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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 Pacific Central District and the Pacific Western Region - UUA

November  2016


In This Issue
UUA Flaming Chalice
District Assembly:
May 5 & 6, 2017
Save the Date!

Dear Friends:
We will gather together on Saturday, May 6, 2017, for the PCD-sponsored "UUA Presidential Candidates Forum," as well as the 2017 PCD Annual Meeting. 
Please plan to attend this "meet and greet" with our candidates!

You can acquaint yourself with the candidates on their websites:

There will also be special workshops starting on Friday afternoon, May 5th. Stay tuned for more details!

We would like to thank the  Mt. Diablo UU Church in Walnut Creek, CA for hosting this year's event.

Congregational Highlights


The Unitarian Universalists of San Mateo is seeking a Music Director, 15-17 hours a week. Position open until filled. The Music Director strives to vitalize the worship experience and congregational life through music in partnership with the minister and lay leaders. 

The Music Director will develop an inspirational and diverse music program and provide professional leadership for the choirs and encourage the musical talents within the congregation. 

Candidates should be knowledgeable of and sensitive to UU principles and values. 

Duties include planning and overseeing music for worship services; rehearsing and conducting the adult choir; coordinating and/or supervising a children's music program; and scheduling special music. 

Full job description at:  uusanmateo.org/music-director-position

15-17 hours/week, 12 months/year

Compensation based on UUA and UUMN compensation guidelines 

UU Fellowship of Santa Cruz County

You are cordially invited to "Fifty Years on Freedom", a luncheon in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the UU Fellowship on Freedom Boulevard, and 150 years of Unitarian Universalism in Santa Cruz County.
Date: Sunday, December 4, 2016 * Time: 11:30 A.M. to 2:00 P.M.
Location: Seascape Golf Club, 610 Clubhouse Drive, Aptos, CA
Keynote address: "Urgency and Hope" by Rev. Rosemary Bray McNatt,  President of Starr King School for the Ministry
Special guest: Senator Bill Manning (D-Carmel), California State Senate Majority Leader
Cost $35 per person
To make a reservation, please register online at http://www.uufscc.org
Deadline to register: Sunday, November 20
Questions? Call lan Hunter at 469-261-6442

First Unitarian Church of Oakland


Join us for this annual celebration  of winter holidays!

Saturday, December 17th at 7 p.m.

With: Joyful Noise, Crescendo Choir, Oakland Youth Chorus, 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://yuletunes.brownpapertickets.com
Reception with home-baked goodies will follow. 
For more information, contact jeanevanssphr@gmail.com

International Women's Convocation

The Third International Women's Convocation will take place on February 16-19, 2017, Asilomar Conference Center, Monterey Peninsula, California.
For more information on the Convocation, please visit our website, IntlWomensConvo.org . There, you will find a link to our Program Guide with up-to-date news about speakers and the rich variety of workshop and discussion topics, as well as discounts and scholarship opportunities for ministers, young adults, and international participants. 
UU Campus Ministry in Davis, CA

Are you interested in engaging your UU faith while in college? 

 Do you know a young adult who would like to find a community of UU students in Davis?
UU Campus Ministry in Davis welcomes all college and graduate students in Davis, CA! We gather every Thursday from 6-8pm for a free vegetarian dinner. Our time after dinner is decided by student interest and need and has included worship, conversation, art, social justice, spiritual exploration, and more. Students plan quarterly retreats and fun day trips\! 
For more information, contact Campus Minister Elizabeth Assenza:  campusministry@uucd.org
Students are encouraged to join our Facebook group: 

Contact us:

Pacific Western Region, Regional Lead

PWR-UUA Youth Ministry Specialist

PWR-UUA Congregational Life Staff

PWR-UUA Congregational Life Staff 

PWR-UUA Congregational Life Staff

PWR-UUA Administration Team
Oakland CA Office
(510) 530-1437

Board Buzz 
Steve Burns,
PCD President

November 2016

Monday I returned from Boston, after attending the Regional Leaders Group (RLG) Meeting. This group used to be called the District Presidents Association, but with many Districts either dissolving or changing their governance structures the old name no longer fit.

While last year's November meeting was primarily an extended discussion of whether there was a purpose in the continued existence of this group, that question was settled in the affirmative and we had other productive discussions this year. First, it would be useful to explain what the new purpose of the group is, and that is expressed in the Mission statement:

The mission of the RLG is to support geographically-affiliated leadership volunteers by providing a learning environment and maintaining institutional knowledge, and to support the Director of Congregational Life in designing geographically-appropriate structures for the delivery of UUA services.
Our vision is a well-structured system for delivery of UUA services that accounts for geographic diversity.
One of the benefits of the Regional Leaders Group is that our board leaders get to hear about what is happening in other regions and what they are learning. As you know, we have decided that retaining district boards is preferable to dissolving. Nevertheless, we benefit from the learnings of others who are pursuing a different path.  For instance, the Southern Regional Leaders, who have dissolved their board, report that they are excited about staff programs but still struggling with the development of lay leadership positions outside of congregations. Here is the goal they are aspiring to:
"Congregations create good leaders. Many of these leaders, in time, move out of congregational leadership as their faith calls them toward fulfilling the larger Unitarian Universalist mission. We must provide a mechanism to hold, nourish, and respect these elders; allowing and aiding them to be of meaningful service to our faith."-from the Orlando Platform.

The MidAmerica Region, another which dissolved Districts but retained a governing Board, was very pleased with their new Mission statement, which included both synergy and storytelling elements. Still other Regions are forming hybrids with a combination of dissolving and remaining Districts. As previously mentioned, the Pacific Western Region is retaining all four Districts and their Board structures. Each is continuing to discern their role as we work together with the Congregational Life staff to best deliver services to the congregations and strengthen our faith.

Another visible element of our Region is the new twice-monthly newsletter, and its inaugural issue introduced our new Regional Lead, Rev. James Kubal-Komoto. He has had a lot to do since getting started in July with more than 50% newly hired staff. And as I shared at the UU Ministers Association meeting just a couple weeks ago, the new staff are very high quality and coming up to speed rapidly. Feel free to call on them, and also keep in mind that many are less than 6 months into their new jobs so be gentle with any failings.
As I look at some indicators of our newly organized Region and also what is happening in our congregations a couple things stand out for me. One is that the number of applicants for our Congregational Life staff positions has increased enormously. For our last hire of four we had nearly thirty applicants. Scott Tayler reports that he's now keeping a waiting list for people interested in future positions. This allows us to be selective in hiring, and is also an indicator that these jobs are now very desirable.

Secondly, an interesting trend in our congregations has been the large number of people who moved from attendees to members and then were infected with the calling and are now ministers. A number of these people now serve our congregations, either in our District or in other Districts. While it is not a goal of any of our churches (so far as I know) to convert members into ministers, this speaks to the profound message of our faith. To change one's life work and go through the long and challenging road to ministry is a serious endeavor, and one that warms my heart.

Some final nuggets from the meeting include new initiatives or areas of focus for the Congregational Life (CL) staff: Being 'relentlessly useful', rethinking the settlement system and startup process, having trainings with practical take-home tools instead of theoretical reasons, making both District and Regional boundaries fuzzier by focusing on content delivery via technology, curating resources so the best will be more accessible, funding innovative startups such as the DC Sanctuaries, creating a system to engage retired ministers while helping small congregations, and more.

This year our Board hopes to continue to develop our relationship with our ministers-through the UU Ministers Association; our congregations through personal contacts; and with our CL staff-through our new Regional Lead. Our interactive meeting with the Director of CL and also the UUA Moderator felt useful and productive-generating or extending new ideas and sharing both struggles and successes. Our partnership with the other Western Region Boards also continues to deepen and this helps us all.


PWR Webinars * New Listings

  Registration is now open for these webinars - organize your teams today! Use the link above to register for any webinar.

Difficult Conversations
Wednesday, November 16, 2016, 7-8 pm 
(Pacific Time)
Presenter: Rev. Laura Shennum Sponsor: James Kubal-Komoto

Unitarian Universalism 101 for Non-UU Congregational Staff
Rev. Christine Robinson & Rev. Tandi Rogers
Thursday, November 17, 2016 - 7:00-8:00 p.m. PT

Creating Successful Teams for Accessibility & Inclusion Ministry
Michelle Avery Ferguson, Coordinator the Accessibility & Inclusion Ministry Certification Program, and Rev. Tandi Rogers - a collaboration between EqUUal Access and the UUA.
Wednesday, November 30, 2016 - 7:00-8:00 p.m. PT

Untangling Triangles
Rev. Carol McKinley & Rev. Dr. James Kubal-Komoto
Thursday, December 1, 2016 - 7:00-8:00 p.m. PT

From Visitor to a Full Spectrum of Member Engagement
Lori Emison Clair, Consultant to the UU Association of Membership Professionals, and Rev. Tandi Rogers
Tuesday, December 6, 2016 - 7:00-8:00 p.m. PT

Introduction to Conflict Dynamics
Rev. Margaret Kiep & Dave Mentz
Wednesday, January 18, 2017 - 7:00-8:00 p.m. PT

A Theme-Based Approach to Full-Week Faith
Eric Bliss, PWR Youth Ministry Specialist
Thursday, January 19, 2017 - 7:00-8:00 p.m. PT

SpiritJam: Fun, Engaging Faith Formation
Katie Covey
Tuesday, January 24, 2017 - 7:00-8:00 p.m. PT

Just a Few Kids: Creative Strategies for Congregational Engagement
Rev. Sarah Gibb Millspaugh & Rev. Sarah Schurr
Tuesday, January 31, 2017 - 7:00-8:00 p.m. PT

Inclusive Youth Group Dynamics
Eric Bliss, Natalie Briscoe, and youth TBA
Tuesday, February 14, 2017, 10 am (PT) & Thursday, February 16, 2017, 5 pm (PT)

Reaching Out to Millennials & Young Families
Rev. Annie Gonzalez Milliken & Rev. Sarah Gibb Millspaugh
Saturday, February 18, 2017 - 9:00-10:00 a.m. PT
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