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.


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


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!

Attending UUA General Assembly in Providence Rhode Island this month? Local planners for 2015 GA in Portland will be there to welcome you!

Here’s where: 

  • Regional Meet and Greet: From 4:00 – 6:00 PM on Wednesday the 25th. Look for the Pacific Western Region table in the concourse of the Dunk Arena, at the far end of the Rhode Island Convention Center. You can access the concourse by going thru the Convention Center. Say hello to your neighbors from the Pacific Northwest and others from this half of the UUA, and meet volunteers who are planning GA 2015 in Portland.
  • GA 2015 Booth #800 on the Exhibit Floor: The Portland GA booth will be open all times the Exhibit Hall is open, staffed by volunteers. Help staffing the booth on Saturday and Sunday would be appreciated! Stop by to sign up for a shift, or contact Ed McClaran in advance. The GA 2015 booth is the place for potential attendees and volunteers to find materials and advice. There are handsome T-shirts to identify GA 2015 volunteers!
  • Host District Reception: Join the local planning team at 12:30 PM on Sunday the 29th, in Show Office A&B of the Rhode Island Convention Center. This short session will preview some of the aspects of planning and conducting next year’s GA in Portland. BE SURE TO ATTEND THIS TO LEARN ABOUT VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES AND BENEFITS! GA runs on volunteers, and you are needed!

Several volunteer coordinators for key assignments next year are unable to attend 2014 GA in Rhode Island. The 2015 Local Planning Team needs help scouting various activities in Providence, so the team can do a great job in 2015. Learn all the details at any of the meeting times above.

For more information on volunteer opportunities for 2015 General Assembly in Portland – whether or not you’re going to GA this year in Providence – contact Ken Wheeler, District GA Coordinator, at dgac2015@gmail.com.

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PNWD will host the week-long Russell Lockwoood Leadership School at Menucha Conference Center just east of Portland, OR, this August. A “Commuter Rate” has been added as an option for those who live near enough to commute to the conference site each day, or for those who would prefer to stay at a local hotel in order to have more private accommodations. This rate is $650, which includes the full week of intensive programs, all meals, and all materials. The residential rate is $900 for the full week, which also includes lodging at the conference center (shared rooms).

This intensive UU leadership experience has been a staple of leadership development for the congregations of the Mountain Desert District for decades, and now it’s a regional resource. If you and your congregation haven’t yet learned about the Russell Lockwood Leadership School, please take a look at the article at www.pnwd.org, or see the full information on our Pacific Western Region website, at http://pwruua.org/rlls/.

Congregations must endorse their participants and contribute a $350 flat fee for their entire team (not per person). There are some scholarships available to provide up to $200 against the congregational fee.

Space is limited – as of May 23, only 13 spaces remained. First registration deadline is June 1, so please encourage your chosen leaders to apply now. To register, visit the PWR website to review the information, and follow the link on the “Enrollment” page to access on-line registration.

RLLS faculty and staff are outstanding, and are coming from all over the Pacific Western Region. Those from the Pacific Northwest District include: 

    • Rev. Jon Luopa, University Unitarian Church (Seattle, WA) – UU Theology and Primal Leadership
    • Rev. Lois Van Leer, Woodinville UU Church (WA) – Worship & Ritual
    • Susan Peck, UU Community Church of Washington County (Hillsboro, OR) – Music & Movement Leadership
    • Janine Larsen, UUA Staff – Governance & Leadership
    • Lori Ragona, UUA Staff – Social Media & Religious Technology

Faculty from the other three western districts will bring expertise in other areas of UU leadership – see http://pwruua.org/rlls-faculty/ for more info on the 2014 staff.





The congregation of Eastrose Fellowship UU (Portand, OR) has selected its next minister, the Rev. Patti Pomerantz.

Rev. Pomerantz has been affiliated with Eastrose as a Community Minister for several years. She was selected by the Eastrose search committee through the “inside candidate” process for this half-time, contract position to begin in October, 2014. The search committee and congregation are delighted.

Rev. Pomerantz will follow the Interim Ministry of the Rev. Heather Lynn Hanson, which ensued after the retirement of the Rev. David Maynard, now Minister Emeritus of Eastrose.

Rev. Pomerantz has been serving the larger community as a spiritual director and is a former chair of the Addictions Ministry Project of the UUA Pacific Northwest District. She was previously Interim Minister for the UU Community Church of Washington County (Hillsboro, OR) and the UU Church of the Palouse (Moscow, ID). Rev. Pomerantz received her Masters of Divinity from Earlham School of Religion in 2003 and was ordained by the Olympia UU Congregation (WA) in 2005.

cecilia-and-twinsEdmonds UU Church
(WA) has announced that the Rev. Cecilia Kingman has accepted the position of Minister for Family and Faith Development. This ministry will have a specific focus on families with children from birth through the teen years.

The half-time position is expected to begin by July 1, 2014.

Rev. Kingman has been on parental leave for the past two years, and previously served the Cascade UU Fellowship in East Wenatchee, WA. She served as Interim Minister for Edmonds UU Church from 2007-2009 and was part of an Interim Ministry Team which served the UU Church in Eugene (OR) for about 18 months in 2006/2007. Cecilia had also served as a District Special Consultant for Wy’East UU Congregation (Portland, OR) from 2004-2006.

Rev. Kingman was ordained in 2007 by the First Unitarian Church of Portland, OR, where she had previously served on staff as Director of Stewardship. Rev. Kingman was honored by the UUA as the 2006 Stewardship Sermon Award winner and led the Stewardship track for UU University in 2006 and 2009. She has led growth and stewardship workshops and webinars for UU congregations, districts and organizations over the years.

Rev. Kingman is a graduate of Starr King School for the Ministry, where she received a Masters of Divinity in 2003. She has been active for many years in leadership with Project Harvest Hope and otherwise supporting Unitarian congregations in Transylvania. Rev. Kingman is currently serving as president of the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the UU Ministers Association.


Evergreen Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (Marysville, WA) has called the Rev. Carmen McDowell to serve as settled minister, beginning August 1, 2014.

Rev. McDowell was admitted to Fellowship in the Unitarian Universalist Association in 2011 and ordained shortly thereafter by East Shore Unitarian Church (Bellevue, WA).  She received her Master of Divinity from Seattle University’s School of Theology & Ministry in 2010 and served her internship at Unitarian University Church (Seattle). Rev. McDowell then served as Transitional Minister for Cascade UU Fellowship (East Wenatchee, WA) and served the past two years as Minister of the Vashon Island Unitarian Fellowship, part of the PNWD Developmental Ministry program.

Prior to entering ministry, Rev. McDowell received a Bachelor of Science in Historic Preservation from Southeast Missouri State University and an MBA in Nonprofit Management from Regis University in Denver. She has been active as a consultant and one-time bookkeeper for the UUA Pacific Northwest District and earlier was Membership Director for East Shore Unitarian Church.

UUA LogoFrom an April 30 “UUA News Alert”

The Unitarian Universalist Association’s Board of Trustees met in Boston, April 10-13, 2014. Both trustees and senior UUA staff expressed their gratitude for the solid partnership that has allowed the staff and Board to engage constructively with each other and with serious issues.

The Board voted to approve the President’s interpretation of the Association’s Global Ends, several monitoring reports, and the FY2015 budget. Learn more about important subjects discussed and voted on during their meeting in the Board’s  summary of the meeting.

The UU World covers the business of our Association as part of its news reporting. Read its coverage of the April 2014 meeting of the UUA Board of Trustees on  uuworld.org.

You can subscribe to UUA News Alerts – click here.

Judy ZimmermanThe Mid-Columbia Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (Hood River, OR) has called the Rev. Judy Zimmerman to serve as its first settled minister. Previously the Fellowship had only hired/ contracted ministers, for a fixed time or on an interim basis, and those ministers commuted to the area for just a few days at a time.

Rev. Zimmerman will relocate from Portland to the Hood River area, to settle in as part of the community.  She will begin serving in this half-time position as of August 2014. She will continue to teach psychology at Portland Community College, where she has taught for 20 years, though she expects to move to on-line courses.

Rev. Zimmerman also serves as coordinator for Oregon UU Voices for Justice. She received her Master of Divinity from Meadville-Lombard Theological school and was ordained by the UU Community Church of Washington County (Hillsboro, OR) in November, 2013.

The Rev. Ken Jones has served as Interim Minister for the last two years, as the congregation prepared for and conducted search.

RLLS-LogoYou are invited to invest in yourself and your congregation by engaging in one inspiring and intensive week this summer at the Russell Lockwood Leadership School (RLLS).

Formerly offered only to congregations of the UUA Mountain Desert District, this exceptional resource now belongs to the entire Pacific Western Region. The PNWD is excited to be the first host of RLLS as it begins to move through our four western districts. RLLS will be held August 10-16, 2014, at Menucha Conference Center in Corbett, OR, about a half-hour from Portland.

Mark Neiwirth (right) is Administrative Dean for RLLS, and president of the Pocatello UU Fellowship in Idaho. His congregation sent him to the leadership school three years ago. “Here’s a great opportunity for anyone in your congregation who is currently in a leadership position, or who has the potential to become a leader, OR who just wants to know more about being a Unitarian Universalist,” Mark reports. “It’s an intense experience, with days filled with concentrated learning, working in small groups, and bonding with new UU friends from all over the region.”

He describes his own experience as spiritually transformational, and credits the school with giving him the tools he needed for confident and effective service on his congregation’s board.

Janine Larsen (right), District Executive for the UUA in the Pacific Northwest, was introduced to RLLS last summer. “I was extremely impressed with the content and quality of instruction. I learned a lot myself, 

and I had a great time!” she says. After interviewing attendees whose congregations have sent their lay leaders and religious professionals to RLLS for years, and hearing from Mountain Desert District staff that the Leadership school has made a significant difference in the dynamic growth of regularly participating congregations, Janine is excited that more congregations will have the opportunity to attend.

As Academic Dean for RLLS, she has recruited a skilled and dynamic faculty and staff from all four districts of the Pacific Western Region. “Classroom time will emphasize multi-media, and a variety of small group activities will provide plenty of discussion and experiential time. We’ll cover a wide range of topics: Covenant and Beloved Community, UU Theology, Worship and Ritual, Adaptive Leadership, building religious community through social media and technology. The Rev. Jon Luopa (University Unitarian Church, Seattle) is bringing a special focus on Emotional Intelligence and Primal Leadership. We’ll start and end each day creating meaningful worship together, and we’ll be inspired and energized with Music and Movement throughout.”

Mark points out that while the days will be full, there will be some time for hiking and enjoying breathtaking views of the Columbia River Gorge, walking Menucha’s Rose Garden Labyrinth or swimming in the pool. Meals are healthful and delicious (you can even purchase Menucha’s popular recipes). Rooms are shared, and that’s part of the experience, too.

Per person tuition for the week is $900 per person, which includes program, lodging, meals, and all materials. Attendees must be endorsed by their congregations. Additionally, each congregation sending leaders must contribute a Congregational Fee of $350 (this is a flat fee, not per person).

Registration for RLLS is open now – please review the RLLS information on the Pacific Western Region website, and enroll on-line by June 1.  


Click here for a printable tri-fold RLLS Brochure, or for a one-page RLLS Flyer, suitable for posting.

For more information, contact:
   Mark Neiwirth, Administrative Dean
   (208) 251-8051


UUA Logo

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.

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