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September 7, 2012 by PNWD News Editor | No comments

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The Boston offices of the Unitarian Universalist Association are moving next month. To accomplish the physical move, UUA Boston offices will be closed May 16-18. UUA email and phones will be out of service over these days, and this will affect UUA Field Staff in the Pacific Northwest District and the Pacific Western Region, too. PNWD phones are not impacted, but all email ending with “” will be temporarily unavailable May 16-18.

May 19 marks the first day at the new UUA headquarters! Email should be back up, including for field staff. Phone numbers for UUA offices and Boston-based staff will remain the same.

UUA staffers have worked very hard to prepare for the move. Anyone who has moved can imagine the chaos and extra stress of packing up while trying to continue “business as usual.” Oh – and let’s throw in simultaneous preparation for a giant event, too (General Assembly at the end of June). And, although staff are very excited about moving into office space that was designed for work in this century, many are grieving the loss of our historic headquarters on Beacon Hill, next to the Massachusetts State House.

To brighten this transition and show support of those who work on our behalf in Boston, why not send a “Welcome Home!” card to someone on UUA staff? Pick someone you know, someone at random from the UUA staff directory on-line, or just send to “UUA Staff” at 24 Farnsworth Street, Boston, MA 02210-1409. (Please send an actual card through U.S. Mail, rather than email – time it as best you can to arrive 5/19.)

Then save that address for a visit if you have the opportunity to travel to to Boston! Throughout the three floors of UUA offices will be multimedia UU Heritage and Vision displays that tell our stories: past, present and future.

And above all – let’s be patient when we need something from our UUA staff. Despite best plans, things can go awry during a move as complex as this one. If your email or phone call hasn’t been acknowledged, wait a bit and try again. It’s possible the message just didn’t make it to your intended destination, or somehow got buried in the shuffle.


Mark your calendars for this exciting Discovery Day! on September 27, 2014.

Leaders in UU congregations throughout the Pacific Northwest are invited to share their passion and experience with those eager to discover how to live our faith more deeply, meaningfully and effectively. “Discovery Day” will be a chance for UUs to learn from one another through 75-minute workshops led by peers and professionals. Cost and complexity will be kept to a minimum with the hopes of maximizing access for all who want to attend. All participants will be responsible for their own lunch and refreshments throughout the day. Advance registration will be required, with a modest registration fee. One complimentary registration is provided per workshop.

Interdependence – Innovation – Impact

Workshops should focus on how PNWD congregations can collaborate to create transformational experiences for members and the larger community in one or more of these areas:

  • Congregational Leadership
  • Spiritual Development
  • Faith in Action

Workshops that will engage senior youth as well as adults are particularly encouraged.

Workshop proposals are due May 12. For more information about workshop proposals and a submission form, link to Call for Workshops

Registration for Discovery Day! will open August 1, 2014.

For questions, email Lori Ragona, Training & Communications Specialist:




OWLwebsquareOur Whole Lives: Sexuality Education for Grades 7-9 and 10-12 are two parts of the Our Whole Lives lifespan series. The overall goal of this program is to create a positive and comprehensive educational program that helps participants gain the knowledge, values, and skills to lead sexually healthy, responsible lives. The leaders or facilitators who implement the curriculum are important determinants of program success. Thus it is very important for group leaders to be highly skilled in communication and facilitation, in managing the learning process so that activities are truly aimed at accomplishing objectives, and in using a variety of teaching techniques, such as role play. This training is for those facilitators in each congregation who will lead this class. It is designed for use by a gender inclusive co-facilitation team. It works best if all members of the team take the training at the same time. For more information, contact Dana Regan, CRE at

OWL Facilitator Training: Jr/Sr Level
August 22- 24, 2014
Hosted by: Saltwater UU Church, Des Moines, WA

Registration for the OWL Facilitator Training opens Monday, June 2, 2014. 


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Ysaye BarnwellSeattle University’s School of Theology and Ministry will host Dr. Ysaye Barnwell as Guest Lecturer in its third annual “Faith & Values in the Public Square” lecture series. Dr. Barnwell, who has been featured at UUA and PNWD Assemblies, will present “What Good is a Song? Consider an African Worldview,” along with a short musical performance.
The lecture series brings outstanding and provocative speakers to the Pacific Northwest community. Dr. Barnwell is the second speaker in this year’s series.
Tickets are free, but must be reserved in advance. Space is limited.When: Tuesday, April 8th, 7 pm
Where: Pigott Auditorium at Seattle University

A professor at Howard University College of Dentistry and a health program administrator at Children’s Hospital National Medical Center and at Gallaudet University, Dr. Ysaye M. Barnwell is perhaps best known for her 34 years with the African-American female a capella group, Sweet Honey in the Rock.  She is also a commissioned composer, recording artist, actress and author.

Inspired by the songs and dancing at the celebration of Nelson Mandela’s life in South Africa, Dr. Barnwell will share the elements of the African World View and how is has impacted the use and evolution of African American music, from Spirituals to the music of the Civil Rights Movement.

Dr. Barnwell has spent much of the past thirty years off stage, working as a master teacher and choral clinician in African American cultural performance.  Her workshop “Building a Vocal Community: Singing in the African American Tradition” has been conducted  on three continents, making her work in the field a significant source of inspiration for both singers and non-singers, a model of pedagogy for educators, cultural activists and historians.  


Four axioms have proven significant in Barnwell’s life:

    • To whom much is given, much is required.
    • As one door closes, another door opens.
    • Everything matters.
    • Say Yes!

Visit her website for more information:

SSL_bannerIn October 2009, the PNWD office purchased a Standing on the Side of Love banner to share among our congregations. Since that time our banner has been marched in Gay Pride parades, a high school homecoming parade, a Cinco de Mayo parade, and even a rodeo parade! It has been hung to inaugurate a Welcoming Congregation program, publicize a Social Justice Fairness Fair, and to launch a Candidating Week. The banner has stood on the steps of state capitol buildings, been present for a Marriage Equality Town Forum, and raised on a busy street-corner during an Interfaith Alliance rally.

Our banner’s first stop was Juneau, Alaska and its final stop was Ellensburg, Washington. After 37 visits, through all four PNWD states, our banner was starting to look very tired. At District Assembly in Spokane, we held a raffle to see who could guess the total miles our banner has traveled during the past 53 months. The winner would take the banner home to spend its final days in retirement. Leslie Miller of Boise UU Fellowship guessed just 279 miles shy of the 13,385 total miles traveled! Congratulations, Leslie!


Kit KetchamUU Minister the Rev. Kit Ketcham has joined the Board of Contributors to The Daily Astorian, which recently published her column in their “Writer’s Notebook.” She writes,

Over the years, my own understanding of the issues and struggles of same-sex couples has taken me from deep anxiety to a passionate advocacy for love and justice for women and men whose commitment to each other has been denied legal status. We fear what we don’t understand – and I no longer feel afraid.

To read the full article on-line, click here.

The Rev. Kit Ketcham serves the Pacific Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Astoria, OR. She retired to the North Coast in August 2012 and is minister emerita of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Whidbey Island, Wash.

The Pacific Northwest Unitarian Universalist Growth Foundation (PNUUGF) makes grants and loans to congregations in the PNWD and British Columbia to support growth. There will soon be two openings on the board for trustees, either minister or layperson, to be elected to three-year terms by District Assembly delegates at the annual meeting, which will follow the PNWD annual meeting in Spokane on March 15. Candidates should know something about how congregations operate and have some experience making decisions. The board meets infrequently; most work is via email and the time commitment is not onerous. Further information is at the foundation’s website, To nominate a candidate or to self-nominate, contact board member Stan Jewett at or 503-310-0679 no later than March 7.


The Pacific Northwest District Staff and Board join the UUA in remembering the long and exemplary ministry of the Rev. Dr. William “Bill” Harper Houff, who died on January 26 , 2014 in Spokane, WA, at the age of 85. 

Rev. Dr. Houff served several congregations in the Pacific Northwest, including the UU Church of Spokane from 1973 to his retirement in 1988. He was named Minister Emeritus of UUCS, and went on to serve Interim Ministries in Winnipeg, North Carolina, the Unitarian Church of Vancouver, BC, and University Unitarian Church (1997-1999).

Prior to his ministry in Spokane, Rev. Dr. Houff served the UU Fellowship of Redwood City, CA (1964-68) and the Shoreline UU Church (1968-1973).

Here is Rev. Dr. Houff’s full obituary as published by the UUA Office of Ministries and Faith Development: 


The Ministries and Faith Development staff offer our condolences to the family and colleagues of the Rev. Dr. William “Bill” Harper Houff who died on January 26th, 2014 at the age of 85.

William “Bill” Houff was born in New Hope, VA, on April 27th, 1928 to Harper P. Houff and Anna Elizabeth Willberger. He graduated from The College of William and Mary in 1950 with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. In 1952, he received a Master’s of Science in Chemistry, and in 1955, a Ph.D. in Chemistry, both from Michigan State University. He then worked as a chemist in Michigan, New York, and California, respectively, from 1958 to 1964.  Rev. Houff graduated from Starr King School for the Ministry, with a Bachelor in Divinity, in 1964.

Ordained to the Unitarian Universalist ministry in 1964, Rev. Houff served the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Redwood City, CA from 1964 to 1968, the Shoreline Unitarian Universalist Church of Shoreline, WA from 1968-1973, and the Unitarian Universalist Church of Spokane, WA from 1973-1988.  Rev. Houff was certified as an Accredited Interim Minister in 1992. He served as interim minister for the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Winnipeg, MB from 1988-1989, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Greensboro in Jamestown, NC from 1989 to 1990, the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville, NC from 1990-1991, the Unitarian Church of Vancouver, BC from 1991 to 1993 and the University Unitarian Church of Seattle, WA from 1997 to 1999. In 1988, he was honored with the title of Minister Emeritus by the Unitarian Universalist Church of Spokane. Rev. Houff wrote a book entitled Infinity in Your Hand: A Guide for the Spiritually Curious; the book was published by Melior Publications in 1989 and Skinner House Books in 1990.

Rev. Houff dedicated much of his time to Unitarian Universalism, and served the denomination in various capacities. He was a regular participant in Pacific Northwest Division Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association chapter meetings from 1968 to 1988, and was a member of the Pacific Northwest Division Nominating Committee. Rev. Houff served as President of the Bay Area Ministers Association from 1964 to 1965, Chair of the Pacific Central District Personnel Committee from 1964 to 1965, Member and Chair of the Student Affairs Committee at Starr King School from 1967 to 1970, and Workshop Leader for the Unitarian Universalist Minsters Association Continuing Education, Network, Training, Enrichment and Renewal (CENTER) Committee from 1968 to 1988.

Rev. Houff was deeply committed to social justice. Along with other Unitarian Universalist ministers, he traveled to Selma, Alabama in 1965 for the Selma to Montgomery March. Several years later, he marched in San Francisco to protest the Vietnam War and the use of Napalm on the people of Vietnam.  In 1984, at the Spokane Unitarian Universalist Church, Rev. Houff delivered a sermon titled, “Silent Holocaust,” in which he described the life-threatening negligence of the nuclear industry. The sermon served as a catalyst for the formation of the Handford Education Action League (HEAL), a grassroots nuclear concern group. Rev. Houff was a founder and leader of the group.

Rev. Houff’s friends and family remember his strong connection to his rural Southern roots, despite his departure from his family’s working farm at age eighteen. Following his move to Spokane in 1972, Rev. Houff acquired a forty acre farm, which he named “The Still Point.” He constructed the main farmhouse and several other outbuildings. He was interested in photography, reading, carpentry, farming, and backpacking.

Rev. Houff is survived by sons Konrad Crist (Karen Campbell), Gregory Houff (Starla), Robert Houff, and by his stepchildren. He is also survived by his grandchildren Torin, Marina, and Trevor. Rev. Houff was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Anna Lee, and his beloved wife, Patricia “Patty” Meagher McTigue.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Inland Northwest Land Trust, 33 W. Main Ave. Spokane, WA 99201-1017. Notes of condolences may be sent in care of Greg Houff, 1002 Golden Hills Drive, Cheney, WA. 99004.


Registration deadline is TODAY (February 19) for Youth and Children attending District Assembly in Spokane, March 14-16.

In order to plan for appropriate staffing and resources, children and youth must be registered by February 19. No late or on-site registrations will be accepted.

This is a Full Community event. Senior Youth (high school aged) will join in the full District Assembly program throughout the weekend, and get to hang together overnight at the Spokane Church. Children and Junior Youth will enjoy KIDS’ CAMP with special programs and field trips designed to enrich the District Assembly experience for families with elementary school and middle school aged children.

Loving childcare will be provided for pre-school (ages 1-4) and younger children on Friday evening, all day Saturday, and Sunday morning only for those who are registered in advance. During Sunday’s closing worship, which is open to the public, child care will be provided for all who attend. Parents will pick up children for lunch and dinner.

For more information on District Assembly programs for Children and Youth, including all forms required for the Sr. Youth program, click here.

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Hotel ExteriorThanks to strong reservations in the last week, the PNWD District Assembly room rate discount has been extended to February 25 by the Doubletree Spokane City Center!

Reserve your room nowbook through our personalized conference reservation page or call 800-222-8733. To take advantage of our special rate, be sure to ask for our group code: PUN.

The special conference rate of $95 per room can be used for stays that extend three days before through three days after District Assembly, which is March 14-16.

Other deadlines related to District Assembly:

  • February 19 – Deadline to register children and youth for District Assembly
  • February 26 – Deadline for lower rate adult registration
  • February 26 – Deadline for mail-in registrations for adults
  • March 4 – Deadline for certifying congregational & ministerial delegates to District Assembly
  • March 6 – Deadline for on-line registration (after this date, only on-site registration is allowed, on a space available basis)
  • February 28 – Deadline for “no fault” cancellations (after this date, cancellations will be granted for hardship only)


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