PWR Newsletter – October 2023 - Archived

“PWR Transitions Team Town Hall”,  PWR & UUA News, and more!

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Pacific Western Region
Newsletter  October 2023

Register Now for the PWR Transitions Town Halls!

Dear Unitarian Universalists of the Pacific Western Region,

Your Pacific Western Region Transitions Team is extending a special invitation to you to join us for our Regional Town Halls on Zoom, Tuesday, October 17, 6-8pm Pacific/7-9pm Mountain/5-7pm Alaska/3-5pm Hawaii, and Saturday, October 21, 10am-12pm Pacific/11-1 Mountain/9-11am Alaska/7-9am Hawaii.

Our goal is to gather feedback on our ideas for the future of the region and to see what ideas, hopes, and dreams you might have for a new Pacific Western Region that more fully supports and connects its communities. There will be opportunities for you to participate in online polls, and in conversations with members of other communities in our Region. Our goal is to engage with UUs throughout the Region in ways that will give you a voice in the future of our Region, from programs offered by our Regional staff to our upcoming Pacific Western Regional Assembly, April 19-20, 2024, at First Universalist Church of Denver.

Here are ways that you can help:

  • share this video with your congregation this Sunday, and/or share it to your social media and congregation’s website
  • Include this announcement in your congregation’s bulletin this Sunday
  • Share this newsletter with those in your congregation who can also be partners in helping get the word out about the Town Halls
  • Register for the Town Hall at this link and encourage others in your congregation to do the same.

If you have any questions, please email us at

We look forward to working with you in making the Pacific Western Region the best it can be for all of us!


Yours in service,

The Pacific Western Region Transitions Team

Mary Nordhagen

Rhoda Whitney

Libby Fitzgerald

Bob Miess

Keith Strohmaier

Rev. Ian Evison, Project Manager for Regionalization

Rev. Carlton E. Smith, Lead – Pacific Western Region

In this Issue

PWR Transitions Team Town Hall
PWR & UUA News
Youth & Emerging Adult News
Pacific Southwest 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

Melissa James
Sarah Gibb Millspaugh
Sarah Schurr

Annie Scott


Safety and Threats in 2023

As hate groups are becoming emboldened across the US, an increasing number of our congregations have been targeted and threatened by extremists who do not like the way our congregations act for justice and equity. Most of these threats do not lead to physical violence, however these times call us to be prepared to prevent physical violence, verbal violence, vandalism, and online intimidation and harassment.

Threats from Without, Care from Within is an online, day-long event with the goal of helping Unitarian Universalists develop strategies for community safety in our congregations. The conference begins with worship and inspiration, followed by workshops and panel discussions featuring the wisdom and experiences of many UU congregations. It’s happening Saturday, October 21st, 2023 starting at 10 am Mountain / 9 am Pacific / 8 am Alaskan / 7 am Hawaiian and closing six hours later.

We encourage teams from congregations to sign up and to participate in the conference on different screens to be able to attend different workshops. Teams can set a meeting after the conference to put together what they’ve learned and develop policies and practices for the congregation. Registration is on a sliding scale, and closes Friday, October 20th. Learn more and register today.

Save the Dates: Pacific Western Regional Assembly

You know what it is: Pacific Western Regional Assembly

You know when: April 19-20, 2024

Now we can tell you where: Online, and in-person at the First Universalist Church of Denver!

Yes, the next in-person Assembly and Business Meeting for the Pacific Western Region will be in the Foothills of the Mountain Desert area. Members of your Regional staff recently did a site visit there and exchanged exciting ideas about what would be possible in the open, accommodating spaces of First Universalist. Denver and environs are a significant hub for UU congregations and covenanting communities of a variety of sizes, and the energy is already starting to build toward a dynamic weekend of connecting, growing, and inspiring each other. Learn more about this vibrant congregation and its facilities here.

Look for more details about Regional Assembly presenters and registration in upcoming editions of the PWR Newsletter!

Letting Go of Our Beloved Buildings

Wednesday, October 25, 1:30pm – 3:00pm ET/ 12:30pm CT/10:30PM PT/ 8am PT/11:30am MT    
Our buildings connect us to our history and are special and unique spaces that provide a home for our communities. But with these blessings come the challenges of maintaining older buildings and adapting them for today’s needs. This is especially a challenge for congregations who are now smaller than when their buildings were built. What if the space we need to live our mission no longer matches the building we own? Could our building find a new calling? Learn more and register here.

Large Congregation Staff Conference 2023: Collective Creativity for the Next Unitarian Universalist Chapter

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