tvoncartDo you feel your congregation has been lagging behind in the technology area? Want to make some tech upgrades but short on funding? There is still plenty of time for your congregation to apply for a Growth Technology Grant. These Chalice Lighter-funded grants may be used to help congregations purchase equipment to improve church communication and outreach, and to support leadership training and ministry. Grant details, eligibility, an overview, and the application form are all available online. November 2 is the deadline to apply, and grants will be awarded in mid-January 2016.

The online application process is quick and painless. Congregations may now easily find their Honor Congregation status, as well as Chalice Lighter totals and percentages, on the PNWD website of congregations. Just click your state and scroll to your congregation: Alaska   Idaho   Oregon   Washington

 

 

 

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confidence-gap-YAtrainingYouth Advisor Training? Why would anyone need training to hang out with youth on Sunday? Don’t you just listen to them ‘check-in’ and bring snacks? That’s all we did when I was in youth group.

Sound familiar? I have heard this many times. There is way more to youth advising than hanging out and listening to youth although those are certainly aspects of a good advisor.

The youth advisor training that is being offered on October 3 at Olympia Unitarian Universalist Church is experiential and trust-based. It is philosophical and spiritual. It is for adult leaders who want to meet other adult leaders to share experiences and stories. It is for advisors who want to learn the basics about youth programming and for those who want to step up their game. It is for church leaders who advocate for youth within the religious education program and within the congregation. It is for adults who want to model mentoring youth so youth will learn how to mentor youth.

Our own Jennica Davis helped create youth advisor competencies that are being implemented continental wide. These include: understanding developmental stages and how to incorporate differences into a program; how to create a safer youth program and what is appropriate pastoral care for youth; establishing an inclusive youth ministry program and understanding identity, privilege, and oppression. This workshop also incorporates these standards.

Please download this flyer and advertise this workshop. Talk to your religious educator or minister and try to send a couple of adult volunteers who will be working with youth in your congregation this next year. Register here. Your youth, their parents, and the congregation will appreciate it.

In faith,

Dana Regan, CRE

PNWD Lead RE Consultant and former Youth DRE

info_blueFor many decades we mailed bulky “Congregational Packets” containing printed event flyers, registration forms, etc. to our PNWD church offices. Once each congregation connected via email, we began distributing the information electronically. With this posting, we will also begin sharing these notices in our News in order to reach even more people. Please pass along to others who may be interested.

Distributed to congregational offices, ministers and presidents August 10:

OWL Facilitator Trainings

September 2 is the deadline to register for two OWL facilitator trainings being offered September 17-19 in Corvallis, Oregon. By synchronizing the Junior/Senior OWL training for facilitators (grades 7-9 and 10-12) and the facilitator training for Young Adults (ages 18-35) and Adults, we hope congregations may find cost-savings in travel for their participants. Registration and full details are at the link above.

Youth Advisor Training

Details and registration will be posted on the PNWD Trainings page very soon, but please publicize the date to your youth advisors: Saturday, October 3 at Olympia UU Congregation, WA. This day-long training is designed for both new advisors looking for the basics and seasoned advisors looking for a refresher. Attendees will receive support from their peers, as well as learn new ideas to carry back to their congregations. This training presents core issues, philosophies and skills needed to advise and empower youth.

Addictions Ministry Project Conference

If you’d like to learn more about addiction and mental illness, or want to enhance the ministry your congregation offers to individuals and families who have experienced addiction or mental illness, plan to attend “Languages of Love: Recovery from Addiction and Mental Illness.” This day-long conference is sponsored by the PNWD Addictions Ministry Project and will be held on Saturday, October 10 at the Olympia UU Congregation, WA. See the flyer linked above for event details and email registration information.

Fall Youth Con

Mark October 23-25 on your calendar for the next PNWD Youth Con, held at Cispus Learning Center in Randle, WA. Details and registration will be posted soon at the above link.

Growth Technology Grants

These Chalice Lighter-funded grants may be used to help congregations purchase equipment to improve church communication and outreach, and to support leadership training and ministry. Grant details, eligibility, an overview, and the online application form are all accessed via the above link. November 2 is the deadline to apply, and grants will be awarded in mid-January 2016. Please note, to make the application process easier, congregations may now find their Honor Congregation status, as well as Chalice Lighter totals and percentages, on their listing in the PNWD website of congregations. [Click state and scroll to your congregation: Alaska   Idaho   Oregon   Washington]

2016 District Assembly

SAVE THE DATE: Saturday, March 5 a one-day Pacific Northwest District Assembly will be held at University Unitarian Church in Seattle. Details will be posted as they become available.

PNWD Job Openings

Just a reminder that if you know someone looking for a job, or your congregation has an opening you’d like us to post, please check the Jobs link above. For additional job opportunities throughout the Pacific Western Region, check the PWR Jobs Page.

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Eric BlissEric Bliss is the new Youth Ministry Specialist for the Pacific Western Region, including the Pacific Northwest District. He introduces himself in the current front page message on the PNWD website, and shares his threefold vision for youth ministry throughout the Region:

1)  Cultivating a “Constellation of Connection”

Eric’s vision for vibrant youth ministry in a regional setting arises from Mark DeVries’ concept, a “Constellation of Connection.” This is devoted to fostering connections and building bridges for the youth to engage with Unitarian Universalists across the generations. Eric is convinced that if we are interested in creating a liberal religious revolution, then we must invest heavily in the avenues that strengthen the bonds between our youth, their mentors, congregations, and their faith.

2)  Leadership Development

It is absolutely necessary to train and counsel energetic youth and adult leaders, says Eric. Any successful endeavor requires capable organizers who have interpersonal skills, knowledge of systems, and a commitment to the cause.  Leadership training opportunities based in best practices, mentoring processes, and a commitment to partnership, are all extraordinary tools for cultivating the leaders of tomorrow.  Stay tuned to the PWR and PNWD websites, Twitter, email, and Facebook for future webinars, retreats, cons, camps, and other immersion experiences designed to this end.

3)  Faith Formation

Our youth leaders require a sturdy spiritual center from which to draw strength and inspiration for their work, explains Eric. There is a need for an understanding of mission, and a necessity for self-awareness—an attribute that instills resiliency for when events do not go as planned. Eric is committed to working with multi-generational (multigen) leaders to instill and nurture a robust UU core identity that evokes a spirit of wonder, an emphasis on the transforming power of love, and an enduring commitment to exploring religious ideas.

Congregations and religious leaders are encouraged to contact Eric any time to learn more about youth ministry resources and events available through the UUA and the region. Read Eric’s full letter of introduction at www.pnwd.org!

Meet all the UUA Congregational Life Staff serving the Pacific Western Region!

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OWL-Adult-YAThe Pacific Northwest District has opened registration for an OWL Facilitator training for Adult and Young Adult OWL programs in Corvallis, OR on September 17-19, 2015. Facilitators for this training are Milly Mullarky and John Sulzmann.

Sign up now to provide training to your volunteer teachers so you are ready to offer this in the fall or winter at your congregation. This is also a very useful curriculum for college age students. Follow this link to register.

Here is some specific information about the Young Adult and Adult OWL curriculum.

Our Whole Lives: Sexuality Education for Young Adults, Ages 18-35

This program is specifically designed for young adults within the age range of 18-35. It reviews basic sexuality information, boosts self-knowledge, enhances sexual safety, and strengthens social skills. It is interactive, inclusive, and welcoming.

OWL models and teaches caring, compassion, respect, and justice. It helps young adults address their attitudes, values, and feelings about themselves, their sexuality, and others’ sexuality. OWL addresses topics typically excluded from sexuality education and health classes, including sexual expression, identity, orientation and life issues for young adults. Each of the fourteen workshops is two hours long and designed to be modular – that is, each can stand on its own for maximum program flexibility. OWL is a secular curriculum, appropriate for a variety of settings.

Our Whole Lives Sexuality Education for Adults

This program helps you explore sexuality through your values and experiences. Enhance communication skills as you increase your understanding of healthy relationships, sexual diversity, and sexuality throughout the life cycle. It’s the sexuality education opportunity you probably never had growing up.

Our Whole Lives (OWL) values:

  • Self-Worth
  • Sexual Health
  • Responsibility
  • Justice and Inclusivity

OWL models and teaches caring, compassion, respect, and justice. It helps adults address their attitudes, values, and feelings about themselves, their sexuality, and others’ sexuality. Participants are guided by trained facilitators through an engaging program that addresses topics many adults have not had the opportunity to discuss in depth. The fourteen two hour workshops are modular and may be used in any combination or singly.

Dana Regan, CRE

PNWD Lead RE Consultant

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Blaine churchFree Church Unitarian (Blaine, WA) has posted a position opening at the “District Job Openings” page of the PNWD website. This is a quarter-time position for a UU Minister and begins in January, 2016. Applications are due to the District Office by September 30, 2015.

This position follows the four-year ministry of the Rev. Marcia Stanard, who also served in a 1/4-time position. Rev. Stanard has been called to full-time settlement with Atkinson Memorial Church in Oregon City, OR.

 

Your congregation can submit job opportunities for posting on the PNWD website, too! Submit a brief description of the position to pnwd@uua.org. Include congregation name, position title, and contact person with phone number and email address. We encourage you to post the full position description on your website; we’ll link to it in the listing. 

Opportunities in the wider UU community can also be posted on the Pacific Western Region website or the UUA website. Positions in UU Ministry that are 1/2-time or greater are listed within the UUA Settlement System.

 

The Pacific Northwest District was well represented in leadership and honorees at the Service of the Living Tradition during UUA General Assembly in Portland at the end of June. Here are just a few – who else was recognized there?

  • Rev. Bill Sinkford (Senior Minister, First Unitarian Church of Portland, OR) invited the offering
  • Mavis Cauffman (UU Congregation of Whidbey Island, Freeland, WA) presented the newly Credentialed Music Leaders

Ministers Receiving Preliminary Fellowship

  • Catharine Buck Clarenbach
  • Barbara Ann Cornell
  • Katie Larsell
  • Sarah Eileen LaWall
  • Kevin J. Lawson

Ministers Receiving Final Fellowship

  • K. Antonia Won

Ministers Completing Full-Time Service

  • Wendy Fish
  • Peg Boyle Morgan

Other PNWD Leaders appearing prominently at GA were Susan Peck (UU Community Church of Washington County, Hillsboro, OR), who served on the Worship Arts Team and led music during General Sessions; Rev. Cecilia Kingman and Wil Sederholm (Edmonds UU Church, WA), Morning Devotionals; and Bertram Gulhagen (Westside UU Congregation, Seattle, WA), who served as Music Director for GA and led the 180-voice GA choir at Sunday’s public worship service.

The Rev. Tandi Rogers (Tahoma UU Congregation, Tacoma, WA), who serves the UUA as Innovation and Network Specialist, introduced the new UUA pilot program for “Covenanting Communities,” including four groups within the Pacific Northwest District:

  • North Kitsap Unitarians (Poulsbo, WA – previously, an Emerging Congregation)
  • Peninsula UU Fellowship (Port Orchard, WA – previously, an Emerging Congregation)
  • Methow Valley UU Fellowship (Twisp, WA)
  • UUs of Goldendale (WA)

 

GA2015 NEW logo

 

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GA2015 NEW logoMore than 4,500 UUs from around the country traveled to Portland, OR, for the annual General Assembly (GA) of our Unitarian Universalist Association, June 24-28, 2015. Nearly a quarter of this number were from the Pacific Northwest District (PNWD)!

See the UU World coverage for more information on decisions and events at General Assembly. Many recorded events and general sessions are available on-line). You can also catch the Pacific Western Region Twitter feed – find a convenient link at the PNWD website – front page, scroll down the left-hand sidebar.

Special thanks to Ken Wheeler (First Unitarian Church of Portland, OR) and his crew of many, many volunteers who provided a warm welcome to Portland (pun intended – with temperatures in the 80s, 90s and even breaking 100, everyone was glad for the air conditioning in the Oregon Convention Center). Great job with the local organizing committee, Ken and all!

Who went on a tour offered by the Mid-Columbia UU Fellowship (Hood River, OR)? Bet those were well received and fabulous!

PNWD mastheadAlthough 44 PNWD Congregations certified 174 delegates to represent them at the 53rd Annual General Meeting of Pacific Northwest District, held June 27 at UUA General Assembly in Portland, OR, only 74 delegates from 29 congregations actually attended. After a delay in the proceedings while a quorum was confirmed, the PNWD Board conducted the meeting as announced in advance per PNWD bylaws.

The 2015 Annual Meeting packet can be downloaded from the PNWD website. Contents of the packet can be previewed along with an announcement of the 54th Annual Meeting, which will be held Saturday, March 5, 2016, at University Unitarian Church in Seattle, WA.

The Treasurer’s report, part of the Consent Agenda, offered financial statements for the year ending June 30, 2014. Also in the report was an overview of congregational support for district dues and teh UUA’s Annual Program Fund. District Dues for 2015/16 will remain at $26 per member, and are anticipated to remain at that level for 2016/17 as well.

Mike Becker

Michael Becker

Susan Howlett

Susan Howlett

Delegates elected Susan Howlett to a three-year term on the District Board of Directors. They also elected Michael Becker to a five-year term on the District Nominating Committee. For more information on the slate presented to delegates, see the Nominating Committee report.

Following discussion, delegates passed the resolution proposed by the Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship directing the PNWD Board to sign on to a 2014 letter from religious leaders supporting the Lummi Nation’s defense of their lands against the threat of mining, transporting, burning and disposal of fossil fuels. Several PNWD congregations had taken action to endorse the resolution prior to the Annual Meeting.

The PNWD Board then invited discussion of regional collaboration in the Pacific Western Region (PWR). Materials can be found on the PWR website, including the Letter of Agreement contracting with the UUA for program and staffing services. The Agreement is for a one-year period and will be renewed or revised in March, 2016.

Two members of the recently established Advisory Council to the UUA Director of Congregational Life were introduced: Dana Regan and the Rev. Carol McKinley will serve as appointees from Washington and Oregon, along with five others from the Pacific Western Region. The purpose of the group is to act as ambassadors to regional congregations and covenanted communities, ensuring that the director and Congregational Life Staff have the information they need to appropriately address the needs of local congregations.

An offering was invited for the Pacific Northwest UU Growth Foundation, which convened its annual meeting immediately upon adjournment of the PNWD business meeting.

PNWD Officers were announced for 2015/16 and the assembly spoke a covenant to serve faithfully with one another. Officers are:

Hayden Nevill

Hayden Nevill

President: Hayden Nevill (UU Fellowship of Fairbanks, AK)

Vice President: David Cauffman (UU Congregation of Whidbey Island, Freeland, WA)

Treasurer: Emmet Band (UU Church in Eugene, OR)

Secretary: Carol McKinley (Olympia UU Congregation, WA)

Newly elected board member Susan Howlett will serve as Director At Large. The PNWD board as a whole can be reached via email to board@pnwd.org.

 

Finally, several volunteer leaders were honored for completing terms of service to the PNWD:

Carrie-KrauseCarrie Krause, 2014/15 PNWD Board President

anne-marie_davidsonAnne-Marie Davidson, Youth Con Coordinator

Dave DierdorffDavid Dierdorff, Chalice Lighters Team

MargaretKeipDr.Dr. Kristin Guest Kristin Guest and the Rev. Margaret Keip, co-leads, Healthy Congregations Team

 

 

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Janine, 2014

Janine Larsen, UUA Congregational Life Staff in the Pacific Western Region, has posted an article on the front page of the PNWD website recapping the recent UUA General Assembly and the Pacific Northwest District’s 53rd Annual General Meeting.

PNWD held its Annual Meeting at General Assembly (GA) this year, expecting to take advantage of high attendance with more than 1,000 UUs from the district registered for GA. However, despite strong delegate certification for the PNWD meeting, fewer than half showed up. A quorum was barely achieved, and Janine recaps the results as well as musing about the disappointing turnout and the district’s new agreement for services from the UUA through its Pacific Western Region.

Janine also reflects briefly on her experience of sabbatical this past January 2 through April 5.

PNWD’s 2016 Annual Meeting has been scheduled for Saturday, March 5, at University Unitarian Church in Seattle, WA.

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