| District Assembly 2015
Saturday, April 25, 2015
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."
We have a wonderful day planned, including two vibrant services organized by our worship team, Rev. Theresa Novak, Rev. Russ Menk, and Music Director Shawn Reifschneider; an innovative all-generations morning program; an array of dynamic and interesting workshops; and opportunities to discuss some of the current challenges and opportunities facing the PCD today.
We will also be holding our PCD-UUA Annual Meeting - it's never to early to organize your congregation's delegates for this important meeting.
Join us for dynamic worship, workshops, connections, and celebration!
Watch the PCD Web Site and this newsletter for more information.
PS: Has your congregation elected your delegates to the PCD Annual Meeting? If so, then please contact District Administrator Chuck Rosene at (510) 530-1437 or firstname.lastname@example.org with their names and email addresses - thank you!
DA2015: Our Morning Community, Intergenerational Workshop
Power, Authority, and Freedom: Where our Faithful Path Leads Us
All of us UUs here in the PCD are walking a path that is infused by events, traditions, habits, traumas, and triumphs of our past. This program will be an experiential exploration of four sets of events in our history that shape us now, from the earliest days of our faith in New England through several particular experiences of the development of liberal religion here in the Pacific West.
As you'll see, it's not surprising that concerns about power, authority, boundaries, and leadership still permeate our religious life! We'll take on those issues, with both lightness and depth, in the hopes that with more awareness of where we have been on our path, the more choice we'll have as we walk further on the way. We look forward to laughing and learning with you all!
Conducted by UUA Congregational Life Staff Joshua Searle-White and Rev. Jeanelyse Doran Adams.
DA2015 Afternoon Workshops
See the DA205 website
Big Faith * No Borders in the Pacific Western Region
Rev. Nancy Bowen, UUA Congregational Life Staff and PWR Regional Lead
Covenant-Based Conflict Resolution
Rev. Cat Cox
Rev. David Sammons
Living The Seven UU Principles Through The Practice Of Compassionate Communication
Jared Finkelstein, Certified Trainer with the Center for Nonviolent Communication, and
Gregory Rouillard, M.Div., Certification Candidate with the Center for Nonviolent Communication
Mutuality: A Community of Contemplative UU Instructors and Yogis
Rev. Jamil Scott
The Transcendentalists Revisited
Rev. John Buehrens
Transylvanian Unitarians - Walking A Faithful Path
Rev. Dr. Sandor Kovács, with members of the Balázs Scholars Committee, Arliss Ungar, Chair
Twelve Steps to Spiritual Health "What is spiritual health, and how do we recognize the symptoms?
Rev. David Usher, Interim Minister, UU Community of the Mountains
Walking The Talk: Multiplying Social Justice Impact With Partnerships
Rev. Leslie Takahashi and Members of the Mt. Diablo UU Church.
Pacific Western Region
Ministerial Transitions Team
Announcing the Ministerial Transitions Team!
A major initiative in the Pacific Western Region is the creation of a region-wide Ministerial Transitions Team (MTT) whose job is to support congregations through the ministerial search process. When a ministerial resignation or retirement is announced, Congregational Life staff will meet with congregations to deal with whatever emotional or organizational issues are arising and help the congregation obtain an interim minister, as is currently the practice. After that, beginning with the exit interviews and continuing all the way through the search process and the startup workshop, an MTT member, typically an experienced minister or former Ministerial Settlement Representative (MSR), works with the congregation.
The members of the team thus take over some of the work currently done by staff (exit interviews and startup workshops) and all of the work currently done MSRs. The benefit to congregations is that rather than having several different people support them throughout the process, they will now experience much more unified and consistent support. It also helps the staff and the UUA's Transitions Office manage resources better and devote staff time where it is most needed. There is a change in the costs that needs to be noted, though. The UUA will continue to pay travel expenses for the MTT members and subsidize the workshops they offer, but congregations will be asked to share in paying honoraria to the MTT members. These costs are relatively small compared to an overall search budget, and given the financial realities of our time, they are unavoidable. The region is committed to working to find ways to keep those costs manageable and equitable. In the meantime, though, we are excited about the possibilities that this new model brings!
If you have questions or comments about the MTT, please contact Josh Searle-White, the MTT Coordinator, at "email@example.com".
UU Church of Davis
The UU Church of Davis is looking for an RE Coordinator to work 15 hours a week/$15 per hour, primarily on Sundays with one Sunday off each month. Duties include overseeing childcare workers, welcoming families, part of the support team for RE teachers, attending occasional meetings and following up with registrations and attendance records. Interviews will begin in early April. The job description and application are posted on our home page (lower right-hand corner):
UU Fellowship of Redwood City
The UU Fellowship of Redwood City is looking for a part-time Youth Advisor. This seasonal (mid-August through May) position is expected to average 9 hours per week. For job description, go to http://uufrc.org/?page_id=36 and click on "Youth Advisor Job Description". Please forward this to anyone you think might be interested. Resumes should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Live Oak UU Fellowship (in Alameda)
The Live Oak UU Fellowship (in Alameda) welcomes Pamela Gehrke to their new position of Monthly Worship Leader. In that role, Pam will create and lead worship services one Sunday each month -- and will work with the congregation's lay worship team, which will continue to provide worship on other Sundays.
Pam, who holds an M.Div. from Starr King School for the Ministry, is a member of the San Mateo UU congregation. She has served as a guest speaker for several congregations around our district. And she brings a wealth of experience as a lay leader in her home congregation.
Pam notes, "I enjoy planning worship in collaboration with a team, giving special attention to inclusiveness of diverse learning styles and developmental stages. My connections with a number of growing UU communities in the course of my work support a vision for the future of our movement. I am excited about the potential for your congregation as it increases in numbers and influence, and it would bring me great satisfaction and joy to contribute to your growth as a religious community."
Live Oak, which now offers programming every Sunday, started six years ago with just one worship service per month, gradually building up to this point.
Available Fall 2015
Congregational Staff Teams or Boards
"Listening to oneself requires a place where one can hear one's self think... one needs a sanctuary to restore one's sense of purpose, put issues in perspective, and regain courage and heart..."
Leadership Without Easy Answers by Ronald A. Heifetz
Religious leadership requires vision, dedication, and the ability to inspire and mobilize people to address 21st Century religious challenges. Yet, we are too often susceptible to getting caught up in the challenges of ministry and mission to create time away for renewal, reflection, and recalibration.
These one-day cluster retreats are intended to provide a space of sanctuary for congregational staff teams or congregational boards to restore a sense of purpose, put issues in perspective, and regain courage and heart to carry the congregation's ministry and mission forward.
Both retreats will focus on spiritual practices for effective leadership and sustainable ministry and mission, cross-congregational connections, healthy adaptive systems, self and team care. There will be time for worship, spiritual practices, cross-congregational connections, and time for teams or boards to meet together.
For information: email@example.com
PCD Board of Directors
Congregational Life Staff
Congregational Life Staff
PCD District Administrator
PCD Youth Chaplain and
PCD Coming of Age Coordinator
Pacific Central District - UUA
4100 Redwood Road, #344
Oakland, CA 94619-2363
Our Religious Lives
Joshua Searle-White, Ph.D.
Congregational Life Staff
Dear PCD friends,
As we all know, life takes twists and turns, and we are never exactly sure where it will lead. Two years ago I came to the PCD to work with you all, and it has been an exciting and fulfilling experience. I've gotten to meet interesting people all around the district; to work with congregations, ministers, and boards to find where the most aliveness and joy is in their religious lives; and to make music and tell stories with many of you at congregational and district events. You have been an inspiration to me, both in your celebration of your achievements and in the persistence with which you greet your challenges. It's hard to imagine a better work experience than that.
As it turns out, though, I now need to take a new step and return to Pennsylvania, and so I'll be leaving the district and the UUA staff as of the end of June. Though I know this is the next right step for me, I feel very sad about leaving. Of course, I'm not leaving Unitarian Universalism, and I imagine I will continue my support of our faith in many ways in the future.
I'm hoping that I'll get a chance to see many of you personally at District Assembly. As you may know, Rev. Jeanelyse Doran Adams and I are leading the morning program. The program will focus on the ways we relate to each other, specifically with regard to authority, leadership, and power. The arrangements are not complete yet, but I think I can safely say that it will be nothing like anything you have experienced in the past!
In the meantime, I am continuing to support the health and vitality of our congregations and communities, both here in the PCD and beyond. I thank all of you for your work in doing the same.
See you in San Francisco!
Joshua Searle-White, Ph.D.
Congregational Life Staff
Judy Young, PCD Board President
The year of your PCD Board is like a school year with 5 dedicated members "graduating"at our district assembly after years of commitment serving the best district in the country. We have done some great transitional work this year and are envisioning a rich future for our youth programming and regional staffing.
Rev. Chris Bell is working with staff to create 2 district task forces to explore and recommend what our district should provide for high school age youth and young adults. Our entire board attended part of a MUUGs retreat and are continuing our discussion with leaders on how we can support their great work with middle schoolers. We will do whatever we can to empower the next generation to become wise leaders in their communities.
A letter of agreement among the four districts of the Pacific Western District will probably be signed at UUA General Assembly in Portland this June. It is the intention of the four district boards to work collaboratively with one another and with the UUA to provide services to their member congregations. There are nine congregational life staff in the west and most will work across district lines. Steve Burns and I will be active in the PWD hiring conversations for 2 new replacement staff.
It has been my pleasure and calling to work as president of this district to do what I could to steady the course of transition and ensure your interests are protected. I hope to see you in San Francisco at our district assembly.
Judy Young, President
PCD-UUA Board of Directors
Covenanted Community Life
Rev. Jeanelyse Doran Adams,
Congregational Life Staff
I follow a couple of church bloggers. Pastor, Carey Nieuwhof, is one of them. I find his blogs insightful, easy to digest, and full of thought provoking material. Nieuwhof's blog titled, "How the Pressure Mounts" resonated with some of the concerns I have heard when I am in congregations.
Nieuwhof, wrote about the never ending pressure to do more; to provide more services for the community, to increase church programs, to address the social ills around the country and the world, to do, and to do more.
In the end, Nieuwhof, claimed the, do more and do more, efforts results in:
- Lots of doing and not much happening
- Little or no sequence, connection, or progression for the actions or programs, and they do not help people connect with their faith, each other, or a larger meaning.
- Ministries and programs compete for time, talent, and resources
- Results are often scatter-shot and not very effective
Maybe you recognize the symptoms. You might wonder, "So, what do we do about it?" Nieuwhof offered this insight, "You are a church not the church." Relax; you are a church not the church. We are part of an Association of Congregations. You are not the only church, fellowship, or congregation. You DO NOT have to do more and more all alone. You only have to do your unique part, so relax, trust your fellow congregations.
Together our congregations serve the poor, work for justice, and help heal the world in many ways and in many places. Each congregation has it's own gifts, it's own opportunities, and is situated in a specific location with specific needs. Where your gifts meet those needs is where your mission, spiritual growth, and growth will flourish. RELAX and be a church in a network of churches - don't forget our interfaith partners in faith. Imagine what a cluster of congregations might be able to do together!
In faith, Jeanelyse
Rev. Jeanelyse Doran Adams
Congregational Life Staff
Spring Transylvanian Tea
Starr King School for the Ministry cordially invites you and your friends to our Spring Transylvanian Tea a fund-raiser for the Balázs Scholars Program!
"Myth and History"
Saturday, April 18, 2015, 3:30pm, $25 suggested donation.
Rev. Dr. Sándor Kovács, Spring 2015 Balázs Scholar,
Associate Professor of Church History and History of Religion, Protestant Theological Institute, Kolozsvár,
and Rev. Dr. John Buehrens, Senior Minister,
First Unitarian Universalist Society of San Francisco, will be speaking.
RSVP to Arliss Ungar
Balazs@ungar.us or 925-283-3288
The Balázs Scholars Program brings a Transylvanian Unitarian minister to study each year at Starr King School. To donate, make a check to Starr King with "Balázs" on the memo line and send to Starr King School, 2441 Le Conte Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709, or donate online at
http://www.sksm.edu/graduates/support_starr_king.php (designate Balázs)
OWL - Jr. Sr. High OWL Facilitator Training
Registration is Now Open!
Our Whole Lives curricula were developed by the Unitarian Universalist Association in partnership with the United Church of Christ, with the goal of providing comprehensive values-based sexuality education for every age group. This intensive weekend workshop provides the skills and training required to facilitate Our Whole Lives classes for grades 7-9 &10-12.
Friday, June 19, 5:00 pm - Sunday, June 21, 3:00 pm, Hosted by: UU Church of Palo Alto.
Facilitators, Karen Rayne, Ph. D. and Derby Davidson, Director of Religious Education at Redwood City.
Registration will be open soon and will be limited to 18 participants.
| Russell Lockwood
Leadership School 2015
You are invited to invest in yourself and your congregation by participating in an inspiring and intensive week this summer at the Russell Lockwood Leadership School (RLLS). More than 600 UUs have attended this prestigious leadership school over the years.
Pacific Northwest District will be hosting the Pacific Western Region RLLS at the beautiful Dumas Bay Centre, Federal Way, WA, on August 8-14, 2015. The retreat center is located near the southern end of Puget Sound, overlooking Vashon Island.
Please encourage your congregation to support sending candidates to RLLS. Thus, thoughtful development of congregational leadership is explicitly considered and supported. Graduates get a huge boost from the experience, and they bring home valuable resources and plenty of energy for long-term benefits to your congregation.
Per person tuition for the week is $900, which includes all aspects of RLLS, including lodging, meals, and program materials. A commuter rate (no lodging) is $700, but all meals will still be provided.
Candidates to RLLS must be endorsed by their congregation. Each congregation which sends candidates must contribute a Congregational Fee of $350-this is a flat fee, no matter how many are sent from the congregation.
Registration for RLLS is open now! Please review all of the RLLS information on the Pacific Western Region website at www.pwruua.org/rlls. Download a tri-fold brochure to hand out or post. Enroll online by June 15, 2015.
JOIN US IN WASHINGTON AT RLLS, AUGUST 8-14, 2015, FOR AN EMPOWERING, MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE!
For more information or questions, contact:
Mark Neiwirth, Administrative Dean, firstname.lastname@example.org, (208) 251-8051
PCD Chalice Lighter Program
The Chalice Lighter program is an exciting opportunity to promote and strengthen Unitarian and Universalism in the Pacific Central District-UUA. Donors help spread the light of liberal religious values through the District by making a donation to growth initiatives in our member congregations. Some of those initiatives have included funding a congregation's first minister or religious education professional, new buildings and building improvements, seeding a spin-off congregation, and developing outreach ministries.
You can be a contributor to our current Chalice Lighter effort in support of the Create Meaning Northern Nevada outreach program of the UU Fellowship of Northern Nevada. You may donate to this program via PayPal by visiting the PCD-UUA Chalice Lighter webpage.
Join Commit2Respond for Climate Justice Month!
From World Water Day (March 22) to Earth Day (April 22), Unitarian Universalists and other people of faith and conscience will embark on a spiritual journey for climate justice.
Individuals, families, groups, and congregations will get faith-filled resources, engage in powerful practices throughout the month, learn together, and discern how to most effectively shift to a low carbon future, advance human rights, and grow the climate justice movement. Get the details here and sign up for Climate Justice Month daily messages.
Climate Justice Month is being organized by Commit2Respond, the new climate justice initiative led by UU groups across our faith movement. Congregational leaders are invited to sign up their congregations or congregational groups, and save the dates for Climate Justice Sunday and Earth Day observances.
Be inspired, get connected with other people of faith and conscience committed to climate justice, and commit to long-term actions that will help save our world. This is your movement. You have the power to make a difference. How will you respond?