Interdependence: The Promise and the Peril, Regional Assembly Updates, and more...


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PWR Newsletter


Interdependence: The Promise and the Peril

Edwin Friedman wrote that the "twin problems confronting leadership in our society" are a "failure of nerve and the desire for the quick fix."

As new leaders come forward capturing our imagination and as we channel the courage we need, it is wise to think of the second problem ---- the desire for the quick fix.

My beloved colleague, Rev. Sarah Gibb Millspaugh, recently wrote:

"I want to be talking about how to reduce violence in our country. About how to stop teaching our children toxic forms of masculinilty, about how to stop vilifying and dehumanizing one another. I want to be talking about disrupting the systems of oppression, promoting an ethic of caring interrelationship, teaching one another how to calm down and use our words. I want to be talking about how we share our national wealth to ensure that everyone has access to good health care and good schools, not to mention a safe home with clean water and food on the table. I want to talk about stopping gun violence against *all* our children, and all God's children, not just the white and relatively affluent."

Let's use this moment to make what changes we can for the good of all. We can focus on banning AR-15s. Or banning bump stocks. Those things help. But let us not stop there. Let us stay as grounded as we can, never losing sight of the larger vision: the kind of world we owe to our children and we owe to ourselves.

Both the promise and the peril of the interdependent web is that everything we do matters and that nothing is simple. May we have the wisdom and courage to act in ways both large and small, understanding that everything we do matters. And may we have the humility to understand that nothing is quite as simple as we would like it to be. And may we create congregations that nurture our wisdom, courage and humility so that together we may "build the common good and make our own days glad."

Rev. Jan Christian
Pacific Western Region, Congregational Life Staff

March 1, 2018
In this Issue
  • Interdependence: The Promise and the Peril
  • Regional Assembly
  • Events, Training & Webinars
  • District and UU News
  • Job Postings
  • Youth News
PWR Quick Links
PWR Field Staff

Regional Assembly


Register Now!


Exhibitors at Regional Assembly

We will be offering a limited amount of exhibitor space at Regional Assembly. Artisans and craftspeople, professional services, social action groups and educational exhibitors may all appreciate being able to interact with Assembly attendees. The cost to exhibitors is $25 for one 6’ x 30" table.

Learn more about applying to exhibit at RA

Regional Assembly is for the Whole Family!

We have fantastic options for UUs of all ages, with a UU Kids Camp for ages 5-14, a Youth Assembly for ages 14-18, and high-quality childcare for infants to age 4. Families can spend time together, too, sharing the experiences of the opening ceremony, the Sunday morning worship, mealtimes, and more.

District Business Meetings

The District Annual Business Meetings will convene at 4:00 Saturday afternoon, April 28, during the 2018 Pacific Western Regional Assembly. If your congregation wishes to have delegate representation at your district’s annual meeting, please have a minister, board officer or their designee submit the Delegate Certification Form by April 20.

As materials for your district’s meeting become available, they will be posted at the District Business Meetings site.

Right Relations and Chaplaincy Teams

The PWR Regional Assembly will have both Right Relations and Chaplaincy teams to support the gathered community. The members of the Chaplaincy team work to support a vibrant pastoral ministry, caring for the spiritual health of individuals participating in Regional Assembly. The Right Relations team is charged with maintaining right relationship and countering oppressions in the Regional Assembly community.

The PWR is seeking people interested in serving on one of these teams. Position descriptions for each are linked below, as well as the application form.

Chaplain Team DescriptionRight Relations Team Description

Application form (for both positions). Application deadline is April 2.

Facebook Group for Regional Assembly Attendees

One of the common questions that folks ask after submitting their registration for Regional Assembly is, "How do I find someone who might like to rideshare or be my roommate?"

We've set up a Facebook group for Regional Assembly participants who want to share information or try to arrange ride/room sharing. We'll also be posting updates about the programs there as we have them.

Stay a little longer

Members of the Mid-Columbia UU Fellowship (MCUUF) are offering home stays for a few days either before or after RA. Stay in Hood River, with easy access to shops, restaurants, wineries, and brew pubs. Or spend a few nights out in the countryside, with stunning mountain views, abundant wildlife, and starlit nights.

Either way, your friendly UU host will offer you a clean, comfortable bed, breakfast, and lots of expert advice. Cost is $70 single/$80 double sharing a room. We are also happy to accommodate kids. All proceeds will benefit MCUUF.

View the MCUUF flyer [PDF]


Events, Training and Webinars


PWR Webinar: Multicultural Religious Education for Children

Apr. 18, 2018 at 10:00am Pacific
Rev. Dr. Sherri Prud'homme and Laila Ibrahim

You want to create a more inclusive, more multicultural children's program in your congregation, but there's no roadmap. Join educators Rev. Dr. Sheri Prud'homme and Laila Ibrahim for this webinar that helps us know where to start, exploring essential questions like: How do we create culturally-inclusive spaces? How do we bring in cultures other than our own without committing cultural misappropriation? How do we help children develop intercultural competency as they grow up in our faith?

Register for Multicultural Religious Education for Children

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.

  • March 3 at Olympic UU Fellowship (Port Angeles, WA)
  • CANCELLED March 3 at UU Fellowship of Redwood City (Redwood City, CA)
  • March 17 at University Unitarian Church (Seattle, WA)
  • March 18 at Two Rivers UU (Carbondale, CO)
  • April 7 at South Valley UU Society (Cottonwood Heights, UT)
  • April 14 at UU Fellowship of Bozeman (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.

UU Leadership Institute

Online Learning for Committed Lay Leaders and Religious Professionals

Healthy boundaries, communication, conflict navigation, covenant, mission, stewardship, building trust, adapting to change… are these concepts that you would like to bring more intentionally into your daily practice of Unitarian Universalism?

The UU Leadership Institute offers a way there, with online courses designed for Lay Leaders and Religious Professionals to learn and grow in faith together. Team up with a few friends, board members, or colleagues for the learning to have the most impact.

Learn more


PWR and UUA News


PWR Congregations in the News

New LGBTQ group fills a need for Spokane area seniors - The Spokesman Review
Senior citizens identifying as LGBTQ now have a new group to make friends and discuss community issues. A group of a dozen LGBTQ seniors gathered for their inaugural meeting Saturday at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Spokane, where they discussed aging, mentorship, concerns with hospice care, acceptance in the community and common struggles they face in their age group.

Ministers organize event addressing teen suicides - The Daily Sentinel
When Grand Valley religious leaders first gathered with the goal of making a difference in preventing teen suicides, organizers asked what the story was, what people talked about in reference to suicide. "Someone said, the narrative is silence," said the Rev. Wendy Jones of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Grand Valley. "We're not really talking about it."

‘I’m Just More Afraid of Climate Change Than I Am of Prison’ - The New York Times
One by one, they recounted their actions on the morning of Oct. 11. Leonard Higgins, 66, a soft-spoken Unitarian and retired state-government employee from Corvallis, Ore., closed a shut-off valve on the Enbridge Express Pipeline near Coal Banks Landing, Mont.

24 Hours Inside a Church Sanctuary with Woman Facing Deportation - Western Slope Now
More than three months ago a woman from Western Colorado took sanctuary inside a church in Carbondale due to fears of being deported. Now nearly four months later she is still there, still fighting for her freedom. "Very hard for me to always stay inside the house, because that is not a life for me," said Sandra Lopez, the woman facing deportation. Lopez has taken sanctuary inside the Two Rivers Unitarian Universalist church property with her 2-year-old daughter Areli.

Betty Reid Soskin's New Autobiography Captures an Astonishing Life - East Bay Express
In the Freedom Summer of 1964, Soskin (a member of the Mt. Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church), who was then living as a Walnut Creek suburban housewife — who also happened to be a member of the Black Caucus of the Unitarian Universalist Association and a supporter of the Black Panthers — wrote a song about voter registration from which the title of her book comes: Sunday mornin' ain't there/Bombed it Wednesday but ah cain't care/God was down at the Courthouse day/I sign mah name to freedom.

Staffing for Diversity Resources

Jan Gartner, Compensation and Staffing Practices Manager in the UUA's Office of Church Staff Finances, authored a series of articles in Compensation and Staffing News. Jan writes, "As we become more deliberate about making room for people of color in our own place of employment, some of you have asked for guidance about how you might similarly work on increasing the diversity of your staff. This is a multi-faceted topic, and we'll address various pieces of it in this publication over the next few months."

Read the full series on the UUA website's Staffing for Diversity page.

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 about the UU-UNO Spring Seminar.

Monthly Annual Program Fund (APF) Webinar

Do you want to know more about how APF works? Please bring your questions to our monthly APF Webinar, when you’ll get to meet with staff from our Congregational Giving Team and ministers, treasurers and congregational leaders from around the country. Our APF webinars will take place on the second Tuesday of every month.

Dates: March 13, April 10, May 8, and June 12. Each webinar takes place at 2-3pm Pacific, 3-4pm Mountain

Learn more about the webinars.

General Assembly 2018 Poster Session Proposal

The proposal deadline is Thursday, March 15 at 3:00 pm Eastern.
Submit your proposal.

New this year, the General Assembly Planning Committee is inviting congregations, staff, and covenanted communities to consider applying to present a poster on an inspiring story, a best practice or a resource of interest to other GA attendees. This should be freely offered information that will provide covenanted communities with tools they need to do their work.

Sessions will be selected based on how they address equity, inclusion and the GA theme. If chosen, you will need to be present for one 75-minute session where you will be provided one tack board (4 feet by 8 feet) to hang your poster. During this time GA attendees can come by to discuss with you the topic of your poster. Poster session will be scheduled on Thursday 6/21, Friday 6/22 and Saturday 6/23 from noon to 1:15pm in the GA Exhibit Hall.

Meaning Makers

Meaning Makers is a spiritual development program for young adult Unitarian Universalists (UUs) ages 18-24. Through in-person retreats, virtual small group ministry and mentorship, emerging adults explore different aspects of our faith and gain lasting connections.

The program begins with a retreat at UBarU Camp and Retreat Center in Texas where participants bond with their small group and focus on personal and UU identities. Participants then meet with their small group of peers once a month via video conference as they explore one of the three focus areas for the 2018-19 program. These monthly meetings are supplemented by one-on-one meetings with a UU mentor. The next retreat will take place June 5-9, 2018 at UBarU. Though previous programs have lasted a full year, the 2018-19 program will close out in January, creating a shorter, but hopefully sweeter, and more fulfilling program.

Learn more about Meaning Makers and apply before the April 1 deadline.

2018 Stewardship Sermon Award Call for Submissions

Established in 1984, the Stewardship Sermon Award is granted annually in recognition of a sermon that best explores and promotes the financial support of our Unitarian Universalist faith. The $1,000 award is jointly sponsored by the Annual Program Fund (APF), the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association (UUMA) and the Liberal Religious Educators Association (LREDA). The selection is made by a representative committee using a blind process with standardized criteria.

Learn more about 2018 Stewardship Sermon Award submissions.

PWR Job Postings

In Memoriam - Kathryn Alice "Kay" Jorgensen

January 9, 1932 - January 15, 2018

Rev. Dr. Kathryn Alice "Kay" Jorgensen, 86, Unitarian Universalist minister, professional street and theater performance artist, and co-founder of the Faithful Fools Street Ministry in San Francisco, died peacefully after midnight on Monday, January 15, in Berkeley, CA, surrounded by the love of her children.

A memorial service will be held Sunday, March 11, at 3 p.m., at the First Unitarian Universalist Society of San Francisco, where Kay was minister emerita.

Starr King School for the Ministry bestowed her with an honorary Doctorate degree in 2004, noting that her work "affirms that embodied justice and compassion can happen on a daily basis, quietly, personally, emotionally, and with the highest standards of humanity." A full obituary can be found on the Faithful Fools' website.


Pacific Central News


PCD Chalice Lighters

The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Northern Nevada (UUFNN) will be the recipient of your generous donations to the Winter 2018 Pacific Central District Chalice Lighter call to provide a new sound system.

The sound system in their Great Room has outlived its usefulness. The congregation wants and needs to better serve all who would hear their messages and music as well as better serve the hearing impaired. A new sound system would also raise the level of professionalism of their worship, capitalize on the current growth opportunity, and demonstrate the high value they place on inclusiveness.

You can read the full call letter on the PCD website and make your contribution online at the donation page through March 26. Or mail your check, payable to PCD Chalice Lighters to: PCD Chalice Lighters, 7511 Greenwood Avenue North, #414, Seattle, WA 98103-4627. Please write PCD CL on both the memo line of your check and on the payment envelope.

Thank you for your donation!

Our Whole Lives: Young Adults

All workshops start at 2:00pm at First UU San Francisco
1187 Franklin St, San Francisco, CA, 94109

Part of the groundbreaking Our Whole Lives curriculum, OWL:YA helps participants make informed and responsible decisions about their relationships, health and behavior. In OWL:YA workshops, participants will clarify their values, build interpersonal skills and understand the social, emotional and spiritual aspects of their sexuality. Join us at one of our four workshops this spring and develop your relationship skills!

  • March 18 - Communications Workshop
  • March 25 - Love Commitment and Relationships Part 1
  • April 9th - Love Commitment and Relationships Part 2
  • April 29th - Boundary and Boundary Setting.

$10 donation requested, but no one turned away for lack of funds.

Learn more on the event's page on Facebook.

Regional Assembly Funding Support from the PCD Board

All PCD congregations are encouraged to come to Regional Assembly in Portland, Oregon, April 27-29, 2018. To facilitate attendance, the PCD Board voted to provide all PCD congregations attending Regional Assembly a $500 grant to offset the costs of attendance. There are no strings attached. If your PCD congregation needs a grant to attend, send an email to Diane Brinson ( Diane will arrange for a check to be sent to your congregation.

Each congregation can use the money as best suits their needs. Send youth; send staff; or use the money to rent a bus and take a busload to RA. Each congregation should determine which approach best fits with their mission.


Pacific Southwest News


PSWD Chalice Lighters

The Unitarian Universalists of the Santa Clarita Valley (UU of SCV) has matured well since our founding in 2000, but we need to better communicate to the local community our values as Unitarian Universalists and all that we offer.

That’s where your support comes in. We envision hiring a contracted Outreach Consultant who will lead us in planning and launching a comprehensive plan to market and promote UU of SCV to the outside world. Engaging this consultant, even for a limited period, will increase our visitations and enhance our growth. Funding this Chalice Lighters call will greatly help us expand our reach throughout the Santa Clarita Valley, spreading the UU message while building our congregation.

You can read the full call letter on the PSWD website. You can submit your donation online. You may also write a check and mail it to PSWD Chalice Lighters, 7511 Greenwood Avenue North, #414, Seattle, WA 98103-4627. If you send a check, please write PSWD CL in the memo line of your check and on the payment envelope.

Contributions for this call will be accepted through March 12, 2018. Thank you for your generosity!


PWR Youth News


Youth at Regional Assembly!

Regional Assembly (RA) has a Youth Assembly: three days of faith, frivolity, and fun for Unitarian Universalists in grades 9-12 from all over the western United States.

To make this experience affordable, the cost is only $90 per youth. That's $30 off the regular registration price!

The program runs from Friday, April 27 at 5:00 pm until Sunday, April 29 at noon.

Youth are invited to participate in the RA programs with the rest of our community when the Youth Assembly isn't gathered.

PWR RA Youth Assembly's focus is on Making CoUUrageous Connections! Icebreakers, games, community building activities, workshops, identity caucusing, small group ministry (touch groups), and worship will all be featured as youth from across the Pacific Western Region—Kari Gottfried, Elliot Ferrell-Carretey, Byrne Crandell, Zoe Johnston, Tanner Linden, Harriet Wright, and many more—will lead transformative youth ministry experiences in the context of the broader Assembly.

Workshops will be led by members of the YaYA office, the PWR Multicultural Team, PCD MUUG's (middle school) ministry, and others!

Learn more and register!

Thrive Youth West

August 1-5, 2018 • Unitarian Universalist Church of Long Beach, CA

Join other Unitarian Universalist Youth of Color (People of African Descent, Caribbean, Native/American Indian, Asian and Pacific Islander, Latina/o and Hispanic, Middle Eastern/Arab, and Multiracial) for a five-day gathering to deepen our faith, lift our spirits, and build critical skills for leadership in the face of our uncertain, broken and beautiful world. Thrive participants will be guided by experienced co-facilitators as we worship, feast, play, explore our racial and ethnic identities, practice transformative leadership skills, and create authentic, supportive community. Thrive Youth is for any youth of high school age who is in 9th-12th grade during the 2017-2018 school year (or the equivalent for homeschooled). It’s also open to any youth who bridges into young adulthood in the summer of 2018.

Learn more about Thrive Youth and apply before the March 15, 2018 priority deadline.

Justice Trip Postponed

The PWR Multigenerational Justice Trip has been postponed until the summer of 2019 (watch for announcements in the fall of 2018). Start your planning now for a shorter trip to Pasadena, CA on sustainability and permaculture as well as mindfulness centering training for youth, young adults and adults.

#Enough is Enough: What Does It Take?

PNWD Youth Chair, Kari Gottfried (with Evelia Zapien Ramos), authored and shared a reflection on the Parkland, FL shooting and issues of gun control and how young people are standing up, both locally and nationally.

"It was Ash Wednesday, and Valentine’s Day, but that didn’t matter, especially not to those who lost their loves & those who lost their lives.
This is the type of story that falls upon the numbed visage of the American population. We’ve been through this over and over and over again, and the fact that we have become desensitized to these atrocious acts of violence is frightening. School is supposed to be a safe environment; it is not supposed to be a combat field. Yet here we are "shocked" and "surprised" — but why should we be? We are not shocked, we can’t be shocked, that yet another school shooting has taken place."

Read the full text of the article.

PCD Spring Youth Retreat - Santa Rosa, CA

This event has been cancelled.

PNWD Youth ProUUd Con

This Spring's Pacific Northwest Youth Con theme is ProUUd. Over the course of the weekend we will be exploring ways to strengthen our own personalized connection to Unitarian Universalism, going deeper on what being a Unitarian Universalist really means, celebrating our pride in our faith and con community and looking at ways to take the empowerment we find here out into our wider communities.

March 23-25, 2018 - Camp Cispus, Randle WA

Find more information and register

Upcoming Youth Events

Invisible - How Young Women with Serious Health Issues Navigate Work, Relationships, and the Pressure to Seem Just Fine

Michele Lent Hirsch, Beacon Press, 2018

An exploration of women navigating serious health issues at an age where they're expected to be healthy, dating, having careers and children.

We Are All Fast Food Workers Now - The Global Uprising Against Poverty Wages

Annelise Orleck, Beacon Press, 2018

The story of low-wage workers rising up around the world to demand respect and a living wage.