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December 2022 - In This Newsletter
  • Southern Region Blog & UUA Communications- Growing Sustained UU Faith Connections: UU Dimensions of Faith Development and System Theory Renaissance Modules, by Nancy Combs-Morgan; Hope in the Lone Star State, by Rev. Jami Yandle; Presidential Search Committee Nominates Rev. Dr. Sofía Betancourt for UUA President; From the UUA President: Our LGBTQIA+ Siblings are Sacred, Whole and Divine
  • Southern Region Events - Renaissance Modules, Primer and Breakthrough Leadership Experiences; Toolbox Webinar Series 2022-23; Presidents' Gathering Series 2022-23 
  • News - Open Enrollment, New Congregational Salary Program, and an Onboarding Resource!; Award for Distinguished Service to the Cause of Unitarian Universalism - Call for 2023 Nominations; Call for General Assembly 2023 Program Proposals; Faithify Updates; Congregation to Congregation Resourcing; Cornerstones of Effective Stewardship for Our Congregations Webinar Series; UUA/UUMA Neurodiversity Skill-Up; Training Opportunity with The Management Center; Article II Study Commission Update; How to Access Federal Grant Funds for Clean Energy Improvements for your Congregation (webinar); Florida UU Women's Retreat
  • Calendar Listing of Events, Occasions, and Connection Opportunities
  • Connections - UU Camp, Conference, and Retreat Centers in SR; Quick Links; Southern Region Staff
Staff Blog

Growing Sustained UU Faith Connections: UU Dimensions of Faith Development and System Theory Renaissance Modules
By Nancy Combs-Morganphoto-Nancy Combs Morgan
What will foster multigenerational deepening and sustained faith connections in our UU communities? Well, I wish it was a simple answer, yet there is a beautiful simplicity to a partial answer of what will aid your whole community to grow in faith and multigenerational connection.
A partial answer is best described in an image…an image of whole UU communities who practice regularly, with all ages, putting covenant, trust, justice, hope, service, and joy at the center of all they do. 
With those timeless UU values at the center, then emerges the question of what do those values call us to “be” and “do.”

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Hope in the Lone Star State
photo_Rev. Jami YandleBy Rev. Jami Yandle
I was born and raised in the South, spending my formative years along the southern Atlantic coast from North Carolina to Florida. It was here, in the deep roots of the religious South, that I heard my call to ministry and to service. My ministerial formation, however, took me to New York City where I attended Union Theological Seminary and served as the intern minister at Judson Memorial Church. I eventually moved into the Midwest, completing my Clinical Pastoral Education at The Ohio State University Wexner  Medical Center. I remained in Ohio, serving as a Hospice Chaplain, and fulfilling my ministerial education upon my ordination at the UU Church of Toledo.
A few years ago, I felt a strong pull to return to the South. In Ohio, the situation did not make sense for me anymore. I wanted to return home to the barbecue my tastebuds knew and loved, the sweet tea I was raised on, and the type of cornbread my grandmother made which melted in your mouth upon first bite. More so, I knew the South needed me as much as I missed it. It was time to return back home to my people, to continue to create what John Lewis called “good trouble”.

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Presidential Search Committee Nominates Rev. Dr. Sofía Betancourt for UUA President (November 15, 2022)

The Unitarian Universalist Association’s (UUA) Presidential Search Committee is pleased to announce the nomination of the Rev. Dr. Sofía Betancourt for UUA President, for the 2023-2029 term. Rev. Dr. Betancourt is an experienced leader and theologian in Unitarian Universalism, including formerly serving as a professor at Starr King School for the Ministry and as Interim Co-President of the UUA in 2017. She currently serves as Resident Scholar and Special Advisor to the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee.
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UUA color stripe

From the UUA President: Our LGBTQIA+ Siblings are Sacred, Whole and Divine (November 21, 2022)

This is absolutely devastating news from Colorado Springs. I am sending love and care to all the staff and community of Club Q, and to all of those present, all of the victims and their loved ones. This is infuriating and heartbreaking – especially as it occurred on Transgender Day of Remembrance.
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Southern Region Events
Save the date for these upcoming Southern Region events!

Plan ahead, as registration deadlines may apply. Be sure to scroll all the way through this newsletter to learn more about additional events offered by clusters, congregations, and other Unitarian Universalist organizations. View our Southern Region events calendar here.
infographic with wording "rnaissance module" and including uua chalice logo and color stripeOnline Renaissance Modules

“The Southern Region team of the UUA is committed to offering essential tools to aid leaders to go deeper with a unique understanding of how people grow in their UU faith, with the original work of Natalie Briscoe and the Dimensions of Faith Development. The next core understanding is how everything is connected as a system. System Theory is a core competency in understanding how people connect with self and others.
There are offerings of our Dimensions of Faith Development Renaissance Module and System Theory Renaissance Module coming up in January and February of 2023. If you would like to explore going deeper in your understanding of how to help grow sustained UU faith connections, consider taking part. These offerings are created explicitly for leaders and religious professionals who are serving in UU faith development.” Excerpt of a blog post by Nancy Combs-Morgan. 
Leadership Experience Track for 2022-23
clip art_chalice art with text "leadership experiences" on dark red background 
The Southern Region Leadership Experience (LE) is a three-part, nine-month, online course designed to support leaders at all levels. The sections of the Leadership Experience must be taken in sequential order. Learn more about our Leadership Experience track here.
Primer LE - a self-paced experience with recorded lectures, supplemental materials, and one live processing session. The topics covered in the Primer LE are UU Theology, Covenant, and UU History. The next live processing session for the Primer LE will be February 8th.  Register for the Primer LE here
Essentials LE - this section is in process now. We plan to offer this again in fall 2023.
Breakthrough LE - a three-session experience with recorded lectures, supplemental materials, and activities between three live processing sessions. The topics covered in the Breakthrough section are Incarnational UU Theology, Covenant Beyond Walls, and Justice is what Love Looks Like in Public. The Breakthrough LE will run from February to May 2023 (please note schedule change, by one month). Completion of the Essentials LE track is a prerequisite for participation. Please note: in order to proceed with this event we must have a minimum of 20 participants registered no later than January 16th. Register for the Breakthrough LE here.
clipart_red toolbox filled with colorful toolsToolbox Webinar Series 2022-23
Toolbox Webinars are compact and efficient one-time training sessions that support congregational leaders and staff. Toolbox Webinars are offered live, monthly, beginning in August, and last up to 90 minutes (most are on second Tuesdays). Learn more and register here.
  • January 10 - Practicing Collaborative Ministry, with Kathy McGowan and Lillian Drab-Braddick. Collaborative Ministry is the ways in which the church leadership - professional and lay, volunteer and paid - work together to co-create Unitarian Universalism with the congregation and move the community into its missional priorities. This Toolbox Webinar will explore the relationships and responsibilities that we must build to have successful collaborative ministry in our congregations.
  • February 21 - Leadership Resources and Paths, with Natalie Briscoe. This Toolbox session will assist you in creating your own leadership development path, including methods of recruitment, content for leadership training, and recognition of volunteer leaders.
photo_large metal chalice with candle, water backgroundPresidents' Gathering Series 2022-23
Presidents' Gatherings are an online space for congregational Presidents, Presidents-Elect, Vice Presidents, and Past Presidents to create a community of learning and collaboration with each other and with Southern Region staff. This series is offered from September through May, on third Thursday evenings (with a break in December).
Cost per congregational team:
  • Complementary for APF Honor Congregations (for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2022)
  • $100 for congregations that were not APF Honor in 2021-22
Upcoming sessions and topics (Third Thursdays at 6:00 PM CT/7:00 PM ET):
  • January 19 - Organizational Charts and Committees
  • February 16 - Committees on Ministry/Committees on Shared Ministry
Learn more and register here.
UUA Office of Church Staff Finances logoOpen Enrollment, New Congregational Salary Program, and an Onboarding Resource!
Jan Gartner, UUA Compensation and Staffing Practices Manager
In mid-November, the Office of Church Staff Finances published an especially newsy issue of Compensation and Staffing News, officially launching both Open Enrollment (for Health and Dental/Vision plans) and our new Congregational Salary Program. And, as I say in my editor’s note, “But that’s not all!” We also have a new Guide to Setting Terms of Employment to assist with onboarding and supervision of new non-ministerial staff. Check out the short articles and handy links – and subscribe at the bottom if you are not already receiving this monthly publication.
Open Enrollment runs through December 15 this year. Please ensure that all eligible staff (those scheduled to work at least 750 hours/year) are offered the opportunity to enroll.
We invite you to reach out to us ( with any questions about the salary program. Our emphasis is on process – policies and practices that uphold equity, transparency, and economic justice. Leaders are not expected to make sudden dramatic changes to anyone’s pay as a result of our new salary charts. (And, just in case we need to say it, nobody’s pay should go down!) We will all be living into this new program over the next couple of years.
uua chalice logo with text "unitarian universalist association"Award for Distinguished Service to the Cause of Unitarian Universalism - Call for 2023 Nominations
The Award for Distinguished Service to the Cause of Unitarian Universalism (often informally referred to as the Distinguished Service Award) is one of the most prestigious awards given by the UUA. Recipients of this award have strengthened the institutions of our UU denomination, clarified our message in extraordinary ways, and exemplified what Unitarian Universalism stands for.
The Award Committee seeks nominations from throughout our Association so it may select from a broad range of the most exemplary leaders in our movement. The deadline for receipt of nominations is January 1, 2023. Visit this link for more information on how to submit your nomination:
uua ga 2023 logoCall for General Assembly 2023 Program Proposals
Everyone is welcome to submit a proposal for either virtual or in-person programming for the 2023 Multi-platform General Assembly. Presenters from historically and currently marginalized communities, including people of color and youth, are encouraged to apply. Proposed programs should provide meaningful opportunities for learning and skill development, as well as address one or more of the following focus areas:
  • Becoming Adaptive and Resilient
  • Becoming Theologically Rooted
  • Becoming Skilled in Faithful Praxis
  • Becoming Connected in Community 
The program proposal deadline is Friday, January 13. Learn more about the "focus areas" and propose a program here:   
faithify chalice with the wording "the power of Faithify is ... connecting people to projects with passion" on a colorful backgroundFaithify Updates
Tap into the power of Faithify today! UU Crowdfunding projects with passion are waiting for you. Check out these current Faithify campaigns created by Southern Region Unitarian Universalists:
 Learn more about Faithify and view all current campaigns here:
Congregation to Congregation Resourcing
UU Church of Akron, Ohio, has created an updated version of the “100 Unitarians & Universalists who made a difference” poster. Learn more about this project, including how to order a poster, by reading this Central East Region blog post: Updating our Unitarian and Universalist History Poster.
Eno River UU Fellowship, Durham, NC, has created a "Sing-a-Long Album" for use in RE classes and beyond. The album is available free as a download or a physical CD can be ordered for a small fee. Learn more here:
Cornerstones of Effective Stewardship for Our Congregations Webinar Series
January 24, January 31, and February 7 (all 7:00PM to 8:30 PM Eastern Time)
UUA Congregational Life and Stewardship for Us announce a 3-part national webinar series in early 2023: Cornerstones of Effective Stewardship for our Congregations.
  • TUESDAYS, 7:00 - 8:30 PM ET, 6:00-7:30 CT, 5:00-6:30 MT, 4:00-5:30 PT
  • Part 1: January 24th: The Multiplatform Context, Part 2: January 31st: The Multicultural/Multiracial World, and Part 3: February 7th: The Changing Multigenerational Demographics
Registration fee is $30 per webinar or register for all three at the discounted rate of $75. Learn more and register by January 19th.
photo_Rev. Leela SinhaUUA/UUMA Neurodiversity Skill-Up
January 24, 1-3pm ET/10am-12pm PT, with the Rev. Leela Sinha

Rev. Leela Sinha (ze/zim/zir) is a brown, queer, genderqueer, entrepreneurial community minister with a theology of pleasure and a habit of transformative mischief. In zir work, ze offers leadership coaching, training, and keynotes, working with leaders and organizations to develop and delight in the power and intensity we have, and to use that power for good. Zir book, "You're Not Too Much" came out in 2016.  Ze has been a UU all zir life, and lives and works in the Bay Area. Check out zir’s work with zir Sinha Intensive/Expansive Framework, work supporting teams and individuals working together, and podcast The Intensives Institute. We’re excited to welcome Leela because zir’s framework of supporting individuals and teams in embracing their strengths and working together even with different brains does not depend on medical diagnosis. Find out if you’re an intensive or expansive!
While you wait, you can download past presentations from the UUMA’s website or access the first in the series with Rev. Heather Petit.
Training Opportunity with The Management Center
We’re happy to announce that The Unitarian Universalist Association is partnering with The Management Center to provide practical, interculturally informed management skills training designed for UU religious professionals who supervise staff in congregations.
The Management Center will lead two separate two-day online Managing to Change the World trainings (January 19-20 and February 6-7), facilitated by JK Nelson. We have space for 40 people in each session, and we’d like to invite you and your colleagues to apply!
Please consider applying if:
  • You directly supervise staff in a UU congregation or related organization
  • You’re eager to learn new tools, frameworks, and practices to support your management
  • You’re open to thinking critically and newly about your individual and organizational
  • practices on managing with an equity and inclusion lens
  • You are committed to an ethos of shared ministry
 Learn more about this training opportunity, including the cost and how to apply, by downloading the invitation/information packet (PDF).
Article II Study Commission Update
The Article II Study Commission wishes to thank all who participated in the online feedback sessions on its latest draft of Article II (PDF, 3 Pages). The commission will be working through that feedback and will produce another draft soon. You can sign up to receive email updates on the latest drafts and feedback opportunities at:
How to Access Federal Grant Funds for Clean Energy Improvements for your Congregation
December 8 (webinar)
Join Side with Love, Interfaith Power & Light, Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI), Unitarian Universalist Association, and United Church of Christ for a webinar on how your congregation can access federal grant funds for clean energy improvements! This virtual event will be on December 8 at 4pm ET/1pm PT.
The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is the most sweeping clean energy and climate legislation in history. Although it’s not perfect, the IRA presents a historic opportunity for climate action.  The IRA opens the way for non-profits and houses of worship to access clean energy funds and tax credits.  UU Congregations can now leverage federal funds for energy and resiliency improvements.  This is a critical time for people of faith to reduce the impact of our congregational facilities through federal funding opportunities. Learn how to prepare to apply for Energy Efficiency Materials Pilot Program grants for your congregation’s energy efficiency work.
Read Side with Love’s blog post to learn more. Register here.
Florida UU Women's Retreat
March 31 - April 2, 2023, Parrish, FL

UU women are invited to join in for an enriching and memorable weekend featuring Shelley Graff facilitating Singing in Sacred Circle. This retreat will be held at DaySpring Conference Center.  
Learn more, including how to register, here.
Events, Occasions, and Connection Opportunities
clipart_calendar pageUpcoming Events

December  3 – SR Essentials LE Processing Session 2
December 8 - Federal Funding Resources for Nonprofits and Houses of Worship (webinar/briefing)
December 10 – Lay-Led Essentials/Congregation Convergence
December 12 – UUA Board of Trustees Meeting
December 13 – UUA Board of Trustees Open House

View our complete events calendar here.
Camp, Conference, and Retreat Centers within the Southern Region
The Mountain Retreat and Learning Center, Highlands, NC
UBarU Camp and Retreat Center, Mountain Home, TX
Shelter Neck UU Camp, Burgaw, NC
Serving the Southern Region

Natalie Briscoe, Lead,, 617-742-2100 ext. 8197
Rev. Tyler Coles,, 804-592-1159
Nancy Combs-Morgan,, 859-494-2424
Jessica Curren, Administrator,, 407-894-2119
Lillian Drab-Braddick,, 617-948-4368
Kathy McGowan,, 617-948-4295
Cameron Young,, 972-383-9197

Please use our Partnership Activation Request to access support from the Southern Region.

Learn about our staff and work on our staff page

Contributions from member congregations and individual donors make the missional work of the UUA possible. Together we amplify the voice of Unitarian Universalism and bring more hope, love, justice, courage, and joy into the world. 

Please send items to be considered for our January e-news
to no later than December 15th.

Please note, announcements should be brief and include a link
to additional information on your website or blog as applicable.
Any submissions may be edited by SR staff.

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