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September 2022 - In This Newsletter
  • Southern Region Blog & UUA Communications - New Year, New Challenges, by Natalie Briscoe; An Ingathering message from Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray; Make “A Warm Welcome” Part of your “New Normal,” by Rev. Sharon Dittmar
  • Southern Region Events - Leadership Experience Track for 2022-23 (please note important registration deadline information!); Toolbox Webinar Series 2022-23; Presidents' Gathering Series 2022-23 
  • News - Taproot: A National BIPOC Space; DRE Led Youth Ministry Volunteer Orientation; Faithify - Crowdfunding for UU Projects!; Climate Resilience through Disaster Response and Community Care - Webinar/Workshop Series; Leadership Updates Reminder for Congregations; UUA Volunteer Opportunity - Bylaws Renewal Team; Southeast LREDA Gatherings; Upcoming OWL Facilitator Trainings; UUA Publications Update; and Updates from The Mountain
  • Calendar Listing of Events, Occasions, and Connection Opportunities
  • Connections - UU Camp, Conference, and Retreat Centers in SR; Quick Links; Southern Region Staff
Staff Blog & UUA Communications

photo of natalie briscoeNew Year, New Challenges
By Natalie Briscoe
As I write this, I am on the plane home from the Congregational Life Leadership Team meeting in York, Maine. Two to three times per year, your Congregational Life Leadership Team meets to strategize the work of the Congregational Life Department, known as field staff or Regional Staff, toward fulfilling the UUA’s mission of Supporting Congregations, Training Leaders, and Living our UU Values. We begin by sharing the major needs facing each area of the country, discover commonalities, work together to design responses, and offer resources from staff team to staff team to use all means necessary to meet the needs of the congregations who form the Unitarian Universalist Association.

Continue reading

graphic_uua brand thin colorful strip design element

An Ingathering message from Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray

UUA President Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray offers a new message of hope, healing and welcome for Ingathering in the 2022 congregational year. Please download and share this video in your congregation and communities.

screenshot of video featuring rev. susan frederick-gray

welcome graphicMake “A Warm Welcome” Part of your “New Normal” (From UUA LeaderLab)
By Rev. Sharon Dittmar, Congregational Life Consultant, UUA MidAmerica Region 

The pandemic changed many facets of congregational life, including attendance. In the past two and half years, congregations have learned new dance steps to accommodate COVID-19. Amidst all the masking/not masking and closing/not closing, congregations wondered what happened to their members. Some congregations moved to multi-platform worship and welcomed new faces or faces they had not seen in a while via online technology. Yet most lay leaders, staff, and clergy I speak with are uncertain, after all these changes, about their membership.

Continue reading

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.
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 September 14.  Register for the Primer LE here. ***If you plan to register for the Essentials LE you must have completed the Primer LE***
Essentials LE - a three-session experience with recorded lectures, supplemental materials, and activities between three live processing sessions. The topics covered in the Essentials section are Congregational Foundations, System Theory, and Dimensions of Faith Development. The Essentials LE will run from September to December 2022. Completion of a prior Primer LE processing session is a prerequisite for participation. Register for the Essentials LE here. ***Participation for the Essentials LE is limited to the first 60 registrants. Registration will close on September 23 or when our participant limit has been reached.***
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 January to April 2023. Completion of the Essentials LE track is a prerequisite for participation. 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.
  • September 13 - ReUUp, with Nancy Combs-Morgan and Cameron Young. Conversations on re-opening for religious education programs.  Open to all religious professionals and lay leaders invested in religious education.  We will explore emerging trends and adaptive methods of addressing current needs in congregational religious education programming.
  • October 11 - Covenant, with Rev. Tyler Coles, Cameron Young, and Natalie Briscoe. As we begin to gather again in a post-isolation era, now is the perfect time to examine our covenants - the way we practice Unitarian Universalism together - and make new promises to each other about how we will be when we are finally together again. This practice of covenant will be rooted in our UU Theology and will help to build a trauma-informed congregation.
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):
  • September 15 - Governance/Board Basics, Part 1
  • October 20 - Governance/Board Basics Part 2
Learn more and register here.
infographic_taproot with fall 2022 datesTaproot: A National BIPOC Space
September 8, October 13, and November 10
The work of the spiritual community is complicated in the 21st century. From busy schedules to the ever pressing tension brought on by systemic injustice, the need for faithful leadership that is grounded and resilient is imperative. This is all the more true for leaders within our communities and congregations who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPoC). All too aware of this need, Congregational Life is excited to explore and co-create a network with congregational leaders that support them in this time in emergent ways through Taproot: A National BIPOC Space.
Learn more and register here.
screenshot of a youtube video on youth advisor orientationDRE Led Youth Ministry Volunteer Orientation
Gearing up for a coming year of youth ministry in your congregation? UUA Staff from Congregational Life and Lifespan Faith Engagement are proud to offer this four-part orientation for youth ministry adult volunteers. This course is a combination of video presentations featuring UUA staff and small group discussion often centering around case studies.
View an introductory video. Learn more and register on the UU Institute website!
Faithify - Crowdfunding for UU Projects!
Faithify is the best place for Unitarian Universalists to fundraise, whether you are a congregation, organization, or individual!
Share your story with UUs and likeminded people around the world who can help fund your project!
Campaigns on Faithify have an amazing 85% success rate.
Accept contributions, update backers, and receive funds with our safe and easy-to-use website created and staffed by your Unitarian Universalist Association.
Visit to learn about our expanded Keep-it-All funding mode categories, get resources for starting and running a crowdfunding campaign, and browse projects from UUs like you.
Faithify is crowdfunding you can trust to align with Unitarian Universalist values!
Current Faithify campaigns:
Climate Resilience through Disaster Response and Community Care - Webinar/Workshop Series
September 27, October 25, and November 15
Climate disasters impact our communities and Unitarian Universalists have been called upon to respond. Join a series of online workshops to help congregations identify climate risks, understand who is most at risk, and how your community will be impacted. Meet others doing similar work and help your congregation prepare to respond to climate disasters where you live. Register for these events:
infographic_climate resilience webinar series
clip art_graph/grid paper with words "to do list" at top and numbers 1-5 on the left and a pen in the lower right Leadership Updates Reminder for Congregations
Attention: Administrators, Presidents, and Ministers
As we begin the new church year, this is a friendly reminder to update your congregation’s leadership information in anytime there are changes to staff or lay-leadership in your congregation. This is the primary resource we (and your UUA) use to share important information with congregational leaders and staff. It is particularly important that you include email addresses for all your lay-leaders and staff. We need your help in keeping the information current and complete!
uua chalice logo with words "unitarian universalist association"UUA Volunteer Opportunity - Bylaws Renewal Team
The UUA Board of Trustees is looking for volunteers for the Bylaws Renewal Team. This team will lead the work in reimagining and rewriting the UUA Bylaws as called for the in the 2022 General Assembly Business Resolution: Renewing UUA Bylaws for Theologically Grounded and Mission-Focused Governance.
If you have an active interest in this work, we strongly encourage you to take a moment to read more about the Team and apply!
Southeast LREDA Gatherings
Calling all Religious Education Professionals! - The Southeast Chapter of the Liberal Religious Educators Association (LREDA) has several gatherings planned for colleagues this Fall. The mission of our chapter is to promote the religious growth and learning of people of all ages; support and encourage the growth of religious educators; and enhance the field of religious education within the Southern Region of the UUA. All members of SE LREDA must also be members of LREDA. To join SE LREDA, fill out this form. To join our Zoom gatherings, contact SE LREDA chapter president, Judith Farrall, or see our Facebook page. Here’s what’s coming up on the second Thursdays of the month:
  • September 8th at noon – Tips and Tricks for Surviving Thriving in the New School Year
  • October TBD – Gather with Your Southeast Colleagues while at Fall Con in Birmingham
  • November 10th at 7:00pm – Recapping Fall Con with guest host
  • December 8th at noon – Social Justice Work for Families
logo_owl-our whole lives programUpcoming OWL Facilitator Trainings

September 16-18, Spartanburg, SC
UU Church of Spartanburg is offering an in-person Elementary Level (K-1; 4-6) OWL training in Spartanburg, SC, September 16 - 18.   Registration fee is $375 for the weekend, which includes meals, materials for the weekend, and two great facilitators, Melissa McQueen-Simmons and Cedric Harmon.  Home hosting will be available, or arrangements on your own for other housing. Travel costs are also on your own. Registration is limited to 20. Register here.

September 16-18, Austin, TX
GET TRAINED TO TEACH OWL! In light of the recent Supreme Court ruling against Roe v. Wade, the Texas UU Justice Ministry (TXUUJM) especially wants to encourage congregations to host more OWL classes. TXUUJM and First UU Church of Austin are hosting an OWL facilitator training Sept. 16-18 in Austin (levels 7-9/10-12). Scholarships are available. Register for this OWL Facilitator Training here.
UUA Publications Update
Announcing the 2022–2023 UU Common Read
The 2022-23 UU Common Read is Mistakes and Miracles: Congregations on the Road to Multiculturalism by Nancy Palmer Jones and Karin Lin, published by Skinner House Books. The Common Read builds community in our congregations and our movement by giving diverse people a shared platform for reflection and a shared focus for action.
Read the complete September Publications Update to learn about the current UU Goodreads Book Club Pick, a new publication from Skinner House, and more!
infographic_text "September publications update" with stack of line drawn books on the right
the mountain logo in front of a photo containing mountains blue sky and cloudsUpdates from The Mountain
Adult Farm Camp, September 5-9  
Daily themes include plants, mushrooms, and animals. Theme-related learning activities will consist of talks, hands-on activities, and entertainment. The farm fully utilizes organic and regenerative agriculture practices. No prior farming or gardening experience is necessary for participation.
Farm Festival, September 10 
Featuring the Many Hands Peace Farm with poultry, shiitake patch, hoop house, food forest, garden, apiary, and mountain meadow. There will be farm tours, beekeeping workshop, and mushroom and wild plant walks. Additional offerings include live music featuring Nitrograss Bluegrass band, field games, face painting, apple cider press, giant bubbles, friction fire building, orienteering, and live animals.  Food and beverages will be available for sale.
Farm Manager Position at Many Hands Peace Farm
This is a year-round, full-time position with benefits. The farm includes poultry, hoop house, greenhouse, shiitake patch, food forest, garden, apiary, and mountain meadow. For more information, see
For more information about these events and more please visit The Mountain website or call 828.526.5838.
Events, Occasions, and Connection Opportunities
clipart_calendar pageUpcoming Events

September 5-9, The Mountain Adult Farm Camp, Highlands NC
September 10, The Mountain Farm Festival, Highlands NC
September 7, Welcoming Neurodivergent People: Skill Up
September 8, Taproot: A National BIPOC Space
September 8, Southeast LREDA Gathering
September 10, Unitarian Coastal Fellowship New Home Dedication, Morehead City NC
September 12, UUA Board of Trustees Meeting
September 13, UUA Board of Trustees Open House
September 13, Southern Region Toolbox Webinar
September 14, Southern Region Primer LE Processing Session
September 15, Southern Region Presidents’ Gathering
September 16-18, OWL Facilitator Training, Spartanburg SC
September 16-18, OWL Facilitator Training, Austin TX
September 27, Climate Resilience Webinar
October 1, UU Church of Stillwater OK 75th Anniversary Celebration
October 2, Installation of Rev. Tiffany A. Sapp, Holston Valley UU Church, Gray TN
October 9, Georgia Mountains UU Church Building Dedication, Dahlonega GA

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 October e-news
to no later than September 22nd.

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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