First Unitarian is a member of the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations located in Boston, MA. Formed from the merger of Unitarian and Universalist organizations in 1961, the Association provides key communications and services for us. Our annual support of the UUA brings national leadership and visibility, support services and focus for our professional personnel. The Association website is a comprehensive, sophisticated source of information about UUA and all of its activities.
Pacific Western Region
The newest organization in the denomination is the Region; there are five, each with a Regional Lead, encompassing all previous districts. Some Districts are merging with Regions to streamline operations and communications. Others are retaining some district staff and programs. First Unitarian is served by the Pacific Western Region headquartered in Denver, CO. Read more and subscribe to the Region's newsletter.
The most important service provided by the Region is leadership training. Annually the Russell Lockwood Leadership School conducts a week long training experience for future church leaders. The school moves from site to site around the western US and is a highly recommended investment for congregations of any size. Both the individual and the congregation share in the costs of this program. Learn more online.
Fair Share is a term applied to our annual support of the Unitarian Universalist Association and the Pacific-Western Region. Because UU congregations come in many sizes, with economically diverse memberships, the formula for support considers number of members, total budget, and other factors to spread the burden of UUA costs across member congregations fairly and responsibly.
Supporting the UUA brings First Unitarian many, many benefits [link], chief among them the presence of a strong, vocal force speaking to moral and justice issues in our society.
Fair Share is a guideline provided by the Unitarian Universalist association to help congregations determine an appropriate level of annual financial contribution in support of the UUA and the denomination as a whole. First Unitarian participates in Fair Share at both the National and Region level. First Unitarian’s contribution is not currently at the full recommended amount. The congregation currently contributes 28% of its Fair Share obligation. This represents a 10% increase over prior contributions. It remains our goal to become a full contributor as quickly as is possible and practical as formally stipulated in First Unitarian’s Governing Policies. Read more in the FAQ section of the Board page. [Link: http://www.firstunitarianportland.org/our-church/board-of-trustees#FAQ6d]
Actually, the Denominational Support budget covers a number of items:
Dues for the Unitarian Universalist Association
Dues for the Pacific Western Region
Operating budget for UUA Outreach Group
Stipends to support our delegates to General and District Assemblies.
Some question our allocated fair share contribution because it is large, based on a large membership. Others believe we should get some credit for some of our large church expenses.
Creating the beloved community requires the values and principles of Unitarian Universalism to be translated into the work of governments and legislatures, of policy and law. UUA’s Coalition of State Advocacy Networks has the mission and purpose of ensuring that Administrations and Legislatures at the State level hear the voices of Unitarian Universalists on issues that are important in building a just world, and also bringing awareness of what is happening in state and local governments into our congregations.
By bringing congregations together, both to learn and to express our values, State Advocacy Networks not only ensure that the values and principles of Unitarian Universalism have a practical effect upon government, but also help grow the interdependent web by fostering relationships between Unitarian Universalist congregations on issues of justice.
State Advocacy Networks can be structured differently, and work on different issues. They all grow from and depend upon the support of individual UUs. Whether it is through awareness campaigns, direct actions at the state capitol and beyond, or through financial and volunteer support, State Advocacy Networks are an expression of our faith rooted in our commitments to Justice and Interdependence. Members of First Unitarian can make a real impact in partnership with a State Advocacy Network.
Our Pacific Northwest networks include: Oregon UU Voices for Justice and Washington UU Voices for Justice. Join them and donate to support our state level advocacy. Also see the UUA's list of networks; tell your relatives and friends to follow you example.
Mt Hood Cluster
Congregations in the local area meet regularly to find areas for collaboration or celebration. Meetings rotate among congregational sites, and are held the second Sunday of the month at 1:45 pm. Interested members of any UU congregation are welcome.
Cluster representatives have approved both a Purpose Statement and Covenant. At its November meeting, the following was adopted as the purpose of the cluster. Further work now continues on structure and program goals for the nine congregation collaborative effort.
Purpose Statement for The Mt. Hood Cluster of Unitarian Universalist Congregations
That is what our great covenant asks of us as individuals and as congregations. The Cambridge Platform of 1648 laid out the ways our Congregationalist forebears were meant to be in relationship to one another. Our congregations are called to
* Mutual care ("taking thought for one another's welfare"),
* Consultation ("meeting together... to consider or argue points of doubt or difference"),
* Recommendation ("commend [members] to the watchful fellowship" of other congregations),
* Participation ("members occasionally coming unto another"),
* Relief and succor ("furnish with ministers... [and] outward support... of poorer churches),
* Admonition ("one may admonish another... [for] public offense... without usurpation"), and
* Synods (come together for shared worship and discernment).
UU World: www.uuworld.org/ Each member of First Unitarian receives a subscription to UU World, the quarterly publication of the UUA. Feature articles on faith issues, UUA news bulletins, General Assembly programs, and activities of individual UU’s and affiliated organizations provide readers with regular information and understanding about the UUA and its presence in our national life.
The feature article in the current Winter 2016 issue is titled, The Dream of White Innocence, by our own senior minister, Rev. Bill Sinkford. In it he calls all of us to work on the justice requirements of the beloved community. If you missed Bill's sermon at the Service of the Living Tradition at General Assemlby in Portland, this is an abstract of that message. And a good read.
Subscribe to UU World Digital
UU World, the quarterly magazine of the Unitarian Universalist Association, is now available in a digital edition that can be read on your tablet or in any browser.
Add a digital subscription to your existing print subscription for only $4.99. If you wish to replace your print subscription with a digital subscription, please email us after completing your digital subscription; you will remain eligible for the discounted rate as long as your membership remains active, and you may always reactivate your print subscription.
Sign up for a digital-only subscription for $9.99.
How is UU World Digital different than UUworld.org?
UU World Digital provides a digital replica of the print magazine, customized for your browser, desktop, or tablet. It includes high-resolution versions of all art and advertising from the print magazine, so you can enjoy the articles in their original context.
UU World’s website, uuworld.org, presents most articles and some of the art and photography from the quarterly print magazine, and offers expanded news coverage, online-only columns and articles, and weekly blog updates.
Chalice Lighters -- www.pnwd.org
The Pacific Northwest District Chalice Lighters program, continues. Now in its 27th year, it makes three grants a year to support growth initiatives in our sister congregations. That kind of support for other UU congregations is one of the “ends” of First Church. The grant funds come from individuals who commit to sending in $15 or more in response to each of up to three “calls” a year in support of a specific project selected from applicant congregations by a volunteer committee. The call includes a description of the project.
Those pooled resources amount to over $20,000 per call and the grants that are made with the money support specific projects to:
· secure or increase professional religious leadership
· help a congregation secure, improve or furnish a building
· reach out to the community to attract new members
· initiate a new congregation
· fund any other creative program to facilitate growth
Chalice Lighter Winter Call
Members of the Magic Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Twin Falls, ID (MVUUF) have dreamed and saved for their first permanent congregational home for most of their 23-year history. It’s in a region with a growing population, and experiencing solid growth itself. MVUUF is buying the small commercial building it currently rents. $21,000 is sought for a Chalice Lighter grant to replace the roof as well as make additional urgent repairs. Your donation will help MVUUF put roots in the ground and attract future UUs needing a liberal religious home in their religiously conservative community!
What was funded with the most recent call? In December 2016 your generosity provided $13,382 to help Cascade UU Fellowship in Wenatchee Valley, WA develop expansion plans. Thank You.
Volunteer as our Chalice Lighter Ambassador! Be the person in our Church that brings details of the program to us, and offers encouragement for each of us to participate. He knows well how valuable Chalice Lighters support is to growing congregations.
Our individual contributions of as little as $15 add up and make a huge difference to congregations poised for growth and struggling to fund projects that they believe will help make Unitarian Universalism’s good news available to more people who hunger for our religious message and to engage with us in fulfilling our missions of personal and social transformation.
You can learn more by stopping by the UUA Outreach Group table in Fuller Hall or by contacting our Chalice Lighter Ambassador or at the district website:
If your life has been changed by being a Unitarian Universalist and if you believe there are others who would also benefit from our faith, and if you are willing to put the cost of a modest lunch (or more) three times a year toward the growth of sister congregations, sign up now. If you sign up at our table in Fuller Hall, you’ll receive a flaming chalice pin that looks like the image above. If you are already signed up, come by the table, verify your contact information, and you will also get a pin. Or you can sign up online at the link above. Or you can sign up on line at http://www.pnwd.org/forms/register.aspx?fid=39 Then wear your pin with pride at church and let others know they, too, can get one by becoming a Chalice Lighter. And wear in outside church as a conversation starter to invite others to come experience the vitality of your congregation.
Congregations interested in Chalice Lighter grants should also consider other resources such as the Pacific Northwest Unitarian Universalist Growth Foundation. For more information, visit the PNUUGF website.