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What is Shifting in You, PWR & UUA News, and more!
What is Shifting in You?, PWR & UUA News, and more!
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Pacific Western Region
Newsletter May 14, 2020
What is Shifting in You: E-Book Compilation
At the beginning of the 2020-21 congregational program year, your Pacific Western Region UUA staff gathered near Seattle to plan for the year and build foundations for our work serving congregations. As we spoke about who we are, what we do, and how we wish to be, some themes emerged: themes with energy that guide us in the transformational ministry of nurturing Unitarian Universalist congregations in the West. We call them our “Shift Statements”, and each month we have asked you in our newsletter, “What is Shifting in You?” as we move:

Little did we know how a global pandemic would emerge in the midst of this program year and change all of the work of our congregations so significantly. And what’s been amazing and joyous to experience is how Unitarian Universalists have been making these shifts real in adapting to and responding to the pandemic. Moving away from a “go it alone” kind of individualism toward a practical interdependence. Rejecting a politics of fear and acting with love and faith. Beating back despair in ourselves and our communities through gentle presence, and reminders of where we can place our hope. Getting over our perfectionism as we connect with one another in the midst of our messy lives and messy living rooms, wholeheartedly engaging with the people on the screens before us. Moving into a “both/and” kind of inclusive thinking as we come up with new possibilities for ministry in this time, and keep reinforcing traditions that bring comfort. Working to approach one another with curiosity and compassion, recognizing that our lives and our connections are too precious to dwell in defensiveness and shame.

This month, we share with you an e-book we’ve compiled with the reflections on each shift we’ve featured in our newsletter plus resources for delving deeper into the shifts through music, spiritual practices, videos, webinars and more. We hope you’ll check it out.

We love you, and we are grateful for your partnership with us during these times, and all times.

--Rev. Tandi Rogers and Rev. Sarah Gibb Millspaugh, for the Pacific Western Region staff team.

In this Issue
What is Shifting in You?
Updated UUA Guidance for Gatherings
PWR & UUA News
Youth News
PCD News
PNWD News
PSWD News
InSpirit Update


PWR Links
Calendar and Events
Staff Contacts
News
Job Postings
Youth Ministries

RE Trainings


PWR Field Staff
Eric Bliss
Sarah Gibb Millspaugh
Jonipher Kūpono Kwong
Tandi Rogers
Sarah Schurr
Essential and Virtual: UUA Updates Guidance on Gathering in COVID-19
This morning, UUA President Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray shared our recommendation with congregations that congregations plan for virtual operations through May 2021. While the ministries and services we provide, and the community we create is essential for getting through a time like this, in-person gathering would endanger lives and compromise many of our deeply-held commitments.

As your regional UUA staff, we will be connecting with you in light of the new UUA recommendation to help you find what you need in order to plan for a longer-term virtual congregational programs and operations. Whether it’s technical skills and equipment you need, or more adaptive ones like congregational anxiety management, we are here as your partners on this strange new journey, as are all 1000+ congregations of the UUA. The way we get through this is together.

PWR & UUA NEWS
New Training for Lay Pastoral Caring
In response to the increased need for pastoral care and grief support in our congregations at this time, and in light of congregations’ limited capacity to conduct their own online trainings for members to develop spiritual care skills, UUA staff have created a wonderful new on-demand webinar series where members can learn how to listen and support other members who are going through difficult times.

Spiritual Care Training for Congregational Leaders opens on Friday, May 15th, and can be completed on participants’ own schedules. This webinar series is for both experienced and new pastoral/spiritual care leaders in congregations. It is great for teams/committees and individual members. In order to ensure congregational/community accountability, registrants need to have the support of their community to participate.  

UUA Financial Relief for COVID-19
The UUA has created a response fund for those who want to donate funds to help in the current COVID-19 situation. Please donate if you can. Visit the UUA website for details on donations and guidelines for how the funds will be distributed. The Disaster Relief Fund continues to support congregations affected by tornadoes, fires, hurricanes, flooding and other natural disasters as well. To learn more about the work of the Disaster Relief Fund visit their webpage. We are Better Together.
Letter from LREDA
The Continental Liberal Religious Educators Association (LREDA) Board recently released a letter pondering the question “What do our people need from us right now?”, which offers guidance and support to congregational leaders struggling with how to maintain robust religious education programs in these uncertain times. Read the full letter here.
Virtual GA 2020: Register Now!
Virtual General Assembly (VGA) 2020 offers Unitarian Universalists an opportunity to gather and deepen our connections with each other and our faith. In addition to the General Sessions, Synergy, Service of the Living Tradition and Sunday worship, registered attendees can also enjoy daily morning worship, Welcoming celebrations, live workshops, an on-demand library of programming, presentations by featured speakers and special events such as coffee hours, worship reflection time, and evening entertainment. More information and registration here!
Small Congregations in the News
Two of our smaller and more remote congregations have been getting some good local press. The Unitarian Universalists of Grants Pass, in Southern Oregon, got nearly a full page article in the Faith section of the Grants Pass Courier. This article featured two lovely photos and the headline, Unitarians Go High-Tech with Services on Zoom. The article was able to highlight some of the different preachers and topics that have been part of their services. As a lay-led Fellowship, the Grants Pass congregation has found it easier to attract good speakers because they don’t have to drive the long distance to Grants Pass to be in their pulpit. The article also highlights that where in person attendance had been between about 40 people, Zoom attendance is closer to 60 people

The Magic Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Twin Falls Idaho was on the evening TV news of local station KMVT. Their efforts toward combating white supremacy were the subject of a news story during Black History Month. This small congregation has been served this year by an intern minister, in partnership with the Boise congregation. During the interview, she was able to bring up issues such the difference between saying you are not a racist and working to dismantle racism. The news story also featured an African American man in Twin Falls, telling of his own experience in their community.

Spiritual Nourishment for the UU Activist

The #UUtheVote campaign is leading
spiritual nourishment groups, available online throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Join this structured, 75-minute, small group experience, with the intention of making space for bearing witness and finding community. This group is a space for people to share stories from their organizing and their justice work, and to reflect on it while others bear witness. As we share and listen deeply, our bearing witness to one another amplifies the joys we feel, and lessens the burden of the sorrows we bear.
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:

·       pnwduua.org
·       pcduua.org
·       pswduua.org
·       or mdduua.org
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.
YOUTH NEWS
Virtual Hangouts for Youth
PWR will be hosting one hour Virtual Small Group Meeting Spaces for youth starting Monday, April 6th!  These spaces will follow UUA Safety Guidelines and covenantal norms. If there is interest, we will have separate break out rooms for Bridging Youth.
  • Monday will be Mountain Desert District at 1 pm PT / 2 pm MT; 
  • Thursday will be Pacific Northwest District at 1 pm PT / 2 pm MT; and
  • Friday will be combined Pacific Southwest and Central Districts at 1 pm PT / 2 pm MT.
We'll meet at zoom.us/j/4368623231.

Please share these offering with your youth and families. If these take off, we may offer a fully Regional virtual space, too, for teens to meet one another across all four districts!
PCD NEWS
A Note from the PCD Board
Greetings from your Pacific Central District Board!  

We hope you are taking care of yourselves and one another. Given the circumstances of the Covid-19 pandemic, we send our thanks for your varied ministries. We hope you can experience a renewed sense of the importance of your community’s mission. These times remind us of the need for our shared activities of service, pastoral care, generosity, justice-making, community-building, learning, worship, and celebration.  

If you’ve gained insights you’d like to share from your creative responses to the need to congregate online rather than in person, we’d love to learn! In recognition of our collective creativity, Karen Urbano will be structuring the next
Chalice Lighters call to acknowledge multiple congregations’ investment in new technology.

In preparation for our
online Annual Meeting, currently scheduled for Saturday, July 25, at 2PM, we have one request: please plan to send delegates.

We will slowly be updating the PCD website so that basic information foundational to our collective decision making is publicly available. Most of the current website dates from 2016, and much has changed since then! As we update the pages, we will be sharing links here in the PWR newsletter and through email to congregational leaders.


In the meantime, we encourage you to take a look at the websites for the Common Ground Council and the SALT program.
We’re delighted by these grassroots initiatives to support youth and youth ministry, and are grateful that the District has been able to assist in multiple ways.

If you have any questions, offers of support, or an interest in service on the PCD Board, please be in touch.  

Yours in faith,
Catherine Ishida, Bob Miess, Robert Klein, Maddie Tuning, Clovice Lewis, Roger Jones, Max Parrish
PCD Spring 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
pcdchalicelighters@pwruua.org
PNWD NEWS
Pacific Northwest Growth Foundation Helps Congregations Go Online
‘We eat the fruit from trees we did not plant.’

On March 19 as the threat of COVID-19 became clear, the Board of the Pacific Northwest UU Growth Foundation dedicated $75,000 to support the sudden need for online worship and ministry in UU congregations. Grants of $2000 or less were processed within 2 days and accessed by nearly 40 congregations within a month, to the expressed gratitude of leaders across Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Idaho, and Oregon. Rev. Paul Beckel of Bellingham UU Fellowship writes, "The grant made it possible for us to proceed without hesitation in that difficult moment when conflicting intense messages were coming at us: 'don't spend any money!' and 'buy equipment a.s.a.p. to keep programs going!' It made a big difference to our coping."

In the words of Rev. Kate Lore of Quimper UU Fellowship, the grant "helped us enhance our congregation's ability to stay connected during this stressful and uncertain time. Thank you!"

People supporting vital Unitarian Universalism in the Pacific Northwest donated the monies used for this COVID initiative many years ago. The foundation was created in the 1990’s with a vision of "ensuring all who seek a religious home in this part of the world will find a congregation to welcome them." Much has changed since the foundation’s creation. Today our religious home looks different than we might have imagined even six months ago. 

Thank you to all our past donors! You helped ease a difficult transition for our ministers and lay leaders.

Please join us in supporting Unitarian Universalist congregations into the future. To make a donation, contact Treasurer Brian Rogers at briandrogers@gmail.com.

Yours in faith,

Rev. K. Antonia Won
President, Pacific Northwest UU Growth Foundation
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 pnwduua.org/chalice-lighters.

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 pnwdchalicelighters@pwruua.org. Thank you for your generosity!

Sincerely yours,
David P. Cauffman, PNWD Chalice Lighter program coordinator
pnwdchalicelighters@pwruua.org
PSWD NEWS
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 PSWDChaliceLighters@pwruua.org.

In faith,

Michael Hart
PSWD Board President
InSpirit UU Book and Gift Shop
Breaking and Blessing
In Breaking and Blessing, the 2020 volume of the inSpirit Series, Rev. Sean Parker Dennison imagines letters from angels, draws on the natural world, and reflects on love and calling. They chart a path, moving here and there, as if across a constellation—connecting mathematics to love, stars to saplings, and breaking to blessing. Rev. Dennison’s striking debut will serve as both solace and flame to readers looking for them in equal measure.

Rev. Sean Parker Dennison is the minister at Rogue Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Ashland, Oregon. Ordained in 2000, Rev. Dennison has served congregations in California, Utah, and Illinois and cofounded TRUUsT, an organization for transgender UU religious leaders, in 2004. They are also an artist, parent, poet, and grandparent.

Pre-Order now!
 
 
 
 
 

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