PWR Newsletter – December 2021 - Archived

Pacific Western Region
Newsletter • December 2021
Our Spirit of Generosity
by Rev. Sarah Movius Schurr
PWR Program Staff

Sometime around the Thanksgiving holiday, the mailings start to come.  Every good and helpful organization I have ever donated to, or might ever want to donate to, sends me their special holiday appeal letter. They are anxious to ride the spirit of generosity and giving that hangs in the air during the winter holidays, like the smell of baked goods and the ever-present Christmas music playing in all the department stores.

But this letter is not about asking you to give. Not this one. This one is sharing how we in the Pacific Western Region have been giving! You might remember that several months ago we let you know about grants we were offering to congregations to help them live into a better future of growth and inclusivity. This grant money was collected at regional events in past years and was sitting in the bank, waiting for the right moment. Like some mythic being from an ancient holiday tale, we are living the spirit of generosity and giving money to congregations with good ideas on how to spread the spirit of generosity even further.

Here are just a couple of examples of generosity in action. The Bellingham UU Fellowship in Northern Washington is bringing in specialized facilitators from the community to train people in the difference between Whiteness and White Allyship, identifying polarization frameworks, and increasing a sense of unity and belonging. Our grant will join with other funding they have secured to sponsor this great program. And they are working collaboratively in this training with our smaller congregations in Blaine and in Skagit Valley, sharing this great resource.

Our church in Honolulu, Hawaii will use grant money to improve their ground-floor building access through upgrades in their community garden. This not only gives them the chance to appreciate the natural beauty of the earth even more fully, but to have Covid-safer outdoor meeting space, and to live our values of inclusivity by making an accessible ground-floor space for children and families. They will share these improvements with others who use the building, including the local synagogue.

As time goes on, we will ask our grant recipients to share their stories with you in this newsletter – how this money helped them live our UU values in the world and share the spirit of generosity throughout the year. And just a reminder that our Pacific Western Regional Assembly will be held from February 4th – 6th, 2022. Our theme is Reflect, Rejoice, Renew! We look forward to learning and celebrating with you either in person in sunny San Diego, or comfortably online. We can share more stories of generosity: generosity offered, and generosity received.

In this Issue

Our Spirit of Generosity
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
Pacific Western Regional Assembly: Register Now!

We need Unitarian Universalist community more than ever, and the Pacific Western Region of the UUA is having a Regional Assembly to bring us together February 4-6, 2022 in San Diego and online.

Our PWR Regional Assembly is that inspirational, radically inclusive, beyond-the-congregation UU community we’ve missed. We can engage fully, wherever we are. Whether onsite at the Hyatt along the bay in San Diego, or online in the comfort of our own homes, we will have opportunities for connection in small groups, inspirational worship, transformative learning, and just plain community fun.

Visit our webpage to learn more and register. We are so excited to see you there—we can’t wait to be together again.

Regional Assembly: Call for “Shorts”

Regional Assembly calls for Shorts. Selected short videos will be made available to all who participate in Regional Assembly 2022. Some may be used in RA programming, some will be available for viewing leading into the weekend and some will be available for participants to use in a future worship service. Examples include:

  • Natural beauty near your home, or a short nature trail
  • A great congregational program to share with others
  • A song or Story for All Ages that you have the rights to play & share
  • Maybe you want to update us on a bit of cluster news
  • A chalice lighting – reading & lighting

Here is a great format for just that kind of communication. We are not seeking commercial submissions. Professional film crews are not needed. Cell phone or Zoom videos are often very good. Regional Assembly is our joint gathering, won’t you contribute? Details and submissions.

Compass: Navigating the Paths to Liberation Together

When asked, “What wisdom might we offer to one another in this challenging moment?” Let us boldly respond, “Interdependence will guide us onward.” And it is truly in one another that we find our compass in navigating the paths towards liberation.

All are welcome to gather in community for Compass: Navigating the Paths to Liberation Together on December 11-12, 2021, as we discern our way forward. The virtual event series will include invigorating worship, special musical guests, thought-provoking conversations, breakout caucus gatherings, a special presentation from the Article II Study Commission, and much more.

Registration is now open. Learn more about Compass here.

UUA Board Meetings and Open Houses
Open Houses
The Board will, once again, hold open houses on the 2nd Tuesday of each month.

  • Tuesday, December 14, 2021; 4pm PT/ 5pm MT / 6pm CT/ 7pm ET. Pre-register.
  • Tuesday, January 11, 2022; 4pm PT/ 5pm MT / 6pm CT/ 7pm ET. Pre-register.
  • Tuesday, February 8, 2022; 4pm PT/ 5pm MT / 6pm CT/ 7pm ET. Pre-register.
  • Tuesday, March 8, 2022; 4pm PT/ 5pm MT / 6pm CT/ 7pm ET. Pre-register.
  • 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/times for each meeting. Please note that a registration link for the meetings will be available on this page in advance of each meeting.

  • Monday, December 13, 2021; 4:00pm PT / 5:00pm MT / 6:00pm CT / 7:00pm ET
  • Friday, January 21—Saturday, January 22, 2022; Schedule TBD
  • Monday, February 14, 2022; 4:00pm PT / 5:00pm MT / 6:00pm CT / 7:00pm ET
  • Monday, March 14, 2022; 4:00pm PT / 5:00pm MT / 6:00pm CT / 7:00pm ET
  • Friday, April 22—Saturday, April 23, 2022; Schedule TBD
  • Monday, May 9, 2022; 4:00pm PT / 5:00pm MT / 6:00pm CT / 7:00pm ET
Stewardship Lunch and Share

Stewardship Lunch and Share for stewardship and fundraising lay leaders.
Join PWR staff and congregational leaders from around the region for conversation and sharing about stewardship, generosity, and fundraising. Each gathering will include brief presentations and plenty of time to bring your questions and ideas to one another.
12:00pm to 1:00pm Pacific on the 2nd Friday of the month.

December 10th Topic: The Impact of the Pandemic on Giving Trends
Register for upcoming lunch and shares 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, Congregational Life 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. Next meeting December 9th at 9p ET/8p CT/7p MT/6p PT. Details and registration at the UUA website.

A Second Slice of Pi: An Online Conference for Smaller Congregations

Remember Pi Day, March 14, 2020 (3.14) when we were going to have synchronized conferences across the country for smaller congregations? There was going to be a theme of pie for everyone and lots of connecting? And…the pandemic happened instead?

Join us online at the UU Leadership Institute (UULI) on Saturday, March 12th, 2022 from 3 to 5 pm ET for A Second Slice – an updated, pandemic safe conference for smaller congregations! What will be doing? Easy on demand resources for small congregations, opportunities to connect with leaders of other small congregations, and a chance to share your story. Registration will open in January

Has your small (<120 members) congregation done something interesting lately? A new partnership? A unique social justice project? A new way of connecting you members? Would you like to share your success with others? A Second Slice of Pi is looking for stories to share with participants at the conference via a short video (we can help!). Contact your

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