June 2012

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Are certain subjects off limits in your congregation? Are certain people in the congregation “too hot to handle”?

This Alban Institute seminar will show you how to identify the issues that cause tension and how to take the steps necessary to constructively engage members and minimize discord.

Dealing with Congregational

Tension and Discord

July 24-26, 2012

Palisades Retreat Center, Federal Way, WA

The weekend seminar is designed to give you a better understanding of how struggles in the midst of change and transition typically unfold in congregations, as well as a review of common communications mistakes and how to avoid or correct them. Every participant will also receive all the books and materials used during the event, plus a personal Conflict Dynamics Profile to help you better understand your own feelings and behaviors during times of conflict.

Presented by Susan Nienaber – Pastor, psychotherapist, and leading consultant in conflict transformation in faith-based settings.

For more information about this seminar and to register, click here. Tuition is $445 for members of Alban Institute ($495 for nonmembers) with a discount for additional attendees from your congregation. Meals and lodging at the retreat center are extra.

Alban Institute offers scholarship assistance for clergy and lay leaders from small congregations (annual budget of $150,000 or less). You must be a member of Alban Institute to apply. Click here for more information.

The Alban Institute is a national consulting, educational and leadership resource for religious communities of all faiths. 

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The UUA Mountain Desert District (MDD) has established an Emergency Relief Fund, standing in solidarity with all who have experienced the devastation of the Waldo Canyon fire in Colorado Springs, where at least two UU families have lost their homes; the High Park fire in Ft. Collins, the Flagstaff fire in Boulder, the Pine Ridge fire in Grand Junction, the Lightner Creek/Weber fire in Durango and other fires burning in Montana at this time. The District is posting updates to the MDD Facebook Page as news is received.

This Fund will allow the District to offer timely financial assistance to Unitarian Universalist communities as they begin to recover and rebuild following the fires. The Rev. Nancy Bowen, UUA District Executive in Mountain Desert, noted, “Informed by other districts where fires have raged we know there can be serious secondary impact from a fire – smoke damage, health problems, loss of employment, etc.  Even with good insurance many families will incur unexpected costs due to the fires.”

PNWD congregations are encouraged to take up a collection for our UU neighbors this Sunday, or as soon as it can be scheduled. Individual UUs are also encouraged to respond. Please make checks payable to MDD Emergency Relief, and mail to the UUA Mountain Desert District, 2242 South Albion St., Denver, CO  80222. 

Rev. Bowen reflects, “As we pray for containment of these wild fires we recognize the continued vulnerability of these communities to flash flooding and other natural disasters heightened by the fires. This fund will become a continuing source of assistance across the mountain west.” Rev. Bowen hopes that MDD congregations and others will consider an annual contribution to the Relief Fund so that MDD will always be ready to help with similar emergencies whenever they arise.

The Mountain Desert District Board will appoint a small task force to make awards from the fund. Procedures for applying for help will be available on the MDD website very soon.

The Mountain Desert District will be able to receive PayPal contributions on the MDD website within the week, by which time District leaders expect to have a better understanding of the kind of needs the fund can best meet.


BOSTON – In response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), UUA President the Rev. Peter Morales has released a statement:

“As president of the Unitarian Universalist Association, I applaud the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. For more than 50 years, the UUA has called for health care reform, as it speaks to the protection and inclusion of some of our most vulnerable populations, including women, children, elders, and those with chronic illnesses.

“To take steps toward providing basic care for all is a moral and spiritual imperative, and it is encouraging to see our Supreme Court justices consider the better health of the millions of Americans who benefit from the provisions of the ACA. We are thankful for their thoughtful work.

“Unitarian Universalists hold among our principles the affirmation of the inherent worth and dignity of every person. As people of faith, our principles call us to speak up for those who have been silenced, forgotten, or pushed aside in our society. Today, I am proud to say that we and our allies in social justice have been heard. Health care is not a luxury; it is a fundamental human right. And while we celebrate today’s decision, we also will continue to advocate for this fundamental human right until it is available to all who seek it.”


Justice General Assembly has come to a close, but that’s only the beginning of the story.

Whether you were able to attend or not, the UUA has posted information for everyone. Link to General Assembly in Phoenix, Arizona: June 20-24, 2012 to find links to video of key events, blogs and more.

UU World has provided timely reports and articles on their GA Blog, illustrated by some striking selections from their Photostream on Flickr and their videos on Vimeo. They’ve also curated social media about the 2012 General Assembly on their Storify page.

Coverage includes on-demand video and transcripts for major events and handouts or other presentation materials for workshops. You may Submit video or photos of people or public witness events at GA for use on UUA.org!

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Registration is now open for a Youth Advisor Training with trainer Dana Regan at Atkinson Memorial Church in Oregon City, August 25 from 9 am – 5 pm. The registration fee is $35.

This is a basic Youth Advisor training looking at vision and philosophy, ministry with youth, basic programming components, and safety/liability issues for you and your church. You can download the PDF with further details, register online, or go to www.pnwd.org and look in the Quick Links column to the left. For further questions email PNWD Training Coordinator Lori Ragona at training@pnwd.org.

Northwest UU Justice Network presents its first Marriage Equality Issue Group Gathering! All Unitarian Universalists interested in supporting marriage equality are invited to attend. Come listen, discuss and decide on some action plans for how to support marriage equality in Washington State.

Sunday, July 1 at 2:00 p.m. Meet in room E-202 of East Shore Unitarian Church in Bellevue, WA. Questions? Contact Barbara Ramey, Marriage Equality Convener, Northwest UU Justice Network, NWuuJN.GLBTQ@gmail.com.

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Justice GA 2012 in Phoenix, Arizona begins tonight! If you couldn’t make it check out the UU World General Assembly Coverage to find beautiful photos, inspiring articles and see what people are saying with live Tweets of this amazing event.

Find a schedule of Justice GA Live Streamed events and instructions starting tonight with the Opening Celebration 7:30 – 9:30 pm. If you plan to host a GA screening at your congregation or home, read the “Using GA Video in Your Congregation’s Sunday Service” on our technical notes page for tips and testing instructions.



The June 2012 issue of InterConnections, the UUA’s monthly newsletter for congregational leaders, features a story on the innovative solution to overcrowding chosen by the Unitarian Church of Harrisburg, PA. Instead of selling their too-small suburban building, they purchased a large, low-priced old church near downtown as an addition. The price, even with renovations to the “new” building, were much less than the millions they faced to relocate entirely.  Now they have Sunday services at 9:00 AM in the suburbs, and 11:00 AM downtown!

Read the full story and check out links to much more, by subscribing to the monthly e-newsletter. There are plenty of practical tips for UU congregations in each issue, and there is no charge to subscribe. If you know a congregational leader you think should be getting InterConnections who isn’t, invite them to sign up for a free subscription.

You can also read the InterConnections Tipsheet blog on the web, or follow InterConnections on Facebook.


Our Whole Lives (OWL) Sexuality Curriculum trainings for facilitators are being offered in August and September for Elementary, Junior / Senior High, and Young Adult / Adult levels. Online registrations and flyer downloads are located on the PNWD.org website on the welcome page in the Quick Links or follow the links below.

All trainings, co-sponsored by the UUA and United Church of Christ, have a maximum enrollment of 24 participants with a registration fee of $250. Home hospitality options offered by hosting congregations. See each flyer online for details and contacts.

August 10-12, 2012:  OWL Elementary Level-Unitarian Universalist Church of Vancouver, WA

August 17-19, 2012: OWL Junior/Senior High Level-First Unitarian Church, Portland, OR

September 21-23, 2012: OWL Junior/Senior High Level-Plymouth United Church of Christ, Seattle, WA

September 21-23, 2012: OWL Young Adult/Adult Level-Plymouth United Church of Christ, Seattle, WA

Going to UUA General Assembly in Phoenix June 20-24?

Start it off with spirit, by joining with others from the Pacific Northwest and our neighboring Districts, at the Pacific Western Region In-Gathering!

Find us  on Wednesday, 5:45 – 6:30 PM, in room 120 A at the Phoenix Convention Center.

This is event #110  in your GA Program Book, which will be available in print when you arrive at the Convention Center.

Or, refer to the nifty GA Mobile App! The app will be available soon as a free download in the Apple and Android app stores. There will also a mobile-optimized website that you can use on other platforms. With the GA Mobile App you will be able to view all program listings, speaker and exhibitor profiles, event locations and maps. You can also create your personal GA schedule and get connected via social media.

Keep an eye on updates and announcements about GA. You can also sign up to receive GA text alerts by texting “UUAGA” to 68398.


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