Evangelizing the South for Unitarian Universalism

An Update From Your Southern Region Staff Team

April 6, 2017

Dear Companion Unitarian Universalists,

Our congregations are covenantal -- they are linked in committed relationships to one to another through our larger Unitarian Universalist Association. In recent weeks, our larger faith community has been in tumult over the hiring of a white, male minister to succeed our current Southern Region Lead Executive -- also a white male minister. 

Last week, our President, Reverend Peter Morales, resigned his position. The UUA Board of Trustees will appoint a new Interim President to guide the Association until a new President is elected at General Assembly this June.

This week, Reverend Harlan Limpert, UUA Chief Operating Officer, and Reverend Scott Tayler, Director of Congregational Life, have also resigned. You may recall, the Director leads the field staff, including our Southern Region team. 

These leadership changes come amidst calls for a collective examination of our historic and present propensity toward institutional patriarchy, heterosexism, racism, ableism, ageism, classism, and elitism. This is spiritually, and relationally, hard work.

We write to you today, as your UUA Southern Region Staff, to assure you that despite changes in our UUA's upper management, your team is prepared as always to support you, your leadership, and your congregation. Please reach out to any one of us. 

The situation in our Association is dynamic, no doubt confusing to many. We urge you to stay abreast of things through the UU World  (https://www.uuworld.org/). It is an excellent source of coverage, including a compilation of statements from a wide variety of UU groups and individuals regarding the issues at hand.

Our team's specialty is helping the leaders in our congregations navigate conflict and leadership transitions. As we witness for justice, it is not surprising that much of our work requires looking into our own souls. Likewise, it requires tenderly holding onto one another when it is hard to do so, remembering our deep abiding promises to each other and to our faith, and remembering the compassion, kindness, and accountability that covenant calls us to.

This is a large crisis. We are left not just with organizational concerns but with deep concerns for our faith itself. As our Association leans into justice work more urgently, please be assured we remain steadfastly focused on the promise and prospects of our faith.

With gratitude, hope, and faith,
Carlton, Christine, Connie, Dawn, Jessica, Kat, Kathy, Kenn, Natalie 

Reverend Carlton Smith, csmith@uua.org
Christine Purcell, cpurcell@uua.org
Connie Goodbread, cgoodbread@uua.org
Reverend Dawn Cooley, dcooley@uua.org
Jessica Curren, jcurren@uua.org
Kathy Charles, kcharles@uua.org
Kathy McGowan, kmcgowan@uua.org
Reverend Kenn Hurto, khurto@uua.org
Natalie Briscoe, nbriscoe@uua.org

See Newsletter: http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?m=1101393926380&ca=3586db78-32bf-4784-a724-a2944026f739

Posted on April 7, 2017, at 12:22pm