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  PCD Newsletter
      Pacific Central District of the Unitarian Universalist Assc.

Serving Unitarian Universalism and the ministry and mission  of our congregations.

January 2015

In This Issue
PCD Logo 4 Web District Assembly 2015
Save the Date!
Saturday, April 25, 2015

Walking A Faithful Path



District Assembly 2015 will be held Saturday, April 25, 2015 at the First UU Society of San Francisco.  We are very excited about the possibilities for this year's program, which will be on the theme "Walking a Faithful Path."


The district staff is currently looking for interested individuals and groups to present workshops at District Assembly.  The workshops will be grouped by four broad themes:

  • Nuts and bolts (the daily work of UU communities)
  • Deepening (spiritual practices and theology)
  • Reaching out (social justice and connecting outside our usual boundaries), and
  • Religious exploration (shaping the faith of all ages in our complex world).
Please see the Request for Proposals (RFP) for more information!

Join us for dynamic worship, workshops, connections, and celebration!

Watch the PCD Web Site and this newsletter for more information.

Winter 2015 Chalice Lighter Call


Dear Chalice Lighter,


Continuing our focus on outreach beyond our congregations, we invite you to support an exciting program that is sponsored by the UU Fellowship of Northern Nevada.  More and more of our congregations are reaching outside the walls of their sanctuaries, reaching out to Unitarian Universalists and those who are seeking spiritual growth and community.  This is the new frontier of our movement.  


Create Meaning Northern Nevada is an in-person and online center for spiritual renewal where people can grow spiritually, connect in community, and help the world become a better place. Affiliated with the UU Fellowship of Northern Nevada, Create Meaning seeks to spread Unitarian Universalist values and transform people who will help transform the world.   Create Meaning Northern Nevada responds to the needs of majority of Unitarian Universalists who don't belong to a congregation and to those who seek spiritual connection and depth in their lives but who don't necessarily feel comfortable attending a church.   You can learn more about the program at their website: http://www.createmeaning.org/#!northern-nevada-overview/c42v

UUFNN collaborates with Create Meaning Northern Nevada to offer workshops, classes, social justice activities, and retreats that meet the spiritual needs of Northern Nevada.   To facilitate the success of this outreach ministry of the UUFNN, the congregation provides in-kind support as well as financial support in the form of a special offering. The Chalice Lighter funds will provide support for marketing, venue rentals, and supplies. 


The members of the UUFNN have been generous contributors to chalice lighter grants for congregations throughout our district.  Let us return the favor by contributing generously their ambitious vision to bring UU programs to the people in Northern Nevada.


In gratitude,


Rev. Lucy Bunch

Chair, Pacific Central District Growth Committee


Please make your check out to "PCD-UUA" with "Chalice Lighters" in the memo line. You can also visit our website at www.pcd-uua.org to donate via PayPal.


Awaken Spirit Small



This coming spring the Pacific Central District will offer the first-ever "Good Works Award."  The award honors a UU living and working in the PCD who has contributed to the vitality and health of our faith by serving a congregation or community.  The award is particularly designed to honor those individuals whose service has not been particularly publicized or noted in the past.  Some examples of this might include persons doing congregational missionary work such as teaching or reading to children, visiting persons in need, or driving handicapped persons to the store; those who act as stewards of finances, buildings, and being volunteers in other ways; outreach workers who create systems to assist those in need or mobilizing others to action in ways that are consistent with our UU faith and principles; individuals bringing UUs and others together in small-group ministries or other settings to deepen their religious experience and their capacity to engage in meaningful relationships with each other; or other individuals  doing innovative missionary-focused UU work.


You are encouraged to nominate one or two deserving people from your congregation or community.  The nominees must be:

  • Members or friends of a UU church or community located in the Pacific Central District; and
  • Engaged in work that is consistent with the Unitarian Universalist faith. 

*Note: Congregations and communities can submit a maximum of two nominations each.  Paid staff members of UU organizations and their relatives, as well as members of the PCD Board and their relatives, are not eligible for this award.*


To send in a nomination, please submit the person's name, congregational/UU community affiliation, contact information and a brief statement (300 word maximum) of why this person is deserving of the award.  One or two awards will be given in the spring, announced at District Assembly and awarded in the home congregation of the winner(s).


Nominations should be sent to goodworks@pcd-uua.org by February 1, 2015. 


The 2015 PCD Good Works Award is made possible by the generosity of Tony and Laura Bushman.


Chalice Hands

Please come to the PCD-LREDA Retreat

Wednesday January 21 to Friday, January 23, 2015

St. Dorothy's Rest in Camp Meeker, CA

We will gather at 3pm on Wednesday and depart at 11am on Friday

You must be a member of both PCD and National LREDA to attend.

Cost per person is $180.00 and includes meals.

(Some scholarship funds are available for those who need it)

Please send your registration check to made to PCD LREDA

with LREDA Retreat in the Memo line to:


Deborah Mason

Unitarian Universalist Congregation, Santa Rosa

547 Mendocino Ave.

Santa Rosa, CA 95401


More details will be sent to you once your registration has been received.

Space is limited, so please register soon.

If you have not paid your dues yet please go to the LREDA website to sign up:

 If you haven't paid your annual PCD LREDA dues,you can send it with your retreat registration



Posted by: Kathy van Leuwen <kvanleuwen@yahoo.com>


OWL Logo
New, 2nd Edition of OWL 7-9

The newly released second edition of Our Whole Lives Sexuality Education for Grades 7-9 is now available.


UUA Logo New Survey to Alternatives to Traditional Printed Books


Dear Colleagues,


Equual Access and the UUA are sponsoring a survey to ascertain interest and information regarding alternatives to traditional printed books for people with blindness, impaired vision, dyslexia, the after-effects of stroke, difficulty holding a book, or other reasons. 


You can access this brief survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/HGFFJZG


Would you kindly disseminate this link as you deem appropriate.  I am particularly interested in getting it into District and Regional newsletters.  We expect to keep the survey open for the next couple of months.


Thanks very much.




Mark Bernstein  

Congregational Life | Central East Regional Group (CERG)

Phone (610) 639-3389  |  mbernstein@uua.org | uua.org  



MDUUC Logo The Future of Inequality

Mt. Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church

55 Eckley Lane, Walnut Creek, CA 94596

925.934.3135 - publicity@mduuc.org

Future of Inequality - Why Do We Have Such Severe Economic Inequality? And What Can We Do About It?

Ramsay Thomas, an experienced Economics and Government teacher will discuss the recent best selling book by Thomas Piketty, Capital in the Twenty-First Century. In this timely presentation Thomas willilluminate the book's treatment of our growing inequality, its causes, its impact on our society, and the policies that would reduce the widening wealth gap.


Sponsored by the Economic Justice Task Force, Mt. Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church, 55 Eckley Lane, Walnut Creek. Free Admission. Tuesday, January 6, 7:30 PM, Bortin Hall. 


For more information, contact Bob Lane at (925) 426-1226 or economicjusticechair@mduuc.org.


Youth Advisors Needed

Marin YRUU Advisor

Lead YRUU Advisor position at UU Congregation of Marin, San Rafael, CA


The Lead Youth Advisor, under the direction of the Director of Religious Education and the general direction of the Minister, works collaboratively with volunteer youth advisors to empower our YRUU to deepen their UU identities and explore and assume leadership roles within their group, the life of the congregation, the wider UU world and the larger community.


Marin Nursery Care Provider


The UU Congregation of Marin (San Rafael, CA) is seeking a Nursery Care Provider 10-12 AM Sundays and addition hours on occasion for events. (congregational meetings, social justice events, Saturday evening music performances, etc.) $20/hr. Open until filled.


Please submit letter of interest, job application and resume to: Attn: Nursery Care Provider


240 Channing Way

San Rafael, CA 94903, or email: jobs@uumarin.org


Mount Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church (MDUUC)

Lead Youth Advisor 


This Part-time position works with the Director of Religious Education to lead MDUUC's High School Youth Group. Position is 5 hours a week, 3 of which occur on campus Sunday afternoons. 


Responsibilities include coordinating volunteer youth advisors, communicating with youth, their families, MDUUC staff and the wider congregation; planning for weekly meetings and occasional outings; coordinating the group's calendar; maintaining files; and serving as the primary point of contact for the group. 


Requirements include excellent organization and communication skills, easy rapport with youth and adults, and basic knowledge of youth issues and Unitarian Universalism. Proficiency in electronic communication (email, text, Facebook, etc.) and Google software preferred. Applicants must be at least 26 years of age and will be required to complete a background check as a condition of hire.


To submit materials for this position, please put "Lead Youth Advisor 2014" in Subject line and attach cover letter, resume, sheet listing three references. Email to personnelcom@mduuc.org. No phone calls please.


Contact us:

PCD Board of Directors

Congregational Life Staff

Congregational Life Staff

PCD District Administrator

Katrina Leathers
PCD Coming of Age Coordinator

Pacific Central District - UUA
4100 Redwood Road, #344
Oakland, CA 94619-2363
(510) 530-1437

Covenanted Community Life 
Rev. Jeanelyse Doran Adams, 

Congregational Life Staff



We look with uncertainty
beyond the old choices for
clear-cut answers
to a softer, more permeable aliveness
which is every moment
at the brink of death;
for something new is being born in us
if we but let it.
We stand at a new doorway,
awaiting that which comes...
daring to be human creatures,
vulnerable to the beauty of existence.
Learning to love.

         - We Look with Uncertainty by Anne Hillman


January 1, 2015 ushered in the invitation to cross, yet, another threshold into uncertainty with the hope of something new and more alive with mercy, love, justice, and equity.


Someone shared a reflection piece by Parker Palmer in a Facebook post over the holidays. Palmer, founder and Senior Partner of the Center for Courage & Renewal, is a world-renowned writer, speaker and activist.


Parker, inspired by Anne Hillman's poem, offered these personal reflection questions to consider as we cross this threshold from 2014 to 2015.   He offered the questions as a living practice.  I was drawn to the questions and wondered what it might be like to consider these questions in small groups in our congregations.

* How can I let go of my need for fixed answers in favor of aliveness?
* What is my next challenge in daring to be human?
* How can I open myself to the beauty of nature and human nature?
* Who or what do I need to learn to love next? And next? And next?
* What is the new creation that wants to be born in and through me?


Unitarian Universalism invites a faith journey of transformation, both personally and collectively when we dare to learn how to love and build Beloved Community.  I wondered how we might live into new realities if we were to embrace these questions, together, as a Unitarian Universalist discernment practice this year. Let me know if you take the plunge!


In faith, 



Rev. Jeanelyse Doran Adams

Congregational Life Staff



Our Religious Lives
Joshua Searle-White, Ph.D.
Congregational Life Staff

It's hard to know what to say.  The tragedies of racial injustice and violence and hatred continue unabated all around the world.  For some of us it becomes difficult even to read the news.  The temptation to pull into our shells and hide is very strong.  At the same time, we know as religious people that we are called to respond to what is happening in the world.  So what do we do?


The important thing to remember, I think, is that no matter how we choose to respond - through collective action or individual efforts, through contributing money or taking the streets with others in protest - the roots of change always grow first in our own hearts.  When terrible things happen, it's tempting to let anger or outrage take us over.  Those can be energizing, for sure, and they have their place.  But in the long run, what will make sustainable change is not anger but persistent and unrelenting love.  We need to connect the most tender parts of ourselves with the actions that we do in the world.  We have to make sure that we do not let our certainty about what is right prevent anything new from coming into our consciousness.  We have to know that because we are a part of something much larger (call it society, or God, or all creation), we can draw on wisdom that comes from outside of us. 


This is a plea for humility as we reach out and act in the world.  Our world is in pain and needs our help.  Only we (meaning all of us human beings) have the capacity to discern what is needed and offer it.   No matter what we offer, though, it always has to start in our own hearts, in our own capacity to nurture compassion and love and take them out into the world.  Let's keep that connection between us and everything and everyone strong and let it guide us to where we are most needed.

All blessings to you,


Joshua Searle-White, Ph.D.

Congregational Life Staff



Meet Your Compensation Consultant

The Rev. Dr. David Sammons will be serving as the Compensation Consultant for congregations in the Pacific Central District, Utah, and Colorado. 


Rev. Dr. David Sammons is a former member of the staff at Starr King School for the Ministry, has recently served as an interim minister in Colorado and San Francisco and is Minister Emeritus of the Mt. Diablo UU Church.


He can be reached at: revsammons@gmail.com


What is "Fair Compensation?"  It's one way we live our Unitarian Universalist values within our own congregations by treating our employees as valued members of our communities. Fair compensation is essential to the recruitment and retention of qualified personnel. This is true for any company, corporation, 

or agency. It is especially true for religious organizations with strong social justice commitments.

The Fair Compensation Consultant is available to help you reach the goal of achieving fair compensation for ministers and all other religious professionals and staff.  David can provide guidance to Congregational leadership on such issues as understanding the components of Fair Compensation, accessing and understanding information about them on the UUA  

website, answering questions on unique pay and personnel issues, and developing plans to achieve your goals.


Pacific School of Religion
Healthy Boundaries 2.0 - Beyond the Basics


February 25, 2015, 8:30am - 5:00pm



Instructor: Rev. Lizann Bassham, FaithTrust Institute Trainer

Location: Pacific School of Religion, 1798 Scenic Ave., Berkeley


About the Workshop: Rev. Lizann Bassham brings a fresh approach and new FaithTrust curriculum to the study of healthy boundaries. This workshop is for anyone a position of spiritual leadership, including community leaders, congregational lay leaders, clergy, clergy spouses, and others. After a review of the basics (good for new leaders), you'll take a close look at the nuances of power and vulnerability, the role of social media, the influence of finances, and how to take care of yourself in the midst of difficult situations. 


About the Instructor:


Rev. Lizann Bassham has worked with the FaithTrust Institute for over a decade as a curriculum writer and presenter on issues of healthy relationships for youth and adults. She is a UCC minister and one of the Campus Pastors at Pacific School of Religion. She has written curriculum and facilitated programs around healthy relationships and sexuality and spirituality for The United Church of Christ and other Christian organizations, as well as having experience working with multi-faith groups. She was a local church pastor for twelve years and has taught classes for both PSR and the GTU periodically over the past twenty years. Once, quite by accident, she won a salsa dance contest in East L.A.


Cost: $25 PSR students, $35 GTU students, $70 general public


Registration: http://www.psr.edu/cce-events


Russell Lockwood 
Leadership School


Help! How do we get volunteers and grow religious leaders?

I have heard, some form of, this question more times than I can count.  One of the ways to get volunteers is to invest in their faith journey.  Discover who visitors and members are. Find out what brought them, what big life questions they are exploring, what their passions, and their growing edges are.  Find ways to connect them, and what you discover about them, to the ministry and mission of the congregation.  People are excited about serving something meaningful that contributes to their growth and the world's wholeness.  Invest in their faith and leadership formation.


How do we invest in people's faith and leadership formation?  Through many of the things you are already doing in your congregations; worship, religious education classes, and faith in action witness and education opportunities.  Connect and gather teams to attend District, Regional, and National gatherings. Connect and gather teams to attend and discuss Pacific Western Region webinars.  Send two or more of your leaders to Russell Lockwood Leadership School in August. 


Russell Lockwood Leadership School is a Pacific Western Region resource for faith and leadership formation.  This year it is in Seattle.  The school will travel to California for 2016 and 2017 but do not wait. I'm convinced this week-long residential program is transformational for UU leaders and congregations. Check out our 2015 faculty and staff, and look for on-line registration to open in February!



Russell Lockwood Leadership School will be in Seattle, August 8-14, 2015. 


Thirsty for Justice

We are thrilled that the UU produced film,  Thirsty for Justice: the struggle for the human right to water was selected for the 13th annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival in Nevada City the weekend of January 16-18th. With the drought capturing public attention, Thirsty for Justice shares powerful stories of inequity and of the inspiring grassroots movement which made the human right to water the law of the land in CA.  Produced by the UU Justice Ministry of CA, UUSC, and the Environmental Justice Coalition for Water, the film is educating both policy makers and the general public - keeping the pressure on for full implementation of the human right to water. 

Join the film makers, Rev. Lindi Ramsden and Ian Slattery, at Wild & Scenic Film Festival. Come for the weekend, a day, or a couple of sessions. We'll be screening Thirsty for Justice at 6:45pm on Saturday and 10:20am on Sunday. And, we'll be celebrating on Saturday night! Do join us! Click here for the festival scheduletickets and a complete listing of films. 

The Wild & Scenic Film Festival informs, inspires and ignites solutions, and creates positive probabilities to restore the earth and human communities. Each year, the Wild and Scenic Film Festival draws top filmmakers, celebrities, leading activists, social innovators and well-known world adventurers to the historic downtown of Nevada City, CA. 

UU Church of Palo Alto Receives "Cool Climate Award"

UUCPA received a Cool Climate Award from California Interfaith Power & Light for Education, one of seven categories awarded this year.  Interfaith Power & Light is a multi-faith organization dedicated to reversing climate change and protecting the earth's environment.  Awards were presented at a ceremony on November 12 at St Mary's Cathedral in San Francisco.  The Rev Earl Koteen, a member of CIPL's Steering Committee, presented the award to UUCPA President Bill Hilton, Vanessa Warheit and Jeb Eddy, Co-chairs of the Green Sanctuary Committee and Rev Amy Zucker Morgenstern, Parish Minister.  


Regarding the award to UUCPA, CIPL's website says: 


Long known as a leader in the community on environmental education, UU Church of Palo Alto has accomplished a variety of actions, including holding an eco-faire demonstrating everything from fossil fuel divestment to raising urban chickens; hosting "4thFriday Films" with Transitions Palo Alto; presenting forums on sustainable living; participating in IPL's Preach-In on Climate Change; and donating to the UU Ministry for Earth. In addition to its educational activities, UU Palo Alto's grounds have a California native garden and low water use garden, and have implemented energy efficiency measures in its facilities.


See:  http://interfaithpower.org/2014/10/2014-cool-climate-awards/



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