Your district boards and Pacific Western Region staff are giving updates on where we are 10 years into the concept of Regional UU work and listening to your thoughts on what should come next.
What Is Happening in Your District
Decisions about districts will happen at the district level and are in no way required to be in lockstep. Please visit your district website for the latest snapshot:
- Mountain Desert District
- Pacific Central District
- Pacific Northwest District
- Pacific Southwest District
Join the Conversation as a Region
Our district boards are stretched thin. They need your support and engagement in a conversation about the future. Each district has its own decision to make and that means each delegate has options to weigh, the decision is in the hand of the congregations.
The UUA proposed a regional structure a decade ago, and most of the US is now using some version of that structure. The Pacific Western Region is still negotiating a limbo between the district and regional structures. The report Widening the Circle of Concerns recommends: “Governance within the Association needs streamlining, as outdated and duplicative structures exist.” Is this one of those places?
Now is the time to discuss if the district governance structure still serves our purposes or if we choose another way forward. Regional staff, your staff, are supporting your district boards and UUism in the West by facilitating a conversation. We launched that conversation at the Love Right Through Regional Assembly with an orienting workshop:
Regionalization: Where Are We Now? Where Are We Going? (YouTube) (sharing video)
Please start with that presentation, and then join in for more.
Love Right Through Forums
Twice a month gatherings on specific topics. Boards & staff will offer 15-20 min of context & status on the topic, the rest is up to the group. We hope to answer specific questions and know that many concerns will take more time and thought than these 90-minute sessions. Upcoming Topics to include: Youth & Emerging Adults, and Leadership. Join in the conversation first and third Mondays in March, April & May. Recordings and summaries will be available here a week after the forum.
Watch Past Forums
- Widening the Circle (YouTube)
- Camps & Covenanting Communities (YouTube)
- Chalice Lighters (YouTube)
- Finance Video Coming Soon
Register for Upcoming Love Right Through Forums
Love Right Through Feedback
If you prefer the written word there is a brief form to convey feedback to both regional staff and your district board.
Submit Written Love Right Through Feedback
Question & Response
Are the Districts Dissolving?
This is the conversation. Each board will consider its feedback and make a recommendation at or before its business meeting(s) over the next year, where each congregation, through its delegates will have a say in what is next. Each district board will have its own recommendations and each annual business meeting will vote for its choice. Conversation in advance allows for more engagement, contemplation, and a common understanding of where we are without making business meetings extremely long.
How Would We Have a Say Without Districts?
This is up for invention and there is a desire for both national influence and local representation which has the ear of the Regional Lead. Without districts, volunteers in the West could take on some of the hundreds of open volunteer positions at the national level.
Volunteers are looking for more transient roles (shorter-term commitments), so incubator or design team or task force as opposed to a multiyear term, allowing more voices and shorter commitments from our volunteers. More voices being heard.
What About the District Funds?
Each district’s bylaws indicate the UUA as the successor organization in the event of dissolution. Boards are already looking at how to leverage resources to best serve both the purpose of the donation, our UU values, and our present social circumstances. These are district and board decisions.
What About Staffing?
Over the last decade, this is where regionalization has been most fully realized in the West. Each of the four districts had about four staff people (not all full-time), PWR has nine full-time and two part-time staff people covering those tasks and the UUA employs all of them. This allows us to be a better employer and to hire staff with deeper knowledge sets to share as resources across the region. Each congregation has a primary contact and that person has a team of experts to consult. Staffing would not change as it is already a regional group.
What Have Other Regions Done?
MidAmerica’s districts became a kind of “super-district," with a single regional board and staff employed by the UUA. Learn more on their status directly from the MidAmerica Regional Board. The four districts that made up the Southern Region came together and found a shared purpose, established the Orlando Platform (pdf), which consolidated governance and finance to the national level allowing them to fulfill their purpose across their region. The two Northeast coast regions, New England & Central East, followed the lead of the Southern Region.