Board Development, PWR & UUA News, and more!
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Board Development, PWR & UUA News, and more!
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Pacific Western Region
Newsletter September 30, 2020
Five Reasons Your Board Needs to Register for Board Development
By Rev. Carlton E. Smith
Lead - UUA Pacific Western Region

Goodbye, September 2020. You were a hard and cruel month.

In addition to bringing its devastating wildfires, the non-indictment of Breonna Taylor’s killers, and the death of Ruth Bader Ginsberg, in our Unitarian Universalist world, we also lost beloved leaders Elandria Williams and PWR’s own Judy Clymer Welles. Many of us are reeling from this cascade of painful events on top of the ongoing pandemic, economic insecurity, social turmoil, political corruption and other sources of anxiety that have become the backdrop of our everyday lives this year.

Meanwhile, in our congregations, we gird up our loins to face the challenges that these and macro-level circumstances present. Your Pacific Western Region Congregational Life Staff Team hears your many questions: Where can we turn for disaster relief funds? What are the best ways to contribute to families who have lost their homes? Have other congregations created a job description for a tech-support person? How do we stay in touch with members remotely who seem to be falling away? Who is our primary contact now? Who can help us with a press release in support of Black Lives Matter? What do we do now that we can’t have our big fundraiser the way we usually do? How do we support our people who are grieving? How do we not burnout our ministers and staff, who are working so hard to keep the congregation going?

We hear you, and we are responding as quickly as we can under these extraordinary circumstances. Some replies we can get to you in a matter of minutes or hours, while others might take days or weeks while we gather information and insights we believe will be helpful. And sometimes we offer events that both offer you the best of what we know along with the opportunity to connect with other Unitarian Universalists who are asking or have asked the same questions. Such is the case with our primary leadership event this fall, Board Development: Leading in These Times.

Board Development is our offering to address the issues facing lay leaders as they begin the congregational year. The PWR team designs a series of modules that will help you with the everyday situations you face.

Here for your consideration are five reasons you should register now for Board Development:

  1. It builds resilience and courageous leadership in new and returning board members alike. New energy, insights and areas of expertise come with the addition of (three!) new PWR staff members since the spring. Both newbie board members and veterans will gain from what we will share with you, as the recent arrivals learn the basic ropes of their responsibilities and tenured ones hone their skills.

  2. It will connect your board to other boards across the region. Board Development will be focused on the needs of congregations in the Pacific Western Region. A handful of boards from other congregations will join with you in this learning opportunity, strengthening our covenant to help each other as we offer mutual support.

  3. Board Development becomes a richer part of your board’s capacity over time. After participation in  Board Development, a congregation’s board starts to have a shared language to talk about its dynamics and its processes. When someone says, “Remember when we talked about this during Board Development …?” you will have a common frame of reference as a jumping-off point.

  4. The price-point is right. Because of the faithfulness of congregations just like yours to our UUA’s Annual Program Fund, we are able to offer Board Development at no additional cost to member congregations. You get the best that our PWR staff has to offer on the themes of flexibility, resilience and partnership without having to leave the comfort of your homes and without adding new expenses.

  5. It’s not just one day. In order to accommodate the diverse needs of our lay leaders, Board Development is being offered both as weekend gatherings and as a series of weeknight gatherings. View our offerings and see which one will work best for you and your board colleagues.

As UUA President Rev. Dr. Susan Frederick-Gray reminds us, this is no time for any of us to go it alone. Let’s come together this fall with praise and thanks for what we can do and who we can be as a learning community.

We don’t know what the weeks and months ahead hold for us, but we do know that preparing to lead effectively and being part of a larger community of support makes a difference. Your PWR staff looks forward to seeing you during Board Development: Leading in These Times.
Register now.

In faith,

In this Issue
Five Reasons Your Board Needs to Register for Board Development
Fall Workshops for Boards: Leading in These High-Anxiety Times
Wildfire Response
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 Lead
Carlton Elliott Smith

PWR Field Staff
Summer Albayati
Fall Workshops for Boards: Leading in These High-Anxiety Times
Leading is hard, and when you don't know what will change next it adds to the challenge. This virtual event helps current boards and direct support learn with peers skills and perspective to help them lead in fluid times. PWR primary contacts will work with congregational boards through three sections of content: Flexibility, Resilience, and Partnership, in a single full-day or three evening series. View our offerings and see which one will work best for you and your board colleagues.
Wildfire Response
We on the UUA’s PWR staff are so sorry to hear about the wildfires burning all across our region.We want all of our congregations to know that we are here for you if these fires are taking a toll on you and your communities.

The generous donations of UUs across the country support our Disaster Relief Fund. You are welcome to apply for a grant if your congregation meets the criteria. Checks are distributed weekly.

Additionally, the UU Trauma Ministry offers support for individuals, communities, and caregivers contending with trauma and potential trauma during a disaster.

And if you’re not sure what you need, or you just need some moral support to help you get through this extraordinary time, don’t hesitate to be in touch your Primary Contact.  We are holding you all in our thoughts and prayers
Holiday Planning Brainstorming Conversation for Worship Leaders
Wondering how to handle your congregation's celebration of upcoming holidays this fall and winter? Do you long to brainstorm ideas with creative, invested experts - that is to say, other worship leaders from around the country?

Join this national webinar on October 7th to share your ideas and plans and see what others are doing to connect their congregants to annual traditions in these challenging times. Break out rooms will be organized by size of congregation.

The event is free but registration is required to receive the connection info. Learn more.
Are You Considering In-Person Gatherings?
The UUA’s guidance for congregations during the COVID-19 pandemic includes a list of thoughtful questions for congregational leaders to consider when evaluating the safety of in-person meetings and programs, indoors and outdoors. See the second half of our webpage, UUA Guidance on Gathering In-Person When COVID-19 Subsides. Your congregation’s primary contact on PWR UUA staff can also help your leaders figure out how to make these difficult decisions in this challenging time.
Retooling for New Realities
This is a time of expansive change. Our faith communities are experimenting and collaborating as never before. How might we bring more intention to what congregations are already doing?

Retooling for New Realities is an opportunity for your congregation to become thought partners with other UU congregations in cohorts organized (as much as possible) by size, regional culture and challenges. Experienced lay leaders, working with UUA staff, will facilitate online gatherings for congregational leaders to learn together and share experiences with one another. From experience (General Assembly, Regional Gatherings, Leadership Schools, etc.) we know that when congregations meet with other congregations, they generate a creative interchange of ideas. Find more information on our website. Applications are due October 25th.
Virtual "Guest In Your Pulpit" Directory
Over the past few months, more and more of our congregations have been remembering that they can have guests even if we're worshipping online - and many community-based religious professionals have wanted to be on a list to be considered, especially since we can now lead worship in parts of the country far from us. The UUMA is maintaining a list to make it easier for congregations (minister-led and lay-led) to find speakers.
UU@UN Sixth Principle Award
The Unitarian Universalist Office at the United Nations is excited to announce a new annual award that it will use to recognize congregations that show their support of the UU@UN and their commitment to our Sixth Principle’s “goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all” through their actions and financial giving. Through this award, the UU@UN hopes to form closer ties with congregations throughout the U.S. and Canada who value international engagement and local action on global issues relating to human rights, peace, and climate justice. Find more detailed information about the Sixth Principle Award and how to qualify here and contact with any questions about how your congregation can get more deeply involved.
Save the Date for Regional Assembly 2021: Love Right Through
Please watch this newsletter and the PWR website for more details on our virtual Regional Assembly:

Love Right Through  
Feb 13-14, 2021
A Virtual Regional Gathering
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.
PWR Youth Cons Return!
Youth Cons are back!

All events are open to every high school youth in the Pacific Western Region

Here are the details:
Youth and sponsoring adults (because we need ONE adult for every TEN youth from each congregation to attend) can register for any or all of the following virtual youth conferences:

October 16th and 17th - hosted by MDD
November 20 and 21st - hosted by PSWD

Cost is $35/event  and scholarships are available.

You can expect each event to fall within the hours of 6pm-8pm (Pacific Time) on Friday night and 1pm-8pm on Saturday. While each one may differ slightly, this is the longest time period on each day that each event will occupy. For more information visit our website.

Ordination of Emily Conger
The Unitarian Universalist Church of Boulder & Boulder Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship invite you to attend the Ordination of Emily Conger into Unitarian Universalist ministry.

Saturday, October 3, 2020
1pm PT / 2pm MT / 3pm CT / 4pm ET

Check the website for details about:
- Zoom links
- Collaborative art project
- Religious professional photo processional and robing room
- Ordination service highlights
- Paths to ministry
and more!

MDD Fall Chalice Lighter Call Now Open!
Thank you for your generous commitment to growing our faith by helping other UU Churches in the Mountain Desert District (MDD). The first call for FY21 is to assist the Unitarian Universalist Church of Ogden, Utah with an accessibility building project. Visit the MDD website to read the call letter and make a donation.
Weekly HS Youth Gatherings with First Unitarian San Jose
Dearly Loved Colleagues,

I'm First Unitarian's Director of Faith Formation, mx. jo mosher (they/them), and I am inviting any and all of the high school youth in your congregations to join ours for our weekly Youth Group Zoom gatherings: Sunday afternoons at 3:00 p.m. Pacific!

Are you experiencing low turnout in your Youth Groups? We are, and I've heard from many of my own colleagues that their youth participation in these pandemic times has dropped--maybe because they're experiencing just too much Zoom over the course of the week? We can speculate--and we can also band together to build something that fits this moment.

The calls are structured like this:
- opening music of group's choice, or music video, or short meditation
- check-ins on the state of our minds and spirits/hearts
- topic discussion or guest speaker for about 15 minutes
- another shared song, music video, or short meditation
- jackbox games or some other game platform until folx want to leave

I have begun slowly bringing in awesome special guests to talk with our Youth Group. These guests are other young adults, mostly, whose work and identities bring energy, expansiveness, and fresh vision. Our talks focus on inspiration, worldview exploration, and self-care - especially amid COVID.

We've got great Safety procedures in place for the calls, and collect emergency contact information from attendees. I would love to talk via phone / Zoom first with someone from each of the congregations who may want to send some youth over, if possible, as well - but not required. Email is also a blessing!

Want to collaborate and give our youth great ways to connect, without having to build something from scratch on your own? Please do get in touch with me at

With Blessings For Your Day,
PCD Fall Chalice Lighter Call Now Open!
The Fall 2020 Pacific Central Chalice Lighter call is designed to help congregations further their virtual communications during this unprecedented time of social distancing when we cannot join together in person at our physical churches. Church is not a building even though that is where we meet, when we can. To quote the UUA website “The Church is open. It is the building that is closed.” Visit the PCD website to read the call letter and make a donation.
PNWD Fall Chalice Lighter Call Now Open!
The 2020-2021 Fall Call will help support PNWD congregations who are struggling to stay afloat in the wake of the coronavirus tidal wave. On top of restrictions on meeting for worship and the challenges of pastoral care, many congregations are struggling to meet staff payrolls and mortgage payments. We PNWD Chalice Lighters can help alleviate this need. We want to ensure that our congregations retain key staff and emerge from “Stay Home, Stay Safe” restrictions able to continue the faith and justice work so sorely needed in our communities. Visit the PNWD website to read the call letter and make a donation. If your congregation is interesting in applying or a grant, click here. We will accept applications until the call closes on October 31, 2020.
Paying the Rent by Dick Eiden
Southern California UU Dick Eiden has written a memoir about his life as a peace and social justice activist and lawyer for “draft dodgers”, immigrants, police misconduct victims, and protesters charged with crimes. His “adventures of a left coast activist” began in 1965, in a junior college philosophy class, and he has been part of “the movement” since then. Although he demonstrated against the war with UU’s in Santa Barbara in 1967, attended some UU events and services over the years, and spoke at UU social justice meetings, he didn’t join a congregation until Palomar UU Fellowship in 1996 in Vista, California, and has been an active member since then, serving on committees, the executive board, and attending seven General Assemblies.

Most of Dick’s “adventures” took place in Los Angeles, but he also helped start a radical legal collective in Santa Barbara with nine other activists in 1971-3, traveled and camped in a car caravan with Vietnam Vets Against the War for two weeks to protest the 1972 Republican convention in Miami, spent much of 1973 working with the American Indian Movement in South Dakota (Wounded Knee) and Oklahoma, traveled to Iran twice in the late 70's on behalf of the Iranian Student Association, spent four nonstop months in Tulsa, OK defending El Salvadoran political refugees from deportation and federal criminal charges in the ‘80's, ran for Congress as an independent progressive in 2012 (CA49), and more. In addition to his adventures, the book contains some history of the student movement in the early Sixties, VVAW, AIM, post-revolution Iraq, and the conflicting views of the Vietnam War, civil rights, protests, marijuana, long hair - even rock & roll!

Dick Eiden’s book is called Paying the Rent, after a quote by Alice Walker - “Activism is the rent I pay for living on the planet.”  Available on Amazon, Powells, and Barnes & Noble.
PSWD Fall Chalice Lighter Call Now Open!
The Fall call for the 2020-2021 church year will benefit Unitarian Universalists San Luis Obispo in San Luis Obispo, California to help them hire a Congregational Life Coordinator. Visit the PSWD website to read the call letter and make a donation.
InSpirit UU Book and Gift Shop
Virtual Sharing Guidelines
As many congregations and communities are looking to develop virtual services and programs we’ve gotten questions about permission and use of Skinner House Books and other UUA Publications. We’ve created two helpful guides to refer to:

  • If you’re wondering what UUA publications you can use when streaming or posting recordings of your worship service, check out this resource.

  • If you have publications or other materials from the UUA or Skinner House books that you want to use for online faith development such as religious education or small group ministry, check out these guidelines.

Looking to purchase from inSpirit: The UU Book and Gift Shop? You can place orders online, email or call 1-800-215-9076. Thank you for your continued support!

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