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The Pacific Northwest District was well represented in leadership and honorees at the Service of the Living Tradition during UUA General Assembly in Portland at the end of June. Here are just a few – who else was recognized there?
- Rev. Bill Sinkford (Senior Minister, First Unitarian Church of Portland, OR) invited the offering
- Mavis Cauffman (UU Congregation of Whidbey Island, Freeland, WA) presented the newly Credentialed Music Leaders
Ministers Receiving Preliminary Fellowship
- Catharine Buck Clarenbach
- Barbara Ann Cornell
- Katie Larsell
- Sarah Eileen LaWall
- Kevin J. Lawson
Ministers Receiving Final Fellowship
- K. Antonia Won
Ministers Completing Full-Time Service
- Wendy Fish
- Peg Boyle Morgan
Other PNWD Leaders appearing prominently at GA were Susan Peck (UU Community Church of Washington County, Hillsboro, OR), who served on the Worship Arts Team and led music during General Sessions; Rev. Cecilia Kingman and Wil Sederholm (Edmonds UU Church, WA), Morning Devotionals; and Bertram Gulhagen (Westside UU Congregation, Seattle, WA), who served as Music Director for GA and led the 180-voice GA choir at Sunday’s public worship service.
The Rev. Tandi Rogers (Tahoma UU Congregation, Tacoma, WA), who serves the UUA as Innovation and Network Specialist, introduced the new UUA pilot program for “Covenanting Communities,” including four groups within the Pacific Northwest District:
- North Kitsap Unitarians (Poulsbo, WA – previously, an Emerging Congregation)
- Peninsula UU Fellowship (Port Orchard, WA – previously, an Emerging Congregation)
- Methow Valley UU Fellowship (Twisp, WA)
- UUs of Goldendale (WA)
Tags: GA 2015
More than 4,500 UUs from around the country traveled to Portland, OR, for the annual General Assembly (GA) of our Unitarian Universalist Association, June 24-28, 2015. Nearly a quarter of this number were from the Pacific Northwest District (PNWD)!
See the UU World coverage for more information on decisions and events at General Assembly. Many recorded events and general sessions are available on-line). You can also catch the Pacific Western Region Twitter feed – find a convenient link at the PNWD website – front page, scroll down the left-hand sidebar.
Special thanks to Ken Wheeler (First Unitarian Church of Portland, OR) and his crew of many, many volunteers who provided a warm welcome to Portland (pun intended – with temperatures in the 80s, 90s and even breaking 100, everyone was glad for the air conditioning in the Oregon Convention Center). Great job with the local organizing committee, Ken and all!
Who went on a tour offered by the Mid-Columbia UU Fellowship (Hood River, OR)? Bet those were well received and fabulous!
Although 44 PNWD Congregations certified 174 delegates to represent them at the 53rd Annual General Meeting of Pacific Northwest District, held June 27 at UUA General Assembly in Portland, OR, only 74 delegates from 29 congregations actually attended. After a delay in the proceedings while a quorum was confirmed, the PNWD Board conducted the meeting as announced in advance per PNWD bylaws.
The 2015 Annual Meeting packet can be downloaded from the PNWD website. Contents of the packet can be previewed along with an announcement of the 54th Annual Meeting, which will be held Saturday, March 5, 2016, at University Unitarian Church in Seattle, WA.
The Treasurer’s report, part of the Consent Agenda, offered financial statements for the year ending June 30, 2014. Also in the report was an overview of congregational support for district dues and teh UUA’s Annual Program Fund. District Dues for 2015/16 will remain at $26 per member, and are anticipated to remain at that level for 2016/17 as well.
Delegates elected Susan Howlett to a three-year term on the District Board of Directors. They also elected Michael Becker to a five-year term on the District Nominating Committee. For more information on the slate presented to delegates, see the Nominating Committee report.
Following discussion, delegates passed the resolution proposed by the Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship directing the PNWD Board to sign on to a 2014 letter from religious leaders supporting the Lummi Nation’s defense of their lands against the threat of mining, transporting, burning and disposal of fossil fuels. Several PNWD congregations had taken action to endorse the resolution prior to the Annual Meeting.
The PNWD Board then invited discussion of regional collaboration in the Pacific Western Region (PWR). Materials can be found on the PWR website, including the Letter of Agreement contracting with the UUA for program and staffing services. The Agreement is for a one-year period and will be renewed or revised in March, 2016.
Two members of the recently established Advisory Council to the UUA Director of Congregational Life were introduced: Dana Regan and the Rev. Carol McKinley will serve as appointees from Washington and Oregon, along with five others from the Pacific Western Region. The purpose of the group is to act as ambassadors to regional congregations and covenanted communities, ensuring that the director and Congregational Life Staff have the information they need to appropriately address the needs of local congregations.
An offering was invited for the Pacific Northwest UU Growth Foundation, which convened its annual meeting immediately upon adjournment of the PNWD business meeting.
PNWD Officers were announced for 2015/16 and the assembly spoke a covenant to serve faithfully with one another. Officers are:
President: Hayden Nevill (UU Fellowship of Fairbanks, AK)
Vice President: David Cauffman (UU Congregation of Whidbey Island, Freeland, WA)
Treasurer: Emmet Band (UU Church in Eugene, OR)
Secretary: Carol McKinley (Olympia UU Congregation, WA)
Newly elected board member Susan Howlett will serve as Director At Large. The PNWD board as a whole can be reached via email to email@example.com.
Finally, several volunteer leaders were honored for completing terms of service to the PNWD:
Dr. Kristin Guest and the Rev. Margaret Keip, co-leads, Healthy Congregations Team
Janine Larsen, UUA Congregational Life Staff in the Pacific Western Region, has posted an article on the front page of the PNWD website recapping the recent UUA General Assembly and the Pacific Northwest District’s 53rd Annual General Meeting.
PNWD held its Annual Meeting at General Assembly (GA) this year, expecting to take advantage of high attendance with more than 1,000 UUs from the district registered for GA. However, despite strong delegate certification for the PNWD meeting, fewer than half showed up. A quorum was barely achieved, and Janine recaps the results as well as musing about the disappointing turnout and the district’s new agreement for services from the UUA through its Pacific Western Region.
Janine also reflects briefly on her experience of sabbatical this past January 2 through April 5.
PNWD’s 2016 Annual Meeting has been scheduled for Saturday, March 5, at University Unitarian Church in Seattle, WA.
While you are in Portland for the UUA General Assembly, don’t forget the Annual Meeting of the Pacific Northwest District. Since so many PNWDers will be in the neighborhood, we realized this would be a great way to cut congregations’ travel costs and still conduct our annual business meeting in the absence of a District Assembly. We will convene at the DoubleTree by Hilton (1000 NE Multnomah Street) in the Multnomah/Holladay rooms on Saturday, June 27 promptly at 1:00. Delegates should arrive early to check in and receive their voting card. Delegate check-in will be open by 12:30.
You do not have to be a delegate to attend. Anyone is invited! GA registration is not required and a GA nametag is not needed for entrance to the PNWD meeting. If you are concerned that you won’t have time to eat before the 1:00 start, grab lunch and bring it with you.
There are many, many changes afoot in our district. So even if you aren’t a delegate from your congregation, you may still want to attend to learn about these. At the very least, do take a look at the business meeting materials posted on the Annual Meeting website. You’ll find links to the agenda, annual reports, and a resolution, as well as details about the shift from district staff to a unified staff structure with the three other Pacific Western Region (PWR) districts.
At the end of the PNWD Annual Meeting, the Pacific Northwest UU Growth Foundation (PNUUGF) will convene their annual meeting. Delegates to the PNWD meeting remain during this very brief session to also serve as PNUUGF delegates.
The meeting will be adjourned by 3:00.
The Pacific Western Region news post says, “It is with great pleasure that we announce the new Pacific Western Regional staff members.
Eric Bliss, Jan Christian, and Jonipher Kūponon Kwong, bring us years of experience as Unitarian Universalist religious professionals working in congregations and with programs and projects at the district, regional and national level. We will benefit from their extensive relationship in PWR and their awareness of our Regional Collaboration commitment. We are confident that our congregations, elected leaders and staff will appreciate their new perspectives, good questions and the opportunity to see our work through new eyes.
In July, all three staff will be in place getting acquainted with congregations and leaders across the region. Happily, we will be able to introduce Eric, Jan and Jonipher along with the continuing PWR staff at General Assembly during our PWR Regional Ingathering on Wednesday, June 24 at 5:45.”
Read about the new staff bios on the Regional News web page.
The Pacific Northwest District is proud to offer a training for leaders of the sexuality education curriculum, Our Whole Lives (OWL) for 7-9/10-12 grade in Corvallis, Oregon September 17-19, 2015. Congregations should have two leaders for each class offered. Ideally they would be facilitated by a male/female co-facilitation team.
Sign up now so your leaders are trained for the 2015-2016 church year.
Our Whole Lives is based on a philosophy of comprehensive sexuality education which helps participants make informed and responsible decisions about their sexual health and behavior. It equips participants with accurate, age-appropriate information in six subject areas: human development, relationships, personal skills, sexual behavior, sexual health, and society and culture. Grounded in a holistic view of sexuality, comprehensive sexuality education provides not only facts about anatomy and human development, but also helps leaders to clarify their values, build interpersonal skills, and understand the spiritual, emotional, social, and political aspects of sexuality as well.
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. They must have the ability to create an atmosphere that engages young adolescents and to use language and communication styles that are relevant to the specific youth in the program. Finally, group leaders must have the patience, stamina, and creativity necessary to manage the vast differences in maturity, experience, ability to dialogue, and attention spans present in a group of young adolescents.
The training is an opportunity not only to learn about the program and how to lead it, but also to see how comfortable you are as an ‘Our Whole Lives’ leader. It offers the opportunity to see many of the activities modeled by trainers as they were intended to be conducted. It gives the facilitators a supportive environment in which to practice skills and get constructive feedback from trainers and other curriculum implementers. It allows facilitators to network with others in the same position and to share ideas about what will and won’t work with their groups. Finally, it provides an opportunity for facilitators to get in touch with their own feelings, opinions, and experiences regarding sexuality.
Dana Regan, CRE
PNWD Lead RE Consultant
Tags: OWL Training
On April 25, communities in Nepal, India, and Bangladesh suffered a devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake. So far, reports reveal that more than 4,000 people have died and thousands more are injured or missing. The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) and the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) have activated an emergency response.
As is the practice with international disaster relief, UUSC will take the lead in distributing funds from the UUSC and UUA special joint appeal for Nepal relief work. Support will be directed toward people who are left out of mainstream relief efforts.
Read the full response from UUSC President Bill Schulz and UUA President Peter Morales. Their message closes with, “We are keeping the people of Nepal and the affected region in our hearts and prayers. Please be generous with your support.”
ACT NOW! Early discount registration ends April 30th. Go to http://www.uua.org/ga/registration/index.shtml
Program information is available at http://www.uua.org/ga/program. There are nearly 200 program offerings this year.
Housing information is available at http://www.uua.org/ga/travel/index.shtml
Hotel housing through the GA office continues to sell quickly, but new hotel space is being added to keep pace with demand. There are low cost dormitory-style rooms still available at Portland State. The dorms are a short Green MAX line ride from the Convention Center. There are also several home hospitality options available. Log on to: http://www.firstunitarianportland.org/our-church/general-assembly-2015
Davidoff Fund Scholarships applications are being accepted until April 30. The scholarship covers the cost of GA registration for lay delegates from congregations who have not been represented by lay leaders at GA in the last three years. Information and application at
General GA information is at www.uua.org/ga
Small Group Dinners will be offered by volunteers. Sign up at the information table and you will join a small number of GA attendees and be escorted to a reserved local restaurant for dinner, and be able to return to the convention center for evening activities. See details in the program book which will be online after May 1st.
Zero Waste Goal will be active at this GA. For more than 10 years the UUA has been making progress on greening the event. For example, last year in Providence, we achieved the highest success rate ever, an 86% diversion of waste materials from land fill. This involves recycling decisions by attendees and also negotiating with restaurants and the convention center to avoid non-compostable eating ware. THINGS HAVE CHANGED. This year we need to avoid taking disposable coffee cups into the convention center at all. There will be tables outside the building that will have reusable coffee cups for your purchase and use. Local vendors will refill them. Save some money and bring your own!
Tags: General Assembly
Earlier this month when registration opened, we posted news about the Russell Lockwood Leadership School (RLLS). For a more comprehensive look at this popular adult leadership program, be sure to read the current PNWD front page article.
The UUA’s Mountain Desert District was the home to RLLS for more than twenty years. Last year and this year, we have been fortunate to host it here in PNWD. Next year will begin the rotation through other Pacific Western Region districts. Although RLLS will always be open to PNWD, if you are interested in attending while it is located in the Pacific Northwest, be sure to register and submit your deposit by June 15. Fees, details and deadlines can be found on the RLLS page of the Pacific Western Region website.