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September 7, 2012 by PNWD News Editor | No comments

From Left: Stan Jewett PNWD Chalice Tour Captain; Beth McGregor, 2014 District Coordinator; Ken Wheeler, 2015 Coordinator

From Left: Stan Jewett PNWD Chalice Tour Captain; Beth McGregor, 2014 District Coordinator; Ken Wheeler, 2015 District Coordinator

As the chalice was extinguished at the 53rd Annual UUA General Assembly (GA) in Providence, RI, a fresh chapter opened to plan the next great gathering of UUs in Portland, OR in June of 2015. Volunteers brought the Chalice back to the Host Pacific Northwest District to begin a tour of each the 58 member congregations that make up the district.

The Chalice Tour will be planned and directed for the 2015 Volunteer Committee by Stan Jewett, who chairs First Unitarian Portland’s Outreach Group (Denominational Affairs Committee). It has been a UUA tradition since 2006 that the Chalice visit congregations throughout the year leading up to General Assembly.

The 21-pound chalice was sculpted by Mordecai Roth of Surprise, AZ. Contact Stan, stan.jewett@earthlink.net to get your congregation on the tour itinerary.

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GA2014 new logoAudio recordings of most UUA General Assembly programs, including years past, are now available. Good news for those who registered and attended the 2014 UUA General Assembly in Providence, RI: This year’s recordings are included in your registration. Registrants have access to over 100 hours of recorded MP3s at no additional cost.

Whether or not you are a GA 2014 registrant, you can purchase a flashdrive containing all recorded content. Price is $150 for non-registrants, and $75 for registrants. Or, you can opt for a bundled deal – flashdrives holding the content of the past five years of GA content! Cost for these is $199 for attendees, $269 for non-attendees.

To listen or download GA content, use the following steps to access content online.

  1. Click on this link: www.myseplus.com/uua/home
  2. Click the login button on the top right hand corner.
  3. Login using the login and password information provided to GA registrants via email. (Create a new account if you were not an attendee of GA 2014)
  4. Once you are logged in, click on the left hand menu – my library.
  5. There will be a list of all recordings as released by the speakers from the 2014 General Assembly. (Not all events are available, for a variety of reasons.)
  6. To listen online, please click on the word ‘view’ beside the presentation name.
  7. To download, click the box icon, and follow your computers instructions.

If you are interested in purchasing the recorded downloaded for you, they are available on a flashdrive and can be purchased by clicking ‘here’.

If you have any questions please contact the UUA or Strategic Events Plus.

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With 4,754 registered for the UUA’s annual meeting and conference, General Assembly 2014 (GA) was the scene for vibrant worship, active and reflective exploration of the theme “Love Reaches Out,” and lively deliberations on a variety of business and governance decisions for our Association of congregations.

The UU World On-Line offered comprehensive coverage of GA as events unfolded, and much of the Assemblyworship services, lectures, reports, presentations, workshops and other activities are available on video or audio through the UUA website. Additional recordings, written summaries and print materials will be posted by the end of July.
659 of the UUA’s member congregations – about 63% – from all 50 states had members present at General Assembly this year, though only 579 named voting delegates. The assembly heard reports from the UUA Board of Trustees and volunteers and from UUA staff. The 1920 seated delegates, including 105 offsite delegates (from 68 congregations in 30 states) voted on several issues before the Assembly:
An Action of Immediate Witness (AIW) “expresses the conscience and carries the authority of the delegates at the GA at which it is passed.” Because AIWs have not been brought to all congregations for their reflection and debate, they are not considered official statements of the UUA.
 

Congregational Study & Action Issue (CSAI) moves through a three-year period of study and action with opportunities for congregational and district comment and may become an official Statement of Conscience if approved by delegates to GA after the study period is complete.

Delegates also engaged in continued discussion and received updates on issues which will come up for votes in future years:

Other items of note:

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DianeBrinson“No one who cooks, cooks alone. Even at her most solitary, a cook in the kitchen is surrounded by generations of cooks past, the advice and menus of cooks present, the wisdom of cookbook writers.” Wisdom from Laurie Colwin, novelist, posted in honor of Diane Brinson, our Pacific Northwest District Administrator, who returns from sabbatical this weekend having completed a tour of the South, where she joined lifelong friends of the family in their kitchens, preparing and collecting favorite family recipes and the stories that go with them.

In addition to the gathering of family stories through shared cooking, Diane volunteered for a month full time for the “Aging In Care” program of her neighborhood association, helping elders with tasks they are no longer physically able to manage. Diane also spent time during her sabbatical travels with fellow district/regional administrator the Rev. Glenn Johnson, to investigate the Southern Region’s experience in moving to a regional administrative team instead of separate district administrators.

Welcome back Diane! We’ve missed you, and we’re so glad you got to have this particular refreshment of sabbatical after 20 years of service to the district and the UUA. Diane will resume regular office hours starting Monday, July 7.

Recently, the UUA staff members that create religious education curricula featured several books on their blog, Call and Response. All available from the UUA Bookstore, these books are intended to help parents interpret Unitarian Universalist values and answer the tough questions children ask outside of Sunday religious education classes.

Parent Trilogy

 

The Parent Trilogy: Three Programs for UU Parents and Other Adults by Unitarian Universalist Association

This useful little book includes three timeless programs in one volume: Being a UU Parent, Parents as Resident Theologians, and Parents as Social Justice Educators.

Gift of Faith

 

 

The Gift of Faith: Tending the Spiritual Lives of Children by Jeanne Harrison Nieuwejaar

By sharing her own stories and experiences, Nieuwejaar shows that religious community can play an integral role in clarifying and deepening the faith of parents, who inevitably are children’s primary religious educators.

Tending the Flame

 

 

Tending the Flame: The Art of Unitarian Universalist Parenting by Michelle Richards

In this first-of-its-kind guide to Unitarian Universalist parenting, mother and religious educator Michelle Richards encourages a practical and proactive approach to raising Unitarian Universalist children.

Chaos Wonder

 

 

 

Chaos, Wonder, and the Spiritual Adventure of Parenting by Sarah Conover and Tracy Springberry

This collection of essays from bestselling authors Barbara Kingsolver, Scott Russell Sanders, and others reflects on how parenting challenges, enriches, and magnifies our spiritual selves.

Nurturing Children

 

 

Nurturing Children and Youth: A Developmental Guidebook by Tracey L. Hurd

An insightful tool for understanding youth at each stage of development. Includes key characteristics at each phase and suggestions for supporting the child in the context of UU values.
 

Several religious professionals from the Pacific Northwest were honored at the Service of the Living Tradition at the Unitarian Universalist Association’s annual General Assembly (GA) on June 27, 2014, in Providence, Rhode Island.

Sara Lewis, Olympia UU Congregation

Sara Lewis

Credentialed Religious Educator – Master Level:

Sara Lewis, Director of Religious Education, Olympia UU Congregation (WA) - right

Credentialed Music Leader:

MavisCauffman

Mavis Cauffman

Mavis G. Cauffman, Music Director and Administrator, UU Congregation of Whidbey Island (Freeland, WA)

Ministers receiving Final Fellowship:

Rev. Leslie Becknell Marx

Rev. Dr. Todd Eklof

Rev. Eric Kaminetzky

Rev. Emily Melcher

Rev. Sarah Movius Schurr

Ministers Completing Full-Time Service

Rev. Jim Anderson

Rev. Bruce Davis

Rev. Annie Holmes

Rev. Marcia Schekel

In Memoriam

Rev. Dr. William H. Houff

Rev. Edgar C. Peara

Rev. Arthur D. Wilmot

 

See the full list of those honored and remembered in the complete Order of Service from the 2014 Service of the Living Tradition.

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GA 2014 ThemeAttending UUA General Assembly (GA) in Providence, Rhode Island, June 25 – 29? Then the pastoral message currently posted on PNWD’s front page is for you! Not attending this year? The message is still for you –remember that much of GA is live-streamed, and delegates can vote from offsite. Check out opportunities to attend from the comfort of home: click here for more info.

The theme for General Assembly 2014 is “Love Reaches Out,” which invites us as Unitarian Universalists to consider what universal, unconditional love means. But General Assembly can also be a chaotic time – much as life – where one forgets to pause and check-in with the self. It can be a challenge sometimes to recognize spiritual groundedness in the midst of the busiest, most mundane tasks.

In June’s edition of Catalyst, the UUA’s Multicultural Growth & Witness staff decided to take a moment for self-reflection and ask: What about General Assembly will feed my soul/spirit? 

Take a moment to enjoy their reflections on the experience of General Assembly, now on the front page of www.pnwd.org. And have a great GA, everyone!

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UUA Rainbow starburst logoThe UUA’s Welcoming Congregation Program, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary! The LGBTQ world has changed dramatically since the program was conceived in 1989, and implemented in 1990. Today, over 70% of our congregations have been recognized as Welcoming Congregations. That includes over 95% of large and mid-sized congregations, and, now, over 50% of small congregations.

The Welcoming Congregation Program has been revised over the years to incorporate some of the changing realities for LGBTQ people, but, for a host of reasons, the last revision of the Welcoming Congregation Handbook was in 2002, four years before any state had legalized same-sex marriage!

Welcoming Congregation Poster

Recently, the office of Multicultural Growth & Witness, which currently manages the Welcoming Congregation Program, has been encouraging congregations to rely more heavily on web resources we have curated and developed. However, despite outdated content, the Handbook has still been available through the UUA Bookstore as a guide for congregations. Until now, that is; the Welcoming Congregation Handbook is no longer being sold through the Bookstore.

Congregations seeking Welcoming Congregation status will be encouraged to access the web resources and design a program that is customized to fit its needs as a congregation. Find LGBTQ resources on uua.org (http://www.uua.org/lgbtq/)

Welcome and Inclusion in the 21st Century

It’s time to take a new look at what welcoming means, what inclusion and hospitality mean, and how our multiple identities across race and ethnicity, abilities, class, sexual orientation, and gender identity/ expression inform who we are as whole people within Unitarian Universalism. Informed by the results of the Multicultural Ministries Sharing Project, which has been underway for the past year, the office of Multicultural Growth & Witness will now undertake re-envisioning the Welcoming Congregation for the next twenty-five years.

As the United States becomes a mosaic of diverse cultures, Unitarian Universalism can play a leadership role in adapting to and embracing this new reality, not unlike the one we played with LGBTQ rights over the last forty years. Throughout this process of revisioning, UUs will have formal and informal ways for to share their wisdom with the MG&W staff.

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In order to continue to participate in the UUA Retirement Plan, every UUA congregation or UU employer must adopt the provisions of the 2014 Plan Restatement. To do so, the governing board of each participating employer must have done these three things before 6/30/14:

  • pass an adoption motion
  • submit the 2014 Employer Participation Agreement
  • receive confirmation from the UUA.

Congregations/Organizations failing to complete these steps by June 30, 2014 will not be able to submit contributions on behalf of their employees as of July 1.

Information related to changes in the retirement plan and the actions required by 6/30/14 was distributed by the UUA Office of Church Staff Finance to all participating employers and individual employees November 20, 2013, with reminders from various sources since. Complete information is also available through the UUA website at http://www.uua.org/careers/compensation/retirement/.

UUA Compensation Consultant for the Pacific Western Region, Peter Henrickson (member, UU Church of Vancouver, WA) also provided a summary of changes and an overview of necessary actions – see his December 2013 message here.

If your congregation is currently enrolled in the UUA Retirement Plan, please be sure your 2014 Employer Participation Agreement has been submitted to the UUA Office of Church Staff Finances. If you need assistance, contact Linda Rose, Acting Director, UUA Retirement Plan. She can be reached at retirementplan@uua.org or by phone at 617-948-4265.

 

Want to support a high energy, thriving congregation ready to serve the families of a fast growing community? You have only a few more days to give to the spring Chalice Lighter call for the UU Fellowship of Central Oregon!

Chalice Lighters provide special funding for growth projects at UU member congregations throughout the Pacific Northwest District, responding to three calls for support each year and promising at least $15 a call.

Children-BendwebsiteThe current call will help build a playground as part of the first church home of our congregation in Bend, OR.

The play area is an essential part of the Fellowship’s strategic growth plan. It will be visible to the main entrance of their new facility and provide welcome and encouragement to families with children. Planned features include a central area of large boulders and logs surrounded by sand and engineered wood chips for digging and playing, a log and tire swing set, a willow branch fort and picnic tables. The play area will connect with a path leading to a nature trail. Elements will be selected and designed so that children of all abilities and ages can enjoy them. Chalice Lighters will fund a major portion of the estimated cost of $22,000.

BendOR_South_View

This is a special time for UUs in Bend as they reach out in growth and prepare to move to their new building in January 2015. Chalice Lighters can enhance the growth, welcome and visibility of Unitarian Universalism in central Oregon by helping UUFCO create this special children’s play area.

The Fellowship will celebrate the play area in memory of Melissa Hochschild, a longtime member and former board president, who died recently and unexpectedly. Current board president Amy Falkenrath stated, “Melissa advocated for the play area as a priority, and a way to connect children with the interdependent web. Her sudden loss has made us all realize how important it is to make every action count.”

If you are already a Chalice Lighter, donate

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If you are not already a Chalice Lighter, sign up now!

Gifts of any amount will be accepted for UUFCO until July 16 only.

The Chalice Lighter calls for 2014/15 are currently being determined. Has your congregation considered proposing a project for Chalice Lighter funding? You have the opportunity to receive encouragement and financial support from your fellow UUs. Grants are typically in the range of $12,000 – $16,000. Click here to see how to apply for a grant!

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