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September 2021 - In This Newsletter
  • Staff Blog & UUA Communications - Welcome to the 2021-2022 Congregational Year!, by Natalie Briscoe; What's Changed?, by Rev. Erin J. Walter; From the UUA President: Updated COVID Guidance for the Delta Variant; An Ingathering Greeting from UUA President Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray
  • Southern Region Events - Leadership Experience Primer; Toolbox Webinar Series; Presidents' Gathering Series
  • News - Appointments Committee of the UUA Board of Trustees; Youth Reboot Webinar Series; Gather, Inspire, Launch! Two-part Fall Social Witness Convening of the Commission on Social Witness; UUA Disaster Relief Fund; General Assembly 2022 – Theme Contest!; Update on the Accessibility & Inclusion Ministry (AIM) Program; From Social Class Ally to Accomplice & Partner Workshop; Faithify UU Crowdfunding; Is Your Congregation's Information Current?!; COMPASS: A Liberatory, Everyday Theology for Changing Times; Live Oak UU Church Accepting Grant Proposals; Resources for United Nations Sunday
  • Calendar Listing of Events, Occasions, and Connection Opportunities
Staff Blog and UUA Communications

photo of natalie briscoeWelcome to the 2021-2022 Congregational Year!
By Natalie Briscoe
The start-up to this congregational year seems more fraught than in previous years. It has felt impossible in recent months to set a course for our communities while so much is still uncertain. As we head into the new congregational year, your Southern Region staff promises to accompany you through these difficult times, hold you in empathy, and bring you hope when hope is hard to find.
We thought we would take this opportunity to remind you of a few things and to encourage you to consider some others:
Continue reading

photo of rev. erin j walterWhat's Changed?
By Rev. Erin J. Walter
PSA: Some of us have changed a lot during the COVID pandemic. A LOT. Many people change a lot even in a seemingly ordinary 17 months. Some of us are looking to "return to normal" while others are longing for a fresh start altogether, or something in between. We may be tired of craning our necks looking back.  (How about you?)
As we engage with people now, perhaps let's treat even the ones we think we know with curiosity and wonder, rather than assumptions of who or how they are.
Continue reading

From the UUA President: Updated COVID Guidance for the Delta Variant, August 20, 2021
Dear leaders and colleagues,
I send you all so much love and care as you are in the thick of planning and even re-evaluating plans for your multi-platform programs for the fall. Like many of you, I have been digging into the data, consulting with public health advisors, and welcoming my own grief that we are not further along in combating this virus.
I’ve also been inspired by the creative things Unitarian Universalists are doing to spiritually nourish your communities, minister to children and families, practice inclusion, and help people connect meaningfully and safely. Exciting plans for all-outdoor religious education programs, pop-up outdoor Sunday gatherings, outdoor rituals to mark ingathering, and multiple ways for people to connect in-person and online for worship, meditation and spiritual practice—are just a few. In the midst of all the difficult news in our world, our role as religious communities to nurture joy and resilience and tend to the spiritual well-being of our families and communities is vital.
Continue reading

An Ingathering Greeting from UUA President Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray
In her #Ingathering video message for the 2021 Unitarian Universalist congregational new year, UUA President Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray reminds us that we are not alone. We are all held by unseen but real threads of compassion and care from the interdependent web that surrounds us.
Please share this video in your congregational or community multi-platform worship and other gatherings this fall. And if you are eligible, please get vaccinated! It is the best way to keep us all safe as the COVID virus evolves.

image of ingathering video

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 Primer: A NEW Introductory Series for Emerging Congregational Leaders
infographic_sr leadership experience primerNovember 3 or November 6 (Virtual)
Participants will emerge from this experience equipped with the foundational knowledge needed for congregational leadership. This series focuses on Unitarian Universalist History, Polity, and Theology. This event includes both self-paced video learning and a live, online, group processing session (you choose the live date that works best for you). The cost is $35 per person.

Completing the Leadership Experience (LE) Primer is one option for meeting the required prerequisites for our upcoming LE Essentials, Immersive LE (SUULE), and LE Breakthrough events. (Learn more about Southern Region's complete range of Leadership Development programing here.)

Watch an introductory video here. Register today!
Toolbox Webinar Series 2021-2022
Toolbox Webinars are compact and efficient one-time training sessions that support congregations and congregational leadership. Toolbox Webinars are offered live, monthly, on the second Tuesday beginnng in August (with occasional fourth Tuesday sessions), and last up to 90 minutes. Learn more and register here.
  • September 14: Religious Education Volunteer Training - with Cameron Young and Nancy Combs-Morgan. This webinar will directly support your congregation’s own training for your Religious Education Volunteers. Created with both volunteers and Religious Educators in mind, this basic RE training will give the basics for the most important role in the congregation: the guides, mentors, and teachers for our youngest community members. 
  • September 28: Youth Advisor Training - with Cameron Young and Nancy Combs-Morgan. This webinar will directly support your congregation’s own training for your Youth Advisors. Created with both volunteer youth advisors and Religious Educators in mind, this basic Advisor training will give the basics for those in the critical role of supporting Youth ages 14-18.
Presidents' Gathering Series 2021-2022

Southern Region's 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 runs from September through May (with a break in December).

Cost per congregational team:
  • Complementary for APF Honor Congregations (for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021)
  • $100 for congregations that were not APF Honor in 2020-2021
Upcoming sessions and topics (Third Wednesdays at 7:00 PM ET or the following Thursdays at 12:00 PM ET):
  • September 15 & 16, Covenant
  • October 20 & 21, Governance
Learn more and register here

image - uua logoAppointments Committee of the UUA Board of Trustees
Do you have a calling for UU Leadership? Are you invested in the service and ministry of other UUs? We're looking for those who would like to serve on the Appointments Committee of our Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). Application deadline September 20, 2021
The Appointments Committee recruits and recommends candidates for board-appointed committees as well as board appointments to elected committees. In accordance with Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Board policy, the Appointments Committee is expected to recommend individuals so that the membership of committees and task forces reflects the full diversity of the Association, especially in regard to historically marginalized communities, but also balancing amongst size of congregation, lay and ordained, geography, age (including youth and young adults), and gender, among others.
Visit the Appointments Committee of the UUA Board of Trustees Facebook Page to learn more. Submit your interest by completing an application form available here

image - youth reboot webinar seriesYouth Reboot Webinar Series
October 6 and October 16
This is a team-learning centered program to start, restart, or reboot your congregation’s youth ministry. Each congregation’s youth ministry is unique and youth around the country have similar needs, including: trauma informed formal and informal pastoral care, age specific and all ages community building, and opportunities for spiritual growth and justice making. This two-part event will provide UUA staff expertise, opportunities to share ideas with other congregations, and time to work as a congregational team. Learn more and register today!
Gather, Inspire, Launch! Two-part Fall Social Witness Convening of the Commission on Social Witness
October 6 and October 13
At the UUA General Assembly this past June, the delegates voted to affirm three bold statements for healing action. The delegates also adopted a formal UUA Statement of Conscience on Undoing Systemic White Supremacy. Join these two meetings to find out what UU leaders around the country are doing, what you can do, and who you can partner with to carry forward these bold actions full of inspiring possibilities.
Gather, inspire, and launch your social witness action! The Commission on Social Witness invites you to the Fall Social Witness Convening in two parts. Attend both sessions to find out about all the statements and actions!
All UUs are invited to these meetings, and no prior experience or knowledge is necessary. You may review the statements in advance if you are able. The statements are linked above. The meeting will take place via Zoom. Zoom accessibility features are outlined here. In addition, the meeting will include minimal optional breakouts in order to promote meeting usability for all.
Learn more and register for one or both sessions here.

image - infographic for uua fall social witness convening
UUA Disaster Relief Fund
The most vulnerable populations recover last in a disaster. Disaster relief grants to UU congregations and organizations not only help Unitarian Universalists, these grants can also support on-the-ground relief efforts through partnerships that meet the needs of under-served communities.
In this season of wildfires, floods, and hurricanes, your UUA is ready to aid congregations and help communities recover in the aftermath of disasters, but your support is needed to ensure this important ministry is robust and ready.
Donate to the UUA Disaster Relief Fund here. Learn more about the UUA Disaster Relief Fund, including how congregations may apply, here.

image - infographic uua disaster relief fund
General Assembly 2022 – Theme Contest!
We are excited to announce an opportunity for you to win a complimentary virtual registration to the 2022 General Assembly!
  • Create a captivating theme and explain it. We are especially interested in themes that bridge theology, covenant, and reconnecting.
  • Suggest up to two areas of focus for GA.
  • Submit your entry by September 13. The winner will be announced in early October.
Enter today!

image - infographic uua ga theme contest
Update on the Accessibility & Inclusion Ministry (AIM) Program
image - accessibility and inclusion ministry program logo 
Nothing could have prepared the world for the upheaval we would all face in 2020. We learned how fragile life can be, especially for those who are most vulnerable. It has become abundantly clear that every voice matters and needs to be heard.
EqUUal Access helps to amplify the voices of people with disabilities in UU congregations. We are presently working out how best to carry this mission forward, including with our signature program, Accessibility and Inclusion Ministry (AIM).
Continue reading
From Social Class Ally to Accomplice & Partner Workshop
September 25
You can become an ally in challenging injustice, white supremacy, and inequality ‒ all while building our beloved faith community.
In this 90-minute fast-moving and highly interactive online workshop, you will discover how social class and classism have shaped our lives, our beloved faith community, and the organizations we are part of. With this knowledge and through the lens of Unitarian Universalism, you will learn how individually and collectively we can become class and race allies, accomplices, and partners to eliminate barriers to a just and equitable society.
This virtual workshop is presented by UU Class Conversations. Register today!

image - uu class conversations logo
Faithify UU Crowdfunding
Faithify is your partner to connection with global UU projects! Are you a #UU Congregation, UU Organization, or UU individual in relationship with a UU congregation/organization? Raise money for your next project on, the #Unitarian #Universalist crowdfunding platform!
Congratulations to First Universalist Church of Camp Hill and Samara Powers for their recently completed successful Faithify campaigns!

image - faithify uu crowdfunding decision tree
image: To Do List_Pixabay image_by Alexas FotosIs Your Congregation's Information Current?!
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. Please help your UUA and Southern Region staff team stay in touch with you by keeping this information up-to-date and by reporting complete and accurate contact information for your leaders and staff (including email addresses!).
After you've updated, take a look at your website and see if any updates are needed there!
COMPASS: A Liberatory, Everyday Theology for Changing Times

December 11 & 12, Virtual
What is Compass?
It’s an online national event
It’s an online regional gathering
It’s a time to learn together - worship together - share our wisdom
It’s a time to be with other congregational leaders on the journey towards our shared future.
More information to come….

image_Live Oak UU Church logoLive Oak UU Church Accepting Grant Proposals
Live Oak UU Church is accepting endowment grant applications from June 1 to September 30. The congregation’s endowment was created with the mission of supporting grants that support UU values through congregational growth, as well as social and environmental action initiatives. Learn more, including how to apply, here.

Updates from Unitarian Universalist Office at the United Nations
image - uu at un united nations sunday infographic 
Resources for United Nations Sunday: October 24, 2021
A collection of resources is available online to help congregations plan a worship service and activities surrounding United Nations Day this October 24 on the theme “All In for Climate Justice: Food Equity and Sustainability.” You can also celebrate UN Sunday any other time! Resources in the collection include detailed information about the theme and its connection to Unitarian Universalism, actions congregations can take for climate & food justice, a sample order of service, and more. UN Sunday is a beautiful opportunity to celebrate our world community and links between Unitarian Universalism and the United Nations. Learn more from the UUA Office at the UN and check out the UN Sunday materials online now at

Events, Occasions, and Connection Opportunities
Upcoming Events 

September 9, YARN Vespers Service
September 13, UUA Board of Trustees Meeting
September 14, SR Toolbox Webinar
September 15, SR Presidents' Gathering
September 16, SR Presidents' Gathering
September 19, YARN 3rd Sunday Worship
September 25, From Social Class Ally to Accomplice & Partner Workshop
September 28, SR Toolbox Webinar

Stay up to date on all currently scheduled events by visiting our 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,, 512-296-5396
Kathy Charles, Events Coordinator,, 617-948-4293
Rev. Tyler Coles,, 804-592-1159
Nancy Combs-Morgan,, 859-494-2424
Jessica Curren, Administrator,, 407-894-2119
Lillian Drab-Braddick,, 617-948-4368
Rev. Nathan Hollister,, 919-923-3398
Kathy McGowan,, 617-948-4295
Cameron Young,, 972-383-9197

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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