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August 2022 - In This Newsletter
  • Southern Region Blog & Staff Update - Welcome to the 2022-2023 Congregational Year!, by Natalie Briscoe; A Note from Kathy Charles
  • Southern Region Events - Leadership Experience Track for 2022-23; Toolbox Webinar Series 2022-23; Presidents' Gathering Series 2022-23
  • News - Welcoming Neurodivergent People: Skill Up; DRE Led Youth Ministry Volunteer Orientation; OWL Facilitator Trainings; Faithify Updates; Southern UU Fall Institute; Southern Region Pulpit Supply List; Chalice Lighters Update; Leadership Updates Reminder for Congregations 
  • Calendar Listing of Events, Occasions, and Connection Opportunities
  • UU Camp, Conference, and Retreat Centers in SR; Quick Links; Southern Region Staff
Staff Blog & Staffing Update

Welcome to the 2022-2023 Congregational Year!
photo collage_southern region staff team_from top left: natalie, kathy m, cameron, nancy, lillian, tyler, kathy c, jessica, + sr logo imageBy Natalie Briscoe, UUA Southern Region Lead
As the wheel turns, there are so many changes in these seasons of congregational life. There are things to mourn and things to celebrate. And some things are both.
It is with both joy and sadness that this year, we will say “best wishes” and “happy retirement” to our long-serving Events Coordinator, Kathy Charles. Not many people know this, but Kathy Charles was one of my youth advisors at camps and rallies in my teen years. I remember thinking how cool she was and how I wished we could spend more time together. I’m so glad that wish came true, as we got to work together for a decade, through many changes both to the UUA and our own lives. It’s time for one more change as Kathy transitions into being a wonderful Grandma, a single-funder of many-a-craft store, and an RV Road Warrior. Kathy’s last day with our staff is August 15, 2022, but she will still be around the UU world and welcomes catch-up coffee dates.
Another exciting staff transition for our region involves two other familiar faces: As of August, Nancy Combs-Morgan and Cameron Young will both be welcomed to the Southern Region Staff full time. Previously, both Cameron and Nancy, along with Kathy Charles, had worked also with the MidAmerica Region. As we streamline processes, standardize across regions, and welcome new congregational life staff nationwide, I am so excited that we now have the opportunity to work with Nancy and Cameron on a full-time basis.

Continue reading

(Southern Region staff team photo collage, from top left: Natalie Briscoe, Kathy McGowan, Cameron Young, Nancy Combs-Morgan, Lillian Drab-Braddick, Tyler Coles, Kathy Charles, Jessica Curren + SR logo image)

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photo_kathy charles holding her puppy on a trail in the woods with a lake and blue sky in the backgroundA Note from Kathy Charles

Dear colleagues and friends:
After years of volunteering at the UUA, serving on UUA committees and as UUA staff it has come time for me to retire.
This experience has been one that I could not have imagined. I remember going to GA in Boston many years ago and thinking how wonderful it would be to work with these remarkable people. I was not wrong. I am honored to have worked with you and learned so much about life and justice and love alongside you.
I am grateful for the support and caring I have received from so many of you over the last few years during my husband’s difficult medical journey. I could not have done what I needed to do without your support.
Now, I am ready to retire. I will be driving around the country in my RV, traveling to see family and friends wherever they will have me. I will be working on my home that has been neglected for a few years. I’ll be doing my crafts, both paper crafts and fabric crafts and best of all I will be a more available grandma to Lisa and Miles. I need them.
My last day of employment is August 15, 2022. I am not breaking up with you and I would love to stay connected if you are willing.
I will always cherish my time at the UUA, and I am honored to have the friends I have made during this part of my journey.
Best to you,
Kathy Charles
PS If you'd like to stay connected to Kathy after she retires, you'll find her on Facebook!

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 September 14.  Register for the Primer LE here.
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 September to December 2022. Completion of a prior Primer LE processing session is a prerequisite for participation. Register for the Essentials LE here.
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. 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.
  • August 16 - Religious Education Volunteer Training, with Cameron Young and Nancy Combs-Morgan. This webinar will directly support your congregation’s own training for your Religious Education Volunteers. Created with both volunteers and Religious Educators in mind, this basic RE training will give the basics for the most important role in the congregation: the guides, mentors, and teachers for our youngest community members. (Please note change of date for this webinar.)
  • September 13 - Youth Advisor Training, with Lillian Drab-Braddick, Cameron Young and Nancy Combs-Morgan. This webinar will directly support your congregation’s own training for your Youth Advisors. Created with both volunteer youth advisors and Religious Educators in mind, this basic Advisor training will give the basics for those in the critical role of supporting Youth ages 14-18.
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):
  • September 13 - Governance/Board Basics, Part 1
Learn more and register here.
Welcoming Neurodivergent People: Skill Up
infographic-neurodivergence for religious professionals + colorful infinity symbol on a light aqua colored background 
The UUA and UUMA are launching a series of interviews and live Q&A’s to speak on neurodivergence, neurotypicality, and ableism. We hope that it can be informational for people of all neurotypes!
Register for the first live viewing and Q&A:  
This series is an invitation into a deeper journey. One that will likely include dissonance and even disagreement. We expect this and welcome it. It will invite all of us to more deeply untangle our internalized ableism and to more clearly perceive the ableism in our communities.
Our first interview is with Heather Petit! Heather is an Aspirant to UU ministry. The interview is now available to stream online. We will have a live viewing at 1pm ET/10am PT followed by a Q&A at 2pm ET/11am PT on August 19th. Registering participants can submit their questions ahead of time and receive a recording of the live Q&A, whether or not they’re able to attend the live viewing and Q&A.
We talk about everything from a definition of neurodivergence, models of disability, communication, and much more! We had such a great time interviewing Heather, and feel like we all learned a lot that we're excited to share with each of you.
This is the first in an ongoing series! Dates for live events TBD but keep on the lookout!
screenshot of a youtube video on youth advisor orientationDRE Led Youth Ministry Volunteer Orientation
Congregational Life Staff and Lifespan Faith Engagement staff are releasing a five-hour orientation for new youth ministry volunteers. We intend this as something you facilitate with your adult volunteers. It combines video presentations featuring 10 UUA staff along with discussion prompts and several case studies. There are places for you to present what your volunteers need to know about your organization’s structure and safety policy. There are four modules: Roles and Relationships, Safety, Youth/Adult Partnership, and Covenant and Community. Each has about 30 minutes of video and 45 minutes of activities, discussion, and case studies. These four modules can be delivered in one day or over the course of weeks or months depending on your volunteer team’s needs. Learn more at this link: for this course at this link:
logo_owl-our whole lives programUpcoming OWL Facilitator Trainings

August 5-7, Dallas, TX
In person training to learn how to lead Our Whole Live comprehensive sexuality classes will be offered Aug. 5-7, 2022 (Friday-Sunday) at the First Unitarian Church of Dallas. Training at all three levels will be offered.*
To learn more about the training or to register, visit: OWL 2022 Facilitator Training.  Regular Registration runs from May 21-July 25 and costs $360/person.  If you have questions, email The training is sponsored by the North Texas Unitarian Universalist Congregations (NTUUC.)
*Levels offered: grades K-1/4-6, grades 7-9/10-12, and Young Adult/Adult/Older Adult

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September 16-18, Spartanburg, SC
UU Church of Spartanburg is offering an in-person Elementary Level (K-1; 4-6) OWL training in Spartanburg, SC, September 16 - 18.   Registration fee is $375 for the weekend, which includes meals, materials for the weekend, and two great facilitators, Melissa McQueen-Simmons and Cedric Harmon.  Home hosting will be available, or arrangements on your own for other housing. Travel costs are also on your own. Registration is limited to 20. Register here.

UUA color stripe

September 16-18, Austin, TX
GET TRAINED TO TEACH OWL! In light of the recent Supreme Court ruling against Roe v. Wade, the Texas UU Justice Ministry (TXUUJM) especially wants to encourage congregations to host more OWL classes. TXUUJM and First UU Church of Austin are hosting an OWL facilitator training Sept. 16-18 in Austin (levels 7-9/10-12). Scholarships are available. Register for this OWL Facilitator Training here.
Faithify Campaigns in the Southern Region
faithify logo 
As an outgrowth of a letter writing campaign, UU Congregation of Cookeville, TN, recently started a Faithify campaign to help county jail inmates with basic necessities. Your contribution will help UU Congregation of Cookeville's prison ministry provide commissary money, supplies, and more. Learn more about this campaign and contribute here.
The Story of Faithify
The Unitarian Universalist Association launched Faithify in 2014 to offer a bridge from analog stewardship methods to online direct fundraising. Any leader can learn and use our digital platform to connect to supporters and funders, leverage social networks to get the word out about their ideas, and get the support they need. has become Unitarian Universalism’s crowdfunding site, where passionate individuals can invest directly in ministries that excite them. Our 84% success rate shows how we embrace and are transformed by the challenge of our time. The only question we have for you is… What Will You Faithify? Check out all the current Faithify campaigns!
11th Annual Southern Unitarian Universalist Fall Institute (SUUFI)
October 9 - 14, Highlands, NC
screenshot_text "wayfinding in new times" on a green background" 
WayFinding in New Times
  • “Where are we? Where are we going? How do I proceed?”
  • “What do I do with my life now, having done the expected?”
  • “What do I want for the world and for myself in it now?”
Learn the art of finding your way! Your lifetime of experiences will be honored and tapped into for rich interactive dialogue.
SUUFI is 6 days/5 nights of fellowship, learning, and exploring with keynote presenters and workshops. All of this in a fabulous mountaintop location with inspiring vistas, great food, entertainment, and relaxation for a life-enriching experience. Join us at The Mountain! Learn more about SUUFI and register at this link:
photo_pulpit with a lit chalice and stained glass in the background_original image from uu photo stock_flickrSouthern Region Pulpit Supply List
Congregations are often looking for speakers for Sunday mornings. Our Southern Region Pulpit Supply webpage was created to assist Southern Region congregations in finding people who are willing to provide pulpit supply. Learn more about our Pulpit Supply resource and view the recently updated pulpit supply list here.
If you'd like to be added to the Southern Region Pulpit Supply list please contact the Southern Region Administrator (
logo_chalice lighterChalice Lighters Update
Proposals for our Fall 2022 Chalice Lighter call cycle will be accepted until August 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.
uua chalice logo with words "unitarian universalist association"Leadership Updates Reminder for Congregations
Attention: Administrators, Presidents, and Ministers
As we begin the new church year, this is a friendly reminder to update your congregation’s leadership information in anytime there are changes to staff or lay-leadership in your congregation. This is the primary resource we (and your UUA) use to share important information with congregational leaders and staff. It is particularly important that you include email addresses for all your lay-leaders and staff. We need your help in keeping the information current and complete!
Events, Occasions, and Connection Opportunities
clipart_calendar pageUpcoming Events

August 5-7, OWL Facilitator Training, Dallas
August 6, Southern Region Training for Congregation Board Members
August 8, UUA Board of Trustees Meeting
August 12, Tales from the Grove @ The Mountain
August 16, SR Toolbox WebinarReligious Education Volunteer Training
August 19, Welcoming Neurodivergent People: Skill Up
August 20, Ordination of Pamela Johnson, Chattanooga
August 25-28, Star Party @ UBarU
October 2, Installation of Rev. Tiffany A. Sapp, Holston Valley UU Church, Gray TN
October 9, Georgia Mountains UU Church Building Dedication, Dahlonega GA

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
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
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 September e-news
to no later than August 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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