Southern Region News
Staff Blog

Our Southern Region Congregational Life staff blogs here, while maintaining our Blogger archive of posts from 2012 - late 2016.

  • We See You

    Thank you to all the Board Presidents, Ministers and other congregational leaders who took our call or got back to us when we reached out to you during our COVID-19 check-ins early in the spring.
    By Carlton Elliott Smith | 6/15/2020
  • My Heart’s Song

    Yesterday someone said to me – “well - what will this all look like when it’s over?” The question was in earnest. I looked at them. I smiled, they needed something from me that I did not have - an answer. I have never been here before, I don’t know - but they needed something to...
    By Connie Goodbread | 6/13/2020
  • Commencement

    I’m writing to share with you a recent development in my professional life. As of June 15, I will begin my new position as Lead for the Pacific Western Region (PWR) of our Unitarian Universalist Association.
    By Carlton Elliott Smith | 5/28/2020
  • Pastoral Care During This Pandemic

    The Covid-19 pandemic has caused us to radically rethink the ways in which we do congregational life as Unitarian Universalists.
    By Carlton Elliott Smith | 5/8/2020
  • Being Held in Love

    Remember what is at the heart of Unitarian Universalism. Remember those values that will sustain you as we move deeper into this time of unknowing and solitude. For me I come back over and over to the love that holds me and that I am accountable to.
    By Connie Goodbread | 4/30/2020
  • All Life Is a Gift

    Like everyone else, we, your Southern Region UUA Staff, continue to adjust to the emerging reality that is the COVID-19 pandemic. As individuals, we have taken on hygiene, healthy distancing and wiping down surfaces with appropriate fervor.
    By Carlton Elliott Smith | 4/9/2020
  • Coronavirus Planning and Southern Region Events

    As we move forward into this anxious time, how we do what we do will make all the difference in helping to control the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
    By Natalie Briscoe, Connie Goodbread | 3/13/2020
  • Building Beloved Community with “Our Whole Lives”

    In appreciation of the tremendous community outreach of many of our Southern Region religious educators, who go the extra mile to extend much needed comprehensive sexuality education with “Our Whole Lives,” I felt compelled to ask Sarah White, the Director of Religious Education...
    By Nancy Combs-Morgan | 3/3/2020
  • The Youth Empowerment Dilemma

    Because of the permanent and long-term damage climate chaos stands to inflict on our planet, it’s only fitting that the climate justice movement be represented by people from the generations that stand to be most impacted by it.
    By Cameron Young | 2/8/2020
  • Let It Be A Dance: Reflections from your Southern Region Staff Team

    I began ballet lessons when I was 3 years old. I remember begging my grandparents to allow me to stop playing softball - where the shirts were always polyester, the sun was always hot, and the dust was always in my mouth - in favor of the beautiful tutus, pointe shoes, and air...
    By Natalie Briscoe, Connie Goodbread, Kathy McGowan, Nancy Combs-Morgan | 12/8/2019
  • Voting and Thanksgiving

    This week was a difficult one for me and many of my fellow Unitarian Universalists in Mississippi. On Election Day, we saw the affirmation of the existing power structure by voters who elected and re-elected individuals who oppose
    By Carlton Elliott Smith | 11/8/2019
  • Welcome to the 2019-2020 Congregational Year!

    As the summer days wind down and school bells start to ring, we on the Southern Region Team are excited for the months that lie between now and the beginning of next summer.
    By Natalie Briscoe | 9/27/2019
  • Let Our Neighbors Go! Mississippi Unitarian Universalists Respond to the recent ICE Raids

    August 7 marked the beginning of the academic year across much of Mississippi. In the midst of many happy first-day-of-school pictures, we started seeing very different and awful images of children not knowing where their parents were.
    By Gail Stratton | 9/5/2019
  • Covenant/Relationship Centered Unitarian Universalist Faith Development

    I continue to be inspired by colleagues, particularly in the Southern Region, who for years, have been asking all Unitarian Universalists to consider that everything we do is faith development.
    By Nancy Combs-Morgan | 8/30/2019
  • LeaderLab: Tips, Tools, and Trainings for Congregational Leaders

    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: .
    By Kathy McGowan, Jonipher Kūpono Kwong, Renee Ruchotzke | 8/29/2019
  • Small Numbers, Infinite Possibilities

    We know that small congregations are sharing the Love and Grace of Unitarian Universalism with their people and their communities every day. We also know that small churches can be faced with big challenges. Together we can help small congregations reach toward their greatest...
    By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group | 8/26/2019
  • Message of Care and Support

    We live in frightening times. We are, on a daily basis, made aware of the fact that horrendous events happen moment by moment. In those instances, we can be re-traumatized and/or challenged in ways that we try to come to grips with, and not shy away from.
    By Connie Goodbread, Hope Johnson | 8/8/2019
  • Away for a Little While: A Short Q&A

    Greetings and love to everyone! As of June 16, I’m on leave from my work with the UUA Southern Region! Since the beginning of the year, I have been a candidate for Mississippi’s 10th State Senate District, representing two counties in the northwest part of the state: Marshall,...
    By Carlton Elliott Smith | 7/1/2019
  • Hope for the Best but Prepare for the Worst

    By the time of my first settled ministry (in Louisville, KY), I had served in a leadership capacity of some kind in a number of different UU congregations in multiple states. So when the congregational leadership told me it was time to schedule the annual fire drill service, I...
    By Dawn Skjei Cooley | 6/3/2019
  • Mother’s Day without Mother

    This Sunday will be my first Mother’s Day without my mom, Luberta Elliott Smith. She died peacefully a week ago at the age of 84 after many years of declining health and multiple medical issues. I was there at her bedside in those final moments, as was my older brother Edwin.
    By Carlton Elliott Smith | 5/6/2019


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