Several religious professionals from the Pacific Northwest were honored at the Service of the Living Tradition at the Unitarian Universalist Association’s annual General Assembly (GA) on June 27, 2014, in Providence, Rhode Island.

Sara Lewis, Olympia UU Congregation

Sara Lewis

Credentialed Religious Educator – Master Level:

Sara Lewis, Director of Religious Education, Olympia UU Congregation (WA) - right

Credentialed Music Leader:

MavisCauffman

Mavis Cauffman

Mavis G. Cauffman, Music Director and Administrator, UU Congregation of Whidbey Island (Freeland, WA)

Ministers receiving Final Fellowship:

Rev. Leslie Becknell Marx

Rev. Dr. Todd Eklof

Rev. Eric Kaminetzky

Rev. Emily Melcher

Rev. Sarah Movius Schurr

Ministers Completing Full-Time Service

Rev. Jim Anderson

Rev. Bruce Davis

Rev. Annie Holmes

Rev. Marcia Schekel

In Memoriam

Rev. Dr. William H. Houff

Rev. Edgar C. Peara

Rev. Arthur D. Wilmot

 

See the full list of those honored and remembered in the complete Order of Service from the 2014 Service of the Living Tradition.

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GA 2014 ThemeAttending UUA General Assembly (GA) in Providence, Rhode Island, June 25 – 29? Then the pastoral message currently posted on PNWD’s front page is for you! Not attending this year? The message is still for you –remember that much of GA is live-streamed, and delegates can vote from offsite. Check out opportunities to attend from the comfort of home: click here for more info.

The theme for General Assembly 2014 is “Love Reaches Out,” which invites us as Unitarian Universalists to consider what universal, unconditional love means. But General Assembly can also be a chaotic time – much as life – where one forgets to pause and check-in with the self. It can be a challenge sometimes to recognize spiritual groundedness in the midst of the busiest, most mundane tasks.

In June’s edition of Catalyst, the UUA’s Multicultural Growth & Witness staff decided to take a moment for self-reflection and ask: What about General Assembly will feed my soul/spirit? 

Take a moment to enjoy their reflections on the experience of General Assembly, now on the front page of www.pnwd.org. And have a great GA, everyone!

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UUA Rainbow starburst logoThe UUA’s Welcoming Congregation Program, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary! The LGBTQ world has changed dramatically since the program was conceived in 1989, and implemented in 1990. Today, over 70% of our congregations have been recognized as Welcoming Congregations. That includes over 95% of large and mid-sized congregations, and, now, over 50% of small congregations.

The Welcoming Congregation Program has been revised over the years to incorporate some of the changing realities for LGBTQ people, but, for a host of reasons, the last revision of the Welcoming Congregation Handbook was in 2002, four years before any state had legalized same-sex marriage!

Welcoming Congregation Poster

Recently, the office of Multicultural Growth & Witness, which currently manages the Welcoming Congregation Program, has been encouraging congregations to rely more heavily on web resources we have curated and developed. However, despite outdated content, the Handbook has still been available through the UUA Bookstore as a guide for congregations. Until now, that is; the Welcoming Congregation Handbook is no longer being sold through the Bookstore.

Congregations seeking Welcoming Congregation status will be encouraged to access the web resources and design a program that is customized to fit its needs as a congregation. Find LGBTQ resources on uua.org (http://www.uua.org/lgbtq/)

Welcome and Inclusion in the 21st Century

It’s time to take a new look at what welcoming means, what inclusion and hospitality mean, and how our multiple identities across race and ethnicity, abilities, class, sexual orientation, and gender identity/ expression inform who we are as whole people within Unitarian Universalism. Informed by the results of the Multicultural Ministries Sharing Project, which has been underway for the past year, the office of Multicultural Growth & Witness will now undertake re-envisioning the Welcoming Congregation for the next twenty-five years.

As the United States becomes a mosaic of diverse cultures, Unitarian Universalism can play a leadership role in adapting to and embracing this new reality, not unlike the one we played with LGBTQ rights over the last forty years. Throughout this process of revisioning, UUs will have formal and informal ways for to share their wisdom with the MG&W staff.

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In order to continue to participate in the UUA Retirement Plan, every UUA congregation or UU employer must adopt the provisions of the 2014 Plan Restatement. To do so, the governing board of each participating employer must have done these three things before 6/30/14:

  • pass an adoption motion
  • submit the 2014 Employer Participation Agreement
  • receive confirmation from the UUA.

Congregations/Organizations failing to complete these steps by June 30, 2014 will not be able to submit contributions on behalf of their employees as of July 1.

Information related to changes in the retirement plan and the actions required by 6/30/14 was distributed by the UUA Office of Church Staff Finance to all participating employers and individual employees November 20, 2013, with reminders from various sources since. Complete information is also available through the UUA website at http://www.uua.org/careers/compensation/retirement/.

UUA Compensation Consultant for the Pacific Western Region, Peter Henrickson (member, UU Church of Vancouver, WA) also provided a summary of changes and an overview of necessary actions – see his December 2013 message here.

If your congregation is currently enrolled in the UUA Retirement Plan, please be sure your 2014 Employer Participation Agreement has been submitted to the UUA Office of Church Staff Finances. If you need assistance, contact Linda Rose, Acting Director, UUA Retirement Plan. She can be reached at retirementplan@uua.org or by phone at 617-948-4265.

 

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.

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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

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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.

 

 

 

PattiPomerantz

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.

RevCarmenMcDowell

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.

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