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  PCD Newsletter
      Pacific Central District of the Unitarian Universalist Assn.
PCD Connections

Serving Unitarian Universalism and 
the ministry and mission  of our congregations in PCD and the Pacific Western Region

October 2015

In This Issue
PCD Logo Small
PCD Leadership Days

Register Your Team Today!

Religious Leadership for the 21st Century

Time: registration at open at 9:30 - program 10AM to 4PM. $40.00 registration fee.

Religious Leadership for the 21st Century will be offered in three locations around the district. 

There is still time to register for the October 17th PCD Leadership Day!

In these interactive workshops will be exploring covenant, collaborative learning, and resilient adaptive leadership. We are leading in changing times. This requires maintenance, experimentation, and innovation. Bring a team, learn with other congregational leaders how to lead effectively in changing times.

There will be an interactive workshop format. Teams will have time to work together as well as network and collaborate with other congregational leaders.

Registration information is now posted on the new PCD website!
District Assembly 2016 *
Save the Date!

April 22-24, 2016

Dear Friends:

We will be returning to the Newark Fremont Doubletree by Hilton on April 22-24, 2016, for our annual District Assembly and PCD Annual Meeting!

We are pleased to announce that we will be joined by Rev. Scott Tayler. 

"Rev. Scott Tayler is Director of Congregational Life, overseeing our Regional and District field staff, whose mission is to cultivate connections between congregations, inspire and coach new & innovative models of "doing church", and empower existing congregations & their leaders to next level of impact.  In short, our Congregational Life Teams serve "Interconnection, Innovation and Impact."
Previously Scott served as Co-Senior Minister of the First Unitarian Church of Rochester, NY, where he and his staff team developed a small group system that engaged over half of their 1,000 members. Also during his time there, he supported the Rochester congregation entering into a "yoked" multisite partnership with the nearby UU Church of Canandaigua, NY-with the two churches now sharing programming & staff."

Come gather again for worship, workshops, and friends, old and new - we hope to see you there!

In Faith, 

PCD Board of Directors

New UU Outreach Pamphlets 

Please help spread the word to our congregations and other UU communities about these helpful new outreach and messaging resources. Mary Bernard, Editorial Director of Skinner House Books & UUA Publications, will provide JPGs of the covers if you'd like them.
These pamplets can be found on the UUA website at: http://www.uua.org/publications/update
All of these are available from the UUA Bookstore in packs of 25 for $7, and can be found on the UUA website.
Revised pamphlets (updated or new text and new design):
  • Family Prayers, edited by Irene Praeger
  • A Spiritual Home for LGBTQ People, by Annette Marquis
  • Science and Religion, edited by Gary Kowalski
  • UU Views of God, edited by Paul Rasor
Brand new pamphlets:
  • UU Justice Partnerships by Susan Leslie
  • Addiction and Your Faith Community by Ken and Cathlean
  • Finding What We Believe by Adrian L.H. Graham

Here are three big stories from the blog that everybody is reading. Join them there! And encourage someone else to get engaged - everyone is welcome on the Blue Boat of Youth and Young Adult Ministries. 

How do you like our new look? Tell us at:

UUA Logo New
Nurturing new staff into well-equipped, spirit-filled professionals who serve and lead in right relationship with colleagues and congregation. 
Nurturing new staff into well-equipped, spirit-filled professionals who serve and lead in right relationship with colleagues and congregations.
The PLUS Program is designed for new (and relatively new) professional staff in Unitarian Universalist congregations. The world of religious leadership is complex and ever changing, so it's critical to approach your work with a learning mindset, right from the start! Professional development is also a form of self-care, as new understandings and new connections keep you fresh and protect against burnout.

Contact us:

PWR Regional Lead

PWR-UUA Congregational Life Staff 

PWR-UUA Congregational Life Staff

Eric Bliss
PWR-UUA Youth Ministry Specialist

PCD District Administrator

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

Quick Links



Board Buzz 
Steve Burns, 
PCD Board President

As I sit down to write this column, my mind is still buzzing from a recent trip. My wife and I traveled to Baltimore first for a family wedding. All weddings are joyous occasions, but this one felt more 'real' than most, and both in the service itself and speeches later true flaws and struggles were revealed. Most weddings are carefully cultivated to display only the most positive aspects of the relationship and the future expectations. As a second marriage for both, this one exemplified the wonderful quote of "Remarriage being the triumph of hope over experience". I truly felt the love and support of those in the room, who many had spoken of as being a group of survivors. Many present had been through trying times and they bonded together in helping each other through.
Following this we traveled to Omaha to attend a major high school graduation. Though I had not been to one of these for probably 25 years, this one had exploded on Facebook and was eagerly anticipated by many. Of my class of around 820 students around 175 attended this reunion, and brought along an additional 55 spouses. They had also set up volunteer hosts for elementary school lunches, where we shared stories with people who had travelled our journey with us in most cases from kindergarten through high school. For my grade school, which had class sizes of around 30 in each class (2 classes per grade) there were 16 who attended this lunch. It was an electric experience and many were tearful and/or deeply touched to be together again. There have been numerous commentaries on Facebook following the reunion weekend, with some of the people noting that they hardly saw anyone looking at their cell phone the entire time, and sharing gratitude and love for their classmates. We also did our best to stay away from topics that could have caused division, such as politics or religion-instead seeking to truly hear each other's stories and journeys.
Thinking about these experiences in the light of this column, it reinforced again for me that it really is all about the connections. When we deeply connect with others we see their true spark and divinity within.  This goes for not just a high school class, but also our congregations, communities, and our families. People who are strongly connected to a social network are happier, less likely to suffer depression, and have a more positive outlook.
When we work to connect with each other we also naturally find ways that we can help each other, and all of us need help at one time or another. This leads me to some sad news, which is that a colleague and long-time PCD Board member Rev. Dan Kane died of a brain tumor this week. He often gave us critical insights as we pondered decisions and was a kind and loving soul. It is not only a loss to us who knew him well, but he and his partner had recently adopted small children, who have now lost a father. Should you feel moved to learn more about his story and possibly help, have a look at: https://www.gofundme.com/3h3rbtuk
Another way that we reach out to help each other has been to come together as communities in times of large tragic events, and the recent fires which have devastated many cities and towns is another example. I am sure that many UU churches have reached out to help, as have many individuals in our congregations. So far I have heard that 3 of our congregations have raised monies to help with both the Valley and Butte fire affected communities. 

These churches are the UUs of San Mateo, The UU Congregation, Santa Rosa, and the UU Church of Davis, which have collectively raised nearly $8400 to help those in need.
Stay connected, and look for new ways to reach out. One possibility coming up soon are Leadership Day events, where you can learn new tools and also meet new friends who share your values but belong to other congregations.  Also plan to attend District Assembly in April, which is being planned and should be very stimulating.


PCD-UUA Board of Directors
Generosity in All Things
Rev. Jan Christian,
Congregational Life Staff
 In 2002, when I became the minister of our congregation in Ventura, California, there was no minister's discretionary fund. When I left in June of this year we were giving away every offering, totaling over $45,000 a year.  A few of those offerings went to our Inreach/Outreach Fund, but the majority went to recipients chosen by our congregation's members.
How do we grow this kind of generosity? Well, it's a process. In the Pacific Western Region, we are focusing on an understanding of "Generosity in All Things." This is both a goal and the path.  In Ventura, we found the process included things like assuming good intentions and examining the ways "scarcity thinking" was impacting our individual and shared lives.  It involved looking at our role in the larger community. In my new role as Congregational Life Staff, I am excited about two upcoming webinars that will help move us toward a better shared understanding of how we might live out "Generosity in All Things."  The information follows. Please consider gathering a group from your congregation to join us. You can find more information on these and other webinars at http://pwruua.org/pacific-western-region-webinars/.
In faith,
Rev. Jan Christian
Congregational Life Staff
Generosity in All Things: Actions for Daily Congregational Life
PWR Webinar, Monday, November 2, 2015, 6:30-8:00 PM Pacific Time
The PWR's theme for this year is Generosity in All Things. Join the PWR's Rev. Jan Christian and PWR liaison Kay Crider from Stewardship for Us to explore how you can infuse this concept into your congregation. We'll look at praise and gratitude, assumption of good faith around process, attentive listening, mentorship and embracing change all through the lens of generosity. Get energized about living out your mission and vision through generous enhancement of the well-being of your church community.
Stewarding Beloved Community Beyond Your Walls
PWR Webinar, Monday, November 16, 2015, 6:30-8:00 PM Pacific Time
Join us to learn about successful strategies for building beloved community beyond the walls of your congregation. The PWR's Rev. Deb Holder and PWR liaison Kay Crider from Stewardship for Us will co-facilitate an interactive webinar to share ways congregations can work together within our denomination and with the larger interfaith community on mission-centered outreach. We'll start with some concrete practices around restorative and compassionate community, explore social change as ministry in the context of a faith community, share success stories, and provide information about funding mechanisms. For an overview of the concept of beloved community, see www.bethelove.net as an introduction to the framework that we'll apply to collaboration and outreach.

Congregational Highlights

BFUU Berkeley Fellowship of UU's

Forum on Police Accountability
Friday, October 30 at 7PM
Fellowship Hall
Psychological evaluations, racial profiling, use of force, police department funding, body cameras, police academy training; we will address these issues, and much more.
Our panel of local activists includes Ms. Richie Smith, proverbial "Mayor of South Berkeley," Andrea Prichett of Cop Watch, 3rd year Starr King divinity student Amanda Weatherspoon, a member of Black Lives Matter, and City Council member Jesse Arreguin.
Proceeds benefit Justice Reinvestment Fund. Wheelchair accessible. 

The New UU Common Read 

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption is the UUA's 2015-16 Common Read.  Author Bryan Stevenson advocates for those trapped by the U.S. criminal justice system - poor people, people of color, children, and women. The book speaks to justice, mercy, and compassion, timeless and important concerns of people of faith.  Begin reading now; a discussion guide will be ready in October.