Nurture New Leaders, Tips on Compensation, Wildfires and more...


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PWR Newsletter


Nurturing New Leaders

Dear Pacific Western Region Congregational Leaders,

Registration is scheduled to open for our Pacific Western Regional Assembly by January 4, 2018.

I would like to ask a favor of you.

Put an item on the agenda of your next board meeting. Have a discussion about either subsidizing or fully funding the costs for at least one person from your congregation to attend our regional assembly.

The PWR staff is doing its best to keep costs low, and there will be discounted registration prices for young adults, youth, and children.

Still, too often events like the UUA General Assembly, regional assemblies, or even district assemblies are only attended by those who can afford to pay their own way.

At the same time, a frequent problem I hear about is congregations struggling to find people to step into leadership roles.

Here’s a possible solution. Approach somebody you see as a potential leader in your congregation. Tell them, "We think you have potential to be a leader in this congregation, and we are willing to invest in you to become a well-equipped leader, so we want you to attend the PWR Regional Assembly, and we’re going to pay for you to go." Especially consider people outside the dominant demographic in Unitarian Universalism.

For more details about the regional assembly, which will be April 27-29 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Portland, Oregon, visit, and look out for more registration information, which is coming soon.

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

December 7, 2017
In this Issue
  • Nurture New Leaders
  • PWR Webinars
  • Board Development Days
  • Compensation Consultants
  • District and UU News
  • Job Postings
  • Youth News
  • Technology and Communications
PWR Quick Links
PWR Field Staff

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, Jonipher Kwong at

Youth Leadership AND Spirituality: Not an Either/Or Proposition

Eric Bliss, PWR Youth Ministry Specialist, and Rev. Leslie Mills - December 12, 7-8 pm

For decades, the best that we thought we could accomplish in youth ministry was empowering leadership. Now, in these complicated and complex times, it is clear that leadership alone is not sufficient to minister to our weary and hyper-scheduled youth. How can a deeper spirituality inform youth leadership AND sustain it? What practices synchronize harmoniously with leading? How can youth balance religious life with the many pushes, pulls, and asks of modern life? These questions and others will be explored in this one-hour webinar.

Register for Youth Leadership AND Spirituality

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.

  • December 9 at Florence UU Fellowship (Florence, OR)
  • 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)
  • 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.


Denominational News


PWR Congregations in the News

Smartphones in Utah churches: Are they a heavenly help or a devilish distraction? - The Salt Lake Tribune
The Rev. Tom Goldsmith, senior minister of Salt Lake City’s First Unitarian Church, remembers one particular smartphone ring that threatened to undermine his sermon’s theme. "I was expounding upon the wondrous gifts of life that bless us beyond our own making [when] a gut-wrenching blues ring tone blasted forth," he says. "The juxtaposition of ‘good life-tough life’ posed a momentary dilemma. "I said, ‘OK, I plan on getting to the hard stuff as well.’ After all, Unitarians are never comfortable with good news alone."

Local group plans Transgender Day of Remembrance event - KVAL - Eugene, OR
Eugene-based social justice group United FRONT is hosting their own Day of Remembrance event on November 20th, from 6 to 9 PM at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Eugene. One of the organizers, JohnnyCoco Lam, says the event is both a vigil and a potluck- a way to both mourn and celebrate the lives of trans people lost to hate-based violence. The event will feature two speakers, a reading of the names of trans people who were murdered this past year, a vigil and a potluck.

Davis clergy continue interfaith Thanksgiving tradition - The Davis Enterprise
Interfaith experiences are the gift of religious freedom, Banks says, and it’s why she believes that presenting her story, as a descendant of Mayflower Pilgrims Elizabeth Tilly and John Howland, is important."Like many white Americans, I grew up with the myth that the first Thanksgiving was a celebration of bounty, and an emerging friendship between the Wampanoag First Nations people and the Pilgrims," Banks said. "In truth, during the first years after the Pilgrims landed in Plymouth, they had a cautious relationship of mutual need.

Commentary: How many deaths will it take before we talk about gun control? - The Salt Lake Tribune
As a faith leader, this is the time when I wish for hands that could do the work of resurrection and bring good people back to life, waking up on this autumn day, dressing children, preparing breakfast, going to school and work. We grieve for the everyday lives we take for granted that are gone in those harrowing minutes that began as an idea in one man’s head — a grievance that would not go away, that gathered power, and spread suffering.

Fifty Years Later, Religious Progressives Launch a New Poor People’s Campaign - Religion & Politics
"For the past five years," Jones said, "a third of our entering classes have been unaffiliated millennials who are coming to seminary because they are interested in our social justice history and our educational focus on these major social issues." Even students who do report a religious affiliation are often coming from Buddhist, Muslim, or Unitarian backgrounds, rather than the traditional Protestant mainline that fed Union’s classrooms in previous generations.

Tips from PWR Compensation Consultants

"Talk to the Compensation Consultant early in the process when you are looking to hire a new employee. They can help you determine what staffing level you can afford for that position. And they can help you create an attractive package to attract good candidates." - Brian Rogers

Also, be sure and checkout the new Benefits Tune-up Workbook from the UUA.

Contact PWR's Compensation Consultants
Do you have a question about compensation for your staff? Contact your compensation consultant.

  • Martha Ketelle,, for Pacific Southwest District plus congregations in New Mexico and El Paso, Texas
  • Debbie Bieber,, for Pacific Central District plus congregations in Colorado and Utah
  • Brian Rogers,, for Pacific Northwest District plus congregations in Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, and Idaho

UU-UNO Spring Seminar

Are you passionate about global human rights issues and want to be part of the solution? Register to attend the 2018 Intergenerational Spring Seminar "When Crisis Calls: Advancing Just Migration for All" April 5-7 in New York City. During the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office’s seminar you will learn how to be a global activist alongside new friends of all ages. Undergo a transformative process of learning, reflection, and growth, exploring some of the most challenging issues facing humanity today. Learn more.

California Wildfires

We have been experiencing unusually dry and warm weather here in Southern California lately. Coupled with the Santa Ana winds, this has fueled several fires (Thomas, Wilson, Creek, Little Mountain, and Rye) beginning Monday the 4th in Santa Paula, spreading to Ventura, Santa Clarita, and as far away as Riverside with single-digit containment at this point.

As of the writing of this article on Wednesday morning, over 60,000 combined acres have been burned with thousands of homes evacuated. We are still trying to find out if any of our congregants have been affected and what kind of help is needed. A few have marked themselves "safe" on Facebook.

Please remember that we have financial assistance available from the UUA Disaster Relief Fund. If you’d like to make a contribution yourself, please click here. Let us continue to pray and send good thoughts to all creatures great and small affected by this tragic situation.

Rev. Dr. Jonipher Kūpono Kwong,
PWR Congregational Life Staff

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 at the end of April, 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

Congregational Certification Open

The annual reporting period for UU congregations opened November 15, and congregations have until 5pm PST on February 1 to complete the process in order to be certified for General Assembly. Only certified congregations will receive credentials for delegates who can vote in elections and on business at GA. We are also inviting congregations to share information about the makeup of their faith community because awareness of our identities is part of living our values of justice and equity. Congregations will be sent a link in late November for accessing the certification system, or congregations can log in at For more information, visit our website or contact

PWR Job Postings


PWR Youth News


Amazing Gathering of UU Youth Leaders

Join us in celebrating an exceptional youth leadership development con in Spokane, WA this past weekend (pictured at the top of the newsletter). With fourteen participants from 5 traditionally underserved and 'remote' communities, it was a gathering with depth of reflection and an inspiring vision. We worshipped together, shared stories and experiences, talked about projects and plans, and imagined bold new ways of being in faithful community.

One of the things we found really interesting was the way in which the youth who gathered there talked about the importance of intergenerational community, wanting to be engaged with the whole of the congregation, rather than contained in their own out of the way rooms. Eric Bliss, PWR Youth Ministries Specialist, said "It was clear that these youth, like many in congregations with smaller youth populations, are yearning to be in relationship across many of the traditional lines that divide. They want to be part of the Unitarian whole, and to embrace that identity and the responsibilities it entails."

Above (click the image to see it larger), you can see some brainstorming the group did around their priorities and projects moving forward, which they called Dreaming UU. Spreading awareness (through a UU youth YouTube channel maybe), improving identity formation, connecting with religious and cultural diversity and seeking greater interactivity in worship, are just some of the things these youth are working on.

Bliss notes, "It was genuinely inspiring to see how these youth are tackling so many of the issues our congregations are struggling with on the whole. They're passionate leaders and they're profoundly committed to living our faith out in public and embracing their UU identity."

Are you a leader in UU Youth Communities?

Goldmine Youth Leadership School is an amazing experience for up to 30 youth between ages 15-18 each year. It is open to youth participants from the entire Pacific Western Region (PWR). Serving on staff can be an equally transformative experience. The staff team is comprised of emerging adults, ages 19-24, as well as older adults, ages 25+, and a peer chaplain, age 16-18. Roles include co-deans, a peer chaplain, an adult chaplain, and co-leaders of four learning tracks: worship/spirituality, leadership, social justice, and covenant/inclusion.

Goldmine dates: July 7-12, 2018, with staff arriving July 5th or 6th. Location: TBA, currently evaluating potential sites in Southern California. This is a volunteer opportunity with travel expenses reimbursed.

Questions? Contact co-dean Rev. Sarah Gibb Millspaugh ( - 858-215-2650) or youth ministry specialist Eric Bliss ( - 303-903-3144) from the Pacific Western Region staff.

Deadline for applying is Tuesday, February 6th, 2018.

Interdependent Partners

Do you know a youth who was saved by UU youth ministry? Were you, yourself, an alumni of a transformational youth ministry program? Do you have the means to continue our legacy of life affirming, faithful programming for youth in the Pacific Western Region?

Our youth desperately need you! Each year we receive upwards of $10,000 in requests for youth scholarship and travel subsidies. $10,000! And our UU youth are regularly traveling longer distances and demonstrate greater needs than ever before. In today’s complicated and divisive times, the Beloved Community offered by our immersion events and programs is precisely the solace and spiritual nourishment that our teens need and deserve.

We are looking for champions to help us achieve a goal of ten thousand dollars annually in scholarship monies that will go directly to serving youth participation in UU youth ministry events. Are you interested in becoming one of our UU youth champions?

If so, please sign up as an Interdependent Partner for Youth Ministry, today!

Become a:

  • Jagged Rock for $30-150 quarterly
  • Source for $150-300 quarterly
  • Principle for $300+ quarterly

Thank you for your kindness and for your support of PWR UU youth faith formation!

Learn more

Upcoming Youth Events

The Generosity Path

Mark V. Ewert, Skinner House Books, 2013

Finding the Richness in Giving. With easy-to-read guidance, The Generosity Path sheds new light on our finances—connecting money to our values, beliefs, and loves—promoting skills and strategies in charitable giving.

Beyond Fundraising

Wayne B. Clark, Beacon Press, 2017

The Complete Guide to Congregational Stewardship. Blueprint for successful fundraising that moves beyond the myth of scarcity to the reality of abundance.