News from the Districts - December 7
Mountain Desert News
MDD Awards Open
Dale Arnink Award
The Dale Arnink Preaching Award goes annually to the preacher of a sermon that explores and promotes understanding and application of Humanist teachings in Unitarian Universalism. All Unitarian Universalist professional religious leaders, as well as those studying for professional leadership, are eligible to be considered for this award. Sermons are judged through a blind process by a panel of UU religious and lay leaders. The award will be presented at the MDD board meeting at the PWR Assembly on April 27-29, 2018 in Portland, Oregon if the recipient is present, and will be posted on the Mountain Desert District website.
Have you preached or heard a good sermon reflecting Humanist teachings lately? Submissions for the Award should be received no later than 5:00 p.m. Friday, January 19, 2018 in order to be considered.
Walk the Talk Award
The Walk the Talk Award is given to a Unitarian Universalist lay person for living a life which best exemplifies Unitarian Universalist principles. The award will be presented at the MDD board meeting at the PWR Assembly on April 27-29, 2018 in Portland, Oregon if the recipient is present, and will be posted on the Mountain Desert District website.
Complete and return the Nomination Form for the Walk the Talk Award by 5:00 p.m. Friday, January 19, 2018.
Pacific Central News
Apply for the Winter PCD Chalice Lighter Grant
The Fall 2017 Pacific Central District Chalice Lighter Call ended on November 20. This call was for scholarships to attend the Pacific Western Regional Assembly in Portland, Oregon this coming April. The PCD board selected this cause since no congregation made an application for a grant.
Now is the time to think about how your congregation can apply to be the recipient for the Winter Call. If you are planning to apply for the Winter Call, you will need to get your completed application in no later than December 15 to avoid holiday confusion. The call will open on February 5, 2018.
Congregations that are in Honor Status to the UUA and the PCD are eligible to apply. Preference is given to those with more donors to Chalice lighter Calls, in place of a percentage of members. Isn’t that a good reason to increase the participation of your members? Access the application form.
Do you have a good idea for a Call? Contact me at pcdchalicelighters [at] pwruua [dot] org. Access information about the Chalice Lighter Program.
There is also still a need for ambassadors at most congregations to help promote participation in Chalice Lighters. Until there is someone from your congregation serving in this role, I will consider the Minister to be the ambassador.
Volunteer PCD Chalice Lighter Coordinator
Pacific Northwest News
Being a Better Ally - White Ally Toolkit Workshop with Dr. David Campt
Do you ever struggle to advance the cause of anti-racism in your community?
The White Ally Toolkit Project focuses specifically on helping white folks have more effective encounters with people who are skeptical that racism is a problem. Utilizing contemporary research on persuasion, this four-hour interactive workshop leaves participants with concrete skills for using your own racial background as a tool to advance racial equity.
Please join the Unitarian Universalist Church of Vancouver on Dec. 9, from 8:30-12:30pm for this engaging workshop. Cost is $0-50 sliding scale.
Inheriting the Flame Youth Con
January 14-15, featuring local poet and performer J. Mase, III
What is East Shore Unitarian Church FLAME Mini Con all about?
FLAME Regional mini-con is a PNWD tradition of hosting a mini-con focused on the intersection of spirituality and social justice. This year, we’re honoring this tradition by holding the event over MLK Jr weekend. East Shore is bringing in J. Mase III, a trans person of color from Seattle whose intersectional and faith-based work will both teach and inspire the youth. His performance will include the youths’ voices, and there will be time to share with one another their workshop-generated poetry, vision, and activism.
Please consider these questions beforehand, and we will explore them together!
- How can we create space for non-white narratives?
- What are spiritual practices that can be used to cultivate justice and compassion?
- How can we sit with discomfort and approve our ability to empathize and self-reflect?
- How can we acknowledge and work against the inequity and violence of our society?
- How can we be accountable as allies?
- What do solidarity and liberation look and feel like?
- What are the communities we want to create; how do we envision them?
- What role do I play in the creation of this beloved community?
Pacific Southwest News
Key Dates and Events for PSWD Camping Ministries at Camp at de Benneville Pines
PSWD Winter Sr. High Camp at de Benneville Pines – Dec. 27, 2pm to Jan. 1, 2018, 12pm. More information
PSWD Winter Elementary/Family Camp at de Benneville Pines – Feb. 17, 12:30pm - 19, 12:30pm. More information.
PSWD Summer Elementary Camp – July 8-14 – Registration opens on March 1st.
PSWD Summer Counselor in Training (CIT) Camp – Jul. 8, 2pm - 14, 12pm – Registration opens on March 1st.
PSWD Summer Jr. High Camp – Jul. 15, 2pm - 21, 12pm – Registration opens on March 1st.
PSWD Summer Sr. High Camp – Jul. 22, 2pm - 28, 12pm – Registration opens on March 1st.
PSWD Summer Family Camp – Jul. 29, 2pm - Aug. 4, 12pm – Registration opens on March 1st.
PSWD Young Adult Camp – Aug. 31, 12pm - Sept. 3, 12pm
PWR Congregations in the News
Smartphones in Utah churches: Are they a heavenly help or a devilish distraction? - The Salt Lake Tribune
The Rev. Tom Goldsmith, senior minister of Salt Lake City’s First Unitarian Church, remembers one particular smartphone ring that threatened to undermine his sermon’s theme. “I was expounding upon the wondrous gifts of life that bless us beyond our own making [when] a gut-wrenching blues ring tone blasted forth,” he says. “The juxtaposition of ‘good life-tough life’ posed a momentary dilemma. “I said, ‘OK, I plan on getting to the hard stuff as well.’ After all, Unitarians are never comfortable with good news alone.”
Local group plans Transgender Day of Remembrance event - KVAL - Eugene, OR
Eugene-based social justice group United FRONT is hosting their own Day of Remembrance event on November 20th, from 6 to 9 PM at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Eugene. One of the organizers, JohnnyCoco Lam, says the event is both a vigil and a potluck- a way to both mourn and celebrate the lives of trans people lost to hate-based violence. The event will feature two speakers, a reading of the names of trans people who were murdered this past year, a vigil and a potluck.
Davis clergy continue interfaith Thanksgiving tradition - The Davis Enterprise
Interfaith experiences are the gift of religious freedom, Banks says, and it’s why she believes that presenting her story, as a descendant of Mayflower Pilgrims Elizabeth Tilly and John Howland, is important.“Like many white Americans, I grew up with the myth that the first Thanksgiving was a celebration of bounty, and an emerging friendship between the Wampanoag First Nations people and the Pilgrims,” Banks said. “In truth, during the first years after the Pilgrims landed in Plymouth, they had a cautious relationship of mutual need.
Commentary: How many deaths will it take before we talk about gun control? - The Salt Lake Tribune
As a faith leader, this is the time when I wish for hands that could do the work of resurrection and bring good people back to life, waking up on this autumn day, dressing children, preparing breakfast, going to school and work. We grieve for the everyday lives we take for granted that are gone in those harrowing minutes that began as an idea in one man’s head — a grievance that would not go away, that gathered power, and spread suffering.
Fifty Years Later, Religious Progressives Launch a New Poor People’s Campaign - Religion & Politics
“For the past five years,” Jones said, “a third of our entering classes have been unaffiliated millennials who are coming to seminary because they are interested in our social justice history and our educational focus on these major social issues.” Even students who do report a religious affiliation are often coming from Buddhist, Muslim, or Unitarian backgrounds, rather than the traditional Protestant mainline that fed Union’s classrooms in previous generations.