Your Southern Region Team Looks Back at the Year That Was

By Southern Region of the UUA

In this season of generosity, gratitude and reflection, we, your Southern Region staff, took some time to look back. We were surprised at all that had been accomplished over the year including:

  • The hiring of the Southern Region’s own Jessica York as the Director of Congregational Life for our UUA
  • Our UUA’s national Disaster Relief Fund, headed up by Rev. Dawn Cooley, which has provided support to congregations, giving nearly $160,000 to Southern Region congregations this year alone (Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this fund!)
  • The hiring of Rev. Dr. Hope Johnson as shared staff with the Central East Region team, bringing her expertise in conflict transformation to our part of the country
  • The first year of Connie Goodbread and Natalie Briscoe as the Acting Co-Leads for the Southern Region team
  • Several cross-regional collaborations, including work with Rev. Dr. Hope Johnson, Christine Purcell (shared staff with New England Region working with congregations in transition), Kathy McGowan (collaboration across all the regions, LeaderLab), collaboration with Nancy Combs-Morgan (MidAmerica staff, Faith Development) and Rev. Carlton E. Smith (collaboration across all the regions - supporting our Religious Professionals of Color), Kathy Charles (shared staff with MidAmerica, event planning and webinars), and Jessica Curren (shared administrative support)
  • Our revitalized adjunct team, partnering with eleven lay-leaders and ministers across the region to provide additional support to our congregations
  • Our monthly webinar series: free online webinars that help to develop, equip, and support leaders
  • Our Extended Leadership Experiences, offered to clusters of congregations, which contain the same material as our Immersion Leadership Experiences (SUULE and Dwight Brown Leadership Experience, aka DBLE) and are hosted by individual congregations
  • Presidents’ Convocation: monthly webinars that help connect, equip, and support congregational presidents across regions
  • Our new Pulpit Supply list that makes it easier for congregations to identify speakers/preachers for Sunday services
  • Ships Ahoy: a hybrid in-person/online youth leadership development program
  • Building strong relationships and collaborating with our Southern Region camp and conferences centers, i.e., UBarU and The Mountain
  • The launch of LeaderLab, a web resource which includes extensive courses, on-demand webinars, and a 12-session self-directed program for board presidents
  • Rallying support for the successful passage of Amendment Four in Florida alongside UUA President Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray and UU Justice Florida
  • Relocating The Point - our unique week-long family-centered retreat - from Sequoyah Lodge to Lake Murray State Park, both in Oklahoma
  • The work of the Regional Advisory Council in support of our communications and linkage strategies

All this and more has been possible because of your faithfulness - to our Unitarian Universalist values, to your local congregations, and to the covenants that hold us together as the Southern Region and as an Association. We thank you for your consistent, generous participation in the Annual Program Fund that is vital to our work with you and in the wider world.

At the top of January, we will share some of the developments that we are most excited about in 2019. For the moment, we wish you a joyful end of 2018, with deep appreciation for all that we have been able to do together.

Your Southern Region Team

Natalie, Connie, Rev. Carlton, Rev. Dawn, Rev. Hope, Kathy Mc, Christine, Kathy C, and Jessica