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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How ironic that the Winter Chalice Lighter Call is for a congregation where the temperatures can dip to thirty-degrees below zero! Alaska’s Anchorage UU Fellowship needs our help keeping growth on track by replacing a faltering thirty-yearCL no text-old furnace with a high-efficiency, integrated system for heating and hot water. This system – the greenest configuration – will result in a 93% seasonal efficiency and ensure that newcomers, children and members are comfortable year round.

Each individual Chalice Lighter pledges to give at least $15 per call to no more than three calls each church year. If you are already a Chalice Lighter, please contribute now. If you are not already a Chalice Lighter, sign up now!

donatenow

 

Gifts of any amount will be accepted for Anchorage UU Fellowship through March 9.

 

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Oxygen Volume 11May we hold in our thoughts and prayers the members of the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Palouse in Moscow, Idaho, after the death of long-time member Terri Grzebielski. Grzebielski was one of three people killed in a shooting spree in Moscow on Saturday, January 10.

The congregation welcomes healing thoughts and prayers, but requests no other help at this time. Cards may be sent to the congregation at Unitarian Universalist Church of the Palouse, 420 East Second Street, Moscow, Idaho 83843.

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!

 

chaplain-graphic-colorYouth Chaplains are individuals who work to affirm and emotionally support our UU youth by helping manage crises, ensure a healthy and safe environment, and bringing spiritual resources and support to the community. This training, facilitated by trained Chaplain Facilitators, will provide youth and adult advisors with invaluable life skills to serve these roles in our UU communities as well as the communities within which they live and work.

Who is the training for? High School Youth and Adults (25 years and older) who want to serve their community as Chaplains.  This training is limited to 30 participants. Enroll soon as space is limited and these trainings often fill to capacity quickly.

When will the training happen? Friday evening, February 6th through early Sunday, February 8th. This is a 15-hour training with no room for extra-curricular adventures or visiting off campus. Participants need to be fully present for Chrysalis certification.

What is the cost? $120 if received by the January 14 deadline. $140 if received between January 15 and the final deadline of January 21.

Where: Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Salem 5090 Center St, NE Salem, OR 97317

Go to the website for registration details, required forms and to download a flyer to post in your congregation. Please help us spread the word by email, print, Twitter, Facebook, Pony Express, or whatever means and medium will get the message out about this insightful & worthwhile training!

Questions? Contact James Griner, Pacific Western Region Interim Youth Specialist, jgriner@uua.org.

 

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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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JeanelyseThe Rev. Jeanelyse Doran Adams, a member of the UUA Congregational Life staff for the Pacific Western Region, provides “A Homily of Gratitude” for this Thanksgiving season, now posted on the PNWD website front page. She reminds us of the simple and important teaching of early 14th century theologian Meister Eckhart, who said, “If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.”

From the board and staff of the Pacific Northwest District, and from the staff of the UUA Pacific Western Region, may your Thanksgiving be blessed with love, and may all share in the abundance of the world. May the grace of generosity ease the way of so many in need as we enter the winter holidays and look ahead to the New Year.

The Pacific Northwest District is part of the UUA Pacific Western Region. Big Faith * No Borders

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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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Elizabeth Greene 2014As minister of Magic Valley UU Fellowship in Twin Falls, ID, the Rev. Elizabeth Greene is quoted extensively in a recent article published in the on-line version of the local newspaper, The Times-News.

Titled “Gay Marriage: Taking the Pastors’ Pulse,” the article reviews the stance of various churches on marriage equality, and offers comments from several Twin Falls clergy. Rev. Green speaks of her joy that marriage equality has come to Idaho. She recalls some of the history of Unitarian Universalism taking a stand for LGBT rights in Idaho and more broadly, mentioning the General Assembly resolution in the mid-1970s that endorsed ordination of gay and lesbian clergy and noting that today, LGBT ministers are very common in UU communities.

As of October 22, marriage equality in Idaho remains contested. Although marriages in Idaho are deemed legal and are taking place, the Governor of the state has filed a request for further legal review and vows to continue to fight to keep marriage in Idaho limited to “one man and one woman.”

In addition to serving the Magic Valley UU Fellowship as minister, through the PNWD Outreach Ministry Program, the Rev. Elizabeth Greene is recognized as Minister Emerita of Boise UU Fellowship, where she served for 25 years prior to her retirement in 2013. She was well known in Boise for her activism with the Boise congregation and for her regular contributions as a religion columnist for The Spokesman-Review newspaper.

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