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June 2021 - In This Newsletter
  • Staff Blog and UUA Communications - Board Succession by Natalie Briscoe; Hope for Us by Rev. Tandi Rogers and Connie Goodbread; Thoughts About Inclusion Before Reopening by CB Beal; In Case You Missed It - From the UUA President: Savoring Simplicity and Guidance for Singing Together as COVID-19 Subsides
  • Southern Region Events - The Point 2021; Leadership Experience Primer
  • News - When the Congregation IS the Youth Group Webinar; Live Oak UU Church Accepting Grant Proposals; Transitional Religious Leadership; Congratulations and Celebrations; UUA Board of Trustees Open House Events; UU Faith Lab for High School Aged UUs; Help Send Justice Leaders on a Silent Retreat to Restore Their Spirits; UU Congregations All in for Climate and Food Justice; UU World Survey Request; Support COVID-19 Response in India; General Assembly Updates
  • Calendar Listing of Events, Occasions, and Connection Opportunities
Staff Blog and UUA Communications

photo of natalie briscoeBoard Succession: Preparing New Leaders for Success
By Natalie Briscoe
The majority of congregational boards turn over in the late spring/early summer months. You may be planning board retreats and leadership training for your incoming board members at this time. One of the most important responsibilities of a Board Member - and especially a Board President - is succession planning. How can we lovingly and freely give the lessons we learned, the knowledge we gained, and the relationships we built to new board members to ensure their success? How can we make board succession a part of leadership development, so that all new leaders feel supported and prepared?
There are three areas that deserve attention when thinking about board succession: Relationships, Governance, and Administration.
Continue reading

Hope for Us: Conflict Engagement Team
By Rev. Tandi Rogers and Connie Goodbread
As of May 1, 2021, Hope for Us: Conflict Engagement Team has been working together to develop teams and processes to help Congregational Life Staff serve congregations in conflict. This process of formation will, of course, take time. We are off to a great start.
Hope for Us: Conflict Engagement Team is the culmination of many things:
  • the vision of the late Rev. Dr. Hope Johnson
  • years of training in different processes for conflict management and restorative practices
  • developing and practicing a variety of district and regional models for conflict engagement
  • the iterative process of comparing and improving those practices
  • this time of change and opportunity
  • the maturational growth of Unitarian Universalism
 Continue reading

Thoughts About Inclusion Before Reopening: So close we can taste it
By CB Beal
Hello good people!
Beloved lay people in congregations who are desperate to be back together again, I feel you. I miss people so much! The CDC threw us a curveball this week. It has led to some misunderstanding and pressure to pivot suddenly and immediately. And we are not ready yet. We still need to be careful and thoughtful about how the entire system can readjust toward opening.
Why can’t we pivot back as quickly as we did when we closed our buildings and went virtual?
At least three reasons: uncertainty about whether we are all safe, the toll on our staff, the risks to the vulnerable in our congregations.
Continue reading

In Case You Missed It

From the UUA President: Savoring Simplicity

Guidance for Singing Together as COVID-19 Subsides
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.
image-The Point logoThe Point 2021
July 23-25, virtual

What is The Point?

This year, the year of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are going to do something different. We love each other and we miss each other so let’s get together virtually and connect in a new way.
We’ll play and learn and dream of a future when we can be together again. Let’s not wait any longer to connect!
We hope you can join us on ZOOM, July 23-25!
Learn more and register here.
Leadership Experience Primer: A NEW Introductory Series for Congregational Leaders
September 11, October 2, and November 6 (multiple sessions, all virtual)
Participants will emerge from this experience equipped with the foundational knowledge needed for congregational leadership. The series presents an overview of the prerequisites for the advanced Extended Leadership Experience (ExLE), with a focus on History, Polity and Theology.
Watch an introductory video here. Register today!
info graphic - when the congregation is the youth group webinarBack by Popular Demand! Pop Up 4th Webinar for Smaller Congregations
June 3, 7:00 pm EDT
When the Congregation IS the Youth Group: How to bring the culture of youth and emerging adult ministry to multigenerational communities. Join Shannon Harper and Jennica Davis-Hockett, UUA Youth and Emerging Adult Ministry Specialists, as we explore relationship-centered community building for all ages in small congregations. A great second part to the Sharing Youth in Smaller Congregations webinar from April! Details and registration information available here.
Live 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.
Proposals are being solicited from UU congregations, UU community organizations, and their affiliated groups. Start-up groups can apply through a sponsoring UU church. This means you do not have to be a UU group to apply but you do need the support of a UU church to submit your application. We accept grant requests from any geographic location.
Grants are not awarded for the following purposes: debt reduction, bridge financing, and matching funds for other grants.
Learn more, including how to apply, here.
Transitional Religious Leadership: Theory and Practice
The Guild of Interim Religious Educators now offers a training program focusing on congregational transitions for professional staff serving in religious leadership roles. This program provides you with the tools you and your team need while serving a congregation experiencing a transition. And when you want to imbue your work in the congregation with fresh perspectives, this program will provide you with the skills you need to re-imagine a bright future in your church!
Learn more and register today. Questions? Please send an email to
image of flowersCongratulations and Celebrations!

Congratulations to Reverend Holly Brown, recently ordained by Piedmont UU Church, Charlotte, NC!
Congratulations to Reverend Byron Tyler Coles, recently ordained by Mount Vernon Unitarian Church (Alexandria, VA) and UU Church of Roanoke, VA!
Congratulations to Reverend Randy Partain, recently ordained by Tapestry UU Church of Houston, TX!
infographic uua board of trustees eventUUA Board of Trustees
Open House Events

Co-Moderators Meg Riley and Charles Du Mond invite you to come and check in with the UUA Board of Trustees at its upcoming Zoom Open House.
Open house dates and times:
  • Tuesday, June 8, 2021; 4pm Pacific/5pm Mountain/6pm Central/7pm Eastern; Register here

An image comprised of splashes of watercolor, overlaid with text and an astrological mapUU Faith Lab for High School Aged Unitarian Universalists
UU Faith Lab is a chance for UU youth to explore spiritual leadership from wherever they are, and experiment with mystery and wonder in their own context. The FaithLab community will gather just after the summer solstice, meet monthly around the full moons, and reunite on the fall equinox. Small groups will gather in between to delve more deeply into community care. Learn more, request information, and register here.


Help Send Justice Leaders on a Silent Retreat to Restore Their Spirits
image - faithify logo 
This past year has been traumatic for so many people, in so many different ways. But it has been especially challenging for UU Justice Leaders – seminarians, clergy, and lay leaders in congregations and community. These leaders are called to be on the front lines of movements towards justice, challenging us to be agents for change, strategizing in the face of opposition, and comforting those affected by trauma.
This is an opportunity to offer a healing experience for those standing at the forefront of our UU justice efforts. Your contributions will help provide full or reduced tuition at SpiritRest Silent Retreat.
Learn more, including how to contribute, here!

UU Congregations All In for Climate and Food Justice
The UUA Office at the UN invites congregations to dedicate one worship service each year to addressing the work of the United Nations, our UU connections to global justice work, and the yearly theme. The 2021-2022 UN Sunday theme is “All In for Climate Justice: Food Equity and Sustainability.” Save the date now for United Nations Sunday at your congregation: The recommended date is United Nations Day which falls on Sunday, October 24, 2021. UN Sunday can be held any time. Reach out to the UU@UN ( if you’d like to coordinate a virtual guest speaker. A collection of worship-planning resources is under development and will be available this summer, also including an action toolkit! UN Sunday resources will be online at 

Begin engaging with this topic: Join the Group called “All In for Climate Justice: Food Equity and Sustainability” in the Create Climate Justice network to begin connecting with others who are passionate about climate and food justice, and share about events and opportunities. Check out resources and more from the UU@UN!

infographic - uu united nations sunday 2021

infographic - please take a uu world surveyUU World Survey Request
Please take a survey for UU World! The Spring 2021 issue of UU World magazine with the theme "(Re)Building Democracy" incorporated a variety of changes in editorial focus and design. The staff of the magazine want to hear your feedback so they can keep improving the magazine. Please complete a quick 20-question survey and let them know your thoughts (your answers will be anonymous).

Support COVID-19 Response in India
The UU Holdeen India Program’s partners have been working around the clock during the COVID-19 crisis. A second surge of infections since April 2021 has led to severe shortages in oxygen, medical supplies, and hospital beds. The raging virus has not spared any part of the country – small towns, villages, and big cities have all been hit hard. The road to recovery will be long and challenging. HIP's partners across the country are working closely with the authorities to ensure relief reaches all those in need. If your congregation is planning to take up a special collection to support crisis relief in India, please consider the Holdeen Fund as a beneficiary. Donations to UUHIP can be made online or by texting HOLDEEN to 51555. Contact if you’d like more information or a short video to introduce the special collection.
infographic - support covid-19 relief efforts in inda

image - uua ga 2021 logoUUA Virtual General Assembly 2021
June 23-27

Youth Invited to Join Synergy Bridging Worship Service at GA
infographic - synergy bridging worship at ga2021The Synergy Bridging Worship during General Assembly that honors and celebrates our youth transitioning to young adulthood (UUs call them bridgers) is free and open to the public. Even those bridgers who are not registered for General Assembly can be honored and their friends and family can attend the livestream. It’s happening Friday, June 25th at 7:00 pm ET.
To be honored at Synergy, bridgers can submit a photo, short video, or just their name and congregation which will be featured in the worship service. Deadline for submissions is June 7th. Each bridger will receive a commemorative engraved chalice flame necklace.
Find more information and the bridger sign up form at the Synergy Service webpage.  Questions can be directed to Jennica Davis-Hockett at

Prepare for GA by Joining a UUA Board Webinar
The UUA Board invites you to register for new webinars. What to Expect at GA 2021 will be offered multiple times, with an additional session providing an in-depth look at the Rules of Procedure. Each webinar will last 75 minutes and advance registration is required. Webinars will be recorded and posted on for on-demand viewing.
Register for General Assembly today! Stay up to date on all General Assembly information by visiting the GA website!
Events, Occasions, and Connection Opportunities
Upcoming Events 
Online Events & Webinars

June 2, What to Expect at GA 2021 webinar
June 3, When the Congregation IS the Youth Group webinar
June 8, Southern Region General Assembly webinar (invitation sent to Southern Region GA registrants as of <fill in date>)
June 8, UUA Board of Trustees Open House
June 10, What to Expect at GA 2021 webinar
June 12, In-Depth Look at the Rules of Procedure webinar
June 23-27, General Assembly

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. 

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