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.

  • Seeking Justice and Balance in 2018

    Last Tuesday night, I felt a tremendous wave of relief move through my body when I saw online that Doug Jones had been declared the winner of the Alabama Senate race . It had boggled my mind: The idea that the other candidate, Roy Moore, a person with a history of overt racism,...
    By Carlton Elliott Smith | 12/19/2017
  • Can You Explain the Logic?

    He asked, “Can you explain the logic behind having Dwight Brown Leadership Experience in May in Arkansas?” “Why, yes I can.” I replied. The Southern Region staff routinely hears from congregational leaders and staff members who are concerned about the cost, timing, location, and...
    By Connie Goodbread, Christine Purcell | 11/8/2017
  • Crisis

    We in the UUA Southern Region are not strangers to violence and disruptions in our churches. This weekend's massacre at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, reminds many of us of that Sunday in July 2008 when the UU Church of Knoxville was visited by an(other)...
    By Southern Region of the UUA | 11/8/2017
  • My Swan Song

    “New occasions teach new duties.” — James Russell Lowell, The Present Crisis, 1844 Beloved Companions, There is an ancient Greek myth that relates an otherwise mute swan trumpeting just before its death. From that tale we get the phrase “swan song” to denote the closing notes of...
    By Kenneth Hurto | 9/22/2017
  • Beyond Disaster Relief

    This is written for those of us on the sidelines of Harvey, not those of you struggling with the effects. To those of you struggling, we send love and support. The devastating flooding in Texas and Louisiana has sparked a lot of conversation and speculation from those not...
    By Dawn Skjei Cooley | 9/5/2017
  • We Are All Charlottesville

    The violent events coming out of the Unite the Right Rally in Charlottesville two weekends ago have the country on edge. The dangerous rise of white supremacy was on full display as men with tiki torches marched on the campus the night of August 11 and clashed with anti-fascist...
    By Carlton Elliott Smith | 8/22/2017
  • Awakening and Clarity

    Your work is to discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it. - Buddha Siddhartha had been raised in privilege and opulence. He had been pampered and protected from the horrors of the world. When he found himself in the real world, where there was death,...
    By Connie Goodbread | 8/1/2017
  • But What if I Say The Wrong Thing?

    At General Assembly this past year in New Orleans, I was very honored to be asked by Dr. Mark A. Hicks, the Director of the Fahs Collaborative at Meadville Lombard Theological School to be a part of a their experiential workshop on Beloved Conversations. Several of us were asked...
    By Natalie Briscoe | 7/18/2017
  • A Home That Is Good to Us

    I love getting emails from the Church of the Larger Fellowship. They start off with “Our faith alive in the world!” That phrase makes me smile every time I see it. I’ve been concerned about the health and life of our faith and Association in the last few months. Since the US...
    By Christine Purcell | 7/5/2017
  • Sparking [R]Evolution

    "Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans.” — John Lennon According to evolutionary theory, life, as we know it, is the result of unfathomable numbers of small changes taking place over eons of time. An intriguing element of the theory is that if you...
    By Kenneth Hurto | 6/16/2017
  • Change is the Constant

    “The only thing that is constant is change” Heraclitus My, my, my, but have we been surrounded with change?! If change is truly the only constant, then we had better get comfortable with it. We are swirling around in it. It is so, that currently, if someone asks me how I am...
    By Kathy McGowan | 6/6/2017
  • Taking the Longer View

    Several years ago, while I was living in Boston, my primary care physician recommended I begin taking a daily pill to counteract hypertension. While it wasn't dangerously high, it was elevated enough to cause concern. I resisted for a while, but then after a few more visits with...
    By Carlton Elliott Smith | 5/16/2017
  • Beyond the Balcony and the Dance Floor

    It's been quite a while since I last joined a mosh pit. No, I am not speaking metaphorically (yet). For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, a mosh pit is an area, usually near the stage at a live concert, where people engage in some pretty full-contact dancing – bodies...
    By Dawn Skjei Cooley | 5/2/2017
  • Lovers of Leaving!

    Hey, all you “Lovers of Leaving!” Yeah, you. You know I’m talking to you. We’ve all done it. Maybe we’ve done it a few times. And if we haven’t actually DONE it, then we’ve all certainly THOUGHT about it. Leaving, I mean. When things get rough, we tend to split. Check-out. Take...
    By Natalie Briscoe, Connie Goodbread | 4/19/2017
  • Vulnerability and Belonging

    “Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren't always comfortable, but they're never weakness.” ― Dr. Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead After the presidential...
    By Christine Purcell | 3/14/2017
  • We Are Grieving

    I have come to realize in the last few weeks that, in many ways, we as a nation are grieving. As liberal religious people, we are grieving. We are seeing many of our values and the ideals of our democracy challenged in ways we might never have imagined happening in our lifetime...
    By Kathy McGowan | 3/6/2017
  • The Power of Language

    For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places . —Ephesians 6:12 Through thinning ozone, Waves fall on wrinkled...
    By Carlton Elliott Smith | 2/16/2017
  • Sustaining Ourselves

    The other day, when thanking my spouse for handling some mundane household chore, I burst into tears. Out of nowhere. Today, I find myself unable to focus – my attention is being demanded by one crisis after another. Friends, I am tired. I am tired, and I am scared. I am angry...
    By Dawn Skjei Cooley | 2/2/2017
  • Bearing Witness — Unitarian Universalists Go Forward

    “We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. … Life often leaves us standing bare, naked and dejected with a lost opportunity. … This may well be mankind’s (sic) last chance to choose between chaos or community.” ---...
    By Kenneth Hurto | 1/18/2017
  • At the Edge

    If we start fighting amongst ourselves, we are doomed. - Remus Lupin (Order of the Phoenix, JK Rowling) I will add that if we keep fighting amongst ourselves, we are doomed. If we cannot get clear on the big picture and stop fighting over the irrelevant and the petty, we are...
    By Connie Goodbread | 1/5/2017


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