2022 State of the Region-Excerpt
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"2022 State of the Region – Excerpt" , PWR & UUA News, and more!
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Pacific Western Region
Newsletter February 2022
2022 State of the Region-Excerpt
by Rev. Carlton E. Smith
PWR Lead

Dear Unitarian Universalists of the Pacific Western Region:

As we prepare to go into Regional Assembly in the next few days, and as I prepare to go on my sabbatical for 14 weeks starting March 4th, I thought now would be a good time to offer a State of the Region report. It’s a chance to look back at some of the highlights since Regional Assembly last year, to consider where we are now, and to look forward to what lies ahead in the year to come. The following is an excerpt from my much more detailed report, which can be seen in full here.

General Assembly, June 22-26, 2022: Once again, the Pacific Western Region has the honor of hosting all the participating congregations from across the Association at the UUA General Assembly in Portland, Oregon. This will be both an in-person and a virtual gathering, the largest we will have ever had. Click on the link above for registration, volunteer opportunities, Covid protocols, and anything else you want to know about GA 2022. It will be a wonderful time to celebrate our faith and the delights of the Pacific Northwest!

Sabbaticals: Starting the evening of March 4, 2022, I will be on sabbatical leave for 14 weeks. It’s one of the privileges of working for the UUA for over seven years – I started as a member of the Southern Region Congregational Life Team in 2013, so I was actually eligible for a sabbatical in 2020. However, I was just starting as Lead here in the Pacific Western Region then, so we timed it such that those of us who were newer to the PWR Team all had a chance to get acclimated to our work. Rev. Sarah Gibb Millspaugh completed her sabbatical last summer, and other eligible staff members in the next year or so include Bookkeeper Melanie Buck, Youth and Emerging Adult Ministries Specialist Eric Bliss, and Event Coordinator Amanda Radak.

My sabbatical project is to become the author of a self-published book. Over the past year, I’ve been working on a collection of daily reflections based on sayings of Jesus from the Gospels. My book-team and I are almost done with the final manuscript so that copies will be available mid-Spring. If you’d like to be kept abreast of what’s happening with the book, send an email to and I will gladly hook you up.

I close out with gratitude and love for all the members of the PWR Staff Team, whom I am so blessed to work with every day. Thank you for bringing some much joy to my life! And I thank all of you, members and friends of our Pacific Western Region congregations and covenanting communities. Together, we are indeed building a new way. Also, my ongoing gratitude to Director of Congregation Life Jessica York, Executive Vice President Carey McDonald, and President Susan Frederick-Gray, and all the rest of our colleagues and partners

Take care, friends…Be assured that you are not alone, for love surrounds you everywhere you may go!

In faith,

In this Issue
2022 State of the Region – Excerpt !
PWR & UUA News

Youth & Emerging Adult News
Pacific Central News
Pacific Northwest News
InSpirit Update

PWR Links
Calendar and Events
Staff Contacts
Job Postings
Youth Ministries

RE Trainings

PWR Lead
Carlton Elliott Smith

PWR Program Staff
Summer Albayati
Extended by Popular Demand: Regional Assembly Registration Open Through Feb. 6!
Registration Extended
Registration is reopening for virtual Regional Assembly through February 6. Content will be available for the month of February.

Check out the detailed schedule including:
“Community of Communities” with Paula Cole Jones
Covenant Workshops with Commission on Appraisal
Welcoming in a Wider Circle
A variety of workshops on timely church leadership needs
Lots of peer discussion and considering the future of our faith
Worship and social time

Join us February 4-6, 2022

Sunday Service
Regional Assembly is gifting a Sunday Service to the congregations of our region. We will be offering the Sunday morning intergenerational service for all, originally available for February 6th. Registrants will watch together (either on site or on zoom) and a recording will be made available to congregations. Sharing this opportunity with your worship leads will contribute the the impact of Regional Assembly. If you are the technical lead for worship in your congregation and would like notification of service details, please complete this interest form on Cognito Forms.
Reminder: Congregations Must Certify by February 4
Your congregation has through the end of business on February 4, 2022 to certify your current membership number and financial information from the previous fiscal year; review your congregation contact information and leaders and staff listing; and complete the diversity and congregational questionnaires. Certification is an essential step in determining Annual Program Fund (APF) requests, proportional delegates for elections and General Assembly, and to compile data about overall indicators and trends within Unitarian Universalism. More information and assistance can be found here.
Shift in COVID-19 Prevention Strategies from the UUA
The UUA recognizes that, even after the Omicron surge subsides, dealing with the COVID-19 virus will be an ongoing challenge for congregations. We are making some shifts in our COVID-19 guidance for congregations away from specific guidance based on metrics and instead offering strategies for risk reduction. Many congregations have set metrics about when it is safe to gather in person, or online-only, based on infection rate in the community. This Omicron surge, the availability of at-home tests, and the advent of vaccinations for ages five and up have made such metrics less relevant than before. The best decision-making regarding in-person gathering will need to be made by each congregation’s leaders in their local contexts. While the UUA will continue to suggest data you might track locally, our strategies are geared towards general best “risk reduction” practices as we move toward an endemic situation. For more details about the reasons for the UUA’s change in approach, visit our January update to COVID guidance.
Article II Study Commission: Get Involved!
The Article II Study Commission is connecting with Unitarian Universalists throughout the Association to hear from you about what—if any—changes to Article II might lead us boldly into the future. What’s Article II? It’s the section of the UUA bylaws that serves as the home of our Principles and Sources, the UUA’s Purposes, our Inclusion clause, and Freedom of Belief Statement.

As a living faith, we must regularly revisit the documents that guide us to be sure they match our values and commitments. You are invited to utilize new resources developed by the Study Commission to engage your community in this study and share back your reflections through the Article II Individual Survey (Google Form). Check out the new resources and scheduled opportunities to engage with the Article Study Commission in the latest communication from the Commissioners.
Save the Date: Side With Love Sunday is February 13!
All Unitarian Universalist congregations are invited to participate in this annual tradition! This year, Side With Love will offer a free-use worship service featuring stirring music, deep-hearted reflection, and moving testimonies from a range of UU leaders. The service will be available for use as a whole, or as individual videos for your selected use. A detailed order of service including worship leaders and elements will be available here on Monday, January 30; all videos will be available for access/download by end of day on Friday, February 5. Stay tuned for more information about this service! And the rest of the 30 Days of Love program is awesome too. (You can sign up for alerts on this page.)
From Reactivity to Resilience: Doing Our Inner Work in Congregations
  • Part I - March 5, 2022 - 2:00 to 4:00 PM (ET)
  • Part II - March 26, 2022 - 2:00 to 4:00 PM (ET)

This webinar series focuses on the Spiritual Leadership practice of “doing our inner work.” It is rooted in an awareness of the human tendency to fight, freeze, or flee when we are activated. It rests in a belief that congregations are called to create a container in which everyone can learn, hone and use tools that bring us through activation into resilience. Fee per person is $25 or pay-what-you-can using our coupon codes. Learn more and register here.
Leading from the Heart 2022
In this three-part series for budding and experienced leaders, you will ground yourself in your own spiritual soil, acknowledge our shard roots, discern fruits of our faith, find abundance in serving, and preserve seeds to ensure the harvest of leadership for years to come. March-May, Details and Registration.
Congregations: Host a Local Gathering for April Climate Justice Seminar!
Give your congregants a chance to connect global context with local action – and build relationships within and beyond your community. The 2022 Intergenerational Spring Seminar hosted by the UUA Office at the UN in partnership with UU Ministry for Earth and UUSC will take place online April 22 – May 1, 2022. In addition to the virtual programming, it includes an opportunity for congregations to host local gatherings, allowing Seminar attendees to connect in person with others who live nearby. Addressing the theme “Displacement and Human Rights: All In for Climate Justice,” this event aims to instill in UU youth and adults a commitment to global engagement and the skills to take action locally for climate and migration justice. Be part of the excitement! Would your congregation consider hosting a local gathering? Learn more about the 2022 Seminar and the local gatherings here. Registration is open through April 3!
UUA Board Meetings and Open Houses
Open Houses
The Board will, once again, hold open houses on the 2nd Tuesday of each month.
  • Tuesday, February 8, 2022; 4pm PT/ 5pm MT / 6pm CT/ 7pm ET. Pre-register.
  • Tuesday, March 8, 2022; 4pm PT/ 5pm MT / 6pm CT/ 7pm ET. Pre-register.
  • Tuesday, April 12, 2022; 4pm PT/ 5pm MT / 6pm CT/ 7pm ET. Pre-register.
  • Tuesday, May 10, 2022; 4pm PT/ 5pm MT / 6pm CT/ 7pm ET. Pre-register.
  • Tuesday, June 14, 2022; 4pm PT/ 5pm MT / 6pm CT/ 7pm ET. Pre-register.

Board Meetings
The Board meets monthly. Here are the dates/times for each meeting. Please note that a registration link for the meetings will be available on this page in advance of each meeting.
  • Monday, February 14, 2022; 4:00pm PT / 5:00pm MT / 6:00pm CT / 7:00pm ET
  • Monday, March 14, 2022; 4:00pm PT / 5:00pm MT / 6:00pm CT / 7:00pm ET
  • Friday, April 22—Saturday, April 23, 2022; Schedule TBD
  • Monday, May 9, 2022; 4:00pm PT / 5:00pm MT / 6:00pm CT / 7:00pm ET
Stewardship Lunch and Share
Stewardship Lunch and Share for stewardship and fundraising lay leaders.
Join PWR staff and congregational leaders from around the region for conversation and sharing about stewardship, generosity, and fundraising. Each gathering will include brief presentations and plenty of time to bring your questions and ideas to one another.
12:00pm to 1:00pm Pacific on the 2nd Friday of the month.

February 11th Topic: Let's Talk Pledge Drives!
Register for upcoming lunch and shares here.
Taproot: A National BIPOC Space
The work of spiritual community is complicated in the 21st century. The need for faithful leadership that is grounded and resilient is imperative. This is all the more true for leaders within our communities and congregations who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPoC). All too aware of this need, Congregational Life is excited to explore and co-create a network with congregational leaders that support them in this time in emergent ways through Taproot: A National BIPOC Space. BIPoC Leaders rooted in the Unitarian Universalist congregations are invited to take part in this monthly, virtual gathering.

Second Thursday of the month. ***PLEASE NOTE NEW TIME*** Next meeting February 10th at 8p ET/7p CT/6p MT/5p PT. Details and registration.
A Second Slice of Pi: An Online Conference for Smaller Congregations
Are you in a small congregation of 120 members or fewer? Want to connect with others who are doing church the way you do – or the way you hope to? We have just the thing for you!

Join us for A Second Slice of Pi: A Small Conference for Smaller Congregations. This is an opportunity for networking, connecting, sharing and learning with others, all from similar sized congregations to yours.

What will be happening? We’ll have on demand, easy to access resources housed at UU Institute plus a live, virtual 2 hour networking conference with a variety of conversational topics on March 12, 2022 from 3p-5p ET/12p-2p PT. Registration is on a sliding scale from $5-25 to fit your budget and is open now. Learn more.

Pastoral Care Training for Religious Educators
Many parents and teens turn first to their Religious Educators for pastoral care, being prepared to receive those conversations is the focus of this series. The class will be based on the Spiritual Leadership program in Leader Lab created by the New England regional staff. Led by: Rev. Sunshine Wolfe and Annie Scott, CRE

2nd & 4th Wednesdays February 23 - June 8
6:30 pm Eastern / 5:30 Central / 4:30 Mountain / 3:30  pm Pacific / 2:30  Alaska / 12:30 then 1:30 pm Hawaii.
Further information and registration.
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.
Camp is Back in 2022!
Exciting news! Camp will return in 2022. Dates have been confirmed for our week-long, residential high school & middle school camps in the mountains.
QUUest: July 3-9, 2022 in Casper, Wyoming.
Camp Blue Boat: July 17-21 in Ellensburg, WA.
Watch the newsletter and our website for more information as it becomes available.
Staff applications open until positions are filled.
Donations to support camp always welcome.
Ministry with Emerging Adults Webinar
Pacific Western Region (PWR) is offering a webinar early next year called Ministry WITH Emerging Adults. It will be Tuesday, February 22, 2022 at 7 pm PT / 8 pm MT.

Presented by the PWR Emerging Adult (EA) Task Force. Resources, Tips, and Insights from EA's themselves to help you up your game when it comes to supporting and ministering WITH this keystone cohort in your congregation. Not to be missed! Register here.

Free Radical Ministry
For emerging adults who are free range, in college, working, or doing whatever and who want to worship and connect in a social and social justice setting. For UUs across the country! No UU campus ministry where you are? No problem. Get radical! No UU church near you or offering Emerging Adult ministry? No problem. Get radical! Sign up here.
PCD Winter Chalice Lighter Call Now Open!
This is your notification of the PCD Winter Chalice Lighters call, benefitting Sierra Foothills UU (SFUU) in Auburn, CA. SFUU was founded in 1982 by 15 people and since then has been serving people from all over Placer and the surrounding counties who are interested in exploring UU beliefs, making a difference in the world, healing from past religious wounds, connecting meaningfully with other people, and learning how to be the best they all can be. The mission of SFUU is to build beloved communities that respect diversities as we nourish the spirit, care for the earth, and inspire faithful acts of peace and justice.

Their building is approximately 100 years old, and they have deferred the roof replacement and HVAC systems as long as they could with continual repair costs. A new roof and HVAC system will allow them to make their building more energy efficient and healthier for their congregation and the planet. SFUU looks forward to creative ideas to improve what they have and build on their work dedicated to being a “Green Sanctuary”. The very old HVAC in particular has challenged them with proper protection during COVID. This is an imperative that they look forward to improving.

Visit the PCD website to read the call letter and make a donation. The Winter call closes February 28, 2022.
Meeting Notice: Special PNWD Board Meeting
Sunday, January 30th at 1:30 pm PT

Dear friends in the Pacific Northwest,

As we prepare for the official dissolution of the Pacific Northwest District so we may join with the other Districts to become the Pacific Western Region, we’d like to invite you to continue to participate in and witness the process.
Please join us for a special PNWD Board meeting on Sunday, January 30th at 1:30 pm PT. At this meeting we will share a little bit about how we’ve come to this decision, we will express our thankfulness to the many leaders who have come before us, the Board members will vote on dissolution and share about the next steps in this journey. You are invited to witness and share in our expression of gratitude, sorrow, and anticipation for what is to come.

Please fill out this RSVP form, to let us know you will be there and to receive the Zoom link for the meeting. Please contact either of your PNWD Board co-Presidents, Aria Curtis and Susan Howlett, with any questions at

In faith,
Your Pacific Northwest District Board
Aria Curtis, Co-President
Susan Howlett, Co-President
Craig Cyr, Vice President
Susan Christie, Secretary
Joseph Bednarik, Treasurer
Christina Davitt, Member at Large

Joint Statement re: PNWD Chalice Lighters Agreement
We are pleased to announce an agreement to transfer the PNWD Chalice Lighters Program to Cascadia Growth Fund, formerly known as the Pacific Northwest UU Growth Foundation, a decision that will preserve the vital role of the Chalice Lighter program in strengthening UU congregations in the Pacific Northwest. Through a process of discernment and collaboration, the Pacific Northwest District Board (PNWD), Staff of the UUA's Pacific Western Region (PWR), and the Board of the Cascadia Growth Fund have agreed to transfer management and support of the program currently provided by the PNWD and PWR respectively, to Cascadia. The Cascadia Growth Fund already provides funding to support Pacific Northwest UU congregations through legacy gifts and donations. ‘Cascadia Chalice Lighters’ will continue to collaborate with PWR Staff, and with Chalice Lighter programs in other areas of the Pacific Western Region. The transition is expected to be complete by end of this fiscal year, June 30, 2022. Details are being worked out and will be communicated to you in the upcoming months. Beneficiaries of and donors to the PNWD Chalice Lighter program should experience little change due to this transition. Donors will be contacted directly with an opportunity to opt out. Our express thanks to PNWD Chalice Lighter Coordinator Dave Cauffman for his counsel and continuing support.

Aria Curtis, President, Pacific Northwest District Board of Trustees
Rev. Carlton E. Smith, Lead, UUA Pacific Western Region
Rev. K. Antonia Won, President, Cascadia Growth Fund
PNWD Winter Chalice Lighter Call Now Open!
Thank you for being a stalwart and generous donor to Chalice Lighters! This is your Winter Call for the 2021-2022 church year: Please help equip the Eastrose Fellowship Unitarian Universalist in Portland to provide hybrid church services. As congregations decide when to reopen, interest in “hybrid” in-person services, that can simultaneously be attended virtually by congregants in their homes, has mounted. This capability is especially valuable to serve those whose immune systems are compromised or who cannot or choose not to attend indoor worship services. Eastrose has planned a comprehensive professional turn-key solution to the problem and is willing to share their equipment list and operating experience with other UU congregations.

Your congregation may be one of those who need equipment to provide such capabilities. If so, encourage your leaders to apply for a Chalice Lighter Growth Technology grant. An application form is available through the PNWD Chalice Lighters web page. The form contains further guidance on award criteria. We will review applications as they are submitted. At the present time, funds from the Fall Call are available to make immediate grants. We also invite applications to receive the full proceeds of the next Spring Call.

For more information, to make a donation, or to apply for a grant, visit the PNWD website. The Winter call is open until February 28, 2022.
InSpirit UU Book and Gift Shop
UU Common Read Discussion Groups
This UU Common Read invites us to ask ourselves, “Why is it important for UUs to Defund Fear?”

Plan to gather for a deep dive into Zach Norris’s Defund Fear: Safety without Policing, Prisons, and Punishment (Beacon Press, 2021) in Spring 2022. While Zach Norris’s book is secular, the issues it confronts and the solutions he offers raise core theological questions for Unitarian Universalists. Groups can meet for one 90-minute session or adapt the discussion materials to go deeper together with multiple meetings. Three different, parallel discussion tracks will support any UU group, an exclusively BIPOC group, or an activist group to explore personal connections to America’s public safety story and bring UU theologies to bear. Video materials, including conversations with author Zach Norris, will be available starting in April 2022 to support our exploration.

Get started now: