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PCD Connections
The newsletter of the Pacific Central District of the           Unitarian Universalist Association
PCD Connections

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

December 2015

In This Issue
Black Lives Matter in the Pacific Central District!

To support our UU congregations efforts to advance the Black Lives Matter movement, the PCD Board is asking our congregations to send reports on what has been done, and what reactions have been encountered when displaying the "Black Lives Matter" banner.

The UU Church of Davis is in the planning stage, and UU's of San Mateo are waiting for banner delivery.

Finally, a request that came back from the Standing on the Side of Love coordinator, Nora Rasman:
"Please do let me know any congregations in your regions that may have put up banners and have them email me photographs as they are willing and able (nrasman@uua.org or love@uua.org). 
With much appreciation,
Nora Rasman | Campaign Coordinator | Standing on the Side of Love"

Here are the stories that have been shared with us so far:

First Unitarian Church of Oakland

Taking the first step
In early December 2014, prompted by recent acts of police violence toward black Americans, the staff members at First Unitarian Church of Oakland (FUCO), seeking some way to respond, agreed to propose posting a sign or two next to the front steps of the church. They came up with some alternate message options and asked the congregation present at the next Sunday's service to vote to choose one or two. The two selected by that means said "Black Lives Matter / Brown Lives Matter / All Lives Matter," and "We Can't Breathe." Those signs hung near the front steps for 8 months.
Calls for Change
However, a few church members and friends began raising some objections to the wording on the signs - in particular, the adaptation of the original slogan to say "All Lives Matter," and use of the expression "We Can't Breathe," both by a church with a predominately white membership -- and as time went by the number and strength of those voices increased. 

UU Community of the Mountains

At Grass Valley, we installed and dedicated a Black Lives Matter banner above the main entrance to the church on November 1.  It attracted a flattering article in the local press.  One woman wrote a letter of complaint to the paper, saying she deplored the idea of a church endorsing a movement that encouraged the killing of police officers, but the paper refused to publish her letter.  Other than that, there has been no adverse reaction that I am aware of, and some positive responses from passersby.

Rev. Dr. David Usher

UU Fellowship of Northern Nevada

As Unitarian Universalists we promote the importance of engaging in dialogues about structural racism in our communities. On Wednesday, August 26th we installed a banner on our campus that reads "Black Lives Matter".  This banner and a recent worship services have encouraged dialogue and engagement on the issues of racial justice. Some have suggested that the sign should have read "All Lives Matter" and that the sign is divisive.  As a congregation and as Unitarian Universalists we affirm and promote the worth and dignity of every person, a modern articulation of our Universalist forebears theology of universal salvation.
By proclaiming Black Lives Matter we are not saying that other lives don't matter. When we march in the Gay Pride parade and provide free wedding services to same gender loving couples we are declaring that Transgender, Lesbian, Bi-sexual and Gay lives matter. 

Pacific Central UU Young Adults
Living at the Level of Community
Saturday, January 16th, 10:00a to 5:30p
We live in a world where many believe the individual is supreme, and that our success and failure in life is of our own creation. THIS ISN'T TRUE. The reality is that your are who you are because of the communities that make up your life. They have impacted you at every point in life, and will continue to do so until the end. Because of this the question we ask is: How do we allow our communities to support us in our journeys, and how do we support others?
You are invited to partake in an day long-seminar to ansewr that question. 
In this class you will:
- Dig deep into why community is the most powerful source of growth in your life;
- Identify how your being in community contributes to other people's lives;
- Discover how to unlock the potential within your community's today.
The class will be a combination of lecture, group discussion, one on one conversations, and activities. ALSO, IT'S FREE!
For more info: contact
Official Registration:
Chalice Lighters

Fall Call

Unitarian Universalists of Petaluma

We are excited to present the Fall 2015 Chalice Lighter call on behalf of Unitarian Universalists of Petaluma. They have been growing and recently moved to a new rental location and expanded their ministry and presence in Petaluma.
Please make your check out to: PCD-UUA with "Chalice Lighters" in the memo line, and send to: PCD Chalice Lighters, 4100 Redwood Road, #344, Oakland, CA 94619

Awaken Spirit Small Creating an Effective Church Communications System

My garage and workshop needed organization. A quick look and it was obvious. I hate not being able to find stuff. The more disorganized something is, the harder it is to get started. They say that recognizing the problem is half the battle. I think they lie.
Recognizing the problem is really only the start - of a lot of hard work! We're often asked at conferences, "our church needs to fix (or establish) our church communication system" and then they add, "but how do we get started?!" In a short article, it's difficult to explain all the hard work, but here's 4 steps to get started:

Quick Links



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
Board Buzz 
Steve Burns, 
PCD Board President

Good day, and I hope your December is progressing well. Sometimes the busyness of the holidays can overwhelm us and take our attention away from all that we really hope and wish the season to bring. As I look forward to a couple of weekends of choral concerts, I notice many others who are on the edge of coming down with some bug and some who are tired of the bustle. Hopefully you can take care of things and yourself also.
The universe sometimes provides us with exactly the push we need, and today's came in my inbox. I subscribe to something called the Daily Compass and the message today was:
For any large endeavor, whether it be building a road or cleaning a garage, things tend to look worse in the middle of the project than they did before you started. Chaos is a natural part of the process of change and growth.
Where do you find hope in chaos?
This is exactly the theme I had been contemplating for this column. As our District and Regional structures continue their evolution (revolution?) we are the midst of a large construction project. We can see the changes already here, and those coming, but are living with the messiness of the changes. Our Districts in the Western Region have chosen to stay intact, and now we wrestle with how best to support the new changes and structures. 

PCD Logo Small
Leadership Day

Register Your Team Today!

Religious Leadership for the 21st Century

PCD Leadership Day: Religious Leadership for the 21st Century
First Unitarian Church of San Jose
Event starts at 10:00AM to 4:00PM (Registration is at open at 9:30AM)
$40.00 per person
Facilitators: Rev. Jeanelyse Doran Adams and Rev. Jonipher Kwong
Religious leadership in the 21st century will require building interfaith competency.  In a world torn apart by religious conflict and scapegoating, how can we, as Unitarian Universalists, offer a model for interfaith collaboration grounded in our own faith tradition? How can we speak across cultures and build Beloved Community? This Leadership Day will help you articulate your faith in the public arena by equipping you with skills for interfaith work.
Join us for this exploration and practice in this 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:

Now is the time to submit your workshop proposal for DA2016! Please see this link for more information! The deadline for submissions is Friday, January 8, 2016.

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, Director of Congregational Life, overseeing our Regional and District field staff.

You can now make your hotel room reservations!  You can also call 1-800-HILTONS(445-8667) and request group code "PCD" to reserve your room.
Come gather again for worship, workshops, and friends, old and new - we hope to see you there!

Congregational Highlights

First Unitarian Church of Oakland

Carols, Cakes & Company!
Saturday, December 12th at 7 p.m.
First Unitarian Church of Oakland
685 14th St.
Join us for this annual celebration of winter holidays! With:  Joyful Noise, Crescendo Choir, Half Dozen of the Other & More!
This is a family-friendly event!  Free childcare is available for infants and toddlers, with advanced reservations only.
Adults $15-$25 (sliding scale) in advance, $20-$25 at the door
Kids 6 - 12 $5
Kids 5 and under free
Tickets available at http://www.uuoakland.org
Reception with home-baked goodies will follow
For more information, contact: sharonc.dolan@gmail.com
Illustration by Justin Weiss

UU Fellowship of Redwood City

SHARED MINISTRY: Purpose.Balance.Motion.

Installation Ceremony for Reverend Stefanie Etzbach-Dale at 5 pm on Sunday, January 31st!

The UU Fellowship of Redwood City will be celebrating the successful conclusion of its ministerial search through the Installation Ceremony for Reverend Stefanie Etzbach-Dale at 5 pm on Sunday, January 31st!  In working through the possibilities of this new shared ministry, the image of a mobile was selected as fittingly inspirational!  The mobile illustrates something of the unique elements that seek balance within congregational life, as they move in relationship with one another, and are held together through common purpose.  

Several workshops are being planned in anticipation of the Installation Ceremony, during which members will help create a large, colorful mobile that will be unveiled in the sanctuary on that day.  Please plan to celebrate with us! 

Illustration by Kaye Bonney

UU Fellowship of Redwood City
Seeks Music Director!

The Music Director is a part time (10 hours/week) position for 10-month school calendar (end of August to end of June).  Salary is commensurate with expectations and experience.  Hours will be agreed upon with the Minister.  The Music Director reports directly to the Minister of UUFRC and will attend Staff meetings.
The Music Director is required to be a skilled musician and inspirational leader, overseeing and implementing the structure of the Music Program and consulting with the House Band and Music Committee as needed.  The Music Director is expected to be personable, enthusiastic and open to various styles of music.

Pacific Western Region Webinars!

Youth Ministry 3.0: Sunday Morning Best Practices (W6003)
Eric Bliss
Tuesday | December 15 | 6:30-8 pm PT
Register your team today!  $20 for one connection to your church community!

What is the Purpose of the Church?
Rev. Dr. Jonipher Kwong
Wednesday January 6, 2016 | 6:30-7:30 pm PT
What Makes a Compelling Mission Statement?
Rev. Robert Latham
Friday February 12, 2016 | 6:30-7:30 pm PT
Breaking Through Barriers with Joy!
Rev. Katie Kandarian-Morris
Thursday March 3, 2016 | 6:30-7:30 pm PT
Heaven Knows Where We Are Going, But Do We?
Rev. Dr. Jonipher Kwong
Thursday | March 24, 2016 | 6:30-7:30 pm PT
Introduction to Conflict Dynamics
Janine Larsen
Thursday | January 7, 2016 6:30-7:30 pm PT
Revisiting Committees on Shared Ministry
Rev. Nancy Bowen
Thursday January 28, 2016 | 6:30-7:30 pm PT
Untangling the Triangles
PNWD Healthy Congregations Team
Date to be determined
Living Out the Covenant of Right Relations
PNWD Healthy Congregations Team