See the latest PWR news here!
 ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌
PWR Spotlight, Transitions Team Update, PWR & UUA News, and more!
Email not displaying correctly? View it in your browser.
Pacific Western Region
Newsletter March 2023
PWR Spotlight: “Blue State” & “Red State” Congregations Partner for Reproductive Justice
Rev. Sarah Gibb Millspaugh
PWR Congregational Life Staff

After the US Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade in June 2022, Unitarian Universalists didn’t just get outraged: We organized. And now that organization is taking the form of supportive partnerships between Unitarian Universalist congregations in states with near-total abortion bans and states where the procedure remains safe and legal.

The Pacific Western Region’s states are literally “all over the map” in terms of abortion laws. The Center for Reproductive Rights tracks state legislation and produces a color-coded map showing that four of PWR’s states have expanded access to abortion (Washington, Oregon, California, and Hawaii) while four of our states’ legislation creates protected access (Alaska, Montana, Nevada, Colorado.) That’s the majority. However, legality of abortion is threatened in New Mexico and is even more threatened in Arizona, Utah, Wyoming, and Nebraska. Abortion is categorized as illegal in Idaho, and in Texas. (Most of our readers probably don’t know that we have tiny slivers of West Texas and Western Nebraska in our region.)

In the midst of this deeply unjust situation, partnerships across states and across religious lines are emerging. People of faith who support abortion access as a key component of reproductive justice are building connections. Some of these partnerships aren’t quite “ready for prime time” because they are still forming. However, a beautiful partnership has blossomed between First Unitarian Church in Portland, Oregon, and our Idaho congregations, particularly the Boise UU Fellowship.

When Roe vs. Wade was overturned, First Unitarian’s director of social justice, Dana Buhl, asked “what can we–UUs in a state that protects abortion rights–do to help our neighbors?” Buhl and the congregation’s relationship with Unitarian Universalists helped them find exactly who they should ask: the UUs in Idaho, particularly the UUs in Boise. In conversation with them, the answer became clear: supporting UUs and people of other faith working for reproductive justice in Idaho. They established a fund to support interfaith organizing for reproductive justice in Idaho. Buhl said in the January 29 service, “There is a critical need for religious people to proclaim that our faith traditions, in fact, call us to reproductive justice…And, there is a crucial need for people of faith to organize along with our community partners. We continue to echo that interfaith organizing for abortion rights and reproductive justice is not in spite of our religious beliefs, but because of those beliefs.”

First Unitarian’s new Senior Minister, Rev. Alison Miller, frames this support as part of a series of “Faith and Reproductive Freedom” actions to mark the 50th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade in January. With a special worship service, art installations, fundraising, community service, and the launch of a new Care and Action for Reproductive Dignity (CARD) team, Rev. Miller, Buhl, and First Unitarian are engaging reproductive justice in a broad and multifaceted way.

In the January service, Rev. Sara LaWall from Boise shared a moving video, expressing appreciation and a vision of what they can build together. “Here you are, reaching across state lines and denominational lines to say ‘we’ve got you.’” She continues, describing how this fund helps “shift the tide” even at a time when pieces of Idaho’s state law are getting clarified and made worse. The fund helps meet emerging needs, potentially offering direct aid for frontline people and groups, legal defense, ballot initiative funding, media campaigns, and network-building initiatives.

Rev. Miller sees this as just the beginning, and wonders about congregational partnerships for gender-affirming healthcare as well. “How can we be partners and support folks on the front lines of reproductive and gender justice?” she asks. Our relationships within the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations and the Pacific Western Region can guide us toward the answers.

What you can do now:
In this Issue
PWR Spotlight
Transitions Team Update
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
The PWR Transitions Team is happy to announce that Libby Fitzgerald is joining the Team. Libby is a life-long Unitarian Universalist, third generation. She was active as a leader in her youth group and has continued to be active in the churches to which she belonged. Currently she is a member of the inaugural board of the Inland Northwest Unitarian Universalist Community which has adopted a dynamic governance/sociocracy model of governance. The Transitions Team has been reading Many Voices One Song which teaches sociocracy and we are beginning to implement some features of that form of governance. We are very pleased to welcome Libby and her expertise as well as her enthusiasm to be a part of the Team.

We are sorry to say goodbye to Aria Curtis who has been a loyal and active member of the Team for as long as the Team has been working.

Leadership Development: Leading from the Heart Registration Now Open!
In this three-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
5-6:30 pm Eastern / 4-5:30 pm Central / 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. Whether you have years of committee experience or are thinking about getting involved for the first time, this program is for you! Registration will close at Noon Pacific Time on March 21.

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

Register Now for General Assembly!
The theme for General Assembly 2023 is "Faithfully Becoming." We are at a threshold moment for our faith and will choose the next path in our journey. We will consider new articulations of Article II (including our Principles and Purpose) and elect a new President to lead our Association. These are decisions that will shape who we are and how we respond to and grow through these times. These changes offer us possibilities for becoming more connected, courageous, inclusive, generous, and continuing our ongoing journey of becoming Beloved Community.

Registration is now open!
Register early to secure the lowest rates. Volunteer opportunities and financial support are available.

GA Housing Reservation System is Now Open!
Reserve your housing today! To book your room today, visit the GA Housing Reservation System. Any reservations canceled after May 22 will be subject to a $50 cancelation fee. The housing reservation system will close for new reservations on May 23. Learn more about General Assembly housing options here.
Presidential Forums Coming in 2023
There will be a series of four presidential candidate forums, starting in March, to allow delegates and members to learn more about Rev. Dr. Betancourt. Planned in concert with the Election Campaign Practices Committee with support from UUA staff, each forum will offer both on-site and virtual participation. There will also be an additional forum during General Assembly in June.

All Unitarian Universalists are welcomed and encouraged to engage with the presidential candidate forums and the process as a whole, to ensure our next UUA President may establish the foundation for their leadership with broad participation.

Participation Encouraged: FACT Survey 2023
Congregations in the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), are being asked to participate in a national study of religious life in America. This survey is being conducted in partnership with the Exploring the Pandemic Impact on Congregations study.

Congregational Administrators, Board Presidents and Ministers will be receiving a link for the survey on March 1st. Please plan to coordinate so that ONE survey is filled out per congregation by March 22nd, 2023. The survey is completely confidential and the combined results will be published later this year at

For more information, please read on here.

UUA/UUMA Neurodiversity Skill-Up
Introduction to ADHD with Mackenzie MacDade
Save the date: March 21 2-4pm ET/11am-1pm PT

The sixth in our Supporting Neurodivergence in Our Congregations Skill Up series, we are excited to welcome Mackenzie MacDade to explore ADHD with us, including the diversity of ways, even unusual ways, ADHD can show up.

Mackenzie MacDade is a 33 year old, queer woman of color, teaching artist, feminist, part time poet and general rabble rouser. She got her start in feminism from a book of feminist nursery rhymes, and her start in pop culture analysis from 9 years of homeschooling (translation: 9 years of TV and movie watching). A firm believer in queering the collective consciousness, she strives to inspire people to redesign their idea of normal and step out their comfort zone. She takes inspiration from Gertrude Stein, Buffy, Angela Davis, Faith and bell hooks. Someone once described her as “The love child of Angela Davis and Ru-Paul” and she thinks that just about sums it up.

More information here!

Ministerial Scholarship Opportunity
Are you a lay leader in Unitarian Universalism who will be entering your first year of seminary in 2023, or are undertaking undergraduate work to prepare for seminary? Or do you know someone who fits this description?

Each year the Rev. Chuck and Nancy Thomas Scholarship supports a student in the first year of seminary or in preparatory academic work for seminary training. The UUA’s Thomas Scholarship was founded in 1998 to honor Rev. Chuck Thomas’ career in the Unitarian Universalist ministry and his family’s long-standing commitment to lay leadership.

Thomas Scholars qualify for this award by demonstrating their outstanding commitment to Unitarian Universalism as lay leaders. To apply, applicants must email a completed application along with two letters of recommendation, a resume, and a two to three page essay that describes their path to seminary, highlighting their work as a lay leader in their congregation and in the larger community.

For more information and to find the application for this scholarship and other ministerial scholarships available from the UUA, please visit the UUA website. Application are now open and must be submitted no later than April 14, 2023.
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. All In-Person and Youth registration closes March 15Adult Online Registration closes March 30. 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.
UU Camps for Middle and High Schooler Campers
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.

QUUest Camp: Week-long, residential camp in the mountains. July 9-14, 2023 Casper, Wyoming

Camp Blue Boat: Week-long, residential camp in the Pacific Northwest. July 16-21, 2023 Ellensburg, WA
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. 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!
MDD Chalice Lighter Funds Available
The Mountain Desert District will soon merge with 3 other districts to become the Pacific Western Region for real. Before the merger the MDD has $30,000 to distribute as Chalice Lighter grants. The number and amounts will be determined by the applications received.

To apply for a grant, please write a letter and send it to The deadline for submitting the application is April 15, 2023.

The application letter needs to include the following:
  • The name and address of the congregation/covenanting community
  • Name and email for contact person
  • Background statement/Description of need for project
  • Specifics of project, including the proposed budget, listing what resources and/or finances are available from the congregation to help with the project
  • The potential impact on the growth of Unitarian Universalist through this project
  • Criteria for determining the success of the project
  • Number of members of your congregation/covenanting community
  • Date application approved by your Board of Trustees
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
Register Now: Pacific Southwest Service Area Assembly!
Come join with other UUs from the Pacific Southwest Service Area (formerly PSWD) for this year’s Assembly, being hosted by UU San Luis Obispo and sponsored by Camp de Benneville Pines.

Come share what’s going on in your congregation, enjoy meaningful keynote topics, an assortment of workshops, youth con activities, worship, meals and more!
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.

Order now!

Unsubscribe | Manage your UUA subscriptions

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