General Assembly

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As PNWD congregations launch their new church year, we want to remind you of registration deadlines for some upcoming training opportunities. Take a look at the links, there’s something for everyone – from greeters to youth advisors, parish nurses to canvassers, and worship planners to social media users.

Jump Start Youth Advisor Training: designed for new advisors, but this is also a great refresher for seasoned advisors; September 20 in Portland, OR. Program questions, contact Dana Regan, PNWD Lead RE Consultant,

Discovery Day – Workshops and Peer Learning: a full day (September 27) of 75-minute workshops led by peers and professionals. Registration fee is only $15 for the entire day. Check out the variety of innovative offerings at the link and plan to attend the workshops that will have the most impact in your congregation. Can’t make it to Bellevue, WA to attend in person? See the link for selected workshops that are also available for remote participation. If you have questions, contact Lori Ragona, Pacific Western Region Training & Communications Specialist,

2014 Fall Youth Con: October 24-26 at Camp Cispus in Randle, WA. Details and registration are online at the link. Get your registration in by September 24 and save money. Final date to register is October 8.

Check out this fall’s line-up of Pacific Western Region Webinars. Don’t miss these virtual learning opportunities. The cost is only $15!

And don’t forget to make plans to attend the 2015 UUA General Assembly, June 24-28 in Portland, OR. Take advantage of the opportunity to attend GA in our own backyard!



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From Left: Stan Jewett PNWD Chalice Tour Captain; Beth McGregor, 2014 District Coordinator; Ken Wheeler, 2015 Coordinator

From Left: Stan Jewett PNWD Chalice Tour Captain; Beth McGregor, 2014 District Coordinator; Ken Wheeler, 2015 District Coordinator

As the chalice was extinguished at the 53rd Annual UUA General Assembly (GA) in Providence, RI, a fresh chapter opened to plan the next great gathering of UUs in Portland, OR in June of 2015. Volunteers brought the Chalice back to the Host Pacific Northwest District to begin a tour of each the 58 member congregations that make up the district.

The Chalice Tour will be planned and directed for the 2015 Volunteer Committee by Stan Jewett, who chairs First Unitarian Portland’s Outreach Group (Denominational Affairs Committee). It has been a UUA tradition since 2006 that the Chalice visit congregations throughout the year leading up to General Assembly.

The 21-pound chalice was sculpted by Mordecai Roth of Surprise, AZ. Contact Stan, to get your congregation on the tour itinerary.


GA2014 new logoAudio recordings of most UUA General Assembly programs, including years past, are now available. Good news for those who registered and attended the 2014 UUA General Assembly in Providence, RI: This year’s recordings are included in your registration. Registrants have access to over 100 hours of recorded MP3s at no additional cost.

Whether or not you are a GA 2014 registrant, you can purchase a flashdrive containing all recorded content. Price is $150 for non-registrants, and $75 for registrants. Or, you can opt for a bundled deal – flashdrives holding the content of the past five years of GA content! Cost for these is $199 for attendees, $269 for non-attendees.

To listen or download GA content, use the following steps to access content online.

  1. Click on this link:
  2. Click the login button on the top right hand corner.
  3. Login using the login and password information provided to GA registrants via email. (Create a new account if you were not an attendee of GA 2014)
  4. Once you are logged in, click on the left hand menu – my library.
  5. There will be a list of all recordings as released by the speakers from the 2014 General Assembly. (Not all events are available, for a variety of reasons.)
  6. To listen online, please click on the word ‘view’ beside the presentation name.
  7. To download, click the box icon, and follow your computers instructions.

If you are interested in purchasing the recorded downloaded for you, they are available on a flashdrive and can be purchased by clicking ‘here’.

If you have any questions please contact the UUA or Strategic Events Plus.


With 4,754 registered for the UUA’s annual meeting and conference, General Assembly 2014 (GA) was the scene for vibrant worship, active and reflective exploration of the theme “Love Reaches Out,” and lively deliberations on a variety of business and governance decisions for our Association of congregations.

The UU World On-Line offered comprehensive coverage of GA as events unfolded, and much of the Assemblyworship services, lectures, reports, presentations, workshops and other activities are available on video or audio through the UUA website. Additional recordings, written summaries and print materials will be posted by the end of July.
659 of the UUA’s member congregations – about 63% – from all 50 states had members present at General Assembly this year, though only 579 named voting delegates. The assembly heard reports from the UUA Board of Trustees and volunteers and from UUA staff. The 1920 seated delegates, including 105 offsite delegates (from 68 congregations in 30 states) voted on several issues before the Assembly:
An Action of Immediate Witness (AIW) “expresses the conscience and carries the authority of the delegates at the GA at which it is passed.” Because AIWs have not been brought to all congregations for their reflection and debate, they are not considered official statements of the UUA.

Congregational Study & Action Issue (CSAI) moves through a three-year period of study and action with opportunities for congregational and district comment and may become an official Statement of Conscience if approved by delegates to GA after the study period is complete.

Delegates also engaged in continued discussion and received updates on issues which will come up for votes in future years:

Other items of note:


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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 Lever

Credentialed Religious Educator – Master Level:

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




Credentialed Music Leader:

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

Bertram Gulhaugen, Music Director, Westside UU Church (Seattle, WA)


Mavis Cauffman, Credentialed Music Leader


Ministers receiving Final Fellowship:

Rev. Leslie Becknell Marx

Rev. Dr. Todd Eklof

Rev. Eric Kaminetzky

Rev. Emily Melcher

Rev. Sarah Movius Schurr


Bert Gulhaugen

Bert Gulhaugen, Credentialed Music Leader

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 And have a great GA, everyone!

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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

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PickarJewettThe UUA Outreach Group at First Unitarian Church in Portland, Oregon recently honored retiring member Dr. Arnie Pickar (left). “The Outreach Group owes a great vote of thanks to Arnie for his long-term support of the delegate’s role in our faith community,” notes Outreach Group Chair, Stan Jewett (right). “UUs throughout the denomination have benefited from his sustained focus on the importance of congregational participation in the governance of UUA and the central place of congregations in our social justice policy positions.” Jewett announced that a First Church scholarship fund for General Assembly delegates and District Assembly delegates now bears Pickar’s name. Dr. Pickar is physics professor emeritus from Portland State University, a Unitarian Universalist for 50 years, and author of the book, A Kopek in the Dust.


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GA Logo 2013 horizontalThe 2013 General Assembly (GA) of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) closed Sunday night, June 23, in Louisville, KY. Over 3,400 people attended the annual meeting which featured worship, educational workshops, public witness, and UUA business.

Jim Key

Jim Key, UUA Moderator

Highlights of the meeting included:

  • The election of Jim Key as the new UUA Moderator for a six-year term.
  • The re-election of the Rev. Peter Morales as UUA President for a second four-year term. He ran unopposed.
  • A worship and rally for environmental justice that drew over 2,000 participants.
  • Many wonderful speeches from guest speakers including Wendell Berry, author, environmental justice activist, economic critic, and farmer; Tim DeChristopher, UU activist; and renowned interfaith leader Eboo Patel.

Delegates at GA 2013 overwhelmingly approved a Statement of Conscience (SOC) regarding “Immigration as a Moral Issue.” In addition, delegates voted on and approved three Actions of Immediate Witness (AIW) on Sunday, June 23 including:

  • “Support the Proposed 28th ‘We the People’ Amendment to the Constitution: Corporations Are Not Persons and Money Is Not Speech”
  • “Condemn the Mass Incarceration, Killing, and Mistreatment of Young Men of Color by Police”
  • “Consider Divestment from the Fossil Fuel Industry”

GA2013 voting

Adopted AIWs are used by congregations in local efforts and empower Multicultural Growth & Witness to take action and recommend action through other departments of the UUA and other Unitarian Universalist groups.

The collection from the Sunday morning worship service was given to Kentucky Interfaith Power and Light (KIPL). KIPL’s mission is to “protect God’s creation by mobilizing a religious response to global warming through conservation, efficiency and alternative energy.”

Detailed coverage of the agenda, justice work, and worship at GA can be found on UU World’s General Assembly coverage blog.

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Do you know where your energy comes from when you turn on a light switch in your own home? Our climate is changing because of how we harness and use energy and we are causing harm to our planet, our communities, our neighbors, and our future. We need to stop the harmful effects of practices like mountaintop removal, hydraulic fracturing, mining, and drilling. They are hurting all of our communities, and most especially, communities of color, low-income neighborhoods, and rural towns. We can find new ways forward together. But in order to change how we get our energy, we must first use the energy within all of us to make a change.

- UUA Website on GA Public Witness

GA Logo 2013 horizontalOne of the most highly anticipated events every year at UUA General Assembly (GA) is the Public Witness event. This year, the witness event will focus on Environmental Justice. It is scheduled for the evening of Thursday, June 20, (6:15 – 7:30 p.m. Eastern), right after an all-GA worship in the Louisville, KY, convention center.

UUA President the Rev. Peter Morales will join poet Wendell Berry, activist Tim DeChristopher, interfaith and community leaders, GA attendees and members of the local community in this public witness for our Earth, our communities, and our future.

Demonstrators will leave GA’s Plenary Hall together and proceed to the Belvedere Plaza for this witness event where all will gather at the river. The Belvedere outdoor facility is located on the riverfront GA Public Witness 2012in downtown Louisville. It is an open park with ample cement paths, grassy areas, some benches and low cement walls for seating, though with very little shade. Terrain is sloped but not steep. Restrooms are located in the park, as well as at the Galt House, accessible through the pool area.

Participants will hear testimonies, join in song, prayer, and a reverse water communion. Attendees will learn practical ways to make a difference in their lives and their communities.

Remind your congregation’s delegates to wear their bright yellow “Standing on the Side of Love” t-shirts and related gear! And when they return, ask them to share what they’ve learned about finding a sustainable way forward together.

Visit the UUA website for more information.


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