PWR Newsletter – April 2022 - Archived

“What’s the Easiest Answer?” , PWR & UUA News, and more!
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Pacific Western Region
Newsletter • April 2022
What’s the Easiest Answer?
by Annie Scott
Congregational Life Field Staff

Most Decembers, when I served a congregation as a religious educator, we were usually preparing some kind of play or pageant for one of the Sundays. Some years it was a simple no-rehearsal Nativity play on Christmas Eve, or a modern version of the story, with a Texaco star rising in the background. The parents were the key supporters, costumers, etc. There were always last-minute ideas to make the presentation better. “Shouldn’t she say something?” “What if they entered from the back of the Sanctuary?” “Doesn’t he need a fuzzier fabric for his camel costume?” All of them might have been great improvements, but I always wanted to keep it low pressure for the presenters. At the final rehearsal and even the morning of the play my answer to all questions or glitches that arose was, “What’s the simplest answer?” That practice certainly kept my anxiety down as I acted as director/producer and helped the young people be calmer and enjoy the experience more. I’ve been thinking about that practice of keeping it simple, lately.

We are in unprecedented times. We have been in liminal times together for the last two plus years, and the liminality, the “time in between,” continues. We don’t know if another variant is coming along. We don’t know where new surges will arise. How many of us are ready to meet in-person again? When will children under five be able to be vaccinated?  There are many among us who will continue to view services and meet in small groups online. We are moving into a whole new kind of religious community, one that we don’t quite know what it will look or feel like. Some will continue attending worship online and some congregations are experimenting with having committee and board meetings online to be more inclusive of those who can’t drive at night, or have kids in bed, are immunocompromised, or who are simply more comfortable gathering from home.

We need to stay nimble and ready for changes. And, we need to keep it simple. We’re advising congregational leaders to prioritize “the essentials.” Essentials like worship, small group ministry and family ministry. Essentials like the pledge drive, practicing appreciation and gratitude. And, I think most importantly, growing and maintaining a strong, vital practice of relationships grown with love, compassion, humility and forgiveness.

Two of my esteemed UUA colleagues, Jan Gartner and Lisa Presley, have written a wonderful blog: Less is More: Everyone Needs a Break. I encourage you to check it out.

Blessings during this time and may we all practice simplicity and compassion as we work to be together in whatever way feels safe and meaningful to each of us.

In this Issue

What’s the Easiest Answer?
PWR & UUA News
Youth & Emerging Adult 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 $475 for adults, and $250 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. In-person registration rates will increase again on May 1. Registration for virtual participation is now open!

Video Engagement Strategy with Peter Bowden

Daily Livestream April 25 – 29, 2022 – Free, Live, 30-Minute Sessions with Q&A

The need for our congregations to effectively engage with people online has never been greater! During this free five-day YouTube Live series, Peter Bowden will share video-based strategies to support online visitors, increase engagement with worship, and amplify advocacy and witness efforts. Peter is a Unitarian Universalist trainer and coach specializing in media and digital strategy. This series shares the core strategies from his popular Video Ministry Academy training. The UUA is sponsoring this public training to make these strategies available to all congregations. More details to come online here.

Final Chance to Register for Intergenerational Spring Seminar!

Intergenerational Spring Seminar: “Displacement & Human Rights: All in for Climate Justice”
April 22 – May 1

This weekend is the final chance to register for the upcoming Intergenerational Spring Seminar hosted by the UUA Office at the UN in partnership with UU Ministry for Earth, UUSC, and Side With Love. This year’s theme, “Displacement and Human Rights: All In for Climate Justice,” is becoming increasingly relevant as climate change causes so many places on Earth to become uninhabitable. Learn about the issues and how to take action to create climate justice in your community and world. In addition to the virtual programming of the Spring Seminar April 22 – May 1, 2022, congregations have an opportunity to host in-person local gatherings for participants in nearby communities. The Seminar will include special activities for youth (14+) and young adults! Learn more and register by Sunday, April 3 here.
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, April 12, 2022; 4pm PT/ 5pm MT / 6pm CT/ 7pm ET. Pre-register.
  • 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, April 11, 2022
  • Monday, May 9, 2022
  • Monday, June 13, 2022
UU the Vote Launch Party and Toolkit
In this time of rising state and political violence towards BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and poor communities, we must show up together to end the violence of oppression and be a part of a movement to cultivate new systems and possibilities for a society rooted in compassion, equity, and justice. We draw upon our legacy, theology, and community take prophetic action #VoteLove #DefeatHate. Join us in this work on Sunday, April 10 at 4pm ET/1pm PT for the launch of UU the Vote 2022!
Please spread the word in your congregational newsletters, lists, and social media. Here’s a UU the Vote 2022 Toolkit with sample messages and graphics to make it easy for you!
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 April 14th at 8p ET/7p CT/6p MT/5p PT. Details and registration.

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.
Camp is Back in 2022!

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