Southern Region News
Staff Blog

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

  • 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
  • Todos Somos Migrantes: Journeying Toward Collective Salvation

    El Paso, TX; the U.S.-Mexico Border; the line between two different worlds which begin to blend the closer in proximity they become. If it were an abstract painting, the U.S. and Mexico would show up on the canvas in radically different colors and textures,
    By Cameron Young | 5/2/2019
  • Staying Connected: Virtual Faith Development Support

    Twenty three years ago I began a journey of service as a Unitarian Universalist religious educator. I soon discovered the Liberal Religious Educators Association (LREDA). With clusters of religious educators, and my LREDA chapter, I found nurture, encouragement, and many...
    By Nancy Combs-Morgan | 4/4/2019
  • Walls and Windows

    “Walls and Windows” by Judy Small and Pat Humphries is one of my favorite songs. The lyrics include: “Did you sing your children lullabies to calm their fears at night? Did you hold them gently 'til they went to sleep? Did you plant in them the seeds of hope for new and better...
    By Hope Johnson | 3/5/2019
  • Love, History and Wealth

    In this moment, my heart is overflowing. I received a call this evening from a beloved relative who had isolated themselves from their dearest friends and our family in recent months. Their personal circumstances had changed in ways they feared others would not understand nor...
    By Carlton Elliott Smith | 2/1/2019
  • Southern Region: What’s Happening in 2019

    Greetings of the New Year to All! And what a year it will be. Here are some of the exciting developments coming your way over the course of the next 12 months as we make our Unitarian Universalist values real in the Southern Region and beyond.
    By Carlton Elliott Smith | 1/9/2019
  • Your Southern Region Team Looks Back at the Year That Was

    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:
    By Southern Region of the UUA | 12/20/2018
  • Darkest Before Dawn

    Over the past several months, many Mississippi Unitarian Universalists joined in the effort to elect the first Black US Senator from the state since the Reconstruction Era. I was one of those Unitarian Universalists, knocking on doors, posting on social media, attending rallies...
    By Carlton Elliott Smith | 12/1/2018
  • Beyond Red and Blue, Waves and Splashes

    This Sunday will be the first time many of us will gather together with our fellow Unitarian Universalists after the mid-term elections. As your Southern Region team, we know of the diversity that exists in our congregations, across the South and across the continent.
    By Carlton Elliott Smith | 11/9/2018
  • Change is Coming: Serving Faith Development Leaders

    Building on the Southern Region’s guiding paradigm of a regional curriculum map, this new project partnership with the MidAmerica Region will provide support for the enhancement of faith development by providing coaching/companioning support for religious educators.
    By Nancy Combs-Morgan | 10/4/2018
  • New Ministers and New Covenants in the Southern Region

    We want to welcome these ministers who are serving in new ministries in the Southern Region, including some who have relocated within our region:
    By Carlton Elliott Smith | 10/4/2018
  • Spotlight on a New Church Year

    Every fall congregations begin to look at the challenges and needs they might be facing in the coming year. Please remember that the Southern Region Congregational Life Staff Team is your team. There are many ways that we can partner with you as you begin your new church year.
    By Connie Goodbread, Natalie Briscoe | 10/4/2018
  • A New Congregational Year Begins

    Welcome to the 2018-2019 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 Carlton Elliott Smith | 8/31/2018
  • Remembering Charlottesville

    On August 12, we will mark one year since the Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, when hundreds of white supremacists gathered in Emancipation Park around the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. That day, Heather Heyer lost her life when one supremacist...
    By Carlton Elliott Smith | 8/3/2018
  • Welcome to The Point!

    What is The Point ? The Point is a customizable Unitarian Universalist retreat for all. At The Point we worship, sing, play, explore, question, eat, laugh and learn while living in a covenantal community. In late July 2018 at Lake Murray State Park, Oklahoma, our new home for...
    By Kathy Charles | 8/2/2018
  • A Time to Dream Big!

    Most of your Southern Region staff are fresh from our Unitarian Universalist Association’s General Assembly, held this year in Kansas City, Missouri, June 20-24. You can read about the highlights in UU World Magazine . In the midst of our familiar rituals and procedures such as...
    By Kathy McGowan, Carlton Elliott Smith | 7/5/2018
  • A Paradigm Shift

    "If you don’t believe that your enemy can be redeemed you will become what you hate.” - Rev. Dr. William Barber II “I learn from my enemies,” Killmonger retorts. “ You have become them,” T'Challa responds. I have said this so many times in the past year that it rings in my head...
    By Connie Goodbread | 4/23/2018
  • Long Committee Meetings and Why Few People Are Willing to Attend Them

    So you are a leader in your congregation and you are having a difficult time finding volunteers for the XYZ committee. You feel like you’ve tried everything – advertising in the newsletter, asking people directly, but still, it is the same few folks who say “Yes” and they are...
    By Dawn Skjei Cooley | 3/14/2018
  • Our New Co-Leads!

    We are delighted to be writing this blog as the Southern Region’s new Co-Leads. Wait - what? Four years ago the four District Boards that made up the Southern Region voted to regionalize. In other words, they chose to break down District boundaries, pool resources, and combine...
    By Natalie Briscoe, Connie Goodbread | 1/16/2018


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