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"Silliness That Serves" , PWR & UUA News, and more!
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Pacific Western Region
Newsletter May 2022
Silliness That Serves
by Amanda Radak
PWR Events Coordinator

In Colorado, a group of Coming of Age youth were gathered in the kitchen to assemble their pizza dinner. They had a functional place and purpose. Someone added some music, someone started to sing, someone else started to dance, and the song ended. Then the challenge came: which song could get the most people dancing and singing? They spent an hour finding, playing and “rocking out” to all their favorite music and laughing together. Notice the spontaneity, the movement, the shared experience and joy.

In Washington, an annual egg hunt left the sixth graders wondering where they fit in and debating whether it was better to be a youth and hide the eggs or to stay a child and hunt for eggs. Some of them worked hard to hide the eggs for the fifth graders. Others would rather stay a child one more year. A pair of 12th graders wondered about a harder hunt. In a separate space with care for the landscape, but no attempt to be subtle, the seniors hid eggs. The sixth graders worked diligently to find them all for about 30 minutes, and then the seniors still needed to go back and check all the places they had hidden their set of eggs. The sixth graders were thrilled to have to work for it and the seniors were proud to find the eggs hidden well enough to avoid detection. Notice the laughter, the sense of accomplishment, the shared experience, the sharing of needs and labors.

Nothing about this was planned. It was not externally guided. It wasn’t described in the stated purpose. And yet it is the source of the best fun, and an amazing salve for anxiety, burnout, and overwhelm. That which we co-create in between our programs and structures generates our connection, reinforces our support systems, and literally calms our nerves. We need this time, and it’s important. (If you need more on this try: The Power of Fun: How to Feel Alive Again by Catherine Price and My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending our Hearts and Bodies by Resmaa Menakem.)

How can we grant our congregants that space and time? Do we need permission for impromptu anything? If you are feeling pulled to get to work, you might appreciate UUA Central East Region staff member Shannon Harper’s take on the importance of a fallow field: A Garden Story & A Garden Story Part 2: A Liminal Action Plan. What will we and our UUs of all ages create given space, time, existing resources, and our own skills? Can we generate silliness that serves?

In these two instances, the leadership granted the space and time to these groups. Then with their own needs and skills and available resources, the groups created very different, powerful outcomes. It was the same plastic egg or pizza parts, yet these groups of people in these gatherings created joy, connection, and shared experience we never could have planned. They created fun. Can you?

In this Issue
Silliness That Serves
PWR & UUA News

Youth & Emerging Adult News
Pacific Central News
Pacific Northwest 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
Register Now for General Assembly 2022!
In 2022, we will have the option of meeting online or in-person! For those who enjoyed the convenience and accessibility of remote participation, General Assembly will continue to offer virtual attendance with robust programming and enhanced delegate discussion tools. For those who have been missing the physical experience, GA 2022 will also feature face-to-face interactions, hanging banners, a browsable exhibit hall, meals with friends old and new, local site attractions, and more! Join us June 22 - 26, 2022 online or in-person in Portland, Oregon. Click here for more information!

Registration is now open for in-person attendance. Full-time registration is $575 for adults, and $325 for high school youth, emerging adults, and retired and candidate ministers. Financial support for registration, lodging credit within the GA housing block, as well as a payment plan are available. Registration for virtual participation is now open!
Save the Date: Owl Facilitator Trainings
Our Whole Lives facilitator trainings begin again in person:
May 27-29 in Eugene, OR
August 19-21 in Berkeley, CA
September 3-5 in Bellevue, WA
Levels and Registration Links
UUA Presidential Search Begins
The Unitarian Universalist Association's (UUA) Presidential Search Committee has started their work for the 2023 UUA Election. On the Presidential Search page, you'll find the official job description for UUA President, the portion of the UUA Bylaws that describe the nomination process, the application deadline, how to apply, and who to contact for more information. You can learn more from the UU World Article on the process. Applications open through July 15, 2022.
UUA Board of Trustees Updates
General Assembly Webinars
At this year’s multiplatform General Assembly (GA), we will explore the power, possibility, purpose, struggle, and joy of meeting the moment as Unitarian Universalists. Whether you're a first-time delegate or a long-time attendee, we invite you to join us to learn more about what will happen at GA this year. Members of the Board of Trustees (with some occasional special guests) will provide an overview, along with information for delegates regarding the business sessions. More information and registration here.

Open Houses

The Board will, once again, hold open houses on the 2nd Tuesday of each month.
  • Tuesday, May 10, 2022; 4pm PT/ 5pm MT / 6pm CT/ 7pm ET. Pre-register.
  • Tuesday, June 14, 2022; 4pm PT/ 5pm MT / 6pm CT/ 7pm ET. Pre-register.

Board Meetings
The Board meets monthly. Here are the dates for each meeting. Please note that a registration link for the meetings will be available on this page in advance of each meeting.
  • Monday, May 9, 2022
  • Monday, June 13, 2022
Peer Pastoral Care for Youth Offering Online
This is a 3 part series of interactive online workshops for youth and adults who support youth to learn peer pastoral care skills in a way immediately useful in their online lives. Pastoral care is an essential part of religious community and an essential part of caring for each other as human beings. We each can be present to each other as we go through both the hard and joyful parts of life. Compassion, witness, listening, and empathy are gifts we can all give each other.

The three workshops are:
Part 1 - Intro to Peer Pastoral Care and Listening Skills, May 7, 2022, 4-7 pm ET - this training is required to take parts 2 or 3.
Part 2 - Supporting Youth in Crisis, May 14, 2022, 4-7 pm ET.
Part 3 - Pastoral Care After Microaggressions, May 21, 2022, 4-7 pm ET.

Cost is $15 per session or $30 for the full series. Registration is open. Details here.
Emergent Strategizing for Liminal Times
May 25th, 7:30-9 pm ET/4:30-6 pm PT, online

Join other congregational leaders for this real-time introduction to emergent strategizing in liminal times. A follow-up online workshop will be available through the UU Leadership Institute for congregations wishing to facilitate their own emergent strategizing sessions. These offerings are inspired by the facilitation work of adrienne maree brown and UUA Congregational Life. Presented by Shannon Harper.

Cost for this workshop is $25. It is recommended that only one person from a congregation attend since registration is limited. Everyone who registers will receive all the materials needed to help with your own congregation’s emergent strategizing. Register here.

How are you REALLY doing?
The UUA and UU professional organizations want to know. All community ministers and paid staff of UU congregations are invited to complete a questionnaire that does a deep dive into stressors and satisfiers of congregational life. At the end of the survey a personalized report gives insight as to how you’re doing and why.

In fall, when the summary report is made available, gatherings by job role will unpack and debrief the implications of the findings. Those who have taken the survey will be invited.

Additionally, you will be given the option of including your anonymized data in academic research carried out by a PhD candidate at Emmanuel College, Victoria University, University of Toronto who helped develop this questionnaire and has been using it for both research and leadership support since 2015. Whether your data is included in this research is entirely up to you and will not affect the UUA reports.

For more information, click here.
Taproot: A National BIPOC Space
The work of spiritual community is complicated in the 21st century. The need for faithful leadership that is grounded and resilient is imperative. This is all the more true for leaders within our communities and congregations who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPoC). All too aware of this need, UUA Congregational Life staff is excited to explore and co-create a network with congregational leaders that support them in this time in emergent ways through Taproot: A National BIPOC Space. BIPoC Leaders rooted in the Unitarian Universalist congregations are invited to take part in this monthly, virtual gathering.

Second Thursday of the month. ***PLEASE NOTE NEW TIME*** Next meeting May 12th at 8p ET/7p CT/6p MT/5p PT. Register here.
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.
Come Sing A Song: PWR Online Bridging Ceremony
Spend a couple hours with UUs across the region to celebrate and honor our bridging seniors. We'll break the ice with fun games, worship together, and end with an engaging reception for all! Let's bless this milestone event and send our Bridgers off with style... Into the wider world and into the loving arms of Unitarian Universalism.

Congregationally sponsored youth and adults (high school and above) are welcome to attend. Families/friends will be invited for a portion of the evening.

Online- Friday May 6, 7-10 pm PT / 7-9 pm MT
Register through May 2.  

Bridgers care packages will be mailed in late May.
Youth Mental Health First Aid Training
June 11th (9-12p PT / 10-1p MT / 11-2p CT / 12-3 ET) & 12th (12-3p PT / 1-4p MT / 2-5p CT / 3-6p ET)

This evidence based program created by practitioners and people with lived experience teaches people how to recognize the signs and symptoms of a mental health challenge, how to provide help, and what to do in a crisis. This training teaches the lifesaving skills of assessing for risk of suicide and harm, identifying alternatives to calling the police in a mental health crisis and putting someone who's overdosed in the recovery position. Lifespan Faith Engagement infuses this training with UU values of youth empowerment and agency, community care, and cultural humility. Registration fee is on a sliding scale from $0-$80. You can also request a private training for your congregation or cluster. Find out more and sign up here.

General Assembly: $$ for Youth and Young Adults
Youth and Young Adults (those who’ve competed 9th grade [or the homeschool equivalent] up to 35 years old) can get a scholarship in the form of a discount code they apply during the registration process.

Please invite youth and young adults to fill out this Youth and Young Adult Scholarship Form for General Assembly 2022 before they register to get their code. Codes can be used for virtual and in person registration.

Anyone, including young adults and youth group trip organizers, using the UUA GA Housing Reservation System, can use the Financial Support Application to apply for lodging credit.

Scholarships are distributed by Lifespan Faith Engagement and provided by contributions from GA registrants, the Katie Tyson Fund for Youth and Young Adult Ministry and the Jerry And Denny Davidoff Fund For Lay Leadership.

To talk with a friendly UUA staffer in Lifespan Faith Engagement about additional options for youth and young adult funding to attend GA 2022 email
EA@GA: Together Again!
Join us the day before GA for an event sparkling with fun, community, worship, and laughter! Covenantal connection for both in person and virtual participants. All 18-24 year old UUs are welcome.
A day of activities including lunch and dinner at First Unitarian Portland.
Tuesday June 21, noon to 10pm PT.
Register here. See you in Portland!  🙂

Camp is Back in 2022!
Exciting news! Camp will return in 2022. Dates have been confirmed for our week-long, residential high school & middle school camps in the mountains.
QUUest: July 3-9, 2022 in Casper, Wyoming.
Camp Blue Boat: July 17-21 in Ellensburg, WA.
Watch the newsletter and our website for more information as it becomes available.
Staff applications open until positions are filled.
Donations to support camp always welcome.
Requesting the Pleasure of Your Presence: PCD Annual Business Meeting
The Pacific Central District Annual Business Meeting 2022 will take place Saturday June 11, 2022, 1PM PT/10AM HT on Zoom.

Over the past year, your District Board has been in frequent, long, intense, and deep conversations with UUA staff and volunteer leaders throughout our movement. Let us share what we are learning, join us in conversation, and prepare the District for whatever is next.

Please, mark your calendars and engage your community in identifying delegates.

Our main item of business will be bylaw changes to allow the District a wide range of possibilities for institutional integration with the UUA, and to simplify the scope of the District’s purpose to funding ministries that matter primarily and particularly to member communities of the District.

Other items of business will be elections, approval of the budget, and time to hear from one another. More details, reference materials, registration, and delegate certification should be available by Friday, May 13th at

Your Board,
Catherine Ishida
Roger Jones
Bob Klein
Bob Miess
Karen Urbano
Cascadia Chalice Lighters Update
Cascasia Chalice Lighters has launched their first call under the new program! Read the call letter and learn how to make a donation here.
InSpirit UU Book and Gift Shop
Swinging on the Garden Gate: A Memoir of Bisexuality and Spirit
Every story begins with a word. As a young woman, Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew carried a word within her so potent that it spread through her every artery and vein. She carried it in secret until she was shown a different way and the word inside her turned restless and eager.

A stunning memoir of coming of age and coming out, Swinging on the Garden Gate: A Memoir of Bisexuality and Spirit describes a period of time in award-winning writer and teacher Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew’s life when she came to know bisexuality as an embodied manifestation of divinity. Andrew not only reconciles her United Methodist faith with her sexuality but realizes that her body is holy, her sexuality is holy, and the word she carried within her has always been holy.

The spark of spirit Andrew identifies in her body she also finds throughout the solid matter of life—in childhood, nature, creativity, loss, death, and especially the coming out process. Andrew brings a distinctly queer feminist lens to Christian teachings and answers the question innumerable young people have posed to her over the years: “Is it possible to be both queer and spiritual?” The act of bringing hidden, personal truths to light is transformative, and for Andrew, a universal calling.

This second edition includes a new note from Andrew as she looks back on its twenty-year history and a foreword by Bishop Karen Oliveto, the first openly lesbian bishop to be elected in the United Methodist Church.

Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew teaches creative writing at Wisdom Ways Center for Spirituality in St. Paul, Minnesota. She is the author of two books for writers: Writing the Sacred Journey: The Art and Practice of Spiritual Memoir and Living Revision: A Writer’s Craft as Spiritual Practice, which received a Nautilus Award in 2018.

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