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October 2022 - In This Newsletter
  • Southern Region Blog & UUA Communications - Hurricane Season Update; Resourcing our Congregations in a New World, by Kathy McGowan; Keep Online Ministry Interactive, by Rev. Sarah Movius Schurr and Rev. Renee Ruchotzke
  • Southern Region Events - Leadership Experience Track for 2022-23; Toolbox Webinar Series 2022-23; Presidents' Gathering Series 2022-23 
  • News - General Assembly 2022 On-Demand Library Now Available; UUA Legacy Giving Webinar for Congregations; Climate Disaster Response Webinar Series; Family Ministry Training Renaissance Module; Taproot; Faith Forward Online UU History Series; Robert C. Palmer Lecture on Human Rights; Right Relationship Team Training; Lay-Led Congregation Convergence; Young Unitarian Universalist Project; UUMA/UUA Neurodiversity Skill Up Series; UUA International Office Updates; Fall events at UBarU Camp and Retreat Center; Grateful Gathering:  Gratitude and Resilience at 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 a beach and seawall with multiple palm trees blowing in the windHurricane Season Update

We are in the process of reaching out to congregations that may have been impacted by Hurricanes Ian and Fiona. If your area was affected by a recent hurricane, or any disaster, please know we are holding you in our thoughts and prayers. As you have time and capacity, please let us know how you are doing.

The UUA Disaster Relief Fund is available to Unitarian Universalist congregations and related organizations. The disaster relief fund can help congregations care for their buildings and the needs of their members, as well as provide support for their wider community partners, especially those who may not be eligible for other grant programs. 

Additionally, the UU Trauma Response Ministry may be able to provide care and resources to congregations affected by a natural disaster. 

Many of you are asking how you can help. At this time, the best way to help Unitarian Universalists and UU congregations recover from recent natural disasters is to contribute to the UUA's Disaster Relief Fund if you are in a position to do so.

Thank you for your care and concern.

Resourcing our Congregations in a New World

By Kathy McGowan
Many of our congregations are trying to figure out how to cope with fewer resources than they are used to when thinking about their upcoming programs and ministry. You are not alone. We are here to help and to walk with you on this journey.
While some congregations are used to not having much in the way of professional staff, this is a new experience for many this year. Natalie wrote about this challenging time last month in her New Year, New Challenges blog post. 
Even our traditionally lay-led congregations are facing challenges in this new environment. This is why your UUA staff are creating new opportunities for you to connect with one another and share your knowledge and creativity. If you are looking for resources and ideas, please sign up for our newly created Essentials for Lay-led Congregations.

Continue reading

graphic_uua brand thin colorful strip design element

Graphic with several screens showing individuals (with text balloons) interactingKeep Online Ministry Interactive

By Rev. Sarah Movius Schurr and Rev. Renee Ruchotzke
With widespread availability of Covid 19 vaccines, the world is beginning to open up. This year, most UU congregations are holding Sunday services in person. Many also have some kind of online worship component. Some offer a live Zoom service, others offer live streaming on platforms like Facebook or YouTube, and others offer pre-recorded worship services on their web pages. For those who have trouble attending in-person services, worship online has been vital, and continues to be an important part of their life.
Disability advocates remind us that multiplatform worship in real time, with the chance for some interaction, creates a meaningful experience for those participating online.
Interactive online worship, meetings, small group ministry, etc. allows members and friends to continue to be a part of the community, while not having to leave their home. This is not only helpful for those with disabilities, but members who don’t want to drive in bad weather, those who need to stay home to care for a loved one, those who just don’t like crowds, or those who have moved away.
Here are a few stories about how this kind of attendance has been important to UUs across the country.
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 February 8th.  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 October 2022 to January 2023. Completion of the Primer LE 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 October 21st 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. Please note: in order to proceed with this event we must have a minimum of 20 participants registered no later than December 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.
  • 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.
  • November 8 - Dismantling White Supremacy Culture Within the Congregation, with Cameron Young, Rev. Tyler Coles, and Natalie Briscoe. This webinar is an introduction to dismantling white supremacy culture in your congregation, including the theological basis for this work. Congregational, Regional, and National resources will be shared. 
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):
  • October 20 - Governance/Board Basics Part 2
  • November 17 - Non-Anxious and Adaptive Leadership
Learn more and register here.
uua ga logo artworkGeneral Assembly 2022 On-Demand Library Now Available
The 2022 General Assembly recordings library of over 80 workshops, worship services, and other events is now available to the public. Some recordings are no longer available due to copyright or agreements with the presenters. Access GA 2022 recordings here.
Plans for General Assembly 2023 (June 21-25, Pittsburgh, PA) are well underway! Check out recent news from the GA team here.
logo_uua chalice image with words "unitarian," "universalist," "association"UUA Legacy Giving Webinar for Congregations
October 15
The UUA’s Legacy Gifts Office offers a number of services, including an online workshop to assist congregations in creating legacy giving programs. This webinar, to be held via Zoom on Saturday, October 15, 2022, from 1 pm to 3 pm ET, covers the basics of legacy giving and how to set up a legacy giving program in your congregation. We aim to equip congregations with the knowledge they need to start a legacy program. To register for the 10/15/22 webinar, email us at or call (888) 792-5885 (select option 3).
Climate Disaster Response Webinar Series: Assessing Climate Impacts and Making Connections
October 25, and November 15
Climate disasters impact our communities - how can UUs be prepared? Join this series of workshops with activities to help you identify the climate risks, understand who is most at risk and how your community will be impacted. From there, make a plan to prepare for and respond to climate disasters in your neighborhood.
This workshop is part of a series.  All sessions are 90 minutes long and begin at 7pm ET/ 6pm CT/ 5pm MT/4pm PT.
infographic_climate resilience webinar series
infographic_family ministry training details with Stick figure people in diff color tops standing holding handsFamily Ministry Training Renaissance Module
October 26 - December 7
New England Region UUA is offering the Family Ministry Training Renaissance Module in an online format! Starting Wednesdays, October 26th to December 7th (skipping November 23rd) from 5:00pm-7:30pm EST / 2-4:30pm PT / 3-5:30pm MT/ 4-6:30pm CT.  This training will be led by Kathy Smith and Rev. Samaya Oakley. Registration is limited to 15 participants and the standard fee is $225. If the standard rate price is prohibitive, please take advantage of our community rates. If you are in a position to support others in this training, please add what you are able. Register and find more information here. The registration deadline is Tuesday October 11th.
infographic_taproot with fall 2022 datesTaproot: A National BIPOC Space
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.
Faith Forward Online UU History Series - Open to All
Tuesdays, October 11-November 15, 7:00pm-8:00pm CT on Zoom
infographic_uu history 101 from faith forward 
The Faith Forward program out of the First Unitarian Church of Dallas is excited to offer an online session of our UU History series for all congregations! This series is an incredible opportunity for all visitors, members, and friends to learn more about the rich and deep history of our faith. This series approaches history from the starting point of compelling stories and personalities; each session will focus on one or two people from our history. Participants explore the questions these people faced and make connections with their own lives and the world around them today. The overarching question is: how can history be translated into our religious life and practice?
Fee: Free for current Faith Forward congregation subscribers; $100 for non-subscriber congregations (no participant limit) or $25 per person.
For more information or to register, email Faith Forward Coordinator Marie Luna at
photo_Dr. Elías Ortega (centered)Robert C. Palmer Lecture on Human Rights
November 12, First UU Church of Nashville, TN
The First Unitarian Universalist Church of Nashville, TN (FUUN) will hold its annual Robert C. Palmer Lecture on Human Rights on November 12, 2022 at 7 PM CST in the church sanctuary and on Zoom as part of its year-long Widening the Circle of Concern program. The event is free and open to the public.
FUUN is honored that Dr. Elías Ortega will be delivering this year’s lecture, entitled “Dignity, Friendship, and Self-Regard: Human Rights and Universalist Ethics.” Dr. Elías Ortega is an interdisciplinary scholar working at the intersection of the sociological study of religion and religious ethics. His academic and community work is shaped by the aspiration that centering the lives of those most impacted by systems of oppression is necessary for liberation. It is Dr. Ortega’s belief that lifting the Universalist heritage can inspire us to do the necessary work to realize a better tomorrow. Currently, Dr. Ortega serves as President and Professor of Religion, Ethics, and Leadership at Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago, IL. He also served on the UUA Commission on Institutional Concern, which authored the Widening the Circle of Concern report.
The Palmer lecture was established by FUUN’s Board of Directors in 1983 to honor the legacy and service of the Rev. Robert Palmer, the church’s first called minister. Rev. Palmer was a social activist on many fronts, including the United Nations, nuclear disarmament, and the Civil Rights Movement. For more information, contact Cindy Wood at
photo_two hands holding sparklers in twilight with a heart-shaped filter around the sparksRight Relationship Team Training is Open!
Creating beloved community requires intention and practice. Our covenants articulate our intention, but how do we live into the practice? Right Relations Teams (RRT) are lay leaders entrusted to help the congregation practice faithful communication and creative conflict based on values of mutuality and consent. 
This training is for congregational teams who will be helping their congregations (or other covenantal communities) live into their covenants.
Your team can take the training on your own ($30/person), or you can take a facilitated version with other congregations and 6 live practice sessions ($400/team). Learn more about the facilitated RRT Training. (Payment must be received to reserve your spot.)
image of spice jars with labels - Worship, pastoral care leadership, families, staffingEssentials for Lay-Led Congregations
December 10
Is your congregation operating without a professionally-trained minister? Your UUA Congregational Life Staff is offering a program this Fall just for you: Essentials for Lay-Led Congregations. 
The program includes an email subscription to a newsletter (full of helpful tips, tools, training opportunities, and other resources), and admission to the December 10, 2022 Lay-Led Congregation Convergence. There you will get to connect with leaders from other lay-led congregations. Learn more and register today!
infographic_young uu projectYoung Unitarian Universalist Project
Have you heard of YUUP yet? The Young UU Project began in 2020 as a way for young UUs to keep in touch with each other and their faith during the pandemic, and is held by Lifespan Faith Engagement. The purpose of YUUP is to be a national community care network and multi-directional communication channel that centers BIPOC, trans/non-binary and neurodivergent youth and offers a transition zone for young people moving into emerging adulthood. 
Anyone (youth, caregivers, religious professionals, lay leaders, everyone!) can tap into the social ministry of YUUP by following them on Instagram @yuup.uua and signing up for the YUUP newsletter. YUUP also has a community sphere just for youth, those who bridged in 2022 and support adults. These “Third Monday Meetups” are where youth swap ideas they can take home to their local communities. In August they swapped Favorite Check In Questions. In September they swapped favorite youth group games, which will soon be released on Instagram and in the newsletter.
Adult readers - We need your help connecting youth to this community! Please point them to UUA.ORG/YUUP to connect at whatever their capacity is.
infographic_neurodivergence for religious professionalsUUMA/UUA Neurodiversity Skill Up Series
This series is jointly supported by the UU Ministers Association and your UUA staff. It is aimed at religious professionals but open to all. Religious educators can get credit for credentialing and UUMA members continuing education credit.
Next up in our series will be a panel presentation in November focusing on supporting neurodivergent children and youth. Joining us will be Katie Resendiz, Rev. Sierra-Marie Gerfao, April Rosario, and Meredith Plummer. Between them they have extensive experience across many kinds of neurodivergence and decades of experience with neurodivergent children and youth inside and outside UU congregations. Look for this the week of November 14th. We recommend having watched at least one of the first three sessions and read the recommended 101 document to get the most of this experience.
In October you can catch up on our first three events with Rev. Heather Petit, lay leader and professor Ramon SeLove, and religious educator Meredith Plummer. Start on our Welcoming Neurodivergent People: Skill Up Page for Heather’s presentation, for upcoming events, to subscribe to our announcement list, and to access the UUMA’s website where you can purchase the full presentations and Q&As for all of our events. Not all the events are posted yet but we will post them as we are able.
UU @ United Nations text block with UUA logoUUA International Office Updates
Post-Imperial Futures Conference
UUA's International Office and Meadville-Lombard Theological School are hosting multiplatform conference "Post-Imperial Futures: Addressing Legacy and Living Into Promise," October 6-8, 2022, with leading theologians and activists to equip ordained and lay leaders with the tools to educate their congregations and decolonize their ministries. Learn more and register today!
United Nations Sunday 2022-23
UN Sunday packet is here! Every year the UU Office at the United Nations buts together a packet for congregations to create their own UN Sunday. This year's theme is "Displacement & Human Rights: All In for Climate Justice." The packet includes quick background information, links to short videos, easy to use worship planning resources, plus one-session intro to UU@UN for each children and youth.
UBarU logo with a starry sky backgroundFall events at UBarU Camp and Retreat Center
Bioblitz, October 7-9
Women Aligned Retreat, October 14-16
Men Aligned Retreat, October 21-23
Winter Family Camp, December 16-19
Learn more about these events on UBarU's website. Rent a cottage for a personal or family retreat by emailing
the mountain logo with clouded blue sky and mountains in the backgroundGrateful Gathering:  Gratitude and Resilience at The Mountain
November 23 – 27 (Thanksgiving weekend), Highlands NC
Join us for a long weekend which includes acknowledging and celebrating the gratitude in our lives.  Even through challenging times, there is much to be grateful for, be it friendships, family, community, opportunities for learning, The Mountain, and many other things in our lives.  As we consider the gratitude for what we do have, this can help us be more resilient in working through challenges as well as opportunities.
We will be joined by a group of Maskoke peoples, leading workshops about Indigenous life and communities.  The program includes workshops, entertainment, hiking, building connections with old and new friends, worship service, and outdoor adventures.  The youth program includes activities related to gratitude and resilience, as well as nature-based explorations.
This is a great opportunity to invite family and friends to share time together when no one needs to host or be responsible for the Thanksgiving meal.  We will enjoy traditional and non-traditional Thanksgiving food, be immersed in nature, and make new discoveries about ourselves and our world.
Download a flyer to share with your congregation. Learn more and register.
Events, Occasions, and Connection Opportunities
clipart_calendar pageUpcoming Events

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
October 11, SR Toolbox Webinar
October 11, UUA Board of Trustees Open House
October 13, Taproot
October 15, UUA Legacy Giving Webinar
October 20, SR Presidents' Gathering
October 20-22, UUA Board of Trustees Meeting
October 25, Side with Love Climate Disaster Response-Mobilizing for Action Webinar

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 November e-news
to no later than October 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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