Monday, December 19, 2016

Greetings from the UUA Southern Region Events Desk!

from Kathy Charles, UUA Southern Region Events Coordinator

As many congregations begin the budgeting process for their next fiscal year, we thought you might be interested in some of the upcoming trainings that will be available for leaders of your congregation. 

Your Southern Region field staff team travels around the South listening to the needs of the congregations. Shared here are a few changes and additions we are making in an effort to meet those needs.

Our Presidents’ Convocation format will be new this year. There will be a kick off meeting for congregational presidents at each of our four Spring Gatherings (April 8-10, 2017).  After the kick off, in person gathering, all Southern Region congregational presidents will be invited to participate in a monthly series of online conversations. Each monthly session will have a theme based on the needs expressed by the presidents and will be supported by Southern Region field staff.  We hope this will be a continuing support group to all of the congregational presidents. Aside from the optional (but recommended!) attendance at a Spring Gathering for the kick off meeting, there will be no travel or hotel fees. Additional details will be available in our January e-news.

Our four Spring Gatherings (April 8-10, 2017) will also focus on the needs of Southern Region congregations.  These events will be hosted by Bay Area UU Church (Houston, TX), First UU Church of Nashville (TN), Unitarian Church in Charleston (SC), and UU Fellowship of Marion County (Summerfield, FL). There will be a panel discussion with the UUA Presidential Candidates at the Charleston location with the forum web streamed to the other three locations. Along with the meeting for congregational presidents mentioned above we are working with the hosting congregations to offer workshops based on theology, justice and stewardship.

Total immersion Leadership Experience has always been an important part of the training available in the Southern Region. We are hearing that the cost and time commitment for traditional Leadership Experience is more difficult than ever for participants to manage.  We are trying several new styles of Leadership Experience to support Leadership Training across the region. In 2015 we tested the Extended Leadership Experience in the Austin/San Antonio area with great success. Participants gather on four different Saturdays spread over several months to experience as many of the traditional lectures as possible. This program is now in North Texas and again has been very successful.  Would you like an Extended LE in your cluster? If so, please contact me and I will direct you to the right staff members.

The Southern Region staff team encourages you to consider the online UU Leadership Institute ( This is a wonderful program for your leaders to get the basics of Unitarian Universalist leadership training without the costs of travel or the time away from home. A suggested starting point is Healthy Leadership 101 ( This low cost course will be a required assignment for leaders who wish to attend one of our two traditional immersion Leadership Experiences in the future.

We are continuing to offer the traditional Southern UU Leadership Experience (SUULE), August 6-11, 2017, for those who prefer the traditional immersion experience.  The location is the 4H Center in Wirtz, VA. Please plan to send a team to this high level training. We will be offering Dwight Brown Leadership Experience (DBLE) in May of 2018 at the 4H Center in Little Rock.    

For those wishing to commit to an intense and specific Leadership Experience we offer the Condensed Leadership Experience. This is a full weekend experience with intense study for those wishing to consider specific needs in congregational management. Again, if you have interest in hosting a Condensed LE in your cluster please contact me for more information.

2017, more than ever before, will be a time when we choose to gather as a Unitarian Universalist family and consider our values.  The Point offers a customizable experience for all ages to come to a camp setting and pick your study track of interest.  We offer tracks based on Justice Ministry, spiritual path ministries, and for those who would like to relax, there is a track including yoga, arts and crafts and pool time. The Point offers tracks for children of all ages with learning steeped in UU values. Come to The Point. It is good to be together. The dates for The Point are July 23-28, 2017. Our site for The Point is Sequoyah Lodge near Tulsa, OK.  

Over the next 12 months, there will be many one day trainings focused on stewardship, justice ministries, worship, leadership, volunteer management and many more, coming your way.  Watch your e-news for listings. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have questions about any of the events you see posted or would like help registering or would like to have a program brought to your cluster.

Our UUA GA Chalice at The Point 2016, Fort Gibson Lake, OK  |  © Christine Purcell