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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

February  2016


In This Issue
District Assembly 2016

April 22-24, 2016 

Dear Friends:

We will be returning to the Newark Fremont Doubletree by Hilton on April 22-24, 2016, for District Assembly and the 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.  

Rooms are limited, and you must make your reservation by March 28th - do not delay!

Registration and program information is now posted - see an eye on the PCD website for all of the information. Adult registration is $170 and includes all three meals on Saturday. Children & Youth registration is $85 and includes Saturday's meals.

Come gather again for worship, workshops, and friends, old and new - we hope to see you there!
Awaken Spirit Small Call for Nominations - PCD Awards!

It's Awards Season!

Every year at District Assembly, the PCD recognizes the achievements of individuals and congregations in areas including social justice, community service, religious education, youth ministry, website design, generosity and growth.

How do we determine the recipients of these awards?  We depend on you!

Nominations can be made by anyone familiar with the work of the individual or congregation.
We are requesting nomination for the following awards:
  • Patti Lawrence Distinguished Service
  • Junella Hanson Memorial Award for Excellence in Religious Education
  • Youth Programming Award
  • Youth Justice Award
  • Best Website
  • Dynamic RE Award
  • Community Service Award
  • Culture of Financial Generosity Award
  • Norma Cordell Award for Prophetic Voice
  • Small Congregation Award for Community Presence
To review the details of the nomination process, please visit this link:  


Please submit your nominations with specific details of the accomplishments and characteristics (no more than 1000 words) to: awards@pcduua.org.

The PCD Awards will be presented at the Award Luncheon at District Assembly 2016.

A list of those who received awards at District Assembly 2015 is at this link: 

Winter 2016 Chalice Lighter Call!
Great things are happening at the UU Society of Sacramento!

In September they dedicated a beautifully renovated and expanded sanctuary building. The project required moving to a rented Congregational church for services and RE for 13 months. Since returning home, attendance at worship and RE has grown again and is now above 300 on most Sundays, higher than before the project began. The number of newcomers has increased as well. The congregation has many new programs and activities, and the energy is high!

Coming of Age Needs Your Help!

Greetings UU's and Friends in PCD!
The Coming of Age program in the Pacific Central District (PCD) is a game changer.  This amazing enterprise, comprised of three life-altering retreats, engages middle school youth from across the district in spiritually transformative experiences, community building, and leadership development.  It is sincerely a benchmark event for our youth!
The final retreat in the yearly series is an outdoor experience with two large, community-sized tents that we've purchased to save costs on renting and create a covered space for the undertaking.  These tents need a dry home throughout the year when it is not in use.
The tents are large - they take 4 fairly able-bodied people to move them. They could fit into a space maybe 4' or 5' by 6' or 7' but the poles range in size from 6' to 8' long. They would have to be in a space with reasonable access, too, with a wide door. Maneuvering through a narrow entry would be difficult at best. 
Do you have space in a barn or shed that we could utilize?  Is there storage at your church that could hold a tent of this size?  We are looking for a covered space that doesn't cost us significantly (Currently, the tent is in monthly paid storage).
If you have ideas or suggestions, please contact our Coming of Age Coordinator, Adam Zittel at adamzittel@yahoo.com.  Thanks for the support and guidance!

Regional Economic Justice Summit

Save the Date! Saturday, 
June 4th 

The Unitarian Universalist Society of San Francisco and the UU Justice Ministry of California are co-hosting a regional Economic Justice Summit on Saturday, June 4, 2016, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
This summit will be of special interest to social activists in UU Bay Area congregations. 

Emphases will include: affordable housing for working families with incomes below the top 25% of income, increased worker organizing (unionizing), and political mobilization. There will also be a focus on organizing a statewide campaign organized to change Prop 13.
The summit will include present and future SALT fellows.
Please save the date; we will send out more details as they are arranged! 

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

Sunny days are back again, though we can still use some rain. However, it has allowed the exterior painting/patching project on our house to get going. If you look closely the lessons are everywhere; our house had originally been stained, but when the first paint job took place (long before us) the surface was not properly prepared. Thus, we've been regularly dealing with peeling paint, areas of dryrot, etc. due to the lack of properly prepping the foundation for that original paint job. Finally I have found a painter who excels in taking the time to do the detail work and create the foundation for a well-sealed exterior.

This last Sunday marked the final day of our church hosting our city's Interfaith Rotating Winter Shelter. Though not a permanent solution-and some models of those are springing up-it does have a number of great features. Each church or organization in our city selects one week to host the shelter, and then all the equipment needed to make it run are moved each Sunday from one location (usually church) to the next. Each hosting organization supplies most of the volunteers, space and facilities. This program is now in its 10th year, and currently claims more than 2000 volunteers are involved each winter. One of the greatest features of the system is that it brings the volunteers into actual contact with the guests, whether driving them, serving them dinner, or overnighting with them (which means about a night of sleep). You see them as fellow passengers through life, hear some of their stories and see them as people-not as the Other. Our church was excited the first year we completed construction of our Social Hall and could house this program, and this year reached maximum capacity of 40 guests on at least one night. When asking people what they like most about hosting this winter shelter, many talk about the richness of connecting with those who are in less fortunate circumstances than ourselves. (http://interfaith-shelter.org/irws-history/)

This week also had some losses, with a founding member of our church leaving the earthly plane. Ray was a man who always wanted to be useful, and was regularly climbing up ladders and clearing the church roof and gutters of debris until church leadership convinced him to stop when he was in his 80's. He had served in combat in WWII, loved writing and reading poetry, played in a bluegrass band and had a booming singing voice. He also had a sly sense of humor, a great grin and will be sorely missed.

Next, please make plans to attend our District Assembly this April. We are back to a full schedule (unlike the truncated DA last year-to not conflict with travel budgets for Portland's GA) and have a great roster of workshops. There will be lifting up of congregations doing excellent work in many areas and they will share their stories of success.  Learning more about the Regional changes is also on the agenda, and the Board hopes to hear what your congregations can use to help you reach your goals. Come to connect with others, learn from their successes and be inspired to reach higher.

Finally, this is the time of year when many congregations are doing their annual fund drives. As I have been able to see a larger picture of the UU world through District work, it frequently puzzles me why we value what our churches and the UUA are doing to improve the world, yet we often underfund ourselves. This puts church Boards in the position of dealing with inadequate budgets and trying to best allocate in a triage mode. What might our world look like if we actually funded ourselves at a level commensurate with how important we feel our message is to a world sorely in need of our vision of acceptance and understanding?



Pacific Western Region Webinars!

The Pacific Western Region is offering a series of webinars designed for all types of congregational leaders - clergy and laity alike will find these webinars not only useful, but inspirational!

Don't find yourself wishing that you had attended one of these great presentations - check out the scheduled webinars, and see which webinar fits the training or continuing education needs of your congregation!

Gather a team together - one low price ($20) for one connection! 

with Rev. Dr. Jonipher Kwong & Rev. Katie Kandarian-Morris
Thursday | March 24, 2016 | 6:30-7:30 pm PT
Register by March 22nd at 6:30 pm PT

See the PWR-UUA webinar webpage for all of the upcoming webinars and webinar series!

A Tribute to Dr. Ibrahim Farajaje

On February 9, 2016, Starr King School for the Ministry's Provost and Professor of Islamic and Cultural Studies, Dr. Ibrahim Abdurrahman Farajaje, passed away. He was a beloved teacher, colleague, friend, loved one and intersectional "scholartavist". In addition to his intellectual prowess, activism, and revolutionary vision, Dr. Farajaje was loved far and wide for his calming presence, playful demeanor, booming laugh, and ability to bring out the best in others. In his honor, we offer another look at the man who profoundly touched so many of our lives. Life will not be the same without Ibrahim Baba, but we hope that by lifting up his prophetic vision and the work still left to do we can bring strength and courage to those of us who feel this great loss.

Congregational Highlights

Fresno Church

UU Church of Fresno
Seeks Assistant Minister

The UU Church of Fresno  seeks an Assistant Minister of Education and Family Ministries (AMEFM) to direct a vibrant and inviting Lifespan Religious Education Ministry; coordinate multi-age social justice activities; provide pastoral care to teachers, families, and other congregants; and lead worship for monthly Children's Chapel, as well as adult and multi-generational services.
The AMEFM, the Minister and the Director of Operations will form a Ministry Team responsible for meeting the pastoral, educational, operational, social justice, and worship needs of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fresno. The Assistant Minister provides management and development in the areas of LRE programming, multi-age social justice activities, worship and pastoral care.

For a more information, please contact the Rev. Tim Kutzmark at: tkutzmark@uufresno.org

UU Fellowship of Nevada
is in the News!

Whether offering sanctuary to a man about to be deported, celebrating the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, or dealing with the third theft of their Black Lives Matter Banner, the UU Fellowship of Northern Nevada, and their minister, Rev. Neal Anderson, is front and center in the news in Reno, NV.  Check it out!

Mission Peak Chalice Mission Peak UU Congregation Awarded Peace Prize

The American Muslim Voice Foundation awarded the 2015 Badshah Khan Peace Award to our friends at MPUUC.

"Awarded to peacemakers with unwavering faith in their nonviolent approaches."

AbdulGhaffarKhan(1890-1988)was a Pashtun political and spiritual leader known for his non-violent opposition to British rulin India. A lifelong pacifisand a devout Muslim. Athe age of 20,he opened
his first school to meand women.

Pacific School of Religion
Pacific School of Religion

Explore - Experience - Discover

Pacific School of Religion (PSR), a multi-denominational seminary committed to equipping spiritually and theologically rooted leaders for social transformation, invites you to our Come & See! Prospective &Admitted Student Event, April 8-9, 2016 on the PSR campus in Berkeley, CA. 
If you're considering seminary or theological education, this conference is for you!  You'll meet our administration and faculty, dine with current students, be introduced to PSR's academic programs and campus, and worship in a creative environment. Small group discussion will invite your reflection on call and discernment with other prospective students.   Registration is free.  Questions?  Call 510/849-8931 or admissions@psr.edu.
Ally Vertigan
Prospective Student Event Coordinator
Office of Recruitment, Admissions, & Financial Aid
1798 Scenic Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709
800/999-0528 toll-free  510/849-8931 phone