Denominational News

News from or about the UUA or PNWD

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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 “uua.org” 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.

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, pnuugf.org. To nominate a candidate or to self-nominate, contact board member Stan Jewett at stan.jewett@earthlink.net or 503-310-0679 no later than March 7.

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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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Tuesday, February 18 is the extended DEADLINE for the best hotel rates for Pacific Northwest District Assembly at the Doubletree by Hilton at Spokane City Center

Click here to book on-line now!

If you prefer, you may reserve your room by calling 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.

Reserve your room by February 18 to receive this special rate, while availability lasts!
For more information about District Assembly and to register, visit the District website.

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All UUA member congregations are called to participate in the social witness process by voting in the congregational poll regarding Congregational Study Action Issues (CSAI) – Deadline February 3, 2014.

GA2013 voting

One of the primary functions of the Unitarian Universalist General Assembly is to consider issues about which the congregations jointly want to take a stand as a denomination. The Congregational Poll, open through February 3, allows congregations to select up to five proposed Congregational Study/Action Issues (CSAIs) to go on the agenda for General Assembly 2014.  At GA 2014, delegates will select one of the five proposed CSAIs to be our Congregational Study/Action Issue for 2014-2018 (which will later become a Statement of Conscience).

The six proposed Congregational Study/Action Issue (CSAI) submissions are:

    • Empowerment: Age and Ability Reconsidered
    • Ending the War on Terror
    • Escalating Inequality
    • Gun Violence: A Public Health Issue
    • Renewing and Securing Our American Democracy
    • Unitarian Universalist Values and the Pursuit of a Just Peace for Israelis and Palestinians

Congregations may vote ‘Yes’, ‘No’, or ‘Abstain’ for each proposed CSAI. A quorum of 25% of congregations is required for each proposed CSAI to go on the GA 2014 agenda.

To read the full text of each proposed CSAI and learn more about the process, go to: http://www.uua.org/statements/current/index.shtml

NOTE: Deadline to submit congregational vote is Feb 3, 2014. For tips and ideas on how to solicit congregational feedback, see: https://www.uua.org/statements/152651.shtml.

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Congregations may also submit comments by March 3 on the current CSAI - Reproductive Justice: Expanding Our Social Justice Calling.

Reproductive Justice

Let us know what you have been doing on the issue and what should be included in the Statement of Conscience.  For a helpful worksheet, see: 

https://org.salsalabs.com/o/1272/images/Comment%20Worksheet-CSAI-ReproJustice.pdf

Deadline to submit comments on this CSAI is March 3, 2014.  To submit comments, see: http://www.uua.org/statements/current/index.shtml.

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The 52nd PNWD Annual Meeting will be held Saturday, March 15, 2014, in conjunction with the March 14-16 Pacific Northwest District Assembly in Spokane, Washington.

PNWD bylaws require each member congregation to certify to PNWD the names of its delegates. If your congregation wishes to have delegate representation at the District Annual Meeting, a minister or board officer must submit the online Delegate Certification by MARCH 4. Earlier this week congregation ministerscheckmark and presidents were sent the link to the Delegate Certification Form. If you are the president or minister from your congregation and would like the online certification link resent, contact the district office.

Congregations may participate in the Annual Meeting with on-site delegates, off-site delegates, or a combination of the two. Both on-site and off-site delegates must be certified by MARCH 4. Off-site delegates do not have to be registered for the District Assembly; on-site delegates who attend only the business meeting do not have to register for District Assembly. Anyone is welcome to attend the Annual Meeting, but only certified delegates may vote.

Details about remote participation for off-site delegates will be available soon.

We hope to see your congregation represented in Spokane!

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ThandekaRegistrations began coming in for our 2014 Pacific Northwest District Assembly within an hour of opening last week! Instead of a short keynote address and multiple brief workshops this year, we have the advantage of being able to learn from and be inspired by the Rev. Dr. Thandeka throughout the weekend’s programming. She will engage and guide us with music and media, exercises and reflection, skits and small groups. This full-community gathering, themed “Love Beyond Belief,” promises to be a memorable experience for all participants.

Please plan to join us March 14-16 in Spokane, Washington. Register by February 26 for the EARLY fee. Rates increase for REGULAR registrants February 27-March 7. After advance registration closes on March 7, registration will be on site only at the WALK-IN rate. Register online right away for the most savings.

The event hotel, Doubletree by Hilton at Spokane City Center, is offering a substantial guest room discount, which also extends to the three days both before and after District Assembly. An opportunity to enjoy some extra time in Spokane! Be sure to book your room by February 12, when our special discounted conference rate ends.

Applications are now being accepted for District Assembly vendors. UU-related organizations can reach a focused audience of UUs with a table in the exhibit area. Check the Vendor Information for application, rates and full details.

Riverfront ParkIn late December, a registration brochure was sent to all PNWD households. If you would like a PDF copy of the brochure, it can be downloaded here. Details were current as of press time – which was before Christmas – so be sure to check the District Assembly website for updated information.

We are looking forward to seeing you in Spokane!

 

 

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This spring we posted a notice about some changes coming to the UUA Retirement Plan. Well, the changes are almost here.

The UUA has not made any changes to the basic design of the Retirement Plan in nearly fifteen years. The rest of the retirement world has changed and the UUA wants to catch up. PNWD Compensation Consultant, Peter Henrickson, has compiled a synopsis of what congregations are required to do in order to comply with the new plan. If you manage the staff benefits for your congregation or you are a church staff member, please take a look at Peter’s summary.

In October we shared with you details about completing the required forms for the Affordable Care Act. Peter has recently compiled information regarding the legal and ethical issues for churches regarding health care. In this current article he also explains about setting up a Health Reimbursement Account for staff members.

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The PNWD Nominating Committee has announced its slate of candidates for the March 14-16, 2014 District Assembly:


PNWD Board Nominees (three-year term)

Rev. Carol McKinley (nominated for second term)
Olympia UU Congregation, WA
From the Western Washington (excluding Seattle) Geographic Area

Emmet Band (nominated to first term, after completing appointed term)
The UU Church in Eugene, OR
From the Western Oregon Geographic Area

Nominating Committee Nominee (five-year term)

Rev. Eric Kaminetzky, Edmonds UU Church, Edmonds, WA

The Pacific Northwest District bylaws provide for additional nominations by petition:

Article VIII, Section 5. The Nominating Committee shall submit its report to the Secretary and to all persons entitled to notice under Article IV at least 90 days prior to the Annual Meeting. Additional nominations for a specific position may be made by a petition of 9 members from at least 2 member congregations from the appropriate area and submitted to the Secretary at least 60 days prior to the Annual Meeting. Nominees must meet the qualifications set out in section 4 of this Article, and subsection 1(a) of Article IX. The Secretary shall submit a final report of all nominations with the notice of the Annual Meeting.

This year nominations by petition may be made by members of any member congregation in the PNWD for a candidate from any of the Geographic Areas of the PNWD.

Nominating petitions must be delivered by January 10, 2014 to:

Emmet Band, Board Secretary
PNWD-UUA
12700 SE 32nd Street, Suite E-101
Bellevue, WA 98005-4317

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