PNWD will be hosting RLLS at the beautiful Dumas Bay Centre, Federal Way, WA, on August 8-14, 2015. The retreat center is located near the southern end of Puget Sound, overlooking Vashon Island.
Please encourage your congregation to support sending candidates to RLLS. Thus, thoughtful development of congregational leadership is explicitly considered and supported. Graduates get a huge boost from the experience, and they bring home valuable resources and plenty of energy for long-term benefits to your congregation.
Mark Neiwirth is the Administrative Dean for RLLS. This is the sixth year of his passionate involvement, and he is available to guide participants through every aspect of RLLS, from initial inquiries through graduation. When he originally attended RLLS as a student in 2010 in Loveland, CO, he had no serious intention of pursuing leadership in his home congregation, the Pocatello UU Fellowship in Idaho. Little did he know that he would soon be on a fast track after RLLS, from Chair of the Worship Committee, to Board Secretary, through Vice-Presidency and Presidency, and now as Past President.
“Although I thought I had some latent leadership potential, I was never aware of my innate abilities until I went to RLLS,” Mark admits. “The experience gave me the tools—and the courage and confidence—to become a leader on so many levels.” And he has pursued other leadership opportunities in his local community as a result of his involvement with RLLS.
He adds, “When I was the President of PUUF, seven of the nine people on my Board had been to RLLS in the past. It was a DREAM Board!”
Academic Dean Janine Larsen, with UUA Congregational Life Staff in the Pacific Northwest, was introduced to RLLS in 2013, when it was held in Alta, UT. “I was extremely impressed with the content and quality of instruction. I learned a lot myself, and I had a great time!” she says. Janine took over as Academic Dean, following Rev. Nancy Bowen’s lead in the Mountain Desert District.
After interviewing attendees whose congregations have sent their lay leaders and religious professionals to RLLS for years (the Mountain Desert District was the home of RLLS for more than 20 years), and hearing from the MDD staff that the leadership school has made a significant difference in the dynamic growth of regularly participating congregations, Janine is excited that more congregations throughout the Pacific Western Region will be able to attend.
As Academic Dean for RLLS, she created a new curriculum, keeping up with the times in a changing UU world. She has recruited a skilled and dynamic faculty and staff from the PWR Districts. “Classroom time will emphasize multi-media, and a variety of small group activities will provide plenty of discussion and experiential time. We’ll cover a wide range of topics: Covenant and Beloved Community, UU Theology, Worship and Ritual, Adaptive Leadership, and building religious community through social media and technology.”
The Rev. Jon Luopa (University Unitarian Church, Seattle) will bring a special focus on Emotional Intelligence and Primal Leadership. Each day we will have empowering worship in the morning and meditative worship in the evening, and we’ll be inspired and energized by Music and Movement (led by Bert Gulhaugen, from Westside UU Congregation, Seattle) throughout the week.
These leaders, along with the entire faculty and staff, are intentionally recruited for their spiritual depth, knowledge, innovation and teaching ability.
Mark points out that the days will be full of classes, seminars and small group meetings, but there also will be some time for hiking in the woods or walking on the beach, enjoying the beautiful Puget Sound and the warm Seattle August weather. Or just take some personal time to journal, meditate or nap.
Per person tuition for the week is $900, which includes all aspects of RLLS, including lodging, meals, and program materials. A commuter rate (no lodging) is $700, but all meals will still be provided.
Candidates to RLLS must be endorsed by their congregation. Each congregation which sends candidates must contribute a Congregational Fee of $350—this is a flat fee, no matter how many are sent from the congregation.
Registration for RLLS is open now! Please review all of the RLLS information on the Pacific Western Region website at www.pwruua.org/rlls. Download a flyer to hand out or post. Enroll online by June 15, 2015.
JOIN US IN WASHINGTON AT RLLS, AUGUST 8-14, 2015, FOR AN EMPOWERING, MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE!
For more information or questions, contact:
Mark Neiwirth, Administrative Dean, firstname.lastname@example.org, (208) 251-8051