Leadership Experience Primer: A NEW Introductory Series for CongregationalSouthern Region Leaders

September 11, October 2, and November 6 (multiple sessions, all virtual)
Participants will emerge from this experience equipped with the foundational knowledge needed for congregational leadership. The series presents an overview of the prerequisites for the advanced Extended Leadership Experience (ExLE), with a focus on History, Polity and Theology.

The cost is $75 per person for the series. We encourage congregations to support their emerging leaders who plan to register this series.

We must have 30 registrations before July 31, 2021 for this event proceed.

Registration will close on July 31st.

Please make note of the dates for this 101 Extended Leadership Experience:
August 10, Section One Course Material Opens
September 11, 2021: LIVE Section One Processing Session
September 13, 2021: Section Two Course Material Opens
October 2, 2021: LIVE Section Two Processing Session
October 5, 2021: Section Three Course Material Opens
November 6, 2021 LIVE Section Three Processing Session

All LIVE sessions are from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Central Time/10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time

Watch an introductory video here. Register today!

UUA Board of Trusteesinfographic uua board of trustees event
Open House Events

Co-Moderators Meg Riley and Charles Du Mond invite you to come and check in with the UUA Board of Trustees at its upcoming Zoom Open House. Open house dates and times:

  • Tuesday, June 8, 2021; 4pm Pacific/5pm Mountain/6pm Central/7pm Eastern; Register here

Introducing Leader Lab

Relentlessly Useful Resources for Leadership Development

As Susan Frederick-Gray mentioned during her president’s report at General Assembly in June, LeaderLab is a tremendous resource for congregational leaders. Check it out at: https://www.uua.org/leadership.

You can go there for extensive training by taking one of the full length leadership courses from the Unitarian Universalist Leadership Institute that are designed to help leaders with the basics of leadership and to help them understand the unique complexities of leading in the context of our UU congregations. Enrollment for these online courses is typically in the fall, winter and summer. Registration for the fall courses is open now; classes begin September 6. For a complete list of the courses offered, both elective and on demand, go to: https://www.uuinstitute.org/course-list/. Courses are $30 each. If you are a member of the congregation and need assistance with registration for any of the courses, please talk with Bob Whitaker at denomconn@uucolumbia.org.

Live Oak UU Church Accepting Grant Proposals

Live Oak UU Church is accepting endowment grant applications from June 1 to September 30. The congregation’s endowment was created with the mission of supporting grants that support UU values through congregational growth, as well as social and environmental action initiatives.

Proposals are being solicited from UU congregations, UU community organizations, and their affiliated groups. Start-up groups can apply through a sponsoring UU church. This means you do not have to be a UU group to apply but you do need the support of a UU church to submit your application. We accept grant requests from any geographic location.

Grants are not awarded for the following purposes: debt reduction, bridge financing, and matching funds for other grants.

Learn more, including how to apply, here.

logo-uua faithifyFaithify Updates

Faithify is a crowdfunding platform where passionate people follow, share, and fund Unitarian Universalist ministries. Faithify’s 80% success rate shows that we can build a more powerful faith movement when we support one another.

UBarU Camp & Retreat Center (Mountain Home, TX) has a new Faithify campaign to fund youth summer camp scholarships. Learn more and contribute here.

Congratulations to UU Congregation of the Lowcountry (Bluffton, SC) for their recently completed successful Student Tech Connect Faithify campaign!

What will you Faithify?

Spiritual Care Training for Congregational Leaders

Companioning one another spiritually is one of the most important ministries of a faith community. It’s often referred to as “Pastoral Care,” which might imply that the Pastor should do all of the care. But ministry in congregations is meant to be shared between ordained and lay leaders.

This robust training has been created for non-ordained congregational leaders (usually lay leader and/or paid staff) who have been endorsed by other leaders in the congregation (the minister, or the board in lay-led congregations). It may also be used as a part of professional credentialing for non-ordained staff such as religious education or music professionals. Ordained ministers may want to take the training with their lay associates, or as a refresher.

Learn more about this training opportunity here. Enroll in this training here.

Claiming Our Spiritual LeadershipClaiming Our Spiritual Leadership picture

Claiming Our Spiritual Leadership, originally developed as a popular in-person workshop by the New England Region staff, is now accessible nationwide as an online training through the UU Leadership Institute!

Consider taking this training if you and your congregation are looking for ways for congregational life to be more about:

  • soulful engagement with your faith;
  • finding energy and meaning in the gifts already present in your congregation; and
  • the transformative power of communities living their values in ways that challenge dominant culture — both within and beyond the congregation.

Learn more and register here.

Widening the Circle of Concern Study/Action Guide Now Availableimage-cover art widening the circle of concern report

We’re excited to announce the release of a Study/Action Guide to the Widening the Circle of Concern report! Many of you are looking for ways to bring the hard work and findings of the Commission on Institutional Change into the life of your congregation or UU community. This new guide provides 11 session outlines for a group or taskforce in your congregation to break down the various components and recommendations of the original report.

More than a discussion guide, this Study/Action provides framing and helpful hints on how your community can actively participate in transformative liberation. Widening the Circle is joyful change work that is deeply rooted in our shared UU theology. We hope that engaging this guide offers your community an opportunity for meaningful connection during this time of isolation. The UUA offers many thanks to the commissioners and professional group leaders who came together quickly to develop this additional resource.

Learn more and sign up to receive your copy of the Study/Action Guide here

Picture of COVID-19COVID-19 Guidance and Resources for UU Congregations

Your UUA’s COVID resource team has recently updated guidance for congregations on COVID-19 concerns. This new guidance includes information we were hearing from congregations that they need:

  • specific metrics and tools about how you can determine when gathering in person is safe (including a sample from the UUs of Reston, VA)
  • sources for scientifically accurate data and prevention information (as local/state/national governments are not always being helpful in this regard)

Review the updated guidance on gathering here. Review the recently updated and reorganized “Addressing Pandemics in Your Community” resources here.

Leadership Experiences

Sending a team to a Leadership Experience is an investment in the future of the congregation and in the future of Unitarian Universalism.

The Southern Region hosts several Leadership Experiences (LEs) each year; one residential and some extended over the course of multiple weekends. All LEs provide a full five days of Unitarian Universalist leadership for teams from congregations.

Congregations are strongly encouraged to invest in the leadership of marginalized persons by nominating leaders of color and different ability statuses, youth, and young adults as part of their teams. As we deepen our commitment to the Movement for Black Lives, we affirm that black leadership matters. All Leadership Experiences in the Southern Region welcome participants ages 16 and up, and the Southern Region Staff is committed to assuring that Youth and Young Adults are fostered in leadership positions not just in Youth and Young Adult Groups, but in the congregation as a whole.

In Loving Memory of
Reverend Doctor Hope JohnsonPhoto - Rev. Dr. Hope Johnson

It is with heavy hearts that we write these words: Rev. Dr. Hope Johnson passed away this past weekend from respiratory complications. Hope’s spirit and wisdom live on in the depth and breadth of the work she accomplished and the hearts and souls she touched. Her influence was profound. Hope graced the Southern Region Team with her wisdom, humor, elegance, and love. The Southern Region Staff Team will miss her every day. If you are struggling with your grief please reach out to us.

Throughout the UUA staff, and throughout our movement, so many knew and loved Hope from her work with congregations and religious professionals through the UUA, as well as her work with Diverse Revolutionary Unitarian Universalist Multicultural Ministries, Black Lives of UU and other UU Black, Indigenous and People of Color communities and the professional community of ministry. She was also loved by the congregations she served as minister and by her home congregation of Community Church New York. Her loss is a deeply personal one for so many, and her decades of ministry have been an incredible contribution to our faith.

Hope is survived by her twin sister Dr. Janice Marie Johnson, Co-Director of Ministries and Faith Development at the UUA. There is a CaringBridge page set up by the family and they ask that messages be sent through this link: https://bit.ly/3lsDOMw.