After what seems like years (but was really only months) of sorting little bits and bytes into their proper places, the new PCD web site is now open for business.
Announcing the New
Listings of upcoming events, congregational job opportunities, descriptions of programs happening in the PCD - it's all there for you whenever you want it.
Point your browser to www.pcduua.org and see what your district is up to!
Announcing the New Pacific Western Regional Staff!
It is with great pleasure that we announce the new Pacific Western Regional staff members.
Eric Bliss, Rev. Jan Christian, and Rev. Jonipher Kupono Kwong bring us years of experience as Unitarian Universalist religious professionals working in congregations and with programs and projects at the district, regional and national level.
We will benefit from their extensive relationship in PWR and their awareness of our Regional Collaboration commitment. We are confident that our congregations, elected leaders and staff will appreciate their new perspectives, good questions and the opportunity to see our work through new eyes.
In July, all three staff will be in place getting acquainted with congregations and leaders across the region. Happily, we will be able to introduce Eric, Jan and Jonipher, along with the continuing PWR staff, at General Assembly during our PWR Regional Ingathering on Wednesday, June 24 at 5:45.
Many fine and qualified Unitarian Universalists applied for these three positions. We were blessed with abundance and with many difficult decisions.
The leaders and staff of PWR look forward to new and continuing partnerships with everyone who indicated their interest in the well being of our religious tradition in the west.
We invite you to learn a little about our new staff members - please see:
Leadership School 2015
Registration Deadline is June 15th!
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.
See what 2014 RLLS graduates have to say about their Russell Lockwood Leadership Experience in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=53&v=PTpAGiaoX1s
As leaders in our congregations who must make decisions about priorities, how do we know where our greatest loyalties should be? Our forebears had some important answers to that question. Let's reconsider them together.
Rev. Jon Luopa
Worship. What is worship? Why do we UU's worship? How do we worship? Why does a leader who doesn't create or lead worship need to learn about worship?
Rev. Lois Van Leer
Join Rev. Judy Zimmerman (Mid-Columbia UU Fellowship, Hood River) and Kristin Famula (President, Nat'l Peace Academy, UU College of Social Justice) to explore a vision of Beloved Community rooted in right relationship. Come develop and practice the skills, tools and capacities necessary for living in and helping lead just, peaceful and compassionate communities in the congregation and beyond. Come nurture your spirit!
We'll explore what's underneath our musical tastes and examine our opinions about the appropriateness of different kinds of music in worship and why we carry those opinions. Where do they come from? How does music figure into the "acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations" principle? Or into all of the principles and sources of wisdom we hold dear?
For more information or questions, contact:
Mark Neiwirth, Administrative Dean, email@example.com, (208) 251-8051
| Sharing Hopes and Dreams for Racial Justice
From voting rights to mass imprisonment to Black Lives Matter protests, racial justice issues in the United States have a new sense of urgency. This urgency is bringing communities together across boundaries of race, faith, and geography in
solidarity with movements as diverse as immigration reform, economic inequality, LGBTQ equity, reproductive justice and climate justice.
As Unitarian Universalists, we affirm each person's worth and dignity, but we know black lives in America have not always received that respect. UUs recently honored the leaders who showed up for the 1965 civil rights struggle in Selma, Alabama.
Today, we ask how we are called to show up for racial justice in our time. We invite UUs of all ages and backgrounds to share their hopes and dreams for the
role that Unitarian Universalists can play in advancing racial justice in the United States. Many UUs are already working with groups and campaigns, and others are still figuring out how they want to be involved.
To share your vision, complete this online survey (open until June 15, 2015):
This survey has two goals: 1) to listen for and articulate the vision that Unitarian Universalists and our partners have for racial justice; and 2) to use that vision to shape the ways UU leaders approach racial justice in their congregations and communities, inspiring greater commitment to the racial justice movement. We will also send a similar survey to some UU and non-UU partner organizations that have
a stake in this vision.
UUA staff and leaders have a special responsibility here. We are convening this conversation so Unitarian Universalists everywhere can contribute to the shape of a shared vision. In addition, we hope to expand the conversation to how each person is called to advance racial justice, working together to achieve this shared vision. If you have questions or comments, please email: social firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to reporting back what we hear in the summer of 2015. These survey responses will help frame a shared vision for what Unitarian Universalists
can do to advance racial justice, and what the UUA can do to support it. Together we will help end systems of racism in our society and create a more just and compassionate world.
Director of Multicultural Growth and Witness
Director of Outreach
Pacific School of Religion Summer Session
Fifteen courses & workshops addressing ideas such as: creating new liturgies, preaching liberation, historical and collective trauma, faith in lockdown America, Howard Thurman, and more.
A Micro-Certificate in Transformative Community Building
The 2nd Annual Festival of Writing, featuring Pat Schneider
Tuesday Night Talks, a free public lecture series on a wide range of topics
Summer Session takes place in July, and courses can be taken for personal enlightenment, academic credit, or CEUs. For more details, you can check out our website: www.psr.edu/summer.
Community & Continuing Education Program Assistant
Pacific School of Religion
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
Well, the time has finally come for me to say goodbye to all of you out here in the PCD. As of the beginning of July I'll be heading back to Meadville, PA. The Meadville UU Church, by the way, was established in 1825 in the wilds of what was then the frontier of the United States and which still, even now, carries a bit of frontier mentality (as in, "how can those people back in Boston understand us when they are so far away?" No wonder I've felt so comfortable out here!).
The bottom line is that I'm going to miss you. I'll miss visiting your congregations and seeing you give from your hearts and souls to our religious faith. I'll miss hearing the stories of your creativity and your tenacity in the face of a sometimes frightening world. Most of all, though, I'll miss being with you as we all tread the spiritual path, finding which steps to take to bring more love and more openness to ourselves and to all those around us.
On the other hand ... what am I saying? How could I possibly not be with you, even if I am in Pennsylvania? The spiritual path doesn't particularly respect time and distance; it draws us together no matter where and when we live.
So let me put it this way: I'll be with you on this path, just the way that so many people are with us - the UUs who built our churches and offered us a future, those who are outside our churches but who are yearning for some of the support and encouragement that we can offer, and those who are yet to come to whom owe so much. We're all in this together. That's the blessing of it all.
I am so grateful for having been able to spend these past two years with you.
Joshua Searle-White, Ph.D.
Congregational Life Staff
Steve Burns, PCD Board President
I am now back to fully rested after an intense weekend for the PCD Board retreat. This is where the new and continuing Board members get to know each other, find out how they will work together and plan our work for the coming year.
This is our first year with the Board size now at 7 members, which is substantially down from 13 a few years ago. Consequently, how we conduct our meetings and what work we undertake is also changing. Board positions such as Moderator have been eliminated and other positions are now combined. We hopefully will be more nimble and responsive than before, with meetings that efficiently deal with our tasks. Discerning the work of the Board is an on-going process, which I believe is healthy. We are continually asking ourselves how to best support the needs of the congregations in our District, and now how we best work with the Regional staff which is integrated across the four Western Districts. One example of this collaboration is the new PCD website .
With content input from and interaction with Chuck Rosene and Josh Searle-White, the new website was built by Lori Ragona, Training and Communications Specialist, who is located in the PNW District but brings her web skills to the Region. Similarly we were pleased to be able to meet (via virtual meetings) two of the three new Regional staff members during our retreat. Rev Jan Christian will be our new 'deep generalist' and Eric Bliss is a youth ministry specialist. We did not have the opportunity to meet with Rev Dr. Jonifer Kwong, but he is also a 'deep generalist'. More information about all three of our new staff can be found here.
Our new Board is diverse, from our new youth representative Charlotte Selton who is a high school senior, to Rev. David Keyes who has decades of experience in interim ministry. Other Board members include Charles Du Mond, Holly Ito, Rev. Chris Bell, Rev. Sonya Sukalski and myself. We were joined at the retreat by our staff - Josh Searle-White, Rev. Jeanelyse Doran Adams and Chuck Rosene, plus our Regional Lead Rev. Nancy Bowen. What our Board shares is a unity of desire to support the congregations in this District in any way possible, and to help strengthen our faith. If you have any problems accessing our services you can feel free to contact our Board with this email address: Board@pcduua.org
Steve Burns, President
PCD-UUA Board of Directors
Covenanted Community Life
Rev. Jeanelyse Doran Adams,
Congregational Life Staff
I have a confession to make. Sometimes I do not introduce myself as a Unitarian Universalist minister, or even as a Unitarian Universalist. I am confessing because I encourage you to share your faith. I still encourage it, and practice it often, though admittedly, not always.
I was recently in a public setting, not at all related to church, my work, or our faith. Someone else introduced me as a UU minister. Cat was out of the bag. As it turned out, the person, I was introduced to, lived near a UU congregation. It was a congregation far, far, away. I know this isn't so, in our PCD or Pacific Western Region congregations.
We exchanged pleasantries. And then, she said, "I am curious, are you all just Sunday morning people of faith?" Before I could response she went on to say, "Because I live near a UU Church, and they seem more interested in their building and what happens on Sunday morning than on providing ministry in the community." Without skipping a beat, she said, "You see, I was raised in another faith that measured faith by the ministries in the larger community, not just the ones on Sunday morning."
I was beginning to feel backed into the familiar edges of a corner. I dove in, "It sounds like you see a ministry opportunity for this congregation and maybe even one you would like to partner with, tell me about it." The leap was well worth the investment.
We spent the next thirty minutes in an animated conversation about a nearby abandoned building that could be turned into a congregation that served the local community. The building was near public transportation, had plenty of parking, and was in the walking path of students who could benefit from afterschool mentoring and homework assistance. There were paved paths near several senior-housing complexes where elders could use wheelchairs or motorized scooters to visit during the day for volunteering or companionship.
Before dinner was finished, we developed a strategy to partner with a local community college, get local business, government, and county school buy-in for a learning center. And, by desert we had developed a ministry plan for employment training and opportunities living in a nearby, run down, shabby hotel, who were under or un-employed.
By the time we finished our meal, I was ready to roll up my sleeves and invest. I thought of the many congregations, in PCD and the Pacific Western Region, who might have similar settings. I imagined a network of learning and community centers liberating our faith and serving the world. As we parted, I offered a silent prayer and committed to share the vision.
I know some of you do provide community ministries, in and beyond your congregation. I would love to highlight your stories and make connections with congregations considering, or doing, similar ministries. If you have a story to share, please send them to me at: email@example.com.
In faith, Jeanelyse
Rev. Jeanelyse Doran Adams
Congregational Life Staff
| Spring 2015 Chalice Lighter Call
The Chalice Lighter program is an exciting opportunity to promote and strengthen Unitarian and Universalism in the Pacific Central District. You can help spread the light of liberal religious values through the District by making a donation to growth initiatives in our member congregations.
We are excited to present the Spring 2015 Chalice Lighter call on behalf of the UU Fellowship of Chico. They have been growing at such a pace that they would like to hire a Membership, Outreach and Events coordinator.
You are warmly invited to join us for a screening of
FAITH AGAINST FRACKING!
Faith Against Fracking is an inspirational documentary that explores the connections between several faith communities in California and their collective sense of responsibility to steward the planet off of toxic fuel and onto a truly clean energy economy.
DIRECTOR David Braun & PRODUCER Jessica Wohlander will be present, along with faith leaders featured in the film for post-screening discussion.
DATE: June 9,2015
6:00PM: Potluck dinner
8:00 PM: Film
Free! Donations Accepted
LOCATION: First Unitarian Church of Oakland, 685 14th Street, Oakland
| Multigenerational Ministry
In 2013, over 250 UU's from congregations and groups around the country responded to a survey on how multigenerational ministry is happening in their setting. Overwhelmingly, UU faith communities want to be more inclusive of all ages, but aren't sure how to do it. Religious educators and ministers have shared some of their multigenerational "success stories" in worship, learning, community building, and social action.
EXPLORE THE NEW COLLECTION OF STORIES, RESOURCES AND IDEAS FOR MULTIGENERATIONAL MINISTRY HERE:
These are "living" pages and we'd love to add YOUR story!
Is your congregation usg multigenerational ministry? How has it made a difference in your setting? How have congregants, families, or staff groups been changed through multigenerational ministry?
Share your story by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
Guatemalan Immigrants in America's Heartland & the Communities' Embrace
5:00pm, Saturday, June 20, 2015
Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley
FREE screening of documentary films by Luis Argueta
ABRAZOS & abUSed: The Postville Raid