2024 Pacific Western Region Assembly Summary

The Pacific Western Region of the UUA held its Assembly this month in Denver, hosted by the First Universalist Church. Foothills was well represented at the two day event by twelve members and ministers. The Assembly was a wonderful opportunity to meet and “compare notes” with other UU’s from several Western states who attended from as far away as Washington and as close as Boulder.

The highlight of the Assembly  was the Friday night conversation between the UUA President, Rev. Dr. Sofia Betancourt and Rev. Dr. Karen Georgia Thompson, the President of the United Church of Christ.  These two brilliant and inspiring women addressed the challenging issues of 2024 America. Rev Betancourt underscored that UUs always show up, that UUs can be counted on to be there in numbers at marches, rallies and all types of justice events.  But she also challenged us to verbally express our liberal theology in those same spaces. She stressed that our country is greatly in need of a religious counterpoint to the Christian Nationalism that is now capturing the bulk of media attention. We need to be bold enough to express our progressive theology that is inclusive, welcoming, justice-oriented, and centered in love.

Rev. Thompson spoke of the commonalities we share as UUs and Congregationalists.  She spoke of the importance of liberal religions to be both action-oriented in pursuing justice and interior-focused with a wide array of spiritual practices which nurture and give meaning to our actions. These two leaders, so obviously caring and respectful of each other, were so inspirational.

On Saturday, along with networking opportunities, there were several breakout sessions. Some of the topics included UU camps (like the WUULF camp in New Mexico that many of our members have attended), turning guns into garden tools, and a communal service centered on spiritual resources.

Among the speakers were some quite familiar to Foothills members: Kelly Dignan and Sarah Millspaugh. The opportunity to connect with UU leaders from other congregations, especially those from along the Front Range,  made the event most worthwhile.

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