Update: Regional Collaboration in the West
from the Board of Directors,
UUA Pacific Northwest District
(This message was also sent via email to PNWD congregational leaders on October 1, 2014. A printable version is here.)
Greetings! During the business meeting at our District Assembly in Spokane, we spoke with congregational delegates about the interest of our four western Districts in collaborating as the Pacific Western Region (PWR). Since that time the board has continued to consider agreements proposed by our joint Regional Collaboration Task Force. We see the potential for a system that honors our Pacific Northwest District (PNWD) culture and gives us access to more professional expertise through a unified staff team across the Pacific Western Region.
|Rev. Deborah Holder at Discovery Day
At "Discovery Day!" on September 27, we held a forum to provide updates on how the process of regional collaboration is unfolding in our district. This is not easy work, and change can produce anxiety. Without accurate information, anxiety can increase. In order to keep you informed, this is the first in a series of periodic communications about how the staff and District Boards of the Pacific Western Region are engaging in this process of regional collaboration.
As there is a lot of history behind this work, we will be posting a link to more information on the PNWD and regional website as soon as possible. We have also provided a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document that will provide brief responses to the issues and concerns we have heard to date.
We are not dissolving our Districts or our District Boards in the Pacific Western Region. Our board will continue to work on your behalf and monitor closely any new operational systems as they are implemented to assure that our District remains healthy and congregations’ needs are being met. Your primary contact person will still be our District Administrator, Diane Brinson, when issues or questions arise, and Janine Larsen will continue her close work with the congregations in our District. You will also have access to the entire PWR staff as collaboration across the region continues.
With the implementation of the new Unified Staff Plan, the “District Executive” title has been discontinued in the Pacific Western Region. All of the field staff now carry the common title “Congregational Life Staff,” with a few exceptions for certain specialist positions. Lori Ragona will retain the title Training and Communications Specialist, and the Rev. Nancy Bowen will have the additional title of Regional Lead. We will also have an Interim Youth Ministry Specialist this year.
Your Board is working with Janine and Nancy and the other PWR Districts to clarify new relationships to support District work and ensure our congregations are well-served. Nancy will assume the direct relationship with the District Boards, managing the unified staff and district operations.
We are working to ensure these written agreements will serve our District while allowing for innovation and creative responses across the Region. Our goal is a stronger presence for Unitarian Universalism in the west.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions or comments about regional collaboration.
Carrie Krause, President (Woodinville UU Church, WA)
Hayden Nevill, Vice-President (UU Fellowship of Fairbanks, AK)
Dave Cauffman, Treasurer (UU Congregation of Whidbey Island, Freeland WA)
Emmet Band, Secretary (UU Church in Eugene, OR)
Rev. Carol McKinley, Member at Large (UU Congregtion of Olympia, WA)