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.

section-photo-justice

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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Tapestry of Faith Banner

During the month of January, the UUA’s Faith Development Office is launching a monthly series of free webinars for religious educators, other religious professionals, and lay leaders who plan, lead, or support programs with a faith development component… especially UU religious education (RE) for children, youth, adults, and/or multigenerational groups. 

These webinars will be presented by the UUA Faith Development Office – Director Jessica York and staff members Rev. Dr. Monica L. Cummings, Melanie J. Davis, Gail Forsyth-Vail, Pat Kahn, Susan Lawrence, and Alicia LeBlanc.

The entire staff will participate in the first webinar, “Why and How to Do Spiritual Preparation for Leading RE,”  on Monday, January 27 at 9 pm Eastern time (6 PM Pacific, 8 PM Mountain, 5 PM Alaska time) and again on Wednesday, January 29 at 4 pm Eastern time (1 PM Pacific, 3 PM Mountain, Noon Alaska time).

Many religious educators and others who lead programs with a faith development component recognize the benefit of taking even a few moments to spiritually prepare for a session, workshop, or meeting. Yet, we often feel we do not have time! The UUA’s Tapestry of Faith curricula support a regular practice of spiritual preparation with unique, reflective exercise for leaders/facilitators to do before every session or workshop. The January webinar will present theory, examples, and an experiential exercise to encourage and guide participants to make spiritual preparation a practice of their own. Staff of the UUA Faith Development Office (FDO) will also solicit suggestions for future webinar topics.

Please join in! To register for the January 27 or January 29 FDO webinar, please email Susan Lawrence, FDO Managing Editor, at slawrence@uua.org for call-in/log-in information. Please specify the session you wish to attend.

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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For many, the holiday season is not a time of joy, but a time of violence, fear, unpredictability, grief, or hopelessness. These feelings often predominate in families affected by addictions and mental illness.

The PNWD Addictions Ministry Project helps congregations understand and respond to addictions and mental health concerns – apparent or hidden – as part of supportive family ministry and effective pastoral response. If you would like more information on the program, check out the Addictions Ministry resources.

If you need to locate an addictions or mental health facility near you, please go to the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration locator.

As you make your end-of-year contributions, please consider making a gift to support the work of the PNWD Addictions Ministry Project. Click the Donate Now button, and scroll to “Other Contributions.

donate now link

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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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A new Tapestry of Faith adult curriculum initiated by the UUA President’s Council offers twelve 90-minute workshops to explore our money-related stories, attitudes, and actions in the context of our Unitarian Universalist faith. Written by Patricia Hall Infante and Rev. David H. Messner, The Wi$dom Path is designed as a sequential adult religious education program, adaptable to a variety of contexts and formats in congregations and groups. Nearly 50 congregations have already arranged to field-test the curriculum—an unprecedented number of field test sites for a Tapestry of Faith adult program. While the field test is now closed, The Wi$dom Path is available online for religious professionals and lay leaders to browse, download, and use with any UU congregation, region, district, or cluster, at no charge.

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ElizabethGreeneAs the days continue to grow shorter and darkness arrives before the mail carrier, we invite you to share the Solstice holiday pastoral message by the Rev. Elizabeth Greene, minister emerita of Boise UU Fellowship.

Whatever holiday(s) you celebrate this time of year, may they be filled with love.

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