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UUA Statement on Anti-Blackness, Staff Transitions, and more!
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Pacific Western Region
Newsletter June 12, 2020
Stop Calling the Police and Start Eradicating Anti-Blackness
Note: The following is an excerpt of a statement released by the UUA on June 2nd. Your PWR staff felt it was important to share it again here.

As we mourn the death of George Floyd and other Black people killed by police, and as we respond to COVID-19, which continues to disproportionately impact Black communities, the UUA denounces anti-Black racism and the inherent violence of policing. Police brutality is a symptom of white supremacy and anti-Black racism, and as people of faith and conscience dedicated to justice and liberation, we must name this truth.

This is an invitation for all UU individuals and congregations to pause and do some deep self-reflection on the ways in which we are called to confront and combat these forces.

George Floyd—we speak your name in remembrance of your life and in honor of every Black man who has been harassed and murdered by police.

Tony McDade—we speak your name in remembrance of your life and in honor of every Black trans person who has been killed by the police and misgendered in their death.

Breonna Taylor—we speak your name in remembrance of your life and in honor of every Black woman who is killed by police with little to no media attention.

We remember and honor every Black person—of all ages, nationalities, genders, sexual orientations, religions, and abilities—who has been killed by the police.

We acknowledge the unthinkable grief, terror, and rage these police killings cause in the Black community. The recurring trauma of violent death caused by the police is a burden that no person or community should have to carry. We are thinking of and praying for Black people and ready to put our thoughts and prayers into action.

We know calling the names of police brutality victims and saying their lives mattered is not enough.

As people of faith and conscience, we are called to practice active remembrance, a remembrance that requires the pursuit of liberation in response to systemic violence. It would be hypocritical to say Black Lives Matter but then refuse to acknowledge anti-Blackness in one’s self, family, communities, or even congregations.

We specifically ask our congregations and other places of worship to develop alternatives to calling the police as one way to stop contributing to the anti-Black system of policing.

Read the full statement on the UUA website.
In this Issue
Stop Calling the Police and Start Eradicating Anti-Blackness
Announcing Our New PWR Lead
Staff Transitions
PWR & UUA News
Youth News
PCD News
PNWD News
PSWD News
InSpirit Update


PWR Links
Calendar and Events
Staff Contacts
News
Job Postings
Youth Ministries

RE Trainings


PWR Field Staff
Eric Bliss
Sarah Gibb Millspaugh
Jonipher Kūpono Kwong
Tandi Rogers
Sarah Schurr
Announcing Our New PWR Lead!
by Jessica York

I am excited to announce that the Pacific Western Region will soon have a new Lead! The Rev. Carlton E. Smith will start as the Developmental Lead of PWR on June 15th. Like a Developmental Minister, Carlton’s term in this position is limited: as the Developmental Lead, Carlton will work with the staff, boards, and other leaders in the region for the next three to five years to strengthen Unitarian Universalism in the region. Carlton brings significant previous experience in transitional ministry, congregational systems, and several years’ experience in Congregational Life and as UUA staff. He also brings previous experience in the region and a passion for social justice. His collaborative leadership style and commitment to advancing Unitarian Universalist values in the world will serve the region well as it looks to its future of growing the faith in relationship to the other four regions and the Association as a whole.

Since 2013, Carlton has been a member of the UUA’s Congregational Life team for the Southern Region, based out of his hometown of Holly Springs, Mississippi, in the Greater Memphis, Tennessee area. In that role, he’s worked extensively in leadership development, conflict resolution, dynamics of change within congregations and justice organizing. Carlton took “Immigration as a Moral Issue” seriously in years leading to 2012’s Justice General Assembly, including being the producer and host of a 26-episode one-hour internet-based radioblog, “The Journey Toward Phoenix”. He was one of the five foundational members of Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism in 2015 and 2016. In August 2017, Carlton was on the frontline of the clergy counter-protest to the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. He’s worked in all and lived in four of our Association’s five regions. This fall, he will celebrate 25 years as an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to be on my way back to the Pacific Western Region,” said Carlton, who served as part of the ministry team at First Unitarian Church of Oakland in the late 1990s. “A piece of my heart always stayed there with my Unitarian Universalist colleagues, friends and companions, as well as with my relatives. The PWR congregations and PWR Congregational Life staff are doing remarkable work, and I look forward to all the ways we will build the common good by putting our shared UU values in action.”

Look for information to come later on ways you can virtually meet and greet Carlton this summer.

Staff Transitions: Rev. Dr. Jonipher Kūpono Kwong
Years ago, the Birds popularized one of my favorite scripture passages, Ecclesiastes 3 that begins: “To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven.” Friends, it is now time for me to leave my position here in the Pacific Western Region at the end of June.

It has been an honor and privilege to companion you during the past five years through wildfires, budget shortfalls, destructive behaviors, and more recently, a pandemic. I have seen you challenge yourself by dismantling White Supremacy culture, no matter how difficult that task may be. You have shared yourself so deeply with me, entrusting me to pray for/with you and weep with you during some of the most challenging moments of your lives.

I will miss you dearly as I take on my new role as the UUA’s Ministerial Credentialing Director (which is under the Ministries and Faith Development staff group) beginning July 1st. This has been a dream job for me because I consider it a joy (and dare I say a holy experience) to companion religious leaders who are discerning their call to ministry.

Like most ministers who leave a congregation, I will need to practice some ‘social distancing’ with you for a while, and this is to allow my successor the opportunity to fall in love with you as well. Who that person will be or when they will start are yet to be determined, but I have no doubt that the ethos and culture we have built in the Pacific Western Region over the years of being relational, relevant, and responsive will continue. Between now and then, you are welcome to contact Rev. Sarah Gibb Millspaugh for help.

Thank you for being part of this rich season in my life. I will forever cherish the memories we’ve created together.

Staff Transitions: Rev. Tandi Rogers
Good people, I am leaving my position in the Pacific Western Region, to say “yes!” to a dreamy opportunity--to work part time for the UUA with Rev. Dr. Hope Johnson (Manager), Constance Ruth Goodbread, and Sabine Girauld to pilot a conflict engagement effort that feels big, like legacy work. I will serve as the Learning Strategist to that effort.

The team has three charges:
  • to work with congregations experiencing high levels of conflict,
  • support Congregational Life staff in growing conflict skills, and
  • assist congregations in creating their own Conflict Engagement Teams.
A particular focus of the team will be engaging congregational conflict involving religious leaders with marginalized identities.

Going part time allows me to focus more on two vocations I love dearly. I am an affiliate professor for Meadville-Lombard Theological School and a spiritual director in private practice. I’m happily tri-vocational.

And so begins the rituals of erasing the space I take up within our region so that someone else can take their own place. On June 30th, I will unfriend people on Facebook connected to the Pacific Western Region. It’s part of our covenant. I’ve created a cheat sheet of all the congregations in my care with pieces of your stories and quirks that I want to be sure the next person knows so they can love you as much as I have, but in their own way. And I know they will. And I’m preparing myself—they will love you and care for you differently than I have. And that’s as it should be.

In August the regional staff gathers and decides portfolios and primary contacts for the year. With three new staff joining the team (Rev. Dr. Jonipher Kwong is leaving to become the UUA Ministerial Credentialing Director and Rev. Carlton Elliott Smith joins as Regional Lead) there may be a moving around of assignments. Until then if you have been a leader in my care and need assistance and support right away, please contact Annie Scott.

As I go, I ask for your blessing. May this new ministry provide our congregations and beyond with tools of collective liberation, spiritual maturity, and conflict engagement all of which deepens and restores our covenant and humanity.

PWR & UUA NEWS
Stories from Congregational Presidents
As we move toward the end of the church year, we have been inspired by the ways in which congregational leadership has adapted to these uncertain times. We thought we'd share some perspectives from congregational leaders--and if you have stories of your own to share, please let us know!

Greg Penner, President of UU Congregation at Willamette Falls, Oregon City, OR
"As I looked toward leading my first Annual Meeting as Moderator at UUCWF, I was so anxious. I was worried about passing our budget in this unpredictable time, about voting by show of hands on Zoom, about pulling off something we’d never done before, live in front of 100 or so folks on Zoom.

I’m happy to say it went beautifully. The anxiety helped prompt me to work with Rev Marcia Stanard, our minister, to create a great plan for the voting, and a thorough script that did all the things we usually do, just on Zoom.

We did a test vote the week before. We mailed and emailed ballots so folks could vote absentee. I ran the meeting, with 2 vote counters, a Zoom host and a parliamentarian. We had an easy quorum and our congregation passed all 3 ballots.

Rev. Stanard and I were so grateful and relieved at the end of the Meeting. Our plan had worked seamlessly, and we had received the overwhelming blessing of the congregation to keep on doing the good work of our church."

Kathy Ludlow, Moderator, First Unitarian Portland, OR
"When we switched, almost overnight, to virtual church services only, it also brought to an abrupt halt any in-person connection through classes, on-going groups, Sunday coffee hour. Leadership in our church decided to call and check-in with everyone on our congregant list. Board members, Lay Ministers, leaders from various groups all helped make 900 phone calls. The result was an overwhelming success. Although most everyone during this first round of calls was safe and managing well, everyone was appreciative of the outreach. We not only were able to talk with folks who had needs, we were able to increase our list of volunteers willing to help out in other ways. A real win-win. Six weeks or so later, we’re in round two of calls and anticipate this will be an on-going outreach."

New Stewardship for Us Offerings During COVID-19
We at Stewardship for Us are excited to let you know that we have created two offerings to help congregations move forward during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Virtual Next Steps Weekend (vNSW) to enable us to start our work with a congregation with a totally virtual process
  • By-the-hour Consulting to provide more limited short-term assistance

Please check out this link for more info, and pass on to any congregations who might benefit. Note also that we are able to provide all of our consulting services remotely including campaign support, taking full advantage of the features of Zoom much as our congregations have done. 

Virtual "Guest In Your Pulpit" List
Over the past few weeks, more and more of our congregations have been remembering that they can have guests even if we're worshipping online - and many community-based religious professionals have wanted to be on a list to be considered, especially since we can now lead worship in parts of the country far from us.

We have developed a list, which we are updating weekly, to make it easier for congregations (minister-led and lay-led) to find speakers.
- Rev. Kimberley Debus

UUA Financial Relief for COVID-19
The UUA has created a response fund for those who want to donate funds to help in the current COVID-19 situation. Please donate if you can. Visit the UUA website for details on donations and guidelines for how the funds will be distributed. The Disaster Relief Fund continues to support congregations affected by tornadoes, fires, hurricanes, flooding and other natural disasters as well. To learn more about the work of the Disaster Relief Fund visit their webpage. We are Better Together.
Virtual GA 2020: Register Now!
Virtual General Assembly (VGA) 2020 offers Unitarian Universalists an opportunity to gather and deepen our connections with each other and our faith. In addition to the General Sessions, Synergy, Service of the Living Tradition and Sunday worship, registered attendees can also enjoy daily morning worship, Welcoming celebrations, live workshops, an on-demand library of programming, presentations by featured speakers and special events such as coffee hours, worship reflection time, and evening entertainment. More information and registration here!
Chalice Lighter Spring Calls Still Open!
The Chalice Lighter Calls for Spring 2019-2020 are open through June 30th! Check your district's website for details.

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:

·       pnwduua.org
·       pcduua.org
·       pswduua.org
·       or mdduua.org
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
Virtually Together - Online UU Youth Summer Camp
Join us for the Pacific Western Region’s virtual week-long multi-faceted event for Middle and High School youth (rising 6th – class of 2020).

All 4 districts of our Pacific Western Region will come together virtually for FUUsion which will include: Worship, Small Group Discussion, Spiritual Practice, Social Activities, Morning Circle and even "The Game", mostly divided by age. Sessions will be held daily for 8 days.

Registration will be open through noon June 30th with fees ranging from $115 and up for the week.

Middle school will be one group, for just $115 for the week.

High School will have a choice of workshops run as four tracks of activities.

Options include: Creative Expression, Justice & Inclusion, Leadership, and Worship & Spirituality. During registration you choose how many to take. Fees will be $115 with a single track, up to $150 if you choose all four.   

Reminder: Scholarships are available.  No youth will be turned away.

Scheduled to accommodate our youth from Hawaii to Montana, Alaska to New Mexico, this event is open to all UU youth. We’ll average 90 minute meetings throughout the day with 30-90 minute breaks in-between. Prompts may send you away from your screen, deep inside, or reaching out to your UU peers. Join us for FUUsion 2020.


For more information contact pwrregistrar@uua.org.

We'll meet at zoom.us/j/4368623231.
Pastoral Care Team for PWR Emerging Adults
The Pacific Western Region is seeking a minister, chaplain, religious educator, or seminarian to join the Pastoral Care Team for Canadian Unitarian Universalist young adults which serves our PWR Emerging Adults (18-24 years). This is an intentional collaboration between our two institutions.

Our goal is to offer flexible, age-appropriate, accessible care and support that Emerging Adults can access anywhere, whether or not they are currently connected to a congregation or minister. Team members would also be present at monthly online Canadian Unitarian Council (CUC) young adult gatherings (Gathered Here) on a rotating basis to make connections and hold space for sharing joys and sorrows. Being part of the Pastoral Care Team is a great opportunity to model our faith’s interdependence, to minister to Emerging Adults, to forge meaningful connections with young UUs, and bring our life-affirming faith to community members who are underserved by traditional church models.

The responsibilities of Pastoral Care Team members are outlined in this document, as well as the application. Two year terms are preferred, but a one-year term is possible. Please apply by June 26. If you have questions about the Pastoral Care Team role, please contact Eric Bliss - ebliss@uua.org
2021 UU-UNO Intergenerational Spring Seminar at the United Nations
Attention youth ministry and climate & food justice enthusiasts! Be part of planning the 2021 Intergenerational Spring Seminar hosted by the Unitarian Universalist Office at the United Nations! Youth and Adult Dean applications are due June 15, 2020. Deans serve as leaders in organizing intergenerational programming that is inclusive and safe for youth participants. The 2021 Intergenerational Spring Seminar, currently expected to take place all online April 9-11, 2021, will explore the connections between the climate crisis and how food is grown, distributed, and consumed. See our website for more about the Seminar, this year’s theme, and leadership opportunities.
PCD NEWS
PCD Annual Meeting
Dear Ones,

I hesitate to ask you for yet one more thing, and yet I will. I would like you to add to your calendar Pacific Central District’s Annual Business Meeting, to take place on the Zoom platform on Saturday July 25th at 12PM, Noon, Pacific Time. Registration is open now.

We will begin with two simple asks: to approve a one year extension of the terms for all current elected district volunteers and to approve a budget for 2020- 2021. Once our new Regional Lead Carlton Elliot Smith has officially started, I will invite him to join us for a meet and greet. If he is able to join us, together we can have a conversation about how UU communities in the district are doing and how we can support each other in the urgent work of making the dream of Beloved Community real. Details will be available on June 25th.

At any time if you have any questions for the district board, please reach out to me and the rest of the Board at pcdboard@pwruua.org.

One interpretation of the Hawaiian greeting “aloha” is “ I share with you the breath that holds together all existence.”

Aloha,

Catherine Ishida
On behalf of the Pacific Central District Board
PCD Spring Chalice Lighter Call Still Open!
The Spring Chalice Lighter call will benefit the UU Church of Palo Alto in Palo Alto, California.

The UU Church of Palo Alto is growing. It has put its money and attention towards welcoming newcomers into the life of the congregation and inviting participants into membership.

This statement from Rev. Amy Zucker Morgenstern explains it: “By hiring a trial, part-time Membership Engagement Coordinator (MEC) using capital funds, and expanding our volunteer corps devoted to membership growth, we have seen dramatic results: 44 new members in 2019, which is unheard of in our last couple of decades and more than triple the number who joined in 2018. The congregation is embracing this success by making the MEC a permanent position funded by the operating budget, and a Chalice Lighter grant will allow us to put in place the structural supports that she and our volunteers need: a welcome video for our website ‘front door’; new, attractive brochures; welcoming and clear signs; and the database structures that will connect newcomers with the connections they are seeking”.

Your donation to Chalice Lighters will help UUCPA continue to grow. Thank you for your support.

You can now have your gift automatically charged to your credit card or debited from your bank account each month. Automatic giving may be set up on the PCD automatic giving page. You can make a one-time donation online at our general giving page.  If you have already set up automatic giving, or if you have already contributed to the spring call, we thank you. We do not expect you to make an additional contribution to this call. We are grateful for whatever you can contribute. Direct costs to administer the call are reimbursed from the donations before the grant is issued. More of your money will go toward the grant if you opt for emailed call letters and make your contribution online. Donations for this call will be accepted through June 30, 2020.
If you are sending a check, please make it payable to PCD Chalice Lighters and mail to our new address: PCD Chalice Lighters, P.O. Box 567, Brighton, CO 80601-0567.

Thank you for being a PCD Chalice Lighter!
Karen Urbano
PCD Volunteer Chalice Lighter Coordinator
pcdchalicelighters@pwruua.org
PNWD NEWS
PNWD Chalice Lighters Spring Call Still Open!
Dear fellow Chalice Lighter,

Thank you for supporting Chalice Lighters! Your commitment actively promotes the health of Pacific Northwest congregations.

This is your Spring Call for the 2019-2020 church year. Donations to this call will support a serious need at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Willamette Falls (UUCWF), in Oregon City, Oregon.

Our neighbors at UUCWF face extraordinary maintenance challenges associated with occupying a landmark 95-year-old historic building that is central to their community. They seek help from Chalice Lighters to replace 3 sets of crumbling  concrete stairs with copies that meet modern codes. The old stairs are hazardous eyesores that deter visitors. Please help make UUCWF safer and more inviting to prospective new members!

The recipient of the most recent (Fall-Winter 2019-2020) calls is the Anchorage Congregation. Your generosity is helping  to remodel their chancel area to make it safe and accessible.

We want to help your congregation grow! Make your congregation’s finance committee chair aware of the opportunity to apply for Chalice Lighter grants. Details may be found at pnwduua.org/chalice-lighters.

Please donate now. The amount we ask each person to pledge to give to each call is $20, but any amount you can contribute is received with gratitude. Donations through June 30, 2020 will be applied to this call.

Direct costs to administer the call are reimbursed from the donations before the grant is issued. Thus, more of your money will go toward the grant if you opt for emailed call letters and make your contribution online. If you choose, you can have your gifts to all three calls divided into 12 monthly payments that are automatically charged to your credit card or debited from your bank account. Automatic giving may be set up on the PNWD automatic giving page. One-time gifts may be made on the PNWD giving page. If you have already set up automatic giving, or if you have already donated to this call, thank you; we do not expect you to make an additional contribution to this call, but we wanted to inform you how your donation was being used.

If mailed, send your check, payable to “PNWD Chalice Lighters” to: PNWD Chalice Lighters, P.O. Box 567, Brighton CO 80601. Please include the PNWD-CL designation on your check.  If you utilize a third party to issue checks, be sure to give them this updated address.

Questions may be directed to pnwdchalicelighters@pwruua.org. Thank you for your generosity!

Sincerely yours,
David P. Cauffman, PNWD Chalice Lighter program coordinator
pnwdchalicelighters@pwruua.org
PSWD NEWS
Spirit Level Grants Available
Dear UU Congregation Leadership Teams in San Diego, Orange, Riverside, Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Ventura Counties,

In 2020 the Spirit Level Foundation has a special opportunity for congregations to boost their UU the Vote efforts with a 3 to 1 match funding grant.

Please see this PDF with the guidelines for this grant opportunity.  Please note that we will be providing 75% of the funding for these grants, the minimum & maximum dollar amounts are different than our normal grants, as well as the application deadline, July 1st, 2020.


To read the grant guidelines visit our website at spiritlevel.org - Go to the "more..." tab and select "UU the Vote Grants"

If you have any questions, please let me know.

In solidarity,

Colleen Garrett,
Spirit Level Foundation Administrator
colleen@spiritlevel.org
619-865-3046
PSWD Chalice Lighters Spring Call Now Open!
Dear Chalice Lighter,

Thank you for supporting Chalice Lighters! Your commitment actively promotes the health of Pacific Southwest congregations. The Spring call for the 2019-2020 church year will benefit Chalice Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of the Conejo Valley in Newbury Park, California.

Chalice UU “envisions technology that helps it create seamless and deeply engaging worship and enables it to reach more people in the wider community with its life-affirming message of justice and compassion”, says the minister, Rev. Nica Eaton-Guinn. “We are endeavoring to build the most dynamic multi-media worship services possible, striving for an experience that fully engages the participants, keeps their attention, and flows smoothly from one moment to the next. We have made great strides over the past few years, projecting song lyrics onto a screen, incorporating videos, streaming services live on Sundays, and making videos of sermons available on a YouTube channel…This contemporary approach to worship has contributed to increased membership, more young people, increased enrollment in Religious Education, and makes the Unitarian Universalist message more readily available to all progressives in the Conejo Valley and surrounding communities. We have found it especially effective for reaching young families who typically rely heavily on the internet for gathering information and making decisions”.  

Rev. Nica adds that the congregation’s “objective is to fund critical upgrades to our aging sound and light equipment. The existing technology has been an integral component of both our recent growth and our ability to share the Unitarian Universalist message beyond the walls of our sanctuary. We have reached the limits of what our current equipment can handle, yet fervently desire to keep up our recent momentum”. A Chalice Lighters grant of $10,415 would allow the congregation to purchase the most critical pieces of audio equipment now, when both the need and opportunity are the greatest.

Please donate now. The amount we ask each person to pledge to give to each call is $20, but any amount you can contribute is received with gratitude. Donations through June 30, 2020 will be applied to this call.

You can now have your gift automatically charged to your credit card or debited from your bank account each month. Automatic giving may be set up on the PSWD automatic giving page. You can make a one-time donation online at our general giving page.  If you have already set up automatic giving, or if you have already contributed to the spring call, we thank you. We do not expect you to make an additional contribution to this call. We are grateful for whatever you can contribute. Direct costs to administer the call are reimbursed from the donations before the grant is issued. More of your money will go toward the grant if you opt for emailed call letters and make your contribution online. Donations for this call will be accepted through June 30, 2020.

If you are sending a check, please make it payable to PSWD Chalice Lighters and mail to our new address: PSWD Chalice Lighters, P.O. Box 567, Brighton, CO 80601-0567

If you have questions, please write to PSWDChaliceLighters@pwruua.org.

In faith,

Michael Hart
PSWD Board President
InSpirit UU Book and Gift Shop
Widening the Circle of Concern: Report of the UUA Commission on Institutional Change
Appointed by the Board of Trustees of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations in 2017, the UUA Commission on Institutional Change served through June 2020. Widening the Circle of Concern: Report of the UUA Commission on Institutional Change represents the culmination of the Commission’s work analyzing structural and systemic racism and white supremacy culture within Unitarian Universalism and makes recommendations to advance long-term cultural and institutional change that redeems the essential promise and ideals of Unitarian Universalism. Widening the Circle of Concern is available to pre-order on the inSpirit website with a publication date of June 23. To prepare for discussion of this important report at General Assembly, you can access the text of the report online from now through the end of General Assembly, June 28, 2020. Members and staff of the UUA Commission on Institutional Change were:

  • Rev. Leslie Takahashi, Chair (2017-2020)
  • Mary Byron (2017-2020)
  • Cir L’Bert Jr. (2018-2020)
  • Rev. Dr. Natalie Fenimore (2017-2020)
  • Dr. Elías Ortega (2017-2020)
  • Caitlin Breedlove (2017-2018)
  • DeReau K. Farrar (2017-2018)
  • Rev. Marcus Fogliano, Project Manager

Pre-Order now!
 
 
 
 
 

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Pacific Western Region - UUA
P.O. Box 567
Brighton, CO 80601
United States