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A Time to Love, Transitions Team Update, PWR & UUA News, and more!
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Pacific Western Region
Newsletter February 2023
A Time to Love
Rev. Carlton E. Smith
Regional Lead

I officially arrived in Berkeley for the Northern California part of my itinerancy through the Pacific Western Region on January 12. After seven weeks on the road, I was glad to settle into my hometown for the next five months. I felt the rain and the chill in the air as I ran my errands those first few days, while California was in the last days of the torrential rains that brought so much damage to communities up and down the state.

Now, in the waning days of the month, we’ve seen a terrible wave of mass shootings in the state and beyond. At the dance studio in Monterey Park. On two farms near Half Moon Bay. At a gas station in Oakland. At a convenience store in Yakima, Washington. As I write on January 28, we’ve just gotten word of another incident in Los Angeles, where three were killed and four wounded in a residential neighborhood.

Meanwhile, in Memphis, body cam and surveillance videos have been released of the fatal beating of Tyre Nichols by five police officers. People are protesting the senseless brutality across the nation.

The sickness behind the parade of heinous crimes clamoring for our attention these past few days defies reduction to one simple hatred or another. As a nation, we are disturbed, and violent reactions to the violence we abhor will only compound our spiritual malaise.

The troubles we observe now are the harvest from seeds of destruction planted long, long ago. There will be no quick fix and no easy way to break these cycles of violence.

It’s February – the month we reflect on love and on the contributions of Black people to the United States and to the world. We do so with a heightened awareness of the criminally-loveless people that we might pass by on the street or in the drugstore aisle. We do so with the reminder from Memphis that Black Lives still don’t matter enough.

Our salvation will be found in reflection, in prayer, and in communities of love, care, and understanding. Our salvation will be found in communities that Side With Love to translate love into power: power to change our nation’s policies, power to change our culture toward love.

Unitarian Universalists have been holding candles and linking arms and marching for Black lives. Your PWR staff have reached out to congregations in the impact of the floods and the shootings (If you have been impacted in a way we aren’t aware of, please let us know at Some congregations affected by the storms have applied for and received support from our UUA’s Disaster Relief Fund. To generously contribute to it would be one tangible thing we can all do that would make a difference for love.

As Unitarian Universalists in the Pacific Western Region, this is a particularly good time to contemplate the centrality of love in the revisions of Article II of our UUA Bylaws, as proposed by the Article II Study Commission. In their new articulation of how we understand ourselves as people bound together by covenantal relationships, love is the core value from which our other values flow: Justice. Interdependence. Equity. Generosity. Transformation. Pluralism.

May we look to the sacred within us and all around us that is us for courage and strength. And may we do what we can to embody fierce love in a world that needs it so desperately.

In faith,
In this Issue
A Time to Love
Transitions Team Update
A Farewell to Amanda Radak
PWR & UUA News
Youth & Emerging Adult News
Pacific Central News

Mountain Desert News
Pacific Southwest News

InSpirit Update

PWR Links
Calendar and Events
Staff Contacts
Job Postings
Youth Ministries

RE Trainings

PWR Lead
Carlton Elliott Smith

PWR Program Staff
Summer Albayati
Update from the PWR Transitions Team
As I bring my time on the PWR Transitions Team to a close, I can’t help but get contemplative, reflecting on my time with this project.

I started on the Pacific Northwest District Board in the spring of 2019. As we've slowly moved into developing a regional, governing body, it has been remarkable to witness and be a part of the process. I don’t think anyone would say it’s been easy. Individually and as a group, we have been wrestling with questions about purpose and relationship. I don’t know that we’ve answered all of our questions yet, but it has been meaningful to be a part of a team which is moving slowly enough to tease these threads apart and come to shared understanding.

I believe in the work the PWR Transitions Team is doing to build an equitable and meaningful governing body for the region. I am excited to see where this goes and what they create, and I wish them all the blessings of creativity, joy, and community support as they continue this work.

If you are curious about the work of the PWR Transitions Team or are interested in joining the Team, I highly recommend you get in touch with this amazing group of people. You can fill out an introduction form (pdf linked here / Word document linked here) or reach the team by contacting

In joy and faith,
Aria Curtis

Farewell to Amanda Radak
On January 1st, our wonderful PWR Events Coordinator Amanda Radak started a different job with the UUA. If you’ve registered for any of our events, or attended our webinars or regional assemblies, you’ve likely interacted with Amanda. She could always be counted on for wise words, a kind joke, and quick, efficient work.

Amanda began her journey with the UUA as the registrar for the Pacific Northwest District, where she resides, and expanded into serving as registrar for the whole region, then as Events Coordinator for the region.

Amanda has always had a passion and a gift for youth ministry, so it’s a bittersweet feeling that she has followed that calling to become the Events and Communications Coordinator for youth and young adult events nationally inside the Lifespan Faith Engagement team at the UUA. We know she’ll love her new role.

If you wish to send her a note of appreciation for her service out West, we’d encourage you to! She’s at

Leadership Development: Leading from the Heart Registration Now Open!
In this 3-part series for budding and experienced leaders, participating will ground you in your own spiritual soil, acknowledge roots, discern flowers, find abundance, and preserve seeds to keep the harvest going.

Topics will include: UU and ancestral theology, the synergy of passion and mission, living out of conviction

When: March through May, participants will spend about 4 hours a month in a variety of solo work, small group discussion (once per month on group’s time frame) and a full group monthly meeting.

Full Group Sessions: 4th Tuesdays: March 28, April 25 & May 23

3-4:30 pm Mountain / 2-3:30 pm Pacific / 1-2:30 pm Alaska / 12-1:30 pm Hawaii

Who: Lay leaders in different areas of ministry (not limited to board). Congregational teams are encouraged but not required.

Registration will close at noon on March 21.

Fee: $60 per person, sliding scale, sliding scale based on your assessment of your ability to pay

Presidential Forums Coming in 2023
The Presidential Forums are coming in early 2023! You’ll be able to attend in person or online to meet the next presidential nominee(s). Want to know when/where they’ll be held? Check this newsletter for updates.
What Do We Do When Our Conscience Goes to Jail? Virtual Training and Toolkit
Training: Tuesday, February 7 at 4pm - 5:30pm PT /  7pm -  8:30pm ET

For generations, UUs have been jailed for our conscience in resisting systems of oppression. As our tradition becomes more justice-oriented, rates of UU arrests are on the rise. How does our conscience also call us to be there for those whose bodies are on the line? Learn how UUs are building capacity to support and share the load in the face of mass arrest. Find out more about how to organize support for those who are arrested and jailed as a conscientious form of protest. Presenters: Rev. Karen Van Fossan, Antoinette Scully, Rev. Dr. Clyde Grubbs, and friends. Register here. Download toolkit here.

Spring Right Relationship Team Training is Open for Registration!
Creating beloved community requires intention and practice. Our covenants articulate our intention, but how do we live into the practice? Right Relations Teams (RRT) are lay leaders entrusted to help the congregation practice faithful communication and creative conflict based on values of mutuality and consent.  

This UUA-sponsored training is for congregational teams who will be helping their congregations live into their covenants.

In this facilitated version, you will learn with other congregations during the six live practice sessions. The cost of $400/team covers the facilitators and includes a code to access to training materials. Register here.  

Note: The training can also be taken on your own ($30/person). There are instructions for you to facilitate your own practice sessions.

February Religious Educator Meet and Eat
We are inviting religious education professionals, from across the country, to virtually join members of the UUA’s Faith Development Co-Lab on Tuesday, Feb. 21st from 12:00 p.m.-1:30 p.m. EST.

The meet and eat gathering for religious educators will be a wonderful opportunity to connect with other DREs. Our conversation topic will be twofold. First, we will explore the importance of community connection with colleagues. Then, we will share what folks are thinking about for Spring/Summer religious education opportunities which focus on service and multigenerational connection. Bring your ideas and questions on Spring/Summer social justice initiatives that welcome children, youth, and adults; Coming of Age experiences for youth, and Summer program ideas! Register here.

New Day Rising 2023: So You're Working on the 8th Principle...
Saturday, February 25th, 12-6 pm ET/11-5 CT/10-4 MT/9-3 PT

So You’re Working on the 8th Principle….

Join this year's New Day Rising event, sponsored by the Central East Region, to learn from neighboring congregations about what path they've taken with their 8th Principle and other antiracism work, and how your congregation might move itself forward. We’ll have worship, a panel discussion on Kickstarting Your Congregation’s Anti-Racism Work, caucusing and workshops based on where your congregation is now. This workshop includes pre-work and resources on the UU Institute.

Registration and details at the CER website. Note: there is a cap of 500 participants for this event.

Coming in February: UUA Legacy Giving Webinar for Congregations
Saturday, February 11, 2023 | 1 pm - 3 pm ET / 10 am - 12 pm PT
The UUA’s Legacy Gifts Office offers a number of services, including an online workshop to assist congregations in creating legacy giving programs. The webinar on Saturday, February 11, 2023 covers the basics of legacy giving and how to set up a legacy giving program in your congregation. We aim to equip congregations with the knowledge they need to start a legacy program. To register for the webinar, email us at or call (617) 948-6509.
Register Now! 2023 Intergenerational Spring Seminar
The Unitarian Universalist Office at the United Nations, UU College of Social Justice, and UU Service Committee are excited to announce that the 2023 Intergenerational Spring Seminar will take place April 1-3, 2023, with the theme "Demilitarization & Abolition: Resist Policing and Empire."

The event will be in-person in Minneapolis, MN, with online participation options.

Registration and Program information here.
Featuring Virtual Keynote: Andrea Ritchie, co-author of "No More Police"

The Intergenerational Spring Seminar aims to instill in Unitarian Universalist youth and adults a commitment to global engagement and the skills to take action locally to address global issues. Through workshops, peer and expert-led panel discussions, community building activities, and worship services, you will undergo a transformative process of learning, reflection, and growth while exploring some of the most challenging issues facing humanity today.

Updates from Faithify
Faithify is a direct funding platform for Unitarian Universalist ministry projects. This includes everything from youth work to justice, service, buildings, staff positions, and emerging ministries. Faithify is full of campaigns funding projects through the direct support of others. Visit the website for a full list of current projects, and view some of the latest projects below to donate:

EqUUal Access Carolyn Cartland Sermon Contest
Since 2016, EqUUal Access has sponsored an annual contest for sermons related to disability.  It is named after Carolyn Cartland, an early president of EqUUal Access.  This annual contest highlights disability-related themes and topics. Entry deadline: May 1. One cash prize of $500. When feasible, the winner may be invited to present their sermon at an EqUUal Access event during UUA General Assembly. Travel costs to GA cannot be supported.

  • The sermon must be an original work on a disability theme or topic
  • The sermon must be preached between May 1, 2022 and April 30, 2023.
  • Entries (sermon text and entry cover information) must be submitted before midnight on May 1st, 2023.
  • This sermon contest is open to all lay or religious professional Unitarian Universalists.

For more information, see Information for Submitting a Sermon.
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.
Less Stuff, More Memories - Give the Gift of Camp!
In the beauty of the great outdoors, youth build community and deepen their connection to Unitarian Universalism through worship, workshops, justice work and plenty of good ol’ fashioned camp fun.

PWR Camps are open to all middle and high school youth (current 5th graders through class of 2023) with age specific cabins and programming. Reserve their spot now with a deposit you can afford (sliding scale) and customize your payment plan to fit your budget. Gift the t(w)een in your life a week they’ll never forget! Learn more and reserve their spot here.

“Camp Blue Boat was the best UU experience of my life!” -Camp Blue Boat 2021 Attendee
“QUUest was the single most important UU experience of my youth, it’s the reason I am who I am today” -QUUest Camp Alum

Young UU Project
Have you heard of YUUP yet? The Young UU Project began in 2020 as a way for young UUs to keep in touch with each other and their faith during the pandemic, and is held by Lifespan Faith Engagement. The purpose of YUUP is to be a national community care network and multi-directional communication channel that centers BIPOC, trans/non-binary and neurodivergent youth and offers a transition zone for young people moving into emerging adulthood. 

Anyone (youth, caregivers, religious professionals, lay leaders, everyone!) can tap into the social ministry of YUUP by following them on Instagram @yuup.uua and signing up for the YUUP newsletter. YUUP also has a community sphere just for youth, those who bridged in 2022 and support adults. These “Third Monday Meetups” are where youth swap ideas they can take home to their local communities. In August they swapped Favorite Check In Questions. In September they swapped favorite youth group games, which will soon be released on Instagram and in the newsletter.

Adult readers - We need your help connecting youth to this community! Please point them to UUA.ORG/YUUP to connect at whatever their capacity is.
Young Adult Revival Network Worship
UU young adults and friends from around the world are invited to attend our monthly worship service, held on the third Sunday of each month. Each month our Worship Team puts together a fabulous, faithful, spiritual program that reflects our faith and the fact that we are young adults. From our song choice, to the content of our reflections, this isn’t your traditional UU worship experience. So join us, and discover a different way to embody our faith. This is an intergenerational event, all people ages 18 and older are welcome to attend. Register here.  
Emerging Adult Database
If you or another emerging adult UU (18-24) are interested, please sign up and join our community. Our Pacific Western Region 2022 EA Database signup can be found here.

Small Groups
We have an annual, monthly gathering for EA (18-24) Small Groups.  It’s a mix of fun, ministry, and faith. Next year's edition kicks off in Sept/Oct. Email if you’d like more information. It's a great way to stay connected to UUism if you don't have the time or inclination to attend church on Sunday!

Pastoral Care
Are you an 18-24 year old in need of Pastoral Care?  We have a network of chaplains specifically for you! Simply email or by phone: 204-900-0150. Rev. Marcia Stanard and others are here to listen and be of support.

Winter Chalice Lighter Call Now Open!
The Winter 2022-23 PCD Chalice Lighter proposal comes from three congregations: The UU Church in Livermore, Napa Valley Unitarian Universalists, and Unitarian Universalists of Petaluma. The PCD board has agreed to augment the amounts brought in from your Chalice Lighter donations. If you have been a monthly donor, we thank you for continuing your donations as we reimagined the program. Now is the time to encourage others in your congregations to step up and help these three worthy projects come to fruition. Learn more and donate here!
Grant Funding Available for MDD Congregations
The Midwest Unitarian Universalist Conference has endowed funds, established in the early 1900s, to offer financial support to elderly Unitarian Universalists, both lay persons and retired ministers and their partners in the UUA MidAmerica Region and Mountain Desert District of the Pacific Western Region. Funds have been used to assist in the purchase of hearing aids, mobility devices, and medical expenses. More than $3,000,000 has been distributed since the Conference was formed.

In 2018, the Midwest Unitarian Universalist Conference also established a Munroe Husbands Grant fund to assist Lay-led congregations in the MidAmerica Region and Mountain Desert District of the Pacific Western Region. These funds have been used for leadership development, procurement of technical equipment needed for multi-platform meetings and services, attendance at conferences and General Assembly, and religious education program development. Since its inception, more than $21,000 has been distributed in support of Lay-led congregations.

For more information visit our website or email
Call for Workshops: Pacific Southwest Service Area Assembly!
Call for Workshops!

Proposals for workshops, conference sessions,
and other activities are requested for the
Pacific Southwest Service Area Assembly
April 21-23, 2023
Sponsored by Camp de Benneville Pines
Hosted by Unitarian Universalists San Luis Obispo
“In the spirit of our beloved PSWD District Assembly”

How do our PSWD congregations and covenanting communities embrace and live out their passion to validate, slow, and reverse the progression of Social Division & 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!
*Note workshop times will be limited to 1 hour Saturday morning and 1 ½ hours Saturday afternoon

Fill out the proposal form here or find for a downloadable PDF here and send your completed workshop proposal form by February 3, 2023, to Dale Botts,

*Please note: Presenters will provide their own transportation, assembly registration fee, and hotel expenses.

Registration opens soon!
InSpirit UU Book and Gift Shop
The Rough Side of the Mountain: Black Women's Ministries in Unitarian Universalism
In The Rough Side of the Mountain: Black Women’s Ministries in Unitarian Universalism, editor and scholar Qiyamah A. Rahman collects and explores the unique journeys of Black Unitarian Universalist clergywomen, celebrating their wisdom, resilience, and contributions within and beyond Unitarian Universalism. Rahman provides crucial historical background and context, outlining the history of female Black spiritual leaders going back to ancient times, African spirituality, the Black church, the Civil Rights Movement, and Unitarian Universalist history. This singular anthology lifts up the stories and wisdom of Black Unitarian Universalist clergywomen past and present, whose contributions to this faith are just beginning to be recognized.

Rev. Dr. Qiyamah Rahman is a Unitarian Universalist minister residing in St. Croix, Virgin Islands, where she served the UU Fellowship of St. Croix from 2012 to 2018. Inspired by the social justice witness of Unitarian Universalism, she devotes her primary research to the richly diverse narratives of Black Unitarian Universalist women and girls. Her scholarship and writing have appeared in Darkening the Doorways: Black Trailblazers and Missed Opportunities in Unitarian Universalism, Standing Before Us: Unitarian Universalist Women and Social Reform, Voices from the Margins, and BLUU Notes. She earned her bachelor’s in education and a master’s in social work from the University of Michigan. She has a master’s of divinity from Meadville Lombard Theological School and a doctorate of arts from Clark Atlanta University in Africana Women’s Studies.

Pre-order now!