PWR Newsletter – October 29, 2020 - Archived

“We Need Each Other”, PWR & UUA News, and more!
Email not displaying correctly? View it in your browser.
Pacific Western Region
Newsletter • October 29, 2020
We Need Each Other
By Rev. Carlton E. Smith
Lead – UUA Pacific Western Region

As I write, we are one week away from Election Day. All the debates are over, and our nation’s candidates for President and Vice President starting in 2021 are criss-crossing the country, as are their surrogates, in hopes of energizing voters and volunteers. An abundance of requests for donations and campaign materials arrive in my physical and virtual mailboxes everyday, so much so that I barely look at them before putting them in the trash.

Meanwhile, the fires continue to rage in our Pacific Western Region, threatening lives, livelihoods and lifestyles. The social unrest in cities like Seattle and Portland is no longer at the top of the news cycle but remains a real concern for citizens and those who love them. COVID-19 cases and death rates are spiking and coming closer to home. Many see the most recent appointee to the Supreme Court as a pulling away from values of justice, equity and compassion.

Some of us wonder what lies in the days, weeks and months ahead. Now more than ever, we don’t take fair elections, peaceful transitions of power, our healthcare system and general human-kindness for granted.

Part of the genius I find in our seven principles of Unitarian Universalism is how they lift up essential human rights as religious values that we affirm and promote. Included in those are the “right of conscience and the use of the democratic process in our congregations and in society at large.” It’s no wonder that thousands upon thousands of Unitarian Universalists and our allies have become part of the UU the Vote campaign, with our President, Rev. Dr. Susan Frederick-Gray, leading the way.

Here are some gatherings and resources that you might find supportive:

We on your PWR staff encourage you to save the date for the Pacific Western Regional Assembly, February 13-14. Our theme will be “Love Right Through” — That is, we can let love be our guide and our practice as we navigate the heartbreak of the pandemic, the devastation of the wildfires, the protests against state-sanctioned violence and, hopefully, the restoration of our nation’s democratic conventions. Some of our PWR districts will have their annual meetings that Friday, and we hope that our regional worship that Sunday will provide a blessed rest opportunity for clergy and lay leaders alike who’ve been valiantly generating online worship service after online worship service since the spring.

While we don’t know what the days ahead hold for us, we do know the values we seek to make real every day — Justice. Compassion. Equity. Liberty. Peace. Democracy. Dignity. Acceptance. Responsibility. Community. Respect. Interdependence. Love.

And we know that regardless of what happens, we will still need each other. We can love our way right through these troubled times, and we will.

In faith,

In this Issue

We Need Each Other
Wildfire Response
PWR & UUA News
Youth News
Mountain Desert News
Pacific Central News
Pacific Northwest News
Pacific Southwest News
InSpirit UpdatePWR Links
Calendar and Events
Staff Contacts
Job Postings
Youth Ministries
RE Trainings

PWR Lead
Carlton Elliott Smith

PWR Field Staff
Summer Albayati
Wildfire Response

We on the UUA’s PWR staff are so sorry to hear about the wildfires burning all across our region.We want all of our congregations to know that we are here for you if these fires are taking a toll on you and your communities.

The generous donations of UUs across the country support our Disaster Relief Fund. You are welcome to apply for a grant if your congregation meets the criteria. Checks are distributed weekly.

Additionally, the UU Trauma Ministry offers support for individuals, communities, and caregivers contending with trauma and potential trauma during a disaster.

And if you’re not sure what you need, or you just need some moral support to help you get through this extraordinary time, don’t hesitate to be in touch your Primary Contact.  We are holding you all in our thoughts and prayers.

“New, Newer, Virtual DRE” Webinar Series

The “New, Newer, Virtual DRE”, is a 3 part webinar series designed to aid newer UU religious educators in a time COVID19 with the compelling need to provide virtual religious education programming. Co-facilitated by Annie Scott and Nancy Combs-Morgan, Congregational Life Consultants of the UUA, who are also veteran UU religious educators. We will explore new ways to connect with other DRE’s, the virtual opportunities for professional development; resources and approaches to children, youth and adult online programming, and weaving in anti-racist lens and resources to your existing programming. There will be additional co-facilitators who are religious educators of color who will lead a Black, Indigenous or person of color (BIPOC) breakout group.

3 webinars on Tuesdays: November 10th and 17th and December 1st
8:30 am-10:00 am Alaska/9:30 am-11 am Pacific/10:30 am-12:00 pm Mountain

Register here!

Claiming Our Spiritual Leadership

Claiming Our Spiritual Leadership, originally developed as a popular in-person workshop by the New England Region staff, is now accessible nationwide as an online training through the UU Leadership Institute!

Consider taking this training if you and your congregation are looking for ways for congregational life to be more about:

  • soulful engagement with your faith;
  • finding energy and meaning in the gifts already present in your congregation; and
  • the transformative power of communities living their values in ways that challenge dominant culture — both within and beyond the congregation.
Are You Considering In-Person Gatherings?
The UUA’s COVID resource team has updated the UUA guidance for congregations on COVID-19. This new guidance includes things we were hearing from congregations that they needed, including specific metrics and tools for determining when it might be safe to regather and sources for scientifically-accurate data and prevention information. See the second half of our webpage, UUA Guidance on Gathering In-Person When COVID-19 Subsides. Your congregation’s primary contact on PWR UUA staff can also help your leaders figure out how to make these difficult decisions in this challenging time.
Virtual “Guest In Your Pulpit” Directory
Over the past few months, more and more of our congregations have been remembering that they can have guests even if we’re worshipping online – and many community-based religious professionals have wanted to be on a list to be considered, especially since we can now lead worship in parts of the country far from us. The UUMA is maintaining a list to make it easier for congregations (minister-led and lay-led) to find speakers.
Save the Date for Regional Assembly 2021: Love Right Through

Please watch this newsletter and the PWR website for more details on our virtual Regional Assembly:

Love Right Through
Feb 13-14, 2021
A Virtual Regional Gathering

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.
Upcoming Youth Events

Pacific Western Region (PWR) Events

  • Series Fall Con – Virtual, Nov 20-21. Hosted by PSWD. Register here!
  • Youth Advisor Training – Pandemic Iteration for Online Youth Groups in Two Sessions – Virtual, Nov 10 & 17.  6:30 – 8 pm PT / 7:30 – 9 pm MT Register here!
District Specific Programs
PCD Coming of Age

  • There will be no PCD COA Events this year. Please contact our COA Coordinator, Rachel Nannini, to discuss your COA program (


PSWD Camp de Benneville Pines

  • See camp website for full range of virtual offerings and the latest information
MDD “Walk the Talk” Award


We need something to celebrate!  Do you know a lay person in the Mountain Desert District who is living a life which exemplifies Unitarian Universalist principles?  Nominate them for the “Walk the Talk” Award.  We need your help to lift up the people who further this faith.

Even though you probably have the principles memorized, it never hurts to be reminded! Follow this link to reflect on them and see who might come to mind to nominate.

Visit our website and tell us who you think should win the award and why. The winner will have their registration paid for our next annual assembly, plus receive a $100 prize. Nominations are open until December 31, 2020.

MDD Fall Chalice Lighter Call Now Open!

[Message clipped]  View entire message

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.