Pacific Western Region Staff
Pacific Western Region Staff & Contacts

Pacific Western Region staff are part of the UUA's Congregational Life Staff.

Every congregation in the Pacific Western Region has a primary contact, which can be found on the Primary Contacts for PWR Congregations index.

Regional Lead

Rev. Carlton Smith

Rev. Carlton Elliot Smith

Rev. Carlton E. Smith is the Regional Lead for the Pacific Western Region. From 2013 to 2020, he was a member of the UUA Congregational Life Staff Group serving in the Southern Region. Before that, he was a parish minister serving UU congregations in Metro New York, Greater Boston, Northern Virginia and Oakland, California. Rev. Smith graduated from both Howard University's School of Business and its School of Divinity (summa cum laude). He's been a candidate for US Congress and for State Senate, both in his home state of Mississippi. Rev. Smith was a founding member of the Organizing Collective for Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism. He currently serves as a Board Member for the Living Legacy Project and is a member of the Campaign Board for the LGBTQ Victory Fund.

Contact Carlton at csmith [at] uua [dot] orgRead his full bio.

Primary Contacts

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Rev. Summer Albayati

Rev. Summer Albayati, whose last name is pronounced el-bay-EH-tee, is a UU Muslim of Iraqi descent who brings extensive experience in leadership development, strategic planning, multiculturalism, curriculum development/programming, outreach, organizational development, grant writing, interfaith dialogue, conflict resolution and mediation. She has worked within indigenous communities and communities of color, advocating for equity in education, and increasing numbers of students of color who enter into universities. In serving congregations, Rev. Summer’s focus was on transformation by emphasizing that a mission-focused congregation increases vitality, membership, commitment to justice and love. Rev. Summer has been playing the Arabic drum, professionally, since the age of 12, and has shared this Islamic aesthetic in worship and concerts most of her life. She loves spending time with family and friends, eating great food, dancing, singing, creating beautiful music, and traveling the world.

Contact Summer at salbayati [at] uua [dot] org.

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Rev. Sarah Gibb Millspaugh

The Rev. Sarah Gibb Millspaugh has been on the PWR team since 2016. She serves as primary contact for about 30 congregations, mostly in the southern part of our region, and as a specialist in safe congregations, Our Whole Lives sexuality education, and social justice. She works out of her home office in San Diego, California.

Contact Sarah at smillspaugh [at] uua [dot] org or (858) 215-2650. Read her full bio.

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Rev. Sarah Schurr

The Rev. Sarah Movius Schurr is the primary contact for all of the PWR congregations under 76 members. Sarah has a passion for small congregations and how to help them thrive. This interest was born out of her years as a parish minister with congregations that were new to ministry, as well as her work as a new congregation organizer. Sarah had a 20-year Social Work career before the call to ministry and is well versed in systems theory and organizational development. Sarah keeps her home office in Portland, Oregon.

Contact Sarah at sschurr [at] uua [dot] org or (503) 936-0479. Read her full bio.

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Annie Scott

Annie Scott, Credentialed Religious Educator, feels honored and excited to begin serving congregations as the newest member of the Pacific Western Region Congregational Life field staff. She has most recently served as Director of Religious Educator for Jefferson Unitarian Church in Golden, CO and as President of the Liberal Religious Educators Association (LREDA). She has learned much from the congregations and religious professionals she has served with in Oregon City, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Golden over her twenty-seven years as a religious educator. She and her husband, Mick, raised their children in Unitarian Universalist congregations and are moving back to Oregon from Colorado to live near their three daughters, extended family and two-year old granddaughter, Emerson. 

Annie can be reached at ascott [at] uua [dot] org.

Youth and Emerging Adult Ministries

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Eric Bliss

A lifelong Unitarian Universalist, Eric Bliss is the region’s Youth Ministry and Emerging Adult (18-24 years) specialist, partnering with congregations and larger district and regional structures to execute safe, covenantal, and spiritually rich youth and emerging adult programs and offerings. His portfolio integrates leadership development, faith formation, and justice work into our movement’s ministries. Prior to this calling, Eric taught science and coached soccer in secondary level classrooms, served as a youth advisor, then DRE, chaplain, and camp director in the Mountain Desert District. He works out of his home office in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Contact Eric at ebliss [at] uua [dot] org or (303)903-3144. Read his full bio.

Youth Programming Staff

Under the direction of Youth and Emerging Adult Ministry Specialist Eric Bliss, PWR Youth Programming is also supported by:

  • Jessica Laikeman, Director of Camping Ministries and MDD Chaplain to Youth, jlaikeman [at] pwruua [dot] org
  • Amber Alexander, Youth Ministry Consultant, PNWD and PSWD Youth Conferences Coordinator, aalexander [at] pwruua [dot] org.
  • Lena McCain, MDD Youth Conferences Coordinator, lmccain [at] pwruua [dot] org.
  • Marena McGregor, PCD Youth Retreat Coordinator, mmcgregor [at] pwruua [dot] org

Administrative Staff

Rhiannon Smith Headshot

Rhiannon Smith

Rhiannon Smith serves as Regional Administrator for the Pacific Western Region. She lives and works in San Diego but is a New Englander at heart, originally hailing from Rhode Island and Boston. She is an active member of First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego. Rhiannon enjoys travel, (watching) sports, animals of all kinds, and musical theater.

Contact Rhannon at rsmith [at] uua [dot] org. Read her full bio.

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Amanda Radak

Amanda Radak is the Events Coordinator and Regional Registrar. She works from her home outside of Seattle.

Read Amanda's Full Bio or contact Amanda at aradak [at] uua [dot] org.

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Melanie Buck

Melanie Buck is the PWR Bookkeeper. She manages the books for all four districts as well as the region. She works full time out of her home office in Brighton, Colorado.

Contact Melanie at mbuck [at] uua [dot] org. Read her full bio.

Diane Lavinder

Diane Lavinder is the part-time Assistant Bookkeeper. She shares bookkeeping responsibilities with the regional bookkeeper, working out of the bookkeeper’s office in Brighton, Colorado, one day a week, and out of her home office in Aurora, Colorado the rest of the week.

Contact Diane at dlavinder [at] uua [dot] org.

Address & Email

Pacific Western Region
P.O. Box 567
Brighton, CO 80601
(720) 778-6682
pwr [at] uua [dot] org (​pwr [at] uua [dot] org)

For more information contact pwr@uua.org.

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