The Intercultural Development Continuum, News and more...


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Finding Solace and Hope

The recent controversy surrounding hiring practices of our UUA is a reminder that we have not yet arrived on our journey toward becoming a truly anti-racist, anti-oppressive, multicultural denomination. We have certainly made several attempts over the years by partnering with organizations such as Crossroads Antiracism Organizing and Training and a huge array of offerings provided by the Office of Multicultural Growth and Witness. Several groups were also formed including DRUUMM (Diverse Revolutionary UU Multicultural Ministries) and ARE (Allies for Racial Equity) to help all of us come to terms with our diverse and beautiful identities while working for racial justice within and beyond our faith tradition.

As a minister of color, I have found great solace and hope in two specific initiatives promoted and supported by our UUA: Finding Our Way Home (FOWH) gatherings for religious professionals of color and the Intercultural Development Continuum (IDC). I have been attending FOWH gatherings since 2008 and during this short period of time, witnessed the growth in attendance from 40 to 100. I knew it was a good sign for our faith that I didn't already know a third of the religious professionals of color who gathered this year! Each time I get frustrated, discouraged, or downright angry with our movement and the racial microaggressions I experience, I return to this group of caring and supportive religious professionals who hold and nurture me back to health. I can honestly say FOWH has not only saved my ministry, but saved my life time and time again. If you have a minister, musician, religious educator or administrator who identifies as being part of the global majority (person of color), encourage them to attend the next spring 2018 FOWH!

The second initiative took place in 2012 when I was trained by the UU Ministers Association as part of the "Who Are Our Neighbors" collegial conversation. Beth Zemsky and Phyllis Braxton helped me understand Dr. Mitchell Hammer's developmental model of engaging in cross-cultural interactions not in a judgmental or shaming way, but a framework that recognizes both one's authenticity and aspirations. We all have culture, and let's face it, we may not be as enlightened as we think when it comes to understanding other people's cultures and life experiences. This developmental work is a lifelong process. That's why it's called a journey. Indeed, like the rest of the world, most UUs (as in 80+%) minimize differences or set up dynamics of "us versus them". In a way, we're not that different from the polarized political landscape we find ourselves in. The trick is to increase our level of curiosity and acceptance of differences. This work takes not only competency but humility as well. None of us will be perfect going into this. I found that comforting and reassuring.

Do me a favor and take a look at the links above and tell me what you think. We've also gathered Multicultural Transformation and Intercultural Resources for you to check out. If you have additional resources or programs/activities that have worked for you and your congregation, can you shoot me an email as well? Let us know how we can better provide you with the tools you need for this work. As your intercultural competency and humility expert on the Pacific Western Region staff, I look forward to co-creating a truly multicultural UU movement.

Yours in faith,
Jonipher Kūpono Kwong
PWR Congregational Life Staff

April 20, 2017
In this Issue
  • Intercultural Development Continuum
  • District and UU News
  • Job Postings
  • Youth Ministries
PWR Quick Links
PWR Field Staff

Events, Training and Webinars

UUA Faith Development Webinar Series

What's a Religious Educator to Do (in the Summer)?

Whether or not you are "on duty" during the summer, how can you find the growth, nurturance, and inspiration you need to come back refreshed in August? Learn about camps and conferences you may wish to attend for collegiality and learning. Discover other ways to support one another in community and to nourish your spirituality at home, on vacation, or while leading others on a summer faith development journey.

Register online for Tuesday, May 16 at 1 p.m. EST or Wednesday, May 17 at 9 p.m. EST.

Save the Date


Denominational News


PWR Congregations in the News

Local Church Offers Sanctuary to Immigrant Facing Deportation
"Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Northern Nevada is offering a church sanctuary to David Chavez-Macias, a Reno-resident of 30 years who is facing a threat of being deported by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)."
Watch and read more on KTVN

Improving Your Congregation's Image(s)

The church communications consultants (and bloggers) at Church Juice have recently released a fantastic guide to using Canva for church graphic design and communications. Download the PDF. Beyond the specific tips around using Canva, the guide also provides a basic introduction to principles of graphic design like contrast, repetition, alignment and proximity.

Canva is for anyone out there who needs to create church graphics, flyers, social media graphics, and pretty much any other graphic design project. It's easy-to-use, simple, and best of all, free. It's the service recommended by the UUA's Outreach Revolution project that provides social media images that can be used and modified by congregations.

Maintaining consistent, well-designed communications materials can help your congregation in spreading its message both within and beyond the congregation. If you're looking for help on how your congregation uses technology and communications, contact Christopher Wulff, PWR's Communications Specialist, ( for resources and support for websites, graphic design and more.

New PWR Compensation Consultants

The UUA Office of Church Staff Finances recently confirmed three new UUA Compensation Consultants to serve Pacific Western Region congregations. Compensation Consultants are trained volunteers who help congregational leaders understand the UUA Fair Compensation Guidelines and navigate the complexity of ministerial and staff compensation, benefits, and employment agreements.

The consultants are:

  • Brian Rogers ( - Pacific Northwest as well as Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska and Idaho.
  • Debbie Bieber ( - Pacific Central District as well as Colorado and Utah.
  • Martha Ketelle ( - Pacific Southwest as well as New Mexico and El Paso, Texas.

PWR Job Postings




Summer Camps for Youth: QUUest and Spirit QUUest

July 2-8, 2017 in Colorado Springs, CO

QUUest—UU Youth Summer Camp

QUUest is a Unitarian Universalist summer camp immersion experience for youth from rising 9th grade to 12th grade graduates. Campers, counselors and staff will spend time exploring being in relationship with one's self, others, and the wider world. Understanding relationships is necessary for a healthy spirit and for saving our lifeboat Earth. At QUUest, youth learn about community, spirituality, justice, equality, and also have a ton of fun! QUUest Camp is based upon four basic pillars. After attending, the youth will be able to: articulate beliefs grounded in UU theology and values; develop spiritual discipline; engage in social change rooted firmly in faith, love, and trust; build personal and religious resilience.

Spirit QUUest—UU Middle School Youth Summer Camp

If you will be in 6th - 8th grade, this camp is for you! We are committed to providing a meaningful, energizing experience for all youth while honoring individual spirituality. Each camper is treated with respect and kindness and celebrated for his or her individual gifts. Experiential activities create a sense of wonder and pride for the interdependent web of which we are all a part. Camp days are packed with fun activities and infused with UU exploration. We will participate in workshops exploring the many sources from which UUism draws. We will also experience youth and adult-led worships, and take part in crafts, field games, hiking, swimming, and walking the labyrinth.

Goldmine Youth Leadership School

Applications are open! April 30 is the deadline for applications!

Goldmine is a week-long community-building and training space for high school youth interested in leadership, activism, and spiritual growth. Goldmine 2017 will be held July 23-29, 2017 in Golden, CO (just outside Denver) at Jefferson Unitarian Church.

Earth Day: An Alphabet Book

Gary Kowalski, Skinner House, 2009

Children and adults will delight in Earth Day, a poem of gratitude that celebrates life on earth. Plants and animals come alive with Rocco Baviera's bright and imaginative illustrations. In alphabetical order, the wonders of nature leap from the page, reminding readers that every day is a reason to give thanks and that miracles are as simple as ABC. For ages 3 and up.

The Barefoot Book of Earth Tales

Dawn Casey and illustrated by Anne Wilson, Barefoot Books, 2013

Learn how different cultures around the world set out to live in harmony with the natural world in this popular anthology, now in paperback. The seven folk tales are each followed by a hands-on activity that promotes green living and reinforces the eco-messages of the stories. Ages 5-11.


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