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February 2022 - In This Newsletter
  • Staff and Guest Blog Posts - How Do We Keep Peace in Our Soul? by Kathy McGowanBrave(r) Spaces by Rev. Megan Lloyd Joiner
  • Southern Region Events - Breakthrough Leadership Experience, Primer Leadership Experience; Toolbox Webinars; Presidents' Gathering; The Point 2022
  • News - Shift in COVID-19 Prevention Strategies from the UUA; Southwest LREDA Mid-Winter Gathering; Taproot: A National BIPOC Space; A Second Slice of Pi; Skinner House Books – Enhanced Digital Formats of Children’s Books; Getting Involved with the Article II Study; From Reactivity to Resilience: Doing Our Inner Work in Congregations; UU Institute Is Expanding!; 30 Days of Love 2022; Legacy Giving in UU Congregations Webinar; New Digital Pamphlet Packages; Live Oak UU Church Accepting Grant Proposals; Chalice Lighters Update; Faithify Updates; Ministry WITH Emerging Adults Webinar; Congregations: Host a Local Gathering for April Climate Justice Seminar!; UUA Board of Trustees - Meetings and Monthly Open Houses; and General Assembly Updates
  • Calendar Listing of Events, Occasions, and Connection Opportunities
Guest Blog

photo_Kathy McGowanHow Do We Keep Peace in Our Soul?
By Kathy McGowan

“Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here… And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.” (Max Ehrmann, 1872 – 1945)

At the end of September I went on sabbatical. It was weird to be on sabbatical in the time of COVID sprinkled with the Omicron variant in time for the holidays. Despite COVID, I did do a little traveling. With much masking and testing, I did see both of my children and both of my siblings.

One of my goals for this time was to begin my memoirs. I did a great deal of reflecting about family, history, patterns, joys shared, traumas endured, aspirations met, personal failures, lessons learned and more. I got a long timeline written down but not much else. That is OK! I began.

Continue reading

Photo_Rev. Megan Lloyd JoinerBrave(r) Spaces
By Rev. Megan Lloyd Joiner
Well, I suppose I’ve been living under a rock. Because I recently learned what y’all may have known for months. Earlier this fall, the worship associate from the North Georgia congregation where I was to offer the sermon the following Sunday informed me that the reading I had chosen - the poem known as “An Invitation to Brave Space” - had, in fact, been plagiarized. The poet whom I had originally credited - and many have credited for years - had admitted to plagiarizing the poem from the work of artist and activist Beth Strano.
The poet, Micky Scottbey Jones, had seen online an image of a door painted with powerful words. Inspired by the poem on the door, she tried to discover who had written it and painted it on the entrance to an artists’ cooperative space in Phoenix, Arizona. I don’t think she worked too hard to find out though. Instead, Scottbey Jones added a few lines, inserted the words “brave space,” called the piece “An Invitation to Brave Space,” and presented the work to the world as hers. She has been touring, publishing, and reading the poem as hers for the past five years.
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.
Breakthrough Leadership Experience
March 12, April 9, and May 14

This NEW leadership development option offered by the Southern Region is meant to help your congregation breakthrough its old patterns and habits and fully incarnate Unitarian Universalism in your Beloved Community.
The Breakthrough LE series is a three-session experience with lectures and supplemental materials and activities between the three sessions. This section spans from February through May, with three live sessions in March, April, and May.
The topics for the three sessions are Incarnational UU Theology, Covenant Beyond Walls, and Justice is what Love Looks Like in Public.
The cost is $75 per person. Spaces are limited for this series and there are prerequisites required.
Learn more and register here. If you have questions about the required prerequisites, please send an email to or

Primer Leadership Experience
March 2 or June 1

Back by popular demand - we heard your requests and are bringing back the Primer Leadership Experience for Spring 2022!
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.

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 beginning in August (with occasional fourth Tuesday sessions), and last up to 90 minutes. Learn more and register here.
  • 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.
  • March 8: Safer Congregations Policies and Resources
    With Southern Region Staff Member Rev. Nathan Hollister with special guest Heather Bond, Safer Congregations Manager and Intake Specialist for the Office of Safety and Ethics. Although it is often difficult to think about, it is critical for congregations to focus on being safer spaces by every means. This toolbox webinar will deal with both policies and practices for your congregation to implement that supports its integrity as well as national policies and procedures for filing official ethics complaints.  
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)
  • February 16, Leadership Development 
  • March 9 - Safer Congregations (Please note, this session will be held one week earlier than our usual third Wednesdays for Presidents' Gatherings.)
Learn more and register here
The Point 2022 - ReUUnited!           
July 24-29

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. 
Shift in COVID-19 Prevention Strategies from the UUA
The UUA recognizes that, even after the Omicron surge subsides, dealing with the COVID-19 virus will be an ongoing challenge for congregations. We are making some shifts in our COVID-19 guidance for congregations away from specific guidance based on metrics and instead offering strategies for risk reduction. Many congregations have set metrics about when it is safe to gather in person, or online-only, based on infection rate in the community. This Omicron surge, the availability of at-home tests, and the advent of vaccinations for ages five and up have made such metrics less relevant than before. The best decision-making regarding in-person gathering will need to be made by each congregation’s leaders in their local contexts.  While the UUA will continue to suggest data you might track locally, our strategies are geared towards general best “risk reduction” practices as we move toward an endemic situation. For more details about the reasons for the UUA’s change in approach, visit our January update to COVID guidance.
Southwest LREDA
Mid-Winter Gathering

February 17-18
The Southwest LREDA chapter cordially invites all religious professionals (ministers, seminarians, religious educators) in the Southern Region and beyond to join us for our virtual Mid-Winter Gathering February 17 & 18 featuring guest speaker, CB Beal: "Holding Space for a Trauma Sensitive, Flexible Future with Families"
Religious professionals will gather for an online experiential workshop about supporting our congregants and families, ourselves, and the larger congregation as we move forward during this time but doing so with one another.
$80 UUMA or LREDA members/$90 non-members. Learn more and register here.
Taproot: A National BIPOC Space
February 10, March 10, April 15, May 12
BIPoC Leaders rooted in the Unitarian Universalist congregations are invited to take part in this monthly, virtual gathering as we explore these pillars in creating means by which to ground ourselves in resilient communities of care. Learn more here. Register here.
A Second Slice of Pi
March 12
Are you in a small congregation of 120 members or fewer? Want to connect with others who are doing church the way you do – or the way you hope to? We have just the thing for you!
Join us for A Second Slice of Pi: A Small Conference for Smaller Congregations. This is an opportunity for networking, connecting, sharing and learning with others, all from similar sized congregations to yours.
What will be happening? We’ll have on demand, easy to access resources housed at UU Institute plus a live, virtual 2 hour networking conference with a variety of conversational topics on March 12, 2022 from 3p-5p ET/12p-2p PT. Registration is on a sliding scale from $5-25 to fit your budget and is open now. Learn more here. Register here.
Skinner House Books – Enhanced Digital Formats of Children’s Books
Skinner House is thrilled to announce that it has partnered with Cine-Books to create enhanced digital formats of their children’s books! These new digital versions, complete with audio and video components, are incredible resources for online worship and programming and for personal use as well, especially for anyone looking for accessible children’s books. By agreement between Skinner House and Cine-Books, purchasing a Cine-Books edition of a Skinner House title automatically comes with permission to stream the video, audio, or audio/video content online as part of a Unitarian Universalist community’s worship and programming.
Two children’s books are currently available—Desmond Gets Free by Matt Meyer and illustrated by Khim Fam and Mira and the Big Story by Laura Alary and illustrated by Sue Todd—with more on the way! We invite you to explore the Skinner House Books Channel.
Getting Involved with the Article II Study
The Article II Study Commission is connecting with Unitarian Universalists throughout the Association to hear from you about what—if any—changes to Article II might lead us boldly into the future. What’s Article II? It’s the section of the UUA bylaws that serves as the home of our Principles and Sources, the UUA’s Purposes, our Inclusion clause, and Freedom of Belief Statement.
As a living faith, we must regularly revisit the documents that guide us to be sure they match our values and commitments. You are invited to utilize new resources developed by the Study Commission to engage your community in this study and share back your reflections through the Article II Individual Survey (Google Form). Check out the new resources and scheduled opportunities to engage with the Article Study Commission in the latest communication from the Commissioners, here.
From Reactivity to Resilience: Doing Our Inner Work in Congregations
March 5 (Part I) and March 26 (Part II)
This webinar series focuses on the Spiritual Leadership practice of “doing our inner work.” It is rooted in an awareness of the human tendency to fight, freeze, or flee when we are activated. It rests in a belief that congregations are called to create a container in which everyone can learn, hone and use tools that bring us through activation into resilience.
Fee per person is $25 or pay-what-you-can using our coupon codes. Learn more and register here.
The UU Institute Is Expanding!
The UUA’s online learning website, UU Institute, has been redesigned to help you find trainings that interest you! You’ll find faith development trainings under “learners” and leadership development under “leaders.” Training materials are divided into modules, available “on demand” as pre-recorded presentations with additional reading materials, discussion questions and other resources.
You’ll find leadership trainings for board members, stewardship teams, membership teams, and lay pastoral care teams.
You can take courses individually or sign up as a team. Course fees range from free to $30.
Side with Love - 30 Days of Love 2022
Continues Through February 14

Side With Love invites you to join our annual celebration of love, faith and justice!  In 2022, 30 Days of Love will focus on Side With Love’s four intersectional justice priorities, with opportunities each week for communities and people of all ages to ground, grow, and act together for justice. Each week, we will share a ‘playlist’ of activities and resources for individuals to interact with, connected with our weekly theme. We will have a full playlist each week for multigenerational families/communities, as well as many activities for general adult audiences. Each week will include activities in the categories of Read, Watch, Act, Listen, and Worship.
  • Week Three: January 31 - February 6 – Decriminalization & Racial Justice
  • Week Four: February 7 - 14 – Climate Justice
  • Side With Love Sunday: February 13 
Learn more and check out our resources and events calendar here.
Our Shared Future: Legacy Giving in UU Congregations
February 5, 1:00 pm ET to 3:00 pm ET
Join the UUA’s Legacy Gifts team for a free webinar about the basics of legacy giving and best practices for building a healthy legacy giving program in your congregation. This workshop is designed for congregational leaders who want to learn about soliciting, managing, and stewarding legacy gifts to support the future of Unitarian Universalism. Email or call (888) 792-5885 (select option 3) for more information.
New Digital Pamphlet Packages
Designed for maximum flexibility, these new digital pamphlet packages are powerful resources to help Unitarian Universalist congregations and other Unitarian Universalist communities connect with seekers and potential visitors to their websites, social media, and in other direct communications.
Each digital pamphlet package includes:
  • 8 ½ x 11 PDF compatible with screen readers
  • Audio file
  • A link to a downloadable captioned video
  • An embed code for a web page with the full text, audio, and video
  • Social media graphics for Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
Two digital pamphlet packages are now available to order:
Live Oak UU Church Accepting Grant Proposals
The Live Oak UU Church (Cedar Park, TX) outreach endowment is now accepting grant proposals. The Endowment was created with the mission of providing grants that support UU values through congregational growth as well as grants for social and environmental action initiatives. More details and the grant application are on the Live Oak UU Church website.
Chalice Lighters Update
Proposals for Southern Region's Spring 2021 Chalice Lighter call cycle will be accepted until March 15th. Please note, this is a firm deadline. Learn more about the Southern Region Chalice Lighter program here. Submit a proposal for a Chalice Lighter call here. Sign up to become a Chalice Lighter here.
Faithify Updates
Check out Faithify's new platform at! You'll find express checkout, custom campaign widgets, and many more new features on the Unitarian Universalist centered fundraising website.
Support an Indigenous Aspirant to the UU Ministry - All donations go toward seminary tuition for Clint Tawes, a member of the UU Church of Savannah. 
View all current Faithify campaigns here. What could you Faithify?!
Ministry WITH Emerging Adults Webinar
February 22, 7:00 PM Pacific Time/10:00 PM Eastern Time
Presented by the Pacific Western Region’s Emerging Adult Task Force.  Resources, Tips, and Insights from emerging adults themselves to help you up your game when it comes to supporting and ministering WITH this keystone cohort in your congregation. Not to be missed! Register today!

Congregations: Host a Local Gathering for April Climate Justice Seminar!
Give your congregants a chance to connect global context with local action – and build relationships within and beyond your community. The 2022 Intergenerational Spring Seminar hosted by the UUA Office at the UN in partnership with UU Ministry for Earth and UUSC will take place online April 22 – May 1, 2022. In addition to the virtual programming, it includes an opportunity for congregations to host local gatherings, allowing Seminar attendees to connect in person with others who live nearby. Addressing the theme “Displacement and Human Rights: All In for Climate Justice,” this event aims to instill in UU youth and adults a commitment to global engagement and the skills to take action locally for climate and migration justice. Be part of the excitement! Would your congregation consider hosting a local gathering? Learn more about the 2022 Seminar and the local gatherings at Registration is open through April 3!
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:
  • February 8
  • March 8
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:
  • February 14
  • March 14
Registration information for Board meetings is available here prior to each Board meeting.
General Assembly Updates
June 22-26
General Assembly 2022 Registration is now open! Registration for General Assembly 2022 in-person in Portland, Oregon is now open. Financial support for registration as well as a payment plan is available. General Assembly 2022 will be a multiplatform event, with registration options for in-person and/or virtual participation. Registration for Virtual participation will open March 1. Register Now for In-Person General Assembly!

The General Assembly Housing Reservation System is Now Open!

The GA Housing Reservation System offers premium amenities, discounted rates, and the best networking opportunities for in-person GA attendees. By booking in our hotel block, you assist the UUA in effectively controlling meeting space, attrition and penalty fees; all of which directly benefit you and the future of General Assembly. Additionally, the UUA is able to negotiate on behalf of our block of attendees for sustainability and accessibilities requirements. Get a head start on your travel plans and book your housing today on the GA Housing Reservation Page. Dormitory housing at Portland State University and information about home hospitality, if available, will be published in March 2022.

Actions of Immediate Witness - New Timing and Process for 2022
The Commission on Social Witness is presenting a new timeline for Actions of Immediate Witness (AIW) for 2022. The new timeline is designed to provide greater opportunity for collaboration and action planning among diverse groups. Learn more about the new timeline and process here
Events, Occasions, and Connection Opportunities
Upcoming Events

February 5, SR Essentials LE
February 5, Legacy Giving in UU Congregations Webinar
February 8, SR Toolbox Webinar
February 8, UUA Board of Trustees Open House 
February 10, Taproot
February 13, Side with Love Sunday
February 14, UUA Board of Trustees Meeting
February 16, SR Presidents' Gathering
February 17-18, Southwest LREDA Gathering
February 22, Ministry WITH Emerging Adults 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,, 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 March e-news
to no later than February 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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