Denominational News

News from or about the UUA or PNWD

Looking for or offering a ride to Portland for the June 24-28 General Assembly? Need a roommate? The UUA-GA email list is a non-official electronic bulletin board for members of the GA community. This is also the place to share GA-associated discussions and questions. GA2015 NEW logo

On a related note, you may be one of the disappointed folks who discovered that General Assembly lodging is mostly filled. The UUA announced yesterday that they are working with a number of Portland properties and will add rooms next week. Check the GA Housing link periodically for updates.

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GA2015 NEW logoRegistration for General Assembly (GA) opens next week! If you have not recently (or have never) attended a GA, take advantage of this year’s Portland location and join us June 24-28. Highlights about what to expect are posted on the PNWD front page. Be sure to follow the links provided in the article to find more information.

As always, our front-page articles are available in the PNWD Archives after they are removed to make way for future postings.

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 nancy_bowen_192Carrie-KrauseReverend Carol McKinleyJoin us for a free webinar detailing the plan for shared services across the districts of the Pacific Western Region. Learn the facts of regional staff collaboration and dispel any rumors or misinformation you may have heard about the direction of the PNWD. This is a free event, but you do need to register. We encourage each registrant to gather a group – perhaps project your computer screen or connect your computer to a TV. (See the Webinar Group Viewing tip sheet.) Remember, register in advance so you can get a connection, but don’t pay. Please share this notice with others you believe may be interested.

Big Faith, No Borders: Realizing the Vision of the Pacific Western Region
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
7:00 – 8:00 PM Pacific Time
Where are staff and the Pacific Northwest District board in this process? What are the next steps to meet the vision for building stronger congregations and a more robust expression of Unitarian Universalism in the west? Join the Rev. Nancy Bowen, Pacific Western Regional lead; Carrie Krause, PNWD board president; and the Rev. Carol McKinley, PNWD past president and board member at large, to hear what is happening with staff and the board as we move toward formalizing regional collaboration in the west

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IJames Grinern our current front-page article, James Griner, Interim Youth Ministry Specialist, shares his passion for and philosophy in working with youth. James observes that young minds are ready to be molded. But by whom, for what purpose, and to what end? Youth need direction and guidance from those committed to the Unitarian Universalist Principles and practices. Read James’s article to learn more about vital youth programming in the Pacific Northwest District and our Pacific Western Region.

As always, our front-page articles are available in the PNWD Archives after they are removed to make way for future postings.

 

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The UUA’s Welcoming Congregation Program was launched in 1990 to help congregations educate themselves about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) issues. These congregations promote acceptance, inclusion, understanding, and equity for LGBTQ people and families within their congregation, the denominatioWelcoming Congregation Postern, and in society at large. Since the program’s inception, 78% of our PNWD member congregations have become Welcoming Congregations: from our first, The UU Church in Eugene, OR in January 1991, through the Unitarian Universalists of Grants Pass, OR just this week! Forty-five of our fifty-eight member congregations proudly display Welcoming Congregation posters in their congregations. One of our Emerging Congregations, Peninsula UU Fellowship in Port Orchard, WA, is also a Welcoming Congregation.

If your congregation has not yet taken the first step toward committing yourselves to this vital ongoing ministry, check out the Welcoming Congregation pages of the UUA website.

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Janine, 2014

Janine, 2014

Janine Larsen, formerly Pacific Northwest District Executive and now serving PNWD and the Pacific Western Region as Congregational Life Staff team member, will be on Sabbatical January 2 through April 5, 2015. She has served on UUA staff in the PNWD since 2004.

In her pastoral message currently posted on the PNWD Front Page, Janine shares what she will do on Sabbatical and provides information on who to contact for help with congregational matters in her absence.

Diane Brinson, District Administrator for PNWD, is the first contact to make – she is at pnwd @ uua.org or can be reached by phone at the District Office, 425-957-9116. If Diane can’t give you the answer to your question, she’ll arrange for a District Consultant or a Regional Staff member to contact you.

The Pacific Western Region UUA staff are beginning to identify areas of specialty and focused interest, and the Rev. Nancy Bowen, Regional Lead, will be able to direct staff resources your way. This will continue to unfold throughout the year, and Janine will fit into this pattern when she returns. Congregational Life Staff hope that all our congregations in the Pacific West will find dynamic staff partners both geographically and in purpose.

Janine looks forward to reconnecting with congregations when she returns in the spring. She urges congregations to plan now to

  • Send as many congregational leaders as you can (including future leaders) to UUA General Assembly (GA) in June. It’s not often that GA comes to our part of the UUA – this is definitely a “don’t miss”! In 1997, when Portland last hosted General Assembly, there were more than 1,100 UUs from the Pacific Northwest. Let’s break that record!
  • Send two or more of your leaders to Russell Lockwood Leadership School in August. This regional resource is in Seattle this year, and will probably not return to the Pacific Northwest before 2020. Janine is convinced this week-long residential program is transformational for UU leaders and congregations. Check out the 2015 faculty and staff — many of them from PNWD — and look for on-line registration to open in February!
Janine, 2004

Janine, 2004

Janine, shown at right when she began with the UUA Pacific Northwest in 2004, says

“Thank you for the blessing of serving you, as District Executive for the past ten years, and now as one of your regional Congregational Life Staff team members. Thank you for the gift of Sabbatical, rare and wonderful. Here’s to renewal. Catch you on the flip side!

 

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.

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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.

 

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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.

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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.

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