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November 2022 - In This Newsletter
  • Southern Region Blog - Support Moving Forward, by Natalie Briscoe
  • Southern Region Events - Primer and Breakthrough Leadership Experiences; Toolbox Webinar Series 2022-23; Presidents' Gathering Series 2022-23 
  • News - Article II Study Commission Draft Feedback Sessions; Southern Region Chalice Lighters Update; UU the Vote - Race to Election Day: Fall Flex for 4 Million!; UUA Health and Dental Plans Open Enrollment; Widening the Circle of Governance in Congregations: Sociocracy Webinar; Essentials for Lay-Led Congregations; UUA Common Read for 2022-23; Cornerstones of Effective Stewardship for Our Congregations Webinar Series; Robert C. Palmer Lecture on Human Rights; Climate Disaster Response Webinar Series; Taproot: A National BIPOC Space; UUMA/UUA Neurodiversity Skill Up Series; 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

photo_natalie briscoeSupport Moving Forward
By Natalie Briscoe
In my last blog post, I spoke about the two major challenges facing congregations as we move into this new church program year. In this blog post, I wanted to highlight some specific resources and programming for congregations facing these challenges. All of these resources are in addition to the resources your Congregational Life Staff already provides, including one-on-one church consults. As a reminder, you can request a phone call or a one-on-one consultation with Southern Region Staff by filling out the Partnership Activation Request at any time.
First, many congregations throughout the UUA are beginning a year without the level of professional staffing that they had planned or hoped for. If your congregation is in this position, I encourage you to participate in the Essentials for Lay Led Congregations program, a gathering of resources, networking, and partnerships across our UUA and led by Congregational Life staff nation-wide which Kathy McGowan wrote about in our October blog. This 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.

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
Essentials LE - this section is in process now. We plan to offer this again in fall 2023.
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.
  • 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. 
  • January 10 - Practicing Collaborative Ministry, with Kathy McGowan and Lillian Drab-Braddick. Collaborative 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 collaborative ministry in our congregations.
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):
  • November 17 - Non-Anxious and Adaptive Leadership
  • January 19 - Organizational Charts and Committees
Learn more and register here.
Article II Study Commission Draft Feedback Sessions
The Article II Study Commission is excited to share a full draft of Article II (PDF, 3 Pages) for feedback. The Study Commission's outreach team will be hosting Zoom feedback sessions in the first half of November, along with gathering feedback through a forthcoming online form for individual comments. To register for one of the eight Zoom sessions, visit:

colorful chalice lighter logoSouthern Region Chalice Lighters Update
We are now accepting applications for our annual Region-wide Chalice Lighter call. Does your congregation, cluster, or affiliated Unitarian Universalist organization have a new or ongoing outward facing justice project? If so, please consider applying for Chalice Lighter funding! Find the application here. Applications for this annual region-wide call will be accepted until November 30, 2022. (This is a firm deadline.)
Learn more about our Chalice Lighter program here. Sign up to be a Chalice Lighter here.
UU the Vote logoUU the Vote - Race to Election Day: Fall Flex for 4 Million!
Our Fall Flex for 4 Million leverages the power of our national, state, and local networks to #VoteLove and #DefeatHate in critical ballot measures and combat the voter suppression laws that have made it more difficult for people to vote. We’re hosting events across the country to engage and mobilize voters in key states. Together with our UU State Action Networks and frontline partners, we’re knocking on doors, hosting rallies, calling voters, and doing everything to reach 4 million voters before Election Day! Learn more and join UU the Vote!
UUA Office of Church Staff Finances logoUUA Health and Dental Plans Open Enrollment Opens November 15
The UUA Health and Dental Insurance Plans generally hold an Open Enrollment registration period throughout the month of November. This is an opportunity for the staff of UU congregations and participating employers to enroll in our health and dental plans, change their enrollment preferences, or terminate their participation.
For an assortment of reasons, the UUA Open Enrollment period is slightly delayed this year. It will begin November 15 and conclude no earlier than December 15.  All changes made during Open Enrollment are effective January 1, 2023. Health Insurance rates will be announced by November 1 and broadly communicated to all existing Plan participants and participating congregations/employers. Dental insurance rates will remain unchanged for 2023. Details will also be provided on how to enroll or change enrollment status.  
Widening the Circle of Governance in Congregations: Sociocracy Webinar
December 3
Congregations wanting to move to inclusive and engaged decision-making are exploring Sociocracy.  We will share an overview and some real-life examples, followed by Q&A and more resources. Sponsored by Congregational Life of the UUA and Sociocracy for All. Learn more and register here.
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!
UUA Common Read for 2022-23 – Mistakes and Miracles: Congregations on the Road to Multiculturalism
photo_display of multiple copies of "mistakes and miracles" book 
Ready in November: Mistakes & Miracles UU Common Read Discussion Guide. The UU Common Read for 2022-23 is Mistakes and Miracles: Congregations on the Road to Multiculturalism (Skinner House Books, 2019). The book’s co-authors Nancy Palmer Jones and Karin Lin—a white minister and a lay person of color—are working with Susan Dana Lawrence of the UUA’s Lifespan Faith Engagement team on a four-session Discussion Guide that will be available for congregations in November.
The introductory section of the Discussion Guide, “Using This Guide,” is available now. Please use the information here to prepare and launch your Common Read group. Beyond scheduling and promoting your group, you will want to put in place support for participants who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color or hold other often-marginalized identities. Facilitators will want to become familiar with facets of leading an online group that may be new.
If you are already reading Mistakes and Miracles now, you can prepare for your group discussions by considering the reflection questions that close out each chapter. Another suggested preparation for facilitators, as well as group participants, is to watch the recorded Zoom workshop, We Can Do This: Faith, Conflict and Antiracism (Vimeo, 56:00), from the UUA General Assembly 2020 on-demand video library. Co-authors Jones and Lin moderate a discussion based on Mistakes and Miracles with Unitarian Universalists Aisha Hauser, Jimmy Leung, Rev. Bill Sinkford, and Rev. Marta Valentín.
Mistakes and Miracles can be purchased from inSpirit: The UUA Book and Gift Shop. Discounts are available on orders of 10 or more books.
Skinner House is working on an audiobook edition of Mistakes and Miracles. If you would like to be notified when the audiobook edition is available, or if you need the book in another format, please email UUA Publications Director Mary Benard at
Save the Date - Cornerstones of Effective Stewardship for Our Congregations Webinar Series
January 24, January 31, and February 7 (all 7:00PM to 8:30 PM Eastern Time)
Join UUA Congregational Life and Stewardship for Us for this national webinar series in early 2023:
  • Part 1: January 24 - The Multiplatform Context. Now that a multiplatform world is here for good, how do we steward a multiple-form congregation? Who is part of our congregations? Let’s explore what stewardship could look like in a permanent multi-platform, in-person and online congregation. Share your stories and hear about how others are adapting for the future.
  • Part 2: January 31 - The Multicultural/Multiracial World. Has your congregation been exploring the 8th Principle, working on antiracism and multiculturalism? How do these efforts connect with stewardship practices? Come join us to explore values- and faith-aligned stewardship, widening the circle to promote multicultural engagement and equity-based systems. 
  • Part 3: February 7 - The Changing Multigenerational Demographics. Our congregations may comprise 3, 4, or 5 generations now, each with its own approach to spirituality, community, activism, money, and more. How can stewardship and generosity thrive and how will financial health best be supported as our congregations undergo generational shifts?  Let’s share strategic and creative ideas and experiences in sustaining communities of generosity and commitment.
 Registration information will be available soon. 
Robert C. Palmer Lecture on Human Rights
November 12, 7:00 PM Central Time
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 Change, 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, please visit FUUN's website.
Climate Disaster Response Webinar Series: Assessing Climate Impacts and Making Connections
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_taproot with fall 2022 datesTaproot: A National BIPOC Space
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.
UUMA/UUA Neurodiversity Skill Up Series
Join us Wednesday, November 16, 2022, 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm EST for a panel presentation and Q&A focusing on supporting neurodivergent children and youth. Learn with 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. We recommend having watched at least one of the first three sessions and read the recommended 101 document to get the most of out this experience. You can find all previously recorded sessions on the UUMA Store Front and you will receive the 101 document when you register for the November 16th viewing. It’s worth registering even if you can’t attend because you will be sent the video in advance, can submit questions to the panelists and will receive a recording of the Q&A. Subscribe to our announcement list to be notified of future events and resources. Visit the Neurodivergence Skill Up Series main page for more information.
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.
the mountain logo with clouded blue sky and mountains in the backgroundUpdates from The Mountain
Thanksgiving Program: Grateful Gathering, November 23 - 27
Invite family and friends to gather at The Mountain to share time together where no one needs to host or be responsible for the Thanksgiving meals.  We can enjoy connecting with old and new friends, be immersed in nature, and make new discoveries about ourselves and our world.
The youth program includes activities related to gratitude and resilience, as well as nature-based explorations.
Join us for this long weekend which includes workshops, entertainment, hiking, building connections, worship service, and outdoor adventures.  We will be joined by a group of Maskoke peoples, offering workshops about Indigenous life and communities.  We look forward to you being part of this Mountain experience! Learn more and register for The Mountain’s Grateful Gathering.
Songwriting Retreat, December 1 - 4
Friction Farm - Christine Stay and Aidan Quinn.
We will work on the art and craft of songwriting together. This small group can be tailored to your specific needs and wants.  Aidan and Christine can help focus your ideas about a song, assist in crafting music that supports your words, or guide you down a path of songwriting with prompts and ideas. Mentoring will be done one-on-one and in small groups. Learn more and register for Songwriting Retreat with Friction Farm.
Events, Occasions, and Connection Opportunities
clipart_calendar pageUpcoming Events

November 5, SR Essentials LE Processing Session
November 6, Ordination of Lauren Levwood
November 8, SR Toolbox Webinar, Dismantling White Supremacy Culture Within the Congregation
November 10, Taproot: A National BIPOC Space
November 12, Robert C. Palmer Lecture on Human Rights
November 14, UUA Board of Trustees Meeting
November 15, UUA Board of Trustees Open House
November 16, UUMA/UUA Neurodiversity Skill Up
November 15, Climate Disaster Response Webinar, Community Conversation
November 17, SR Presidents’ Gathering, Non-Anxious and Adaptive Leadership
November 23-27, Grateful Gathering Thanksgiving @ The Mountain

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 December e-news
to no later than November 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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