Unco West is held at San Francisco Theological Seminary - a very gracious host, by the way - in San Anselmo in Marin County, across the Golden Gate Bridge from the city of San Francisco. As I have never visited California before, memories include driving across the iconic bridge; the view of the city, Alcatraz, and Oakland at dawn as the sun rose and the fog lifted; seeing great architecture downtown like San Francisco City Hall and the opera house; tall redwood trees - the ones at the seminary are, I'm told, young, so they're only hundreds of years old; and being in the Bay area as the San Francisco Giants competed in baseball's World Series (unfortunately, they were playing in Kansas City).
Unco really is an un-conference, a reaction against expensive church conferences with highly paid keynote speakers. There are no keynotes - and no agenda, as the entire conference is crowd-sourced from the participants, many of whom have only met on social media. Some people wanted to talk about fundraising for new ministries - fine, who will lead, and which room and which time slot do you want? Some were interested in a new model for church committee structures, based on the liturgical seasons, and I participated in that one. I led a session on people with disabilities in the church, although the real discussion leadership came from my friend J.C. Mitchell, who has a ministry in Seattle for families with children with disabilities.
And I can't improve on this reflection on Unco 14 West and the San Francisco experience from Whitney Wilkinson, complete with her great photography.