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What is Shifting in You?, PWR & UUA News, and more!
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Pacific Western Region
Newsletter March 13, 2020
What is Shifting in You: From "Defensiveness" to "Curiosity"
By Rev. Tandi Rogers

I have a middle school son who is very into Dungeons and Dragons. Last Saturday he invited me into this world. We created a character. I’m a wood elf named Lulu. When he asked what I wanted my super power to be I told him that I wanted the sound of my laughter to cause the defensive mechanisms of all those around me to suddenly be disengaged. He stared at me for a moment and then hand on hip, “really, Mom?”

I wish that were my real super power and in a way, I think I’m on the path. I am kind of the manatee of human beings. I don’t really get defensive. I tell people, “if you’re trying to offend me, please bluntly tell me, because I will probably miss it.” A close friend asked me to deeply reflect why that is. I think the key is this: I care about the “us” more than the “me.” And I’m almost obsessively curious.

Maybe I wasn’t always like that. Maybe it’s from hanging out in youth-centered spaces all these years. I remember in one intense conference planning meeting there was something on the agenda that got people’s feeling stirred up. A youth leader asked another youth leader something that could be construed as a slight. I started to feel defensive on behalf of the apparently insulted youth and before I could step in as an adult holding the space, the youth stuck three fingers out from their face and looked at the leader running the meeting. The procedural leader acknowledged this youth with the three fingers fanning out from her cheek who then asked a series of questions back to the other youth. They weren’t terse or tense, they were clarifying. The intensity of the moment evaporated. What is this magic? Turns out the three fingers were the whiskers of a “Clarifying Question of a Curious Cat” or shorthand for “may I meet the intensity of this moment with curiosity instead of defensiveness?” I find youth spaces full of these shorthand ways to bring people back into covenant.

And when I am out in the rest of the world and have those moments of defensiveness (because I am human) and need extra inspiration to be my better self, I think of the Curious Cat and turn to curiosity.

Here are some resources to help you explore a shift from defensiveness to curiosity.
In this Issue
What is Shifting in You?
Pastoral Response for COVID-19
A Note on Events
PWR & UUA News
Youth News
MDD News
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
Pastoral Response for COVID-19
Dear congregational leaders in the Pacific Western Region,

As we move forward into this anxious period of time contending with COVID-19, how we do what we do will make all the difference. Just yesterday, our UUA President issued clear guidance so that we can protect the most vulnerable in our communities, making the strong recommendation that congregations avoid gatherings of more than 25 people, including worship and religious education for the time being. In your community, health authorities may be making an even stronger recommendation. We urge you to follow local recommendations take them even further, erring on the side of caution.

As you try to adapt to the constantly changing situation and keep your people safe, we know it’s hard. Please take time to show one another compassion, including your ministers and staff. Try to take time to listen to one another with kindness and understanding. Take time to share how you feel, and hold one another with care.

We care about the health and wellbeing of each of you, your congregations and the communities your congregations serve. Like you, we are engaged in decisions about canceling in-person events and looking for alternative ways to gather and sustain community. Our team has been working closely with congregations in and near Seattle, who last week were asked by King County authorities not to gather in groups larger than 10. The creativity, flexibility, and resilience they showed between that announcement (Thursday) and their planned worship services (Sunday) gives us enormous hope.

We want to connect you with brand-new UUA resources for worshipping, caring, and connecting in a time of pandemic. We also invite you to sign up for our second webinar on COVID-19 and congregational readiness.

Even as we all work to halt the spread of the pandemic, we can stay connected. We too will miss the richness of face-to-face community building. We are grateful for the ways we are all working together to protect the most vulnerable in our communities. We are our siblings’ keepers.

We will continue to send you updates and resources as the crisis of COVID-19 unfolds. And please keep us posted, too. We are your staff. Please let us know how we can be helpful.

With faith, hope, and love,

Your PWR Staff Team
A Note on Events
Events listed in this newsletter and on our website are assumed to be proceeding as planned, and with the quickly changing situation we are also assessing each in turn. We will keep registrants informed as decisions are made. Thank you for your patience.
7 Ways to #UUtheVote from Home
Right now feels pretty intense.

The COVID-19 global pandemic has many of us stressed and scared; we might be feeling overwhelmed or helpless with uncertainty. While many of us are being asked to work from home and many more do not have that option, we can stay connected to each other as well as with our UU the Vote community.

In the words of UUA executive vice president Carey McDonald, “This is a time when we need more ministry and connection with each other, not less. It just may need to take a different form.”

We hope we can offer some connection and ministry to you.

Spiritual Sustenance Twice per Month
UU the Vote now offers twice monthly spiritual nourishment circles on the first Wednesday and the third Monday of each month. These groups offer space share stories from organizing and justice work, reflect, bear witness, amplify joy, and lessen the sorrows. Find the Spiritual Sustenance Schedule and RSVP.

How to #UUtheVote without leaving the house
We looked at our 50+ Ways to UU the Vote and suggest:
  1. Visit Vote Forward to send letters to unlikely or unregistered voters.
  2. Go to Reclaim Our Vote to make calls to voters who were purged from the rolls.
  3. Consider small group meetings instead of large gathering or gather online using zoom, google hangout, or slack.
  4. Set a date for your congregation to watch Suppressed: The Fight to Vote by Brave New Films or the movie Rigged: The Voter Suppression Playbook (available on some streaming services, including Amazon Prime) from each individuals home then hold a group conference call to debrief together.
  5. Call your legislator to advocate for paid sick leave and relief for affected workers—not a bail out for the fossil fuel industry. Call (202) 224-3121 to be connected.
  6. Spend the time to brainstorm who in your life to engage in values conversations with. Start making those calls and texts. See page 27 in our launch guide.
  7. Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper with your opinion of how the pandemic is being handled and what you would like to see our elected leaders do.

Find our full message here.
Save the Date-Regional Assembly 2021!
Pacific Western Regional Assembly
February 12-14, 2021

Hotel reservations will open soon! Keep an eye on the newsletter and our website for details.
Chalice Lighter Spring Calls Now Open!
The Chalice Lighter Calls for Spring 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
GA 2020: Early Registration Discount Ends March 15!

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.

For more information about registration and housing options, visit the GA website.
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.
Important Update on PWR Youth Events
Dear Pacific Western Region Participants,

We write with an unfortunate update. Due to the threat that COVID-19 poses to susceptible members of our UU families and communities, we will be canceling or postponing all regional events for March into April, a full list of affected events is below.

Parts of our Pacific Western Region are locally dealing with impacts now. At least one public health department in our region has begun advising to avoid bringing large groups of people together and consider postponing events and gatherings. We expect that more of our region will be under public health recommendations before these event dates arrive, so we are acting early. There is risk of exposure before and during our events, as well as transmission after, and the impacts are greater than the average flu.

Our events bring together people from multiple congregations and each includes large metropolitan areas with confirmed cases; while any one of us may not be high risk, each of our communities include those who are. We have the power to slow the spread of this virus by not gathering, so we are doing what we can. We understand that this is a cautious approach and our 1st & 7th principles call us to take care of each other; this is what we can do, and how we feel called to live our faith.

If you were planning to attend an event in March or April, it is cancelled/postponed. Specific details for each event will be posted online shortly, and sent directly to any current registrant and local relevant chapters for religious professionals. Our staff is working on this now. Planning teams will iron out details in the coming weeks. If you are interested in this information and not yet registered, please complete an interest form.

This includes the cancellation of:
PCD Spring Retreat
MDD Spring Con
PNWD Spring Con
PSWD Spring Youth Con
PCD Coming of Age Nature Vigil & postponing Our Whole Lives in Spokane

We bring this news with a heavy, heavy heart and in Faith,

Amanda Radak, Events Coordinator                     Eric Bliss, Youth Ministry Specialist

Connie Goodbread, Acting Regional Lead            and your Pacific Western Region Staff
Metamorphosis Youth Leadership Camp
July 26-31, 2020, with staff arriving July 26th.   
Location: First Unitarian Portland, OR.

Registration now live!

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
  • 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

  • Camp Blue Boat - Aug 16 - 21.  Ellensburg, WA


Camps (More info here)
  • 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. Register here!

  • 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 District Assembly 2020 Cancelled
Unfortunately, due to public health concerns the MDD board has made the difficult decision to cancel our in-person District Assembly. Please look for announcements in this newsletter and on our website regarding any future virtual meetings.
Faithify Campaign: One New Mexico Gospel Choir
In collaboration with New Mexico Black History Organizing Committee, First Unitarian Church of Albuquerque applied for and received a grant from the UU Fund for Social Responsibility, to support this year’s production of the One New Mexico Gospel Choir concert featuring guest artist Kelontae Gavin. The concert draws singers from over a dozen churches in Albuquerque, including several predominantly Black churches. All leaders in the project are African American musicians with deep grounding in historical and contemporary gospel music. The goal is to come together as a community and forge ongoing relationships, through the power of Black gospel music. For white musicians who participate, it is an opportunity to learn about and honor the history of Black gospel music. The project culminates in a free concert that attracts an audience from all over the city, part of Albuquerque’s Black History Month Festival. Our grant and matching grant money will cover concert expenses, for example: hall rental, band musicians, fee and travel expenses for our guest artist. Visit the Faithify site to learn more and to contribute.
WUULF Gathering
WUULF (Western Unitarian Universalist Life Festival) is a week-long camp for Unitarian-Universalists from June 15th-June 21st, 2020 in Ghost Ranch, New Mexico. We are a loving community from a diverse set of age groups, backgrounds, and cultures who gather in New Mexico each year to express our appreciation for each other and our world. For more information and to register, please visit our website.
PCD LREDA Renaissance Module Offered
The Pacific Central District Chapter of the Liberal Religious Educators Association (PCD-LREDA) is hosting a Renaissance Module.

We will be offering the Multicultural Religious Education module. The goal of this module is to help prepare participants for meaningful participation in a diverse world. The module addresses the following:
  • The goals of multicultural religious education
  • The four approaches to implementing the multicultural education process
  • Awareness of issues involved in cultural appropriation
  • Promoting social structural equality and cultural pluralism
  • Seeing oppressions as linked, not independent or idiosyncratic
  • Exploration of issues of privilege and power
  • Factors in creating a climate that invites, honors, and celebrates diversity

The module will be held at St. Dorothy's Rest amongst the northern California Redwoods in Camp Meeker, California.

The module will be held May 5-7. Please plan on arriving between 5 and 6 pm on Tuesday, May 5, and finishing at 3 pm on Thursday, May 7.

How do I register?
Please register online.

How much will it cost?
Double occupancy = $450, single occupancy = $550.  Cost includes staying Tuesday and Wednesday nights and meals: Tuesday dinner; Wednesday breakfast, lunch, and dinner; and Thursday breakfast and lunch.

What is a Renaissance Module?
In short, Renaissance Modules are professional development for religious educators.  For more information on Renaissance Modules, go to the Renaissance Program website.

More questions?
Email, text (650-888-6067), or call (same) Derby Davidson.
Save the Date: PCD Annual Meeting 2020
The Pacific Central District will hold its annual meeting on Saturday, May 16th, 2020. Once again, the meeting will be held virtually to minimize costs and our carbon footprint. More details coming soon. Look for future announcements in this newsletter and on our website.
PCD Winter Chalice Lighter Call Now 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
PNWD Annual Meeting Postponed
Pacific NW District leaders have decided to postpone the virtual Annual Meeting scheduled for March 28th. Too many people who were to play a role are being pulled away to deal with other urgent matters. We will reschedule the meeting in the near future and let you know in time to register.
Susan Howlett, PNWD Board President
PNWD Chalice Lighters Spring Call Now 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

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 Thank you for your generosity!

Sincerely yours,
David P. Cauffman, PNWD Chalice Lighter program coordinator
WhaleCoast Alaska UU Fundraising Tour
Have you ever wanted to visit Alaska? If so, WhaleCoast Alaska 2020 is for you! 4 Alaska UU congregations invite you to experience our unique environmental and spiritual program this summer. See Alaska through the eyes of local UUs, with friendly homestays and unique tour activities. See wildlife, including moose, bears, caribou, whales, bald eagles, sea lions, etc. Visit Denali National Park. Experience Native Alaskan culture. Our program is truly the best way to visit Alaska! Tours led by Dave Frey, member of the Fairbanks UU congregation and Alaska travel expert. Find out more about this Alaskan trip of a lifetime. For complete info go to our website, email or call 907-322-4966. Discount for groups of 8 or more. We would love to share our Alaska with you!
PSW District Assembly Cancelled
In light of the fast-moving coronavirus epidemic, the 2020 Pacific Southwest District Assembly, scheduled April 24-26 at Unitarian Universalists San Luis Obispo, has been cancelled.

The PSWD Board of Trustees made the decision March 11 to cancel the event, believing the health and welfare of the PSWD community is its highest priority.

The PSWD Annual Business Meeting will take place online that Saturday, April 25 at 10 a.m. PT. The meeting will be held on the free conferencing platform, Zoom. Annual Business meetings are always free to attend. Instructions & meeting access will be provided in registration and delegate confirmation.    

Prior registrants will receive personal emails regarding refund & transfer. Delegate Certification instructions will be sent to congregations this week.

If you have further questions concerning the DA cancellation, please contact PSWD Board President Michael Hart at
Camp De Benneville Pines Annual Meeting
Camp de Benneville Pines is a Unitarian Universalist retreat center on a 16-acre campus in a tall tree forest at an elevation of 6700 feet. It is owned by the UU congregations that make up the Pacific Southwest District (PSWD). With the cancellation of District Assembly, Camp de Benneville Pines (de Benneville) will hold its annual meeting immediately following the PSWD annual meeting online via Zoom. Both deBenneville and PSWD use the same registration and delegate certification process. DeBenneville has many initiatives including staying in harmony with our strategic plan, to modernize, and to coordinate with outside entities such as the United States Forest Service. You are encouraged to attend, represent your congregation, and nurture the sustainability of Camp de Benneville Pines.
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

In faith,

Michael Hart
PSWD Board President
InSpirit UU Book and Gift Shop
Women’s History Month Reads Suggested by inSpirit
A Black Women's History of the United States—In the latest entry of Beacon’s ReVisioning History series, renowned authors and historians Daina Ramey Berry and Kali Nicole Gross offer an examination and celebration of Black womanhood, beginning with the first African women who arrived in what became the United States to African American women of today.

Modern HERstory—An inspiring and radical celebration of women, girls, and gender nonbinary people who have changed— and are still changing—the world, from the Civil Rights Movement and Stonewall riots through Black Lives Matter and beyond. Written by Blair Imani and illustrated by Monique Le.

No Stopping Us Now: The Adventures of Older Women in American History—In her lively social history of American women and aging, acclaimed New York Times columnist Gail Collins illustrates the ways in which age is an arbitrary concept that has swung back and forth over the centuries.