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October 2021 - In This Newsletter
  • Staff Blog - More Rest Than Rest by Natalie Briscoe
  • Southern Region Events - Essentials Leadership Experience, Primer Leadership Experience; Toolbox Webinar Series; Presidents' Gathering Series
  • News - COMPASS: Navigating the Paths to Liberation Together; Social Witness Convening of the Commission on Social Witness; Taproot: A National BIPOC Space; JUUst Breathe Live; UU Women's Federation Marjorie Bowens-Wheatley Scholarship; UUA Board of Trustees - Meetings and Monthly Open Houses; Youth Reboot Webinar Series Postponed; Southern Region Chalice Lighters Update; Latinx Heritage Month, Reads for All Ages Recommendations from inSpirit UU Book and Gift Shop; Recovering from Covid’s Second Wave in India; Celebrate United Nations Day on October 24; Transitional Religious Leadership: Theory and Practice
  • Calendar Listing of Events, Occasions, and Connection Opportunities
Staff Blog

photo of natalie briscoeMore Rest Than Rest
By Natalie Briscoe
I am tired.

Exhausted even. Some days I can’t get off the couch, and other days I find myself forgetful, unable to concentrate, fidgety, anxious, or short-fused. I find it difficult to get out of bed in the morning to go to work, which should be easy since it is just in the next room, but the daily pandemic grind and stress has worn me down so that I feel much smaller than I used to. I have fewer and fewer internal resources to hold relationships and show up for others, meaning it is difficult not to be short with my family, and my friends, and my coworkers, and everyone doing the good work of Unitarian Universalism right now.
I could sleep and sleep and sleep for days, however, and not feel rested. That’s because the kind of tired I am isn’t physical; it is deep down soul tired. And if the kind of tired that I am isn’t physical, it won’t be fixed by sleeping. If you find yourself feeling exhausted, but never feeling rested no matter how much sleep you get, you may need a different kind of rest.
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.
Essentials Leadership Experience
logo - sr essentials leadership experienceNovember 2021 - February 2022

The Southern Region Essentials Leadership Experience (Essentials LE) is an online experience with self-paced lectures and supplemental materials and includes live processing sessions. This series spans from November through February, with three live sessions in December, January, and February. The topics for the three sessions are Congregational Foundations, Faith Development, and System Theory. The cost is $75 per person. Please note: there are prerequisites for participating in this event. Additionally, we ask that at least one other person from your congregation participate in this event with you. Your registration certifies that you have or will meet these requirements. 

Download the Essentials LE Handbook to learn more. Register here.
Primer Leadership Experience: A NEW Introductory Series for Emerging Congregational Leaders
infographic_sr leadership experience primerNovember 3 or November 6 (Virtual)
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.

Completing the Leadership Experience (LE) Primer is one option for meeting the required prerequisites for our upcoming LE Essentials, Immersive LE (SUULE), and LE Breakthrough events. (Learn more about Southern Region's complete range of Leadership Development programing here.)

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 beginnng in August (with occasional fourth Tuesday sessions), and last up to 90 minutes. Learn more and register here.
  • October 12: Stewardship PracticesWith Southern Region Staff Member Lillian Drab-Braddick with special guest Rev. Vail Weller, Congregational Giving Director for the UUA. In this exciting Toolbox Webinar, we will dive into the basics of congregational stewardship, including a values-based approach that is rooted in vision and will excite your members!
  • November 9: Dismantling White Supremacy Culture within the CongregationWith Southern Region Staff Members Rev. Nathan Hollister and Cameron Young. This Toolbox 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 given.
  • November 23: Dismantling White Supremacy Culture with your Covenant With Southern Region Staff Members Cameron Young, Lillian Drab-Braddick, and Lead Natalie Briscoe, with special guest Christine Purcell, Congregational Life Transitions Manager. As seen at the New Day Rising Conference in February, this workshop helps congregations uproot the white supremacy culture inherent in their covenants and their covenant -building processes. Practical tools will be given for creating covenants that dismantle rather than uphold white supremacy culture.
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).

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 or the following Thursdays at 12:00 PM ET):
  • October 20 & 21, Governance
  • November 17 & 18, Stewardship
Learn more and register here
COMPASS: Navigating the Paths to Liberation Together
December 11 & 12, Virtual

With so much uncertainty in the wider world, sometimes it can be hard to find one’s bearings. Join us to find our collective “compass” as we explore interdependence as a path to wholeness. 
This event is for: lay leaders, religious professionals, adults, youth, members of congregations, and anyone else who is interested in diving into an exploration of interdependence in UU theology and practice. 
Compass will be held online December 11 and 12, 2021 beginning at 10am PT/11am MT/12pm CT/ 1pm ET.  The weekend will include worship, speakers, identity caucus space and more.  Registration is now open. Learn more about Compass here. Register for Compass here.
Compass will be hosted on the Whova Platform, available in desktop form or on your mobile device via the Apple and Android app stores. This is the same platform used for General Assembly and New Day Rising. If you already have the app downloaded, you can simply open your app and tap “My Events” to find Compass. The app will be launched for use starting December 1.

infographic -image of compass with information about the event
Gather, Inspire, Launch! Two-part Fall Social Witness Convening of the Commission on Social Witness
October 6 and October 13
At the UUA General Assembly this past June, the delegates voted to affirm three bold statements for healing action. The delegates also adopted a formal UUA Statement of Conscience on Undoing Systemic White Supremacy. Join these two meetings to find out what UU leaders around the country are doing, what you can do, and who you can partner with to carry forward these bold actions full of inspiring possibilities.
Gather, inspire, and launch your social witness action! The Commission on Social Witness invites you to the Fall Social Witness Convening in two parts. Attend both sessions to find out about all the statements and actions!
All UUs are invited to these meetings, and no prior experience or knowledge is necessary. You may review the statements in advance if you are able. The statements are linked above. The meeting will take place via Zoom. Zoom accessibility features are outlined here. In addition, the meeting will include minimal optional breakouts in order to promote meeting usability for all.
Learn more and register for one or both sessions here.

image - infographic for uua fall social witness convening

infographic - text "taproot a national bipoc space," image of tree roots, and uua logoTaproot: A National BIPOC Space
The work of spiritual community is complicated in the 21st century. 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. BIPoC Leaders rooted in the Unitarian Universalist congregations are invited to take part in this monthly, virtual gathering.
Second Thursday of the month, starting October 14th at 9p ET/8p CT/7p MT/6p PT. Details and registration at the UUA website.

JUUst Breathe Live
JUUst Breathe Live is a YouTube live stream where youth ministry has a say! Hosts Shannon Harper and Eric Bliss interview youth and adult bad asses who hold a vision of liberal religious youth ministry that is both lifesaving and spirit lifting.
Come join us via the chat for real time conversations where your ideas matter and your questions get answered. Explore faith, spirituality, and life purpose as never before. And above all, bring your authentic self and... JUUst Breathe.
Join us, on the JUUst Breathe YouTube Channel, on October 10th at 5p PT/6p MT/ 7p CT/8p ET for a thought-provoking discussion.
infographic - juust breathe live event october 10
uu women logoUU Women's Federation
Marjorie Bowens-Wheatley Scholarship

The Marjorie Bowens-Wheatley Scholarship provides direct financial support to aspirants or candidates to the Unitarian Universalist ministry, or candidates in the UUA’s religious education or music leadership programs, who identify as women of color, Latina, or Hispanic. To apply, or for more information, visit their website. Application deadline is November 1st.

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:
  • October 12
  • November 9
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:
  • October 14-16
  • November 8
Registration information for Board meetings is available here prior to each Board meeting.
Youth Reboot Webinar Series Postponed
Remember June? Things felt so hopeful. Vaccines were happening; businesses were opening; so many things seemed perched on the brink of possible. It was in those hopeful days that three of us started talking about offering a national two-part webinar series on emergent youth ministry. How we might collectively shape the next generation of youth ministry, post pandemic? How might we rethink youth ministry through the lens of all we’ve learned in the last 18 months?
To paraphrase an old Yiddish proverb, We planned; Covid 19 laughed.
Friends, we are not post-pandemic; we are still very much in the middle of it. This is not the time to shape new models of youth ministry or glean wisdom from the lessons we aren’t done living through yet.
We are hearing from many religious professionals and lay partners in youth ministry that this is a time for connection - and reconnection. We have been apart too long. It’s time for using trauma-informed ministry to acknowledge the grief we are all experiencing - for lost friends or family members; for lost time; for lost experiences that cannot be recaptured. This is time for somatic care - for grounding our minds, emotions, and spirits in the bodies we care for. inhale, exhale, repeat. It’s time to drink water, get through another pandemic-impacted fall, and simplify. We heard you.
Youth Ministry is about a lot of things, and sometimes that involves modeling healthy practices for the people we are serving - even when that wasn’t our plan. So we are following the same advice we’ve been sharing with congregations. We are using our trauma-informed lens to postpone our webinar series. It’s not time for rethinking and reshaping new models - not yet.
For now we will share with you a few resources we think will be helpful in this moment:
  • We invite you to consider the Youth Ministry Toolbox Webinar.
  • Check out this article that describes what many people feel as losing their “Surge Capacity.” 
  • Listen to Brene Brown's podcast on pandemic flux syndrome.
  • Watch Rev. Sunshine Wolfe’s brief video on recognizing low level trauma responses in ministry.
  • Reach out to your colleagues in Youth Ministry. Connect with your youth - safely - and remind them we will get through this, and they are beloved. Check in with your regional staff for more ideas, support, and connection.
We will invite you to dream with us about the next shape of Unitarian Universalist Youth Ministry.
Just not today. Stay tuned. And take care of yourselves.
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 15, 2020. (This is a firm deadline.)
Learn more about our Chalice Lighter program here. Sign up to be a Chalice Lighter here.
Latinx Heritage Month, Reads for All Ages
Recommendations from inSpirit UU Book and Gift Shop

September 15th to October 15th is Latinx Heritage Month and inSpirit UU Book and Gift Shop offers a number of books for adults and children that center and honor the histories, contributions, and stories of the Latinx community. Join us in celebrating these trailblazers whose stories are redefining identity, shaping our culture and society, and pointing to the crucial work that remains.
uua holdeen india program bannerRecovering from Covid’s Second Wave in India
India is now emerging from Covid’s devastating second wave. After months of frantic searches for oxygen and overflowing hospitals, infections are declining. But the trauma of so much loss still cuts deep. As the UUA Holdeen India Program learns more of what happened on the ground, one thing is clear: Without the massive relief operations carried out by grassroots organizations across India, countless more would have lost their lives. UU support for our community partners in India was pivotal to relief efforts. UUHIP is deeply grateful to the UU faith community for so much solidarity at the height of the crisis. Now, we need your support to continue this transformational work. For many social justice organizations, charitable contributions come in a flood during crises—and then a trickle as media coverage fades. Yet our work in a crisis is only possible because we sustain long-term partnerships on the ground. If your congregation routinely holds special collections, please consider the Holdeen India Program as a regular recipient.
Read an in-depth update from the Holdeen India Program.
Celebrate United Nations Day on October 24!
Coming up on October 24, the world celebrates United Nations Day. Many Unitarian Universalist congregations will be marking this holiday by hosting a United Nations Sunday service, focusing on the 2021-2022 UN Sunday theme “All In for Climate Justice: Food Equity and Sustainability.” The UUA Office at the United Nations (UU@UN) is grateful for the support of congregations who dedicate their collection on UN Sunday to fund their important advocacy for UU values at the UN. A special video message from the UU@UN is available for congregations hosting UN Sunday services to introduce the offering. Find this and additional UN Sunday resources at A congregation that holds a UN Sunday service with a collection for the UU@UN is close to qualifying for the Sixth Principle Congregation Award! Learn more at
uu@un sunday banner

Transitional Religious Leadership: Theory and Practice
Fridays: October 22, 29, November 5, 12
Have you suddenly discovered that the plans you made for the church year have shifted - again? 
Are you serving in a congregation where there is suddenly a change in your staffing structure? 
Are you working as a religious leader and facing the need to adapt programs and operations for a multi-platform environment? 
Are you thinking, “I wasn’t planning for this - how do I find my way?”
Do you feel like your skill set didn’t prepare you for the current bumps in this very long road you’re travelling on?
The Guild of Interim Religious Educators is offering a repeat session of its popular and timely 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 dynamic program.
Learn more and register here.

Events, Occasions, and Connection Opportunities
October 10, JUUst Breathe Live
October 12, SR Toolbox Webinar, Congregational Stewardship Practices
October 12, UUA Board of Trustees Open House
October 14, Taproot
October 14-16, UUA Board of Trustees Meeting
October 20, SR Presidents’ Gathering, Governance
October 21, SR Presidents’ Gathering, Governance
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, currently on sabbatical
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 November e-news
to no later than October 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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