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A Mesage from Love Resists, PWR & UUA News, and more!
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Pacific Western Region
Newsletter August 27, 2020
For Ourselves, Each Other, and our Collective Futures
We share this message from UU the Vote on the tragic shooting of Jacob Blake. Please join us in taking action.

On Sunday evening, police officers in Kenosha, WI, shot Jacob Blake seven times in the back as he was entering his vehicle. Inside the car, his three children watched their father as he was shot. As I write this message, Mr. Blake remains in critical condition, fighting for his life.

Jacob Blake. Jacob Blake. Jacob Blake.
We speak your name aloud in this liminal time, holding you in prayer and love.
We surround you--a great cloud of witnesses, living and dead--holding you tenderly and sending you energy and strength as your sacred body struggles to live and to heal.
We pray for your sweet babies, who will never unsee what they saw on Sunday.
We keep vigil with all who know and love you, buoying them with hope and courage.
Jacob Blake: Your life matters. Your body matters. Your spirit matters.
We are with you.

Accompanying all of our particular, laser-focused prayers toward Mr. Blake, there is also a nauseating déjà vu to everything we’re watching out of Wisconsin this week. Too many times, we’ve witnessed the police’s blatant disregard for the lives and humanity of Black people. Too many times, we’ve had to take to the streets, to bail out our comrades who get arrested, to counteract media messages and police spin trying to make victims into criminals. Too many times, we’ve had to ask how we can take action, demand accountability, prevent another “next time.”

At our UU the Vote staff meeting yesterday, we grappled together with how to respond to this latest act of police violence against Black people. As we talked about what message to send out as a response, and whether to shift our planned calendar of events, we arrived back with clarity at some of the fundamental commitments we have held since the beginning of this campaign:

The people we elect, and the policies they are able to enact, matter deeply. When terrible acts of violence like the shooting of Jacob Blake occur, it matters deeply who the mayor and the district attorney and the judges are, which statutes and laws are in place, and more. When we organize to #VoteLove and #DefeatHate, we can reduce harm in the present while working in a thousand other ways to build a world in which all people are safe and free - where peoples’ lives and livelihoods always come first because as Rev. Erik David Carlson of Bradford Community UU, Kenosha’s UU congregation, reminded us in the congregation's statement “...we affirm that we would rather lose 100 buildings than one more life to police violence.”

And, it also matters deeply that our electoral organizing be inextricably linked to other movement strategies. Protesting, direct action, cultural organizing, healing justice, art making, community organizing--all of these responses are critical to building and leveraging power, holding our elected officials accountable, pushing forward a liberatory agenda, and sustaining our spirits even in the midst of heartbreak and grief. So it matters that we also continue to show up, with our bodies and our resources and our networks, for long-term organizing led by frontline movements.

So, beloveds, please know that we at UU the Vote are with you in the tension, and we are committed to moving forward in the both/and that is required of us in this moment:

For those of you who are grieving and broken right now--especially to our Black siblings and kin--we pray for you to have space for rest and healing and grief. May you find gentleness and support, and room to breathe and rage and mourn.

For those of you who are outraged, or activated, or desperate to find a way to be of use right now, we pray for you to channel that energy into organizing. Show up in the streets with your own local Black-led organizing collective, and donate to the Milwaukee Freedom Fund supporting bail, ticketing & legal support for organizers in Kenosha. Watch this conversation organized by Freedom, Inc. featuring WI-based Black and Hmong organizers, talking about violence and safety in the wake of Jacob Blake’s shooting. Demand that your city defund the police, and work to enact the BREATHE Act. Stay tuned as further demands and opportunities to support emerge from Southeastern Wisconsin.

Let’s keep showing up, together, for ourselves, each other and our collective futures.

In faith and solidarity,

Rev. Ashley Horan
UUA Organizing Strategy Director

In this Issue
For Ourselves, Each Other, and our Collective Futures
New Staff, New Primary Contacts
Wildfire Response
Update: Newsletter Publication Date
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
New Staff, New Primary Contacts
In September we will have a complete PWR staff, with all our open positions filled. Hooray! Because we will have a full team, we have done some redistribution of tasks and responsibilities. This means your congregation may be assigned a new primary contact on our staff. This is especially true for some of the small congregations (under 75 members) and those who previously worked with Tandi Rogers or Jonipher Kwong.  

If there is a change in your primary staff contact, your new primary contact will reach out to your minister and president by email in the next few weeks. Know that you can count on all our staff help you connect with resources, challenge you to be your best, and companion you on your journey into the future.
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

Update: Newsletter Publication Date
In order to better coordinate with the other four regions of the UUA, PWR is shifting our newsletter publication schedule. Starting in July, the newsletter will be published on the last Friday of each month. If you would like to submit something to be published in the newsletter, please send it to Rhiannon Smith ( no later than the last Tuesday of the month.
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. The Sixth Principle Award is given yearly to congregations that show their continued support of the UU@UN by completing at least three of the following activities between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021. At least one of the three must be from the Donation category.

Donation Category:
  • Congregational Gift: Minimum donation of $100 or $2/member

Action Category:

In recognition for their steadfast dedication to international human rights, Sixth Principle Congregations that qualify and submit a brief report by March 31, 2021 will be presented with an award certificate, formal recognition on the UU@UN website, and a specialized video from UU@UN staff honoring the congregation’s contribution. 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 in September
Youth Cons are back starting in September!

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 three following virtual youth conferences:

September 18th and 19th - hosted by PNWD
October 16th and 17th - hosted by MDD
November 20 and 21st - hosted by PSWD

Cost is $35/event or $100 for all three and scholarships are available. The registration deadline for the September event is September 9th, so don't miss out!

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. (Rumor has it at the PNWD September con there MAY be an optional late night or all night virtual space if we can get enough adult presence, so don't forget to recruit your sponsors!)
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.
A Note From Your PCD Board
Beloveds, three quick updates:

1. We successfully extended the terms of current volunteer district leaders and adopted a budget that prioritizes ongoing investment in youth ministry in our district at our Annual Business Meeting! Thank you everyone who took time to be in relationship with other UU communities in our district.

2. The PCD Board will be hosting several opportunities for conversation among us over the upcoming year. Rev. Bob Klein from the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Stockton, CA will host our first conversation on Sunday, September 20th at 3:30PM PT. We’ll be sending out more details, including the topic, closer to the date. What are the greatest challenges in your community right now, and how are you facing them? There is so much we can learn from one another.

3. Together we have raised $3,606.66 to help the UU Church of Palo Alto institutionalize its successful welcome of new members. Thank you for your generosity in supporting the district Chalice Lighter program.

Fierce love to each of us struggling and in grief. Fierce love to each of us who continue to embody compassion and care.

Catherine Ishida
On behalf of the PCD Board
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.
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
Held: Showing Up For Each Other's Mental Health
In Held: Showing Up for Each Other’s Mental Health, community minister and mental health advocate Barbara F. Meyers illustrates how members of liberal religious congregations can be supportive to those living with mental health problems, and their loved ones, in our congregations and society at large. Meyers addresses the fundamental elements of spiritual support—truth, hope, presence, acceptance, encouragement, authenticity, public witness, and pastoral care—with stories from real life situations and suggestions for how parishioners can provide and advocate for support in their congregations. A study guide for congregations and a list of resources for more information round out this thoughtful and necessary resource. Rev. Barbara F. Meyers is a Unitarian Universalist community minister whose ministry focuses on mental health issues, affiliated with Mission Peak Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Fremont, California. She works as assistant director of Life Reaching Across to Life, a peer-support mental health center in Fremont. She is the author of The Caring Congregation Handbook and Training Manual–Resources for Welcoming and Supporting Those with Mental Disorders and their Families into Our Congregations and has produced a public access TV show, Mental Health Matters. Order now!

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