What is Shifting in You, PWR & UUA News, and more!
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What is Shifting in You?, PWR & UUA News, and more!
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Pacific Western Region
Newsletter November 14, 2019
What is Shifting in You: From "Fear" to "Faith"
By Rev. Sarah Gibb Millspaugh

What would Unitarian Universalism be like if we lived from our faith more than we lived from our fears? And when I say "we," I mean each of us, and each of our UU institutions. What would we be like if our minds, our hearts, our spirits shifted from fear to faith?

This is an open question that we on Pacific Western Region staff are asking of ourselves and our congregations. It’s one of the seven shifts that we are fostering in Unitarian Universalism.

First, let’s talk about fear. We are living in a country where our fears are stoked daily. And our UU institutions are feeling this fear too. When we are fearful, we think more narrowly. We are deeply sensitive to the possibility of threat, and highly alert to any possibility of loss. Conflicts become all-or-nothing, we dig in our heels. Changes—even positive ones like congregations growing or becoming more multiculturally inclusive—feel unwelcome and anxiety-provoking.

How do we move into a place of faith? First, I need to clear some things up about the word. Here, I’m talking about the faith we can have in one another as people, and the sense of faith that grounds our spirituality.

Spiritual faith is not the same as spiritual certainty. The kind of faith I’m talking about is not the same as "belief in improbable supernatural things" or a belief that "everything works out for the best." The kind of faith I’m talking about is borne out of our own deepest experiences, as Buddhist teacher Sharon Salzberg writes.

Our personal and congregational faith comes from our truest experiences, our deepest selves, and our interdependence with all. When we live from our faith we "trust our own deepest experience" and place our hearts there, even though we may still feel fear. Faith gives us courage, binding us to our heart’s truth, helping us move forward with creativity and hope.

I wonder what our congregations could be like if we followed this principle, from Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism’s Working Agreements:

Hope before fear: We put hope, desire, and longing at the center of our thinking and work, instead of (and before) working out of fear. This means, when in doubt, we are on the side of trusting each other (as leaders) and building trust with the other people we work with.

What if we operated from faith, more than fear? Like BLUU’s Working Agreements, the resources below can be aides on your journey. From sermons to podcasts, books to spiritual practices, you have many ways to join us on this deeply meaningful journey. As people and as congregations, may we be guided by our deepest experience. May we place our hearts there. May we live with faith, and dedicate ourselves in the service of love and life.

Check out the PWR blog for resources (including podcasts, articles, sermons, music, and more!) to help open up your imagination as to what could be possible as we shift from faith to fear.

In this Issue
What is Shifting in You?
PWR & UUA News
OWL News
Healthy Congregations
PCD News
InSpirit Update

PWR Links
Calendar and Events
Staff Contacts
Job Postings
Youth Ministries

RE Trainings

PWR Field Staff
Eric Bliss
Sarah Gibb Millspaugh
Jonipher Kūpono Kwong
Tandi Rogers
Sarah Schurr
Leadership Experience 2020
Last Chance to Join Us for Leadership Experience!

The deadline is December 1 to register for this year's Leadership Experience. Join learning groups meeting for a weekend (one of the last three weekends of January) in four states (Washington, California, Arizona, and Colorado) to work on leadership skills and ways of being, meet other UU leaders, and learn more about congregations (all groups, actually!) and how they tick. The curriculum also includes pre-work and 6 conference calls through the winter and spring with your group. Intrigued? There's
more information here!
UUA Disaster Relief-California Wildfires
The fires in California are ever-present in the news these days. The Getty Fire near Los Angeles and the Kincade Fire near Santa Rosa have forced the evacuation of thousands of people. Additionally, the power blackouts increase the stress and anxiety in these communities as well as making it more difficult to reach those who may be vulnerable. It is a difficult situation. We have a number of UU congregations with members in evacuation zones or who are waiting for possible evacuation orders.

If you are in a fire-impacted community, please know that we in the PWR staff are here for you. Congregation leaders, please reach out to your primary contact. We can help connect your congregation with trauma response chaplains as well as disaster relief funds if you need them. We care.

Unitarian Universalists all over the country send our thoughts and prayers to those impacted by the fires. If you are not in a fire-impacted community and you want to offer some further help and support, one option is to contribute to the UUA Disaster Relief Fund. This is a fund that helps UU congregation impacted by fires, hurricanes, and other disasters. Click here to donate and learn more about the Disaster Relief Fund.
Save the Date-Regional Assembly 2021!
Pacific Western Regional Assembly
February 12-14, 2021

Your regional staff knows food is important and so does the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay San Diego. With a network of farm-to-table suppliers, the Hyatt Dining Services provides responsible, sustainable meals year-round.  Our four-meal menu will be set by the season, and we’ll eat what is fresh and local. Green practices are the norm in dining services and around the venue.

You can learn more about the Hyatt's chefs, suppliers, and menu styles.

Come share a meal and a weekend together at Regional Assembly February 12-14, 2021!
Chalice Lighter Winter Calls Now Open!
The Chalice Lighter Calls for Winter 2019-2020 are now open! Check your district's website for details.

Chalice Lighters allows individual Unitarian Universalists to make small financial contributions to help other Unitarian Universalist congregations in their district with projects, often capital improvements, they otherwise might not be able to afford. There are now nearly 3,000 individual Chalice Lighters in the Pacific Western Region.

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:

·       or
General Assembly 2020: Registration Now Open!

Registration is now open for General Assembly 2020! General Assembly is the annual gathering of Unitarian Universalists, where we conduct business of the Association, explore the theological underpinnings of our faith, and lean fully into our mission and principles. Please join us Wednesday, June 24 through Sunday, June 28, 2020 in Providence, Rhode Island for this 5-day immersive experience where we participate in inspirational worship services and informative workshops, reconvene with friends and colleagues, and explore our bustling exhibit hall. GA is an unforgettable experience for the thousands of UUs who attend. Meet us in Providence and you’ll leave with renewed energy and innovative ideas to share with your congregation and community-at-large!

The theme for General Assembly in June 2020 is Rooted, Inspired, & Ready! We are in touch with our theological roots, we are engaged in transforming our faith, and we are fired up to take action in the wider world.

NEW! Registration Payment Plan: With a $50 down-payment, the cost of registration can be paid over the course several months. Final payment must be received by February 29, 2020. When the final registation is complete, special consideration for dormitory lodging bundles, financial aid and volunteer opportunities will become available.

For more information about registration, housing options, and submitting program proposals, visit the GA website.
Webinar: Myths & Paradigms About Giving
Save the date: January 30, 2020 at 7pm Pacific Time
Kay Crider and Rachel Maxwell of Stewardship for Us will be hosted by Rev. Tandi Rogers in a presentation and Q&A about giving, including how Joy plays into generosity and ways to break the taboo of talking about money. Registration information available soon.

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.
OWL for Older Adults Comes Out This Month!
Our Whole Lives: Sexuality Education for Older Adults is a brand-new component of the lifespan sexuality education series published by the UUA and the United Church of Christ since 2000. With a planned release date of November 15th, 2019, Our Whole Lives for Older Adults represents a powerful way to explore our changing senses of self and body, intimacy and identity as we age. Coupled with the religious companion Sexuality and Our Faith, OWL will infuse faith with sexuality in a way that particularly ministers to those above age 55. *If members of your congregation are trained in the other adult levels of OWL, they can participate in a webinar (below) to receive certification in the older adult program.
OWL for Older Adults Training Webinar
Current Young Adult and Adult level OWL facilitators can be "grandparented" into approved status to facilitate OWL for Older Adults by attending a free, one-hour webinar. Attend one of the two live webinars or the recorded version at a later date. Facilitators must submit proof of attendance (clues gathered during the webinar) prior to a change in their approval status. No pre-registration required. Dec. 2, 1-2 pm EST and Dec. 3, 8-9 pm EST. Zoom link here.
Parents and Caregivers as Sexuality Educators
Parents and Caregivers as Sexuality Educators, a new small group ministry program, can spark interest in Our Whole Lives and support adults with youth in OWL. In settings without OWL programs, it can foster important reflection and communication skill-building. The 10-session program invites adults to ask themselves: How can I embody my role as my child’s primary sexuality educator in a way that expresses my UU values and faith? More information here.
OWL Update for Religious Educators
Get the latest news on OWL revisions, policies, resources and trainings at the OWL Update for DREs webinar hosted by UUA OWL Program Manager Melanie Davis. Offered once before being archived for later viewing: Nov. 19, 3 – 4 pm EST. Please submit questions and challenges in advance to Dr. Davis at No pre-registration required. Zoom link here.
Congregational Healthy Congregations Team Learning Circle
3rd Tuesdays @ 7-8:30 pm Pacific
Register here.

This is a monthly learning space for Healthy Congregations Teams (HCT) in congregations.  Our first meeting in October will give an overview and introductions.  After that, each month will feature a different HCT sharing how they work, what they’re proud of and what they struggle with. We as participants will be able to ask clarifying questions.  Each call has agreements as to how we will be together.

You can send one or more people from your team.  You can gather and zoom in all together or separate.  Please register your congregation here.  You will be sent call-in information, which you can disseminate to your team.

Questions? Email Rev. Tandi Rogers or call her at 253-278-4646.
Metamorphosis Youth Leadership Camp
July 26-31, 2020, with staff arriving July 26th.   
Location: First Unitarian Portland, OR.

Deadline for staff application is Monday December 9th, 2019. Apply here.
Student applications available soon!

Metamorphosis Youth Leadership Camp (formerly Goldmine) is a five-day community building and training space for high school youth interested in leadership, activism, and spiritual growth.

In the process of deeply listening, through exploration and learning, students and staff examine Unitarian Universalist Religious History and Values, Worship Skills, Spiritual Practices, Leadership Development, and Counter Oppression, with each lesson purposefully incorporating the lenses of activism, advocacy, and the building of Beloved Community.

All of this takes place alongside the designing one’s individual Credo, which is a statement about one’s own personal operating beliefs, within the context of Unitarian Universalism and the wider world. These are the values, beliefs, and tenets that guide your behavior as a leader within our movement and within other movements that uphold the values of inclusivity, justice, compassion, and radical love.

Questions? Visit our website or contact PWR youth ministry specialist Eric Bliss: - 303-903-3144
Upcoming Youth Events
  • MDD Spring Con - April 3-5. Boulder Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, Lafayette, CO
  • Quuest Camp - July 5-10. Highlands Camp and Retreat Center, Allens Park, CO
  • Spirit Quest Camp - July 12-17. Highlands Camp and Retreat Center, Allens Park, CO

Coming of Age (Registration Link)
  • Justice / Street Retreat - Jan 24-26. Unitarian Universalist Society of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
  • Nature Vigil Retreat - Apr 24-26. Unitarian Universalist Church of Davis, Davis, CA
Youth Retreats
  • Spring Youth Retreat - March 27-29. Mount Diablo UU Church, Walnut Creek, CA
MUUGs (More info here)
  • Winter Retreat - January 17-19. Location TBD
  • Spring Retreat - TBD. Location TBD

  • YES Team Retreat - Jan 18-19. Saltwater Unitarian Universalist Congregation
  • PNWD Spring Con - April 3-5. Camp Cispus, Randle, WA
  • Camp Blue Boat - June / July TBA. Camp N-Sid-Sen, Harrison, ID


  • Fall Con - Nov 15-17. UU Church of Studio City. Studio City, CA.
  • Spring Con - Date TBA. Location TBD
Camps (More info here)
  • Sr. High Winter Camp - Dec 27-Jan 1
  • Winter Elementary/Family Camp - Feb 15-17
  • Summer Elementary Youth Camp - July 5-11
  • Counselor in Training Program - July 5-11
  • Summer Jr. high Youth Camp - July 12-18
  • Summer Sr. high Youth Camp - July 19-25

  • Metamorphosis Youth Leadership Camp - July 27-31. First Unitarian Portland, Portland, OR. Staff Application.

  • General Assembly - June 24 - 28. Providence, RI.
  • Thrive Youth - Dates TBA. Location TBD.
  • Summer Seminary - Dates TBA. Location TBD.
  • International Youth Pilgrimage - July 24 - Aug 2. Gyepes, Transylvania

MDD Board Recruiting Officers
Mountain Desert District (MDD) Board is Recruiting Officers!
Vice President and Secretary beginning in June 2020

The Mountain Desert District Board of the UUA has two upcoming positions open to persons across the district. The MDD is comprised of congregations in Colorado, Utah, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Texas, and New Mexico.

This opportunity is perfectly suited for persons interested in growing their UU identity and connection, helping the district accomplish its mission, and connecting congregations to the larger UU movement. All the positions are volunteer-only, but travel expenses are paid by the district.

General duties and responsibilities:
  • Attends in-person board meetings twice a year – once in conjunction with the annual business meeting and once in an MDD location
  • Participates in monthly online meetings on Zoom platform
  • Assists with 3 - 4 phone calls monthly to congregational leaders to survey them concerning their relationship with district and region and the services they receive
  • Manages the Chalice Lighters program, to include: soliciting grants, reviewing proposals, and awarding funds to congregations needing financial support for special projects
  • Is knowledgeable about MDD by-laws, business meetings, credentialing, budgets, governance, and leadership training
  • Special board need: a person with organizing skills for developing a handbook of board policies and procedures
  • MDD has a letter of agreement with the UUA for Regional Services and works closely with the PWR Lead and the Congregational Life Staff
Vice President:
  • Vice President will become President in 2021 and assume those duties.
  • The President attends the UUA General Assembly.
  • Secretary is responsible for taking minutes of meetings, distributing and posting minutes to board and MDD webpage.
  • Secretary also certifies delegates, quorum requirements, and meeting minutes.

People with disabilities, people of color, Indigenous people, Hispanic/Latinx, and LGBTQ candidates are encouraged to apply. The MDD is committed to developing a diverse and talented board.  Former and current board members and UUA staff are available to assist you in growing into this important leadership role.

Interested persons should contact Judy Bentley for more information by January 2020 at Incoming officers will be voted in at the Annual Business Meeting on May 2 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
UURISE Benefit Concert
UURISE is proud to present Peter Mayer and Emma’s Revolution together in concert. This is the first time the two acts will perform on the same stage.

$40 Concert Ticket

$60 VIP Dessert & Drinks Reception + Concert Ticket (Limited to 100 guests): Sangria and dessert reception with the Artists 6-7pm. Vegan, gluten-free, and beverage options with and without spirit available. Includes choice of concert seats before general admission seating begins.

UURISE (Unitarian Universalist Refugee and Immigrant Services and Education) is advancing justice and human rights for immigrants and refugees. The goal of this fundraising event is to seed a new program which will allow UURISE to offer clients micro-loans for the required government fees. This program will remove a financial barrier that prevents so many from applying for immigration benefits (e.g. citizenship, DACA renewal, sponsoring a family member, etc.) USCIS fees routinely range from $495 (DACA renewal) to $2,085 (Sponsoring a spouse). Many of our clients are able to save up for some, but not all of the fees. This proceeds from this fundraiser will help UURISE seed a new zero-interest microloan program to help eliminate the financial barrier that prevents too many people from moving forward with immigration cases.

UURISE currently partners with a nonprofit organization that provides zero-interest microloans for the full fee of a limited number of immigration applications. Our new program will fill that gap – providing zero-interest loans for all of the types of immigration applications we cover, and allowing partial loans when someone has been able to save some, but not all of the fees.

In the spirit of Emma Goldman’s famous attribution, "If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution," Emma’s Revolution brings their uprising of truth and hope to concerts, festivals, conferences and justice events. The duo consistently delivers performances so powerful, audiences leap to their feet to demand more.

Minnesota's Peter Mayer writes songs for a small planet--songs about interconnectedness and the human journey--songs about life on earth and the mysterious and wondrous fact of our existence. He also writes songs about dress hats, pumpkins and pajamas, and even love and freight trains just like a good folk musician should. His work has been included in song books, church hymnals, and folk radio playlists across the country.

Click here for tickets!
Save the Date: District Assembly 2020
PSW District Assembly 2020: Embracing the Climate of Justice
The Big Deal: 2020 UUA Pacific Southwest District Assembly Keynote Speaker Confirmed
The Dates: April 24-26, 2020
The Place: Unitarian Universalists San Luis Obispo, CA
"Embracing the Climate of Justice" is the theme of the 2020 PSW District Assembly scheduled April 24-26, 2020, at Unitarian Universalists San Luis Obispo, Cal.
The keynote speaker will be Aly Tharp, the program director of the Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth (UUMFE) and leader of the UUA & UUMFE's Create Climate Justice initiative.
Aly Tharp will join UUs from throughout PSWD as we strategize for a future in which our congregations are at the forefront of the fight for climate justice in their communities.
The 2020 PSW District Assembly will be the best opportunity this year for UU congregations to share how they are working for climate justice and learn from one another about how to live out our seventh principle: "Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part."
Detailed information coming early in the new year! Keep an eye on our website for updates.
Unitarian Universalists San Luis Obispo
2201 Lawton Avenue
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Call for Workshops: District Assembly 2020
Call for Workshops!

Proposals for workshops, conference sessions, and other activities are requested for
the Pacific Southwest District Assembly 2020

How do our PSWD congregations and covenanting communities embrace and live out their passion to validate, slow, and reverse the progression of Climate Change?

Come share the programs, activities, and connections your congregation has implemented within your community as leading examples to inspire the rest of us!

Send your completed workshop proposal by January 15th, 2020, to DA planning committee co-chairs:
Maggie Burbank Yenoki: or Michael Hart:

Please note: Presenters will provide their own transportation, DA registration fee, and hotel expenses
InSpirit UU Book and Gift Shop
Announcing the 2019–2020 Common Read!
A Common Read invites participants to read and discuss the same book in a given period of time. It can build community in our congregations and our movement by giving diverse people a shared experience, shared language, and a basis for deep, meaningful conversations. The Common Read Selection Committee is pleased to announce that An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz and An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States for Young People adapted by Jean Mendoza and Debbie Reese are the new Common Read. Both are published by Beacon Press.

In 2020, the United States will approach the 400th anniversary of the much-mythologized encounter at Plymouth between colonists and those native to the land, and our own General Assembly 2020, in Providence, RI, will speak to the truths that contradict the mythology. At the same time, movements in response to global and local environmental emergencies, many involving UUs, are increasingly recognizing the connection between Indigenous rights and climate justice. This Common Read invites UU congregations, communities, and individuals to learn the story of trauma and resilience that is the Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States. Visit InSpirit to find out more about this year's Common Read and stay tuned for the discussion guide.

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