UU Youth of Color)
    August 1-5, 2018
    Unitarian Universalist Church of Fresno, CA. Applications are still open.
  • PCD Youth Advisor Training
    October 6, 2018, 9:00am-5:00pm
    Mt Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church in Walnut Creek, CA.
The Trials of Nina McCall

Scott W. Stern, Beacon Press, 2018

Sex, Surveillance, and the Decades-Long Government Plan to Imprison "Promiscuous" Women. The nearly forgotten story of the American Plan, one of the largest and longest-lasting mass quarantines in American history, told through the lens of one young woman's story.

Love Like Thunder

Mark Morrison-Reed, Skinner House Books, 2018

In the 2018 volume of the inSpirit Series a vibrant new poetic voice invites us into an intimate relationship with nature, God, and love itself.