Ask What Makes You Come Alive, PWR, UUA and District News, and more...
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Ask What Makes You Come Alive, PWR, UUA and District News, and more...


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PWR Newsletter


Ask What Makes You Come Alive

Dear Pacific Western Congregational Leaders,

I have made the decision to resign as the Pacific Western Regional Lead. My last day of work as a Unitarian Universalist Association staff member will be July 31.

I began this position three years ago because after serving as the minister of the same congregation for 16 years, I was looking for a new challenge and a change of pace.

In this job, I found both. I’ve enjoyed this work and am proud of the work that I’ve done in partnership with other PWR staff members.

I’m especially proud of our regional assembly in 2018, our new leadership development program, and our Generosity Initiative program as well as the many behind-the-scenes changes we’ve made to improve services to congregations. I truly believe that the congregations of the PWR are being better served by the region now than ever before, though my humble hope is simply that I have made a positive difference in the lives of the congregations of the PWR.

However, as the interdenominational minister Howard Thurman once said, "Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."

I have felt most alive serving as the minister of a congregation, so my plans are to do that again beginning in August.

With the upcoming retirements of PWR staff members Rev. Jan Christian and Diane Brinson, in addition to the departures of myself and Rev. Christopher Wulff, this will be a time of transition for the region.

I am committed to spending my remaining months doing everything I can to make this transition as smooth as possible with the least possible disruption to the services congregations receive from the region.

I would also welcome the opportunity to say a more personal goodbye to many of you, the congregational leaders with whom I’ve worked during the past three years, and I hope I will have the chance to do that with many of you at the UUA General Assembly in Spokane in June.

Rev. Dr. James Kubal-Komoto
Pacific Western Regional Lead

March 14, 2019
In this Issue
  • Ask What Makes You Come Alive
  • PWR & UUA News
  • District Updates
  • Healthy Congregations
  • Youth News
PWR Quick Links
PWR Field Staff

PWR and UUA News


AUUMM 2019 Conference in Denver, CO

July 24-28 the Association for UU Music Ministries (formerly the UU Musicians Network) will hold its first conference under its new name and with its new mission.

This year’s conference is designed to get us outside our heads; to release our inner creative energy; color outside the lines and bring a fresh approach to the sacred work we do, how we do it and why. Conference attendees will experience a paperless delivery system for all materials and will read repertoire by Composers of Color.

Joining us this year to help guide our work are:

There will be something for everyone at this year’s conference! Instrumentalists, Choral Directors, Song Leaders, Ministers, Religious Educators and all other worship leaders - you will not want to miss this event.

Registration is now open!

The UU Leadership Institute

New Online Leadership Courses for Spring!

Stop Recruiting, Start Retaining: Creating a Culture of Volunteer Sustainability with Laura Beth Brown ($30)

Co-Creating Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity in our Congregations with Beth Zemsky ($15)

Core leadership courses are designed for team or individual learning ($30)

Registration is open until April 15. For more information contact

Upcoming OWL Trainings

OWL Grades K-1 & 4-6

OWL Grades 7-9 & 10-12

OWL Level Young Adult & Adult

Pacific Western Region hiring Congregational Life Field Staff

We are excited to be inviting applications for the position of Congregational Life Field Staff to join our fantastic team here in the Pacific Western Region. Find details about the position responsibilities, qualifications and how to apply in the job posting PDF.

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.

Memory Book for Diane Brinson

Most every Pacific NW leader of a certain era (1994–present) knows Diane Brinson. She was hired as District Administrator in 1994 when the Pacific Northwest District office moved from Vancouver, BC to the Seattle area. She then led the Pacific Western Region administration team and created a smoothly aligned system to support expanding programs of the region. And now she is retiring.

We are creating a memory book for Diane organized both by congregation and by event. Please send pictures (especially the really great older ones!), stories and appreciations to Tandi Rogers at with Diane Brinson Memory Book in the subject line. Deadline: May 15.

How can we truly thank someone who was the heart of our district and region through so many transitions? By letting her know how she amplified our ministries. Let the storytelling begin!


Mountain Desert News


Western UU Life Festival

Western UU Life Festival at Ghost Ranch in northern NM will be June 24-30. Rev. Kim Mason will be with us as community minister helping us explore the Bones of Our Community. Enjoy a range of activities including rafting, kayaking, hiking, stimulating conversations or just kicking back under the WIsdom Tree with fellow UUs from the Western Region. Find more detailed information in the full catalog and registration.

Apply for a Chalice Lighter Grant

The Mountain Desert District Board is soliciting applications for a Chalice Lighters grant. Learn more about MDD's Chalice Lighter program and requirements. The grant application form is available. Applications are due by April 30.


Pacific Southwest News

Michael Hart

Worship Opportunities at PSW District Assembly

Registration is now open for the 2019 Pacific Southwest District Assembly to be held April 26-28 at the UU Church of Long Beach. Visit the website to register and find details about workshops, schedule, keynote, accommodations, and more. Save money by registering before March 31!

Along with music, a keynote, workshops, social justice field trips and plenty of chances to visit with old and new friends, there are worship opportunities!

Youth-led worship
Saturday, April 27, 2019, 8:30-9:15 a.m.

Saturday morning’s worship will focus on the theme "Growing into Ourselves." This spiritual journey will focus on our roots and aspirations as individuals, as communities and as a movement. This worship will build on the DA theme "From the Ground Up" revolving around healthy, sustainable and revolutionary growth within ourselves and our world. Led by members of the Pacific Southwest District Youth Board, the heart of this service will be amplifying youth voices, empowering the community and growing with one another.

Clergy-led worship
Sunday, April 28, 2019, 9 and 11 a.m.

For the Sunday worship at the close of the District Assembly, UUCLB presents two worship services at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. The two services are separate and self-contained, but will also fit together to form one long worship service with an "Intermission" in the middle.

Both services are inspired by the DA theme "From the Ground Up." Both services will include a little of everything, but the 9 a.m. service emphasizes "the Word" with poetry and preaching from Interim Minister Rev. Rick Hoyt-McDaniels while the 11 a.m. service emphasizes "Music" with congregational singing and music from combined choirs from Unitarian Universalist churches throughout the area under the direction of UUCLB Director of Music Francisco Ruiz and DA Keynoter Donald Milton III.

If you need to get on the road, come early and enjoy the 9 a.m. service. If you’re a late riser, come to the 11 a.m. service. If you can stay all morning, you’ll experience a full and fulfilling worship experience. Children’s RE programs will be offered during both services.

Register now for the 2019 Pacific Southwest District Assembly April 26-28 at the UU Church of Long Beach.

Delegate Credentialing

If your PSWD congregation would like to have delegate representation at the 2019 Annual Meeting, your minister, president, or their designee needs to submit the online delegate certification form by April 19. Find all the District Assembly Business Meeting Materials details.

Turning the Tides - Intergenerational Leadership Summit and Camp

Save the date - August 4-8 at Camp de Benneville Pines

Justice-seeking UUs of all ages are invited to register for this multi-day summit on the mountaintop. Adults and families will gather for restoration and imagination with Unitarian Universalists and kindred spirits from across the region.

Visit to learn more. Registration is opening soon!


Healthy Congregations


Zoom Call for Emerging Healthy Congregations Teams

Is your Right Relationship Team just starting? Been going for a bit but losing steam? Is a Healthy Congregations Team a glimmer in your eye, but not yet a reality? The region’s Healthy Congregations Team has a video-call for you!

Thursday, April 11, 7-8pm Pacific

In this hour together we will give an overview of how to put together a team and then open it up for questions. We will also identify resources, needs and ongoing support that the regional team might provide for you to move forward.

To register:
Questions? Rev. Tandi Rogers,

Need some assistance from the PWR Healthy Congregations Team? Complete the intake form.

Covenant: Committing to the Work

By Rev. Laura Shennum, minister of the Cascade UU Fellowship and member of the PWR Healthy Congregations Team

Continuing the covenant series from the Healthy Congregations Team. Read part one.

"Humans are a promise-making, promise-breaking, promise-repairing, and promise-remaking people." - Martin Buber, Jewish Theologian

Since we realized as a congregation it was inevitable we will break our covenant with each other, we made sure to put in the following phrase: When we fall out of covenant, we recognize, reflect, and re-engage.

We have a process within our covenant to help us find our way back to repairing and remaking. However, what is not stated in that process, is the work to fulfill it is difficult, messy, and emotionally, spiritually draining. It is also, as my esteemed colleague, Rev. Tandi Rogers points out, an opportunity for faith formation and spiritual growth.

Therefore, when we make a commitment to a congregational covenant, which has within it an understanding it will be broken, we are also making a commitment to step into a place full of emotion and brokenness to do the work to repair and remake our relationship. This is work that cannot be forced. It is work that requires us to look at our own actions and what we need to own. In some cases, it requires us to be patient and listen to the emotions involved. It calls us to ensure the worth and dignity of each person. It requires us to know we are not like the vengeful God of Leviticus set out to punish the wrongdoers. It requires time, and sometimes it may feel to those of us who are ready to repair, it is taking too much time. And that’s where it can get difficult…because there is a fine line between giving space and allowing time AND losing someone completely or pushing them away with our impatience.

This is where the seriousness of the commitment to the words, when we fall out of covenant, we recognize, reflect, and re-engage, becomes important. Each of us has to come to our own understanding, we will be disappointed and know heartbreak within this community and with each other. And to remember, each of us has made a commitment to find ways to repair and remake our promise to each other. Now, if each of us chose to walk away from that commitment, then we deprive ourselves and our congregational community from the ability to grow in our faith and our spirituality. Therefore, we have to trust each of us will find our way back to do the work, because that is our goal to find ways we can grow together in faith and spirituality.

My hope is we understand that breaking covenant does not mean breaking relationship. Rather, breaking covenant allows us to find new ways to grow as an individual and as a congregation, especially if we commit to the work of recognizing, reflecting, and re-engaging. This is the heart of what it means to be a covenantal faith.


Learn more about the PWR Healthy Congregations Team and what it can do for your congregation.


PWR Youth News


Camp Blue Boat

June 30-July 6, 2019 in Harrison, ID

Register Now!

PNW's Camp Blue Boat is a Unitarian Universalist summer camp immersion experience for youth from rising 9th grade to 12th grade graduates. Campers, counselors and staff will spend time exploring being in relationship with one's self, others, and the wider world. Understanding relationships is necessary for a healthy spirit and for saving our lifeboat Earth. At camp, youth learn about community, spirituality, justice, equality, and also have a ton of fun! UU Camp is based upon four basic pillars. After attending, the youth will be able to:

  • Articulate beliefs grounded in UU theology and values;
  • Develop spiritual discipline;
  • Engage in social change rooted firmly in faith, love, and trust;
  • Build personal and religious resilience.

These attributes will take hold through workshops and immersion experiences aimed at exploring a faith-centered life; through time for personal reflection and developing spiritual practice; through fun activities like field games, crafts, hikes, swimming, and bonfires; through a Wilderness Council & Council of Elders, where youth share statements of faith and insights; by engaging in ritual via daily worships and walking the Labyrinth; and through integrated leadership development training, mentoring and modeling, to mention just a few! Come change your life forever... for the better!

Ages: All youth rising to 9th grade through those who have just graduated are invited to attend PNWD Camp.
Dates: June 30-July 6, 2019
Fees: Tiered registration - $575 for the first 20 registrants, $595 for 21-40, then $650.
Location: N-Sid-Sen Camp, 36395 S Highway 97, Harrison, ID 83833

Financial Need: No one should be stopped from attending PWR events because of finances. This is a team effort. If you need assistance to attend, please complete Youth Scholarship Application by April 30. If you can contribute to the youth scholarship fund, please do so (opportunity inside registration).

UU Summer Camps in Colorado - QUUest and Spirit QUUest

Registrations are open for the PWR's Colorado Summer Camps for Youth and Junior Youth. We are committed to providing a meaningful, energizing experience for all youth while honoring individual spirituality. Each camper is treated with respect and kindness and celebrated for their individual gifts. Experiential activities create a sense of wonder and pride for the interdependent web of which we are all a part. Camp days are packed with fun activities and infused with UU exploration. Spirit QUUest serves youth rising to 6th-8th grades, while QUUest is for youth rising to 9th grade or 12th grade graduates.

June 30 to July 6 in Colorado Springs, CO

Learn more and register for Spirit QUUest and QUUest.

Registration for Thrive Youth is open!

Thrive Youth is a five-day gathering for youth of color to deepen connections to community, place and purpose. Thrive participants will be guided by experienced co-facilitators as we worship, feast, play, explore the communities we come from, engage the histories of the communities we visit, and practice the transformative leadership skills into which we are called by our histories, faith and communities.

A day at Thrive looks like this:

  • Breakfast
  • A workshop led by local community organizers
  • Lunch
  • Covenant Check-in
  • Making connections between the workshop and our own stories and our UU faith.
  • Dinner
  • Worship

Thrive Youth is for any youth of high school age who is in 9th-12th grade during the 2018-2019 school year (or the equivalent for homeschooled). It’s also open to any youth who bridges into young adulthood in the summer of 2019.

Upcoming Youth Events

Camp Programs
Pleasure Activism

Feminista Jones, Beacon Press, 2019

The Politics of Feeling Good. How do we make social justice the most pleasurable human experience? How can we awaken within ourselves desires that make it impossible to settle for anything less than a fulfilling life? A treatise of Black women's transformative influence in media and society, placing them front and center in a new chapter of mainstream resistance and political engagement.

Women Warriors

Pamela D. Toler, Beacon Press, 2019

An Unexpected History. Who says women don't go to war? From Vikings and African queens to military doctors and WWII Russian fighter pilots, these are the stories of women for whom battle was not a metaphor.


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Pacific Western Region - UUA
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Brighton, CO 80601
United States