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December 2021 - In This Newsletter
  • Staff Blog & UUA Communications - Guest Blog posts Rev. Jami Yandle and Rev. Kristin Grassel Schmidt 
  • Southern Region Events - Essentials Leadership Experience, Toolbox Webinar Series; Presidents' Gathering Series; The Point 2022
  • News - COMPASS: Navigating the Paths to Liberation Together; UUA Common Read 2021-22;  Faithify Updates; JUUst Breathe Live; Taproot: A National BIPOC Space; UUA Board of Trustees Meetings and Monthly Open House Events; UUA General Assembly
  • Calendar Listing of Events, Occasions, and Connection Opportunities
Staff Blog & UUA Communications

Guest Blog
Rev. Jami Yandle

I Hate This Couch
It’s rounding the second year of living with COVID as a healthcare chaplain, and I’ve been on the front lines nearly the entire time. I’ve sat with so many people as they died, partly because that’s my job and partly because I wanted to be present when COVID prevented their loved ones from being with them.  I’ve seen a lot of gruesome moments, and I have had to endure many injustices fighting a capitalist, racist, and unjust healthcare system in the process.

Continue reading

Guest Blog
Rev. Kristin Grassel Schmidt

Early Christmas Cards

My seminary, in an effort to get out ahead of the USPS delays, sent out Christmas cards to alums. You wouldn't believe some of the blowback they've received from people upset that - of all things - they received a Christmas card too early. Can you believe that? I know an awful lot of people in an awful lot of businesses and organizations who are working so hard, giving so much time and energy and effort, and likewise finding that no good deed goes unpunished.

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.
Essentials Leadership Experiencelogo - sr essentials leadership experience
November 2021 - February 2022

The Southern Region Essentials Leadership Experience (Essentials LE) is an online experience with self-paced lectures and supplemental materials and includes live processing sessions. This series spans from November through February, with three live sessions in December, January, and February. The topics for the three sessions are Congregational Foundations, Faith Development, and System Theory. The cost is $75 per person. Please note: there are prerequisites for participating in this event. Additionally, we ask that at least one other person from your congregation participate in this event with you. Your registration certifies that you have or will meet these requirements. 

Download the Essentials LE Handbook to learn more. Register here.
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 beginning in August (with occasional fourth Tuesday sessions), and last up to 90 minutes. Learn more and register here.
  • No Toolbox Webinar for December
  • January 11: Shared Ministry - With Southern Region Staff Members Lillian Drab-Braddick and Rev. Tyler Coles. Shared 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 shared ministry in our congregations.
  • February 8 - Leadership Resources and Paths -  with Southern Region Staff Members Natalie Briscoe, SR lead and Rev. Nathan Hollister. This toolbox webinar will assist you in creating your own leadership development path, including methods of recruitment, content for leadership training, and recognition of volunteer leaders.    
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). Please note we have dropped the Thursday day time session of this series due to very low participation.

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)
  • No Session for December
  • January 19. Shared Ministry
  • February 16, Leadership Development 
Learn more and register here
The Point 2022                      


July 24-29, 2022  SAVE THE DATE

The Point is a customizable Unitarian Universalist retreat for all ages.
We're BACK. Join us when we return to Lake Murray to assemble as The Point community. We look forward to seeing you this summer.

Registration opens soon. 
COMPASS: Navigating the Paths to Liberation Together
December 11 & 12, Virtual

Compass: Navigating the Paths to Liberation Together is a multi-day virtual gathering on December 11-12, 2021. Come, as member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association reflect on the theme of “interdependence” and how it guides us in our individual and communal lives. The weekend will include invigorating worship, special musical guests, and thought-provoking presentations and much more.

Registration is now open. We hope you will join us! Learn more about Compass and register here.

infographic_uua compass event december 11 & 12 2021
photo_book cover_Defund FearA Second Slice of Pi: An Online Conference for Smaller Congregations
Remember Pi Day, March 14, 2020 (3.14) when we were going to have synchronized conferences across the country for smaller congregations? There was going to be a theme of pie for everyone and lots of connecting? And...the pandemic happened instead?
Join us online at the UU Leadership Institute (UULI) on Saturday, March 12th, 2022 from 3 to 5 pm ET for A Second Slice - an updated, pandemic safe conference for smaller congregations! What will be doing? Easy on demand resources for small congregations, opportunities to connect with leaders of other small congregations, and a chance to share your story.
Has your small (<120 members) congregation done something interesting lately? A new partnership? A unique social justice project? A new way of connecting you members? Would you like to share your success with others? A Second Slice of Pi is looking for stories to share with participants at the conference via a short video (we can help!). Contact your regional staff to let them know you’re interested or submit your idea with this form. Deadline for material submissions is February 1.
Faithify Updates
Birmingham Unitarian Church in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
The Birmingham Congregation suffered much damage from flooding to their lower level in the church.
No Child Goes Hungry

Families across the nation continue to face exacerbated hunger levels due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and they are approaching another holiday season with empty plates and worried minds.

Sanctuary Boston
Investing in music and hybrid tech for more vibrant and accessible worship on multiple platforms.

MUUSJA , Minnesota UU Social Justice Alliance,
Has pledged a matching grant of $7,500 to support our 2022 “Wider Circles” initiative.

Faithify is a crowdfunding site where passionate people inspire, unite, and fund Unitarian Universalist ministries. Check out all the current Faithify campaigns here and watch for an updated Faithify platform in mid-January 2022!
JUUst Breathe Live
December 12th

JUUst Breathe Live is a YouTube live stream where youth ministry has a say! Hosts Shannon Harper and Eric Bliss interview youth and adult guests who hold a vision of liberal religious youth ministry that is both lifesaving and spirit lifting.
Come join us on December 12th, via the chat for real time conversations where your ideas matter and your questions get answered. Explore faith, spirituality, and life purpose as never before. And above all, bring your authentic self and... JUUst Breathe. (Be sure to click "Subscribe" on the JUUst Breathe Live YouTube channel for all the details on future JUUst Breathe Live episodes.)

infographic - text "taproot a national bipoc space," image of tree roots, and uua logoTaproot: A National BIPOC Space
December 9
The work of spiritual community is complicated in the 21st century. 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. BIPoC Leaders rooted in the Unitarian Universalist congregations are invited to take part in this monthly, virtual gathering. Learn more and register here.

uua logo, with text "unitarian universalist association"UUA Board of Trustees - Meetings and Monthly Open Houses
Connect with your UUA Board of Trustees, and the leaders from around our Association who serve as Trustees, to discuss issues and topics of importance across our Association. Upcoming open houses:
  • December 14
  • January 11
Pre-registration is required. Register to attend Board open houses here.
You are also invited to join the Board, as it meets monthly, to discuss and make decisions about all facets of Unitarian Universalism. Upcoming meetings:
  • December 13
  • January 21 and 22
Registration information for Board meetings is available here prior to each Board meeting.
Human Rights Day in December: Resources for Reflection

The UUA’s International Office has created a resource for congregations to reflect on cross-cultural engagement and the role of identity in organizing for justice. The resource includes stories from our work with justice partners in India, provoking congregants to reflect on themes like identity and privilege, trust, cultural difference, relationship-building, and human rights. This guide for a 75-minute online discussion would work well as an Adult Religious Education program or even an opportunity for a congregation’s Religious Education program to partner with their Social Justice leaders to hold a reflective and inspiring online discussion. Human Rights Day is coming up on December 10! This month presents a great opportunity to hold such a conversation in your congregation.

General Assembly 2022
Portland, Oregon

General Assembly 2022! In 2022, we will have the option of meeting online or in-person! For those who enjoyed the convenience and accessibility of remote participation, General Assembly will continue to offer a virtual experience with robust programming and enhanced delegate discussion tools. For those who miss the in-person experience, GA 2022 offers opportunities to re-connect with friends old and new, local site attractions, and more! Join us June 22 - 26, 2022 online or in-person in Portland, Oregon. Program Proposals are being accepted through January 14. In Person Registration is now open. Find out about all the plans at the UUA 
Events, Occasions, and Connection Opportunities

December 4, SR Essentials LE Processing Session
December 9, Taproot: A National BIPOC Space
December 11-12, COMPASS: Navigating the Paths to Liberation Together
December 12, JUUst Breathe Live
December 13, UUA Board of Trustees Meeting
December 14, UUA Board of Trustees Open House
January 11, SR Toolbox Webinar
January 19, SR Presidents' Gathering
March 12, Pi Day
June 22-26. 2022 General Assembly - Portland, Oregon
July 24-29, The Point 2022 SAVE THE DATE
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, currently on sabbatical
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 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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