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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  ( 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,
Christine Purcell,
Connie Goodbread,
Reverend Dawn Cooley,
Jessica Curren,
Kathy Charles,
Kathy McGowan,
Reverend Kenn Hurto,
Natalie Briscoe,

See Newsletter:

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

Pledge Update and Reminder

Wait, Wait - Don't Wait!

Have you made your pledge yet?  The campaign ends this Sunday, April 9, and we need to hear from everyone.  To make your pledge you can:

  • Complete and turn in a form at the pledge table (in front of the fireplace) this Sunday during coffee hour, OR
  • Mail a form or note to the office - Pledge Campaign, UUSP, 100 Mirror Lake Dr, St Pete, 33701, OR
  • Email your contact information and the amount of your pledge to

So far, we have 57 pledges totaling over $100,000!  That's great, but our Board is telling us that our hard-working committees are requesting a budget that needs over $170,000 in pledges.  Yikes!  That's what happens when a church is growing in numbers and enthusiasm like this one is.  Every part of the church - Social Justice, Religious Education, Worship, Buildings and Grounds, Outreach - is bursting with new ideas and energy.  To keep that energy going, we need everyone's help.

Please remember to get your pledge in by this Sunday.  We all win when we're ALL IN!

Thank you!

The 2017-2018 Pledge Campaign Team - 

Joanna Aldrich, Courtney Allen, Gay Breuler, Susan Burnore, Laurie Clement, Rev. Jack Donovan, Patti Hanks, Linda Paul

Posted on April 7, 2017, at 9:06am

Cuba: A Revolution in Motion (June 18 - July 1, 2017)

The Center for Global Justice is announcing a new study trip to Cuba, led by Dr. Cliff DuRand, UU from Asheville. This is the organization with which I traveled to Cuba last year and Chiapas, Mexico last month.

Cuba is a nation of 11 million people and has embarked on a bold effort to create a major cooperative sector in its economy.  On this trip, sponsored by the Center for Global Justice, you will meet with members of Cuba’s new cooperatives, sharing experiences and ideas. You will hear from some of the country’s leading thinkers about how they are reshaping their socialism in a more participatory, democratic way.  

Please join our delegation of activists, scholars and cooperativistas as we explore these exciting developments.  While many people are now able to visit Cuba more freely, few groups are able to offer such an in-depth experience. Drawing on our 25 years experience offering educational trips to Cuba, we have unique access that goes beyond the usual tourist attractions. We will dialogue with Cuban specialists, visit new cooperatives as well as private businesses, and experience the vitality of the people and their culture.  

For those who want to extend their stay in Cuba, we also offer an optional 3 day trip to the historic Bay of Pigs and the colonial town of Trinidad.

It is estimated that the basic 14 day trip will cost $2,000 to $2,500 plus airfare, including shared hotel room, breakfasts, light lunches, translation, guide, and the program of activities.  With regular commercial air service now open from many U.S. cities, it is possible to fly directly to Havana.  Deadline for applications is May 1, 2017.  Apply now as space is limited.

Contact Paul Burnore, President, Board of Trustees, for general information. For an application form and further information email


Contact: Paul Burnore
Posted on April 6, 2017, at 4:53pm

Federal U.S. Budget Postcard Signings After THIS Sunday's Service

The Adminstration has asked Congress to consider adding $3B to the current budget to to cover a down payment on the wall along the U.S./Mexican border.  An additional $18 billion has also been requested and would be funded by making cuts to existing from programs like medical research, infrastructure, and community grants. Postcards, stamps and labels addressed to our local U.S. Representatives and Senators, along with possible messages on this issue, will be available to you if you would like. Look for the Social Justice round table in Gilmour aftr service. All ages welcome. 

Contact: Karen Coale
Posted on April 6, 2017, at 1:15pm

Membership Team

Saturday, May 13, 2017 - 12:00pm - 2:00pm
Location: Conway North Room

Membership Team meets the 2nd Thursday at 12:00 noon.  Monthly meeting to review who has become or is interested in becoming a member.  Work with these individuals to help them feel "connected" to UUSP.  Also responsible for greeters for each Sunday Service and to meet and greet newer attendees during coffee hour.  Finallly assist Minister in planning membership orientation sessions and welcoming activities for new members.

Contact: Dave Coale
Group: Membership
Posted on April 3, 2017, at 1:45pm

RE Needs Shoeboxes

RE is collecting shoeboxes for RE Sunday on April 23. We will need several shoeboxes which will be turned into bricks for our play "Babble".

Please bring donations in on or before April 16.  You can drop them off by the Nursery area of Conway Hall.

For more information, contact Lisa:

Contact: Lisa Hill
Posted on March 31, 2017, at 1:22pm

Food Collection THIS Sunday

During this Sunday's service our youngest members will collect food and household products for three families -- two from the Congolese and one from the Caribbean. The diet for these families consists primarily of dried beans, rice and fresh produce such as cabbage, root vegetables and oranges. They do not eat canned vegetables or fruits, nor boxed food that require preparation. 

Other items include household products such as, dish and laundry soap, diapers size 6 months and size 6 years as well as hygiene products such as shampoo, conditioner and bath soap, would also be appreciated. 

Thank you!

Contact: Karen Coale
Posted on March 31, 2017, at 9:00am

Fight HB 697 in the Florida House of Representatives

This bill, "Rule of Law Adherence Act," targets “Sanctuary Cities.” HB697 would require state and local governments and universities to comply with federal immigration laws and would impose stiff penalties of $5,000 for each day they are deemed to be out of compliance. Specifically it would require:

  • complying with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention requests
  • repealing sanctuary policies
  • providing information about immigration violations to state authorities.  

This bill is NOW in the House Judiciary Committee. Please contact the Judiciary Committee Leadership, and local representative Ben Diamond who is on this committee.  State that:

  • you oppose HB697
  • a bill requiring adherence to federal law is redundant
  • there is no accompanying budget to pay for enforcement 


BEN DIAMOND                    (D) DISTRICT 68    ST  PETERSBURG

Thank YOU!

Contact: Karen Coale
Posted on March 31, 2017, at 7:33am

UU's Helping People Pancake Breakfast

Sunday, May 28, 2017 - 11:30am - 12:30pm
Location: Gilmour Hall, Kitchen

UU's Helping People will be host a pancake breakfast (with a gluten free option, eggs and fruit salad) AFTER the service, February 19

Proceeds will go toward their Friday Night Picnic for People in Need ministry. Individuals/$4 and families/$10 or enjoy some 'cakes on us.

Contact Sabine with any questions.

Posted on February 17, 2017, at 12:28pm

UUSP Annual Meeting

Sunday, April 30, 2017 - 11:45am - 1:30pm
Location: Sanctuary

UUSP members are invited to attend our Annual Meeting on Sunday, April 30, 2017 in the Sanctuary at 11:45 am, after the Sunday Service. The purpose is to elect trustees and officers for the 2017-2018 fiscal year, adopt a budget for the next fiscal year, and conduct other business as may come before the meeting.  We hope that as many members as possible will attend.

Contact: Paul Burnore
Posted on February 14, 2017, at 12:44pm

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