Denominational News

News from or about the UUA or PNWD

Ferguson-SliderUnitarian Universalists stand on the side of Justice in Ferguson, Missouri, as the Grand Jury deliberates on the indictment of the police officer who fatally shot young Michael Brown.

Events are being planned around the country on the day of and the day after the Grand Jury announcement. You can check the Ferguson National Response Network here for an event near you.

You can also join the Church of the Larger Fellowship on-line vigil on the day of the announcement. See Standing on the Side of Love with Ferguson for resources and actions.

Tags: , ,

The GA Music and Worship Arts Team is extending the invitation for vocalists, instrumentalists, and liturgical dancers/choreographers interested in contributing to the worship experience of the UUA General Assembly, June 24-28, 2015 in Portland, Oregon. If you are interested and would like details about the application process, please call Susan Peck at 541-207-2889 or email musicdirector@uuccwc.org. Deadline for application is Monday, December 15, 2014.

Music selections for worship services, hymn-sings and plenary songbreaks are being considered now. They will be centered on the GA theme, “Building a New Way.”

All musicians participating in GA are required to be registered for GA. Travel and lodging costs are the responsibility of the musicians. Need-based scholarships may be available from the UUA GA Planning Committee to help cover some costs of GA attendance. The distribution of these scholarships is managed separately from musical staffing decisions, but musicians will be selected and notified in time for applicants to include their role in worship leadership on their uua ga choirscholarship applications, which are due in March 2015. Applicants are also encouraged to seek financial assistance as needed from their local congregations and other sources—see http://uua.org/ga for more information.

 

Tags: ,

14GA-Volunteer

Click to see the full PDF. Download and post in your congregation.

You may have heard by now that the 2015 UUA General Assembly will be in
Portland this summer! The last PNWD-area GA brought nearly 6,000 people from
over 500 congregations to Portland in 2007. Be a part of this mega-gathering
of UUs in 2015!

Many volunteers are needed to help make GA a success – from ushers,
decorators, and greeters, to registration volunteers and more. If you are
interested in contributing your time, get your name on the list early.
(Volunteering comes with great benefits, like free registration.) Click the
flyer more details, and contact Ed McClaran at ed@edandellen.com,
971-279-2778.

Tags: ,

James GrinerJames Griner has joined the UUA Congregational Life Staff in the Pacific Western Region (PWR) as Interim Youth Ministry Specialist.

James fills the position vacated by Jennica Davis-Hockett in mid-August, when she was recruited by the UUA office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry. As Interim Youth Ministry Specialist for the PWR, James’ primary focus will be on supporting the existing youth ministry programs of the PNWD and the Mountain Desert District. The Rev. Nancy Bowen, Pacific Western Region Congregational Life Staff Lead, anticipates that James’ interim service will continue through the busy summer youth program months, and allow some overlap with the successor position.

James brings solid experience as a UU youth and young adult advisor since 2007 for his congregation, First Unitarian Church in Salt Lake City. He has been an adult sponsor at numerous Youth Cons, has facilitated workshops, and has served on camp staff for Mountain Desert District’s QUUest Camp for youth, 2011-2014, including supervising the camp Deans.

In addition to youth & young adult ministry for his congregation, James has been a Small Group Ministry facilitator, OWL teacher, Adult RE facilitator, Coming of Age mentor and co-leader of the junior high heritage trip to Boston. He’s also a 2007 graduate of Russell Lockwood Leadership School, which lead him to develop and produce a local Young Adult Leadership Conference, to serve as a member and then chair of his church’s Lay Service Committee, and then to appointment as a member of the church’s board of directors.

James has pursued his interests in youth development, communications, conflict resolution, and media through a variety of academic endeavors, too. James earned a BA in Communications from Baylor University (1997) and was awarded a Master Level Certificate of Conflict Resolution in 2007. He earned his MSW from the University of Utah in 2012, and passed the Clinical Social Work Exam in the State of Utah last year. This Interim position comes at an opportune time for James, as he looks towards a career shift to pursue his interest in social work. James anticipates PhD study is potentially on the horizon as he visions himself serving as faculty at some point in the future.

James is passionate about youth development. Some key objectives he has identified in working with youth development include “developing healthy adaptive ways of managing conflict, setting clear boundaries, awareness of self and environment, practicing self-awareness and humility, and building respectful relationships…to contribute to cultivating thoughtful, respectful, grounded youth and future leaders.” Youth ministry is of utmost importance for James, and he regularly is advocating for the tremendous value UU programming provides in the development of youth because it provides “a listening ear, a non-judgmental perspective, and a safe, respectful space to explore ideas.”

In addition to church leadership and graduate school, James has worked as a computer technician with the University of Utah since 2005. To allow him to transition smoothly to his new position, he’ll start with PWR at 3/4-time for the time being.

When he is not traveling to attend youth ministry events and work with youth ministry leaders in the PWR, James will work out of his home in Salt Lake City. He can be reached via email to jgriner@uua.org.

Learn more about the Pacific Western Region at pwruua.org and meet the PWR Congregational Life Staff at the “About Us” page on the PWR website.

board 2013-14The Pacific Northwest District Board (left) has sent an update on “Regional Collaboration in the West” to leaders of PNWD congregations and religious professionals who are members of the local chapters of the UU Ministers Association (UUMA) and the Liberal Religious Educators Association (LREDA). The Board’s message is currently featured on the front page of the PNWD website.

The article contains a link to a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document that provides brief responses to the issues and concerns the Board has heard to date related to regional collaboration.

PWR staff 2014-15Recent actions have included the UUA’s implementation of a Unified Staff Plan in the Pacific Western Region (PWR), which includes the four western districts: Pacific Northwest, Pacific Southwest, Pacific Central and Mountain Desert. One result of this plan is the discontinuance of the “District Executive” title, in favor of the common title of “Congregational Life Staff” for all UUA field staff in the region. Janine Larsen has filled the District Executive position for the past ten years in the PNWD, and will continue to serve the district and region, along with the eight other Congregational Life Staff members in PWR.

Questions or comments about regional collaboration in the Pacific Western Region and its current and potential effects in the Pacific Northwest are encouraged to contact the PNWD Board via email, at board@pnwd.org. The Board notes that the recent communication is one of several that will be distributed to congregational leadership and religious professionals over the coming months.

The PNWD Addictions Ministry Project provides education and resources to Unitarian Universalist congregations to help them support individuals and families affected by addiction and other mental illness.

If you have a passion for recovery, some background knowledge or experience in the field, and want to be part of a team of laid-back, compassionate, and productive folks who do important work in the district, this is the group to join. Program goals include breaking the silence around addiction and mental illness, ending the stigma, and giving people tools to manage situations in their congregations and to thrive.

The team recently presented a workshop at PNWD Discovery Day, reached out to youth at one of the district youth cons, and will be presenting a webinar on addiction and youth for the adults who work with youth. In March 2015, they will host their fourth annual conference.

Most team meetings are by phone or video conference, although once or twice a year they gather in Olympia for a face-to-face meeting.

If you would like to be a part of the Addictions Ministry team, contact the Rev. Barbara Stevens at barbaras@aracnet.com or 503-734-9634.

Tags:

As PNWD congregations launch their new church year, we want to remind you of registration deadlines for some upcoming training opportunities. Take a look at the links, there’s something for everyone — from greeters to youth advisors, parish nurses to canvassers, and worship planners to social media users.

REGISTRATION DEADLINE SEPTEMBER 10
Jump Start Youth Advisor Training: designed for new advisors, but this is also a great refresher for seasoned advisors; September 20 in Portland, OR. Program questions, contact Dana Regan, PNWD Lead RE Consultant, REconsultant@pnwd.org.

REGISTRATION DEADLINE SEPTEMBER 10
Discovery Day – Workshops and Peer Learning: a full day (September 27) of 75-minute workshops led by peers and professionals. Registration fee is only $15 for the entire day. Check out the variety of innovative offerings at the link and plan to attend the workshops that will have the most impact in your congregation. Can’t make it to Bellevue, WA to attend in person? See the link for selected workshops that are also available for remote participation. If you have questions, contact Lori Ragona, Pacific Western Region Training & Communications Specialist, lragona@uua.org.

REGISTRATION DEADLINES SEPTEMBER 24/OCTOBER 8
2014 Fall Youth Con: October 24-26 at Camp Cispus in Randle, WA. Details and registration are online at the link. Get your registration in by September 24 and save money. Final date to register is October 8.

NEW WEBINARS POSTED
Check out this fall’s line-up of Pacific Western Region Webinars. Don’t miss these virtual learning opportunities. The cost is only $15!

SAVE THE DATE
And don’t forget to make plans to attend the 2015 UUA General Assembly, June 24-28 in Portland, OR. Take advantage of the opportunity to attend GA in our own backyard!

 

 

Tags: , , ,

The UUA staff is dedicating the new Headquarters with a powerful live streamed worship service on October 4, 2014. For this to be a truly inclusive and global Unitarian Universalist celebration, they are asking congregations to participate.

Send a photo blessing from your religious home to be included in an original music video for the dedication service. All it takes is a few minutes and a camera. So gather in a place that means “home” with your UU family and friends and snap a few.

Three important things to know:blessings to uua
1. Landscape images – not portrait – are the way to go.
2. It’s not mandatory, but nice to include the word “Blessings” in a creative way.
3. Submit by Monday, September 8 to be included in the video.

Go to the submission form to send your picture and to view sample photos.

In addition to being a part of this original music video that will be live streamed as part of the worship service on October 4th your photos might show up on uua.org, on one of the UUA’s many social media channels, or in UUA printed materials.

Questions? Contact Dea Brayden at president-assist@uua.org.

Tags:

relaxDiane Brinson, Pacific Northwest District Administrator, returned to work July 7 after a 14-week Sabbatical.

She shares her reflections on her time off after 20 years of service to the PNWD — and emphasizes the necessity and value of intentional time for sacred “rest and relaxation” (recuperation? recreation? Yes!), as a pastoral message on the front page of the PNWD website.

There are always forces trying to keep us from relaxing,” she notes. “The key is intentionality.”

Her advice when you are “Overwhelmed with new emails each time you glance at your computer or phone?” is “Change the settings. Retrieve the messages only when you intentionally go get them; don’t have your new mail automatically retrieved. TV chattering away in the background? Turn it off until that show you really, really want to watch is on. I hear people complain of being inundated by Facebook posts. Can’t refrain from constantly checking? Cancel your account. As hard as it is to believe, life still goes on. (Trust me on this.) Be intentional.”

DianeBrinsonCongregations in the Pacific Northwest District have had the benefit of Diane’s assistance and wise guidance for two decades. This article provides more of the same.

Welcome back, Diane! Thanks for all you do for us.

Tags: ,

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.

Tags:

« Older entries