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March 2022 - In This Newsletter
  • Staff Blog & Communications - The Power of Partnership: Activated!; But Why Does Our Congregation Need a Covenant? Do We Have to Have One? By Nancy Combs-Morgan, Kathy McGowan, and Natalie Briscoe
  • Southern Region Events - Primer Leadership Experience; Toolbox Webinars; Presidents' Gathering; The Point 2022
  • News - Congregational Climate Convergence; Join the 2022 Spring Social Witness Convening; Intergenerational Spring Seminar; Getting Involved with the Article II Study; Taproot: A National BIPOC Space; A Second Slice of Pi; Enhanced Digital Formats of Children’s Books; Live Oak UU Church Accepting Grant Proposals; Chalice Lighters Update; UUA Board of Trustees - Meetings and Monthly Open Houses; General Assembly Updates
  • Calendar Listing of Events, Occasions, and Connection Opportunities
 Southern Region Updates & Staff Blog

The Power of Partnership: Activated!
By UUA Southern Region Staff Team
 
Your Southern Region Staff Team is excited to announce our Partnership Activation Request process, the new way to connect with your regional staff! This easy-to-navigate process makes it simple for Congregational Leaders to access customized support.
 
How it works:

  1. Fill out the Partnership Activation Request form. This short questionnaire will help us better understand your needs and will share some of our current offerings available for congregations.
  2. You will then receive an email confirmation which will include information about what you can expect next.
  3. Once your Southern Region partner is assigned, you’ll be contacted individually for an initial intake conversation.

Why are we making this change to the way you connect with Southern Region staff?
 
The report from the Commission on Institutional Change has asked your Congregational Life staff for standardization across the Unitarian Universalist Association’s five regions, and this form is one simple way you can help us move toward fulfilling that request. We are maturing as a system. To hold our relationships faithfully and fully, we must grow. Our process must grow and mature to reflect the needs of our size, just as they do in your congregations.
 
Frequently Asked Questions:
If I have a previous connection with a specific Southern Region staff member, can I just reach out to them?
Yes. AND they will ask you to complete the Partnership Activation Request form. This way, you’ll harness the power of the whole Southern Region team.
 
If I am already working with a Southern Region staff person on a specific request, do I need to fill out the Partnership Activation Request form each time I contact them?
No. If you are already in the middle of planning an event, such as a ministerial start-up or board retreat, AND you already know which staff members you are working with, please talk directly to those staff members.
 
Tip - Submit requests early: if you foresee an issue or a goal you may need assistance with, please submit a request by using the Partnership Activation Request form as early as possible. This will give us ample time to allocate the necessary staff time to address your needs.
 
Our regional staff team mission is to bring more hope, love, justice, courage, and joy into the world. We serve our shared Unitarian Universalist faith by fostering congregational health and vitality. Thank you for being in partnership with us!



But Why Does Our Congregation Need a Covenant? Do We Have to Have One?
By Nancy Combs-Morgan, Kathy McGowan,
and Natalie Briscoe
 
Unitarian Universalists are a covenantal, not a creedal, Faith. There is no belief requirement, or creed, that you have to say to join us in community, even though there are beliefs that we would consider to be outside the boundaries of our faith. There is, however, a requirement for how we wish to be together, treat one another, and do the work of building Beloved Community together. Our covenants are the way in which we practice our religion together, and they are aspirational descriptions of how we want to be in the world. Our covenants are also ways of norming the culture of our congregations toward love, inclusivity, and kindness. When a person joins a Unitarian Universalist congregation, they sign the membership book. What they are actually doing is signing the covenant of the congregation and agreeing to consensually enter into this holy promise about how we will be together and co-create Unitarian Universalism.

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.
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.
  • Update on March 8th Session - Due to unforeseen circumstances, the live section of the Toolbox Webinar for March 8, 2022 on Safer Congregations will be cancelled. Everyone registered for the webinar will receive the recording of the Safer Congregations content from the President's Gathering, and you can direct any questions about the material to Rev. Tyler Coles at TColes@UUA.org. Thank you for your understanding, and we look forward to being together in April.
  • April 12: Pastoral Care and Chaplaincy - With Southern Region Staff members Nancy Combs-Morgan, Cameron Young, and Rev. Tyler Coles. This webinar will highlight the difference between pastoral care, chaplaincy, and parish care, as well as the unique role for each in your congregation.  
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)
  • March 9 - Safer Congregations (Please note, this session will be held one week earlier than our usual third Wednesdays for Presidents' Gatherings.)
  • April 20 - Odds & Evens
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 March 15, 2022. Please watch your email inbox or UUA Southern Region social media for the link to registration.
News
Congregational Climate Convergence
March 22
 
Calling all congregational lay leaders and religious professionals passionate about climate justice! Join Side with Love, Green Sanctuary 2030, and UU Ministry for Earth for a day of community nourishment, resource sharing and skill-building to support your local eco ministries! Register today!
Shape UUA Justice Commitment Through the Social Witness Process,
Join the 2022 Spring Social Witness Convening

March 30
 
Join this special event to learn from UU leaders on the most recent social justice statements and come ready to share what YOU have done and what you’ve struggled with this year on these calls to action.
 
Then join in imagining newly emerging calls to action for 2022. We will review the new process for Actions of Immediate Witness for 2022 and share ideas for 2022 calls to social witness action.
 
If you want to present your accomplishments or challenges during the Convening please email socialwitness@uua.org by March 15.
 
Learn more about this year’s Social Witness Convening, the Commission on Social Witness, and the UUA's social witness process here. Register for the Spring Social Witness Convening here.
Intergenerational Spring Seminar
April 22 - May 1

 
The 2022 Intergenerational Spring Seminar will address the theme “Displacement and Human Rights: All In for Climate Justice.” It will take place online April 22 – May 1, 2022, with an opportunity for congregations to host local in-person gatherings. The UU@UN is excited to be partnering with the Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth, UUSC, and Side with Love on this event. Registration is open now through April 3, with flexible rates.
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.

Join the Article II Study Commission for Open Office Hours on March 28th.

Theological Panel Series
The Article II Study Commission is hosting several public conversations in March and April (March 24, April 8, and April 15), bringing together a panel of speakers and asking them a few questions on a theme. Those in attendance are provided a survey link to think further on the questions being discussed to provide the Study Commission with their thoughts. Learn more and register for conversations here.

Taproot: A National BIPOC Space
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 and 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? As of now, an online resource library is available for any participant to access. On March 12 from 3p-5p ET/12p-2p PT there will be opportunities to talk with other congregational leaders about worship, partnerships, creative uses of space, covenanting communities and more. Learn more and register today! We encourage you to register now and attend with at least one slice of your favorite pie!
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.
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.
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:
  • March 8
  • April 12
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:
  • March 24-26
  • April 22
Registration information for Board meetings is available here prior to each Board meeting.
General Assembly Updates
June 22-26
 
Virtual Registration for GA Now Open
Do you enjoy the convenience and accessibility of remote General Assembly participation? GA 2022 again offers virtual attendance with robust programming and enhanced delegate discussion tools.

Prepare for GA 2022 with the UUA Board of Trustees
At this year’s multiplatform General Assembly (GA), we will explore the power, possibility, purpose, struggle, and joy of meeting the moment as Unitarian Universalists. Whether you're a first-time delegate or a long-time attendee, you are invited to join members of the Board of Trustees to learn more about what will happen at GA this year. Multiple sessions, covering varied topics, will be offered from March through June. Learn more and register for upcoming webinars here.

The General Assembly Traveling Chalice
The General Assembly Chalice traditionally travels among various congregations in the region where the annual event is being held. The Local Area Task Force coordinates the transfer of the chalice along with a personal invitation to attend GA. This year, the circle widens as the chalice travels digitally to congregations everywhere. Please download this video and share it during worship services and meetings. Spread the word that all are cordially invited to participate in the 62nd annual General Assembly, online or in-person in Portland, Oregon June 22 – 26! 

General Assembly registration information is available here.

General Assembly housing information is available here.
Events, Occasions, and Connection Opportunities
Upcoming Events

March 2, SR Primer Leadership Experience Processing Session
March 8, UUA Board of Trustees Open House
March 9, SR Presidents’ Gathering
March 10, Taproot
March 10, UUA Board Webinar, Discussion of Proposed GA Business Resolutions
March 12, SR Breakthrough Leadership Experience Processing Session
March 12, A Second Slice of Pi: A Small Conference for Smaller Congregations
March 12, UUA Board Webinar, Discussion of Proposed GA Business Resolutions
March 22, Congregational Climate Convergence
March 24, Article II Study Commission - A Conversation on Purpose
March 24-26, UUA Board of Trustees Meeting
March 28, Article II Study Commission Open Office Hours
March 30, Social Witness Convening
April 1, Ordination of Juniper Meadows, Oak Ridge TN
April 9, Installation of Rev. Margalie Belizaire, Orlando FL

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, nbriscoe@uua.org, 512-296-5396
Kathy Charles, Events Coordinator, kcharles@uua.org, 617-948-4293
Rev. Tyler Coles, tcoles@uua.org, 804-592-1159
Nancy Combs-Morgan, ncombsmorgan@uua.org, 859-494-2424
Jessica Curren, Administrator, jcurren@uua.org, 407-894-2119
Lillian Drab-Braddick, ldrab-braddick@uua.org, 617-948-4368
Rev. Nathan Hollister, nhollister@uua.org, 919-923-3398
Kathy McGowan, kmcgowan@uua.org, 617-948-4295
Cameron Young, cyoung@uua.org, 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 April e-news
to SRnewsletter@uua.org no later than March 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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