Morning workshops:

  • Proselytizing Unitarian Universalism with Natalie Briscoe, Congregational Life Field Staff for the Southern Region of the Unitarian Universalist Association
  • Courage, Community, Creativity, Climate Justice with Aly Tharp, Program Director of the UU Ministry for Earth and coordinator of the UU Young Adults for Climate Justice network
  • Tools for Building Better Understanding with Christine Purcell, Congregational Life Field Staff for the Southern Region of the Unitarian Universalist Association
  • Black Music: Free Your Body, Mind & Soul with Rev. Chuck Freeman & Rev. Gerald Davis 
  • OWL is for Ministers, Too! with Theresa Parrish, MSEd

Proselytizing Unitarian Universalism

with Natalie Briscoe, Congregational Life Field Staff for the Southern Region of the Unitarian Universalist Association

We are hearing about the Good News of Unitarian Universalism this week! Why would we want to keep it a secret? We should be shouting our Good News from every rooftop in the world! And yet, most of the time, we don’t. This workshop will delve into the meaning and implications of proselytizing Unitarian Universalism, why we should do it, and how to go about it. Using the work of Dan Wakefield and Beth Demme to guide us in writing our spiritual autobiographies, we will share stories with one another about how the Good News of Unitarian Universalism has transformed our lives and opened our hearts. We will also walk further on our journey by exploring concepts of systematic theology through James Luther Adams and Rebecca Ann Parker that will help us gain language to explain the ways in which we have been moved by Spirit. This workshop’s journey is your journey, and you are invited to share it first with us, and then with the world.


Courage, Community, Creativity, Climate Justice

with Aly Tharp, Program Director of the UU Ministry for Earth and coordinator of the UU Young Adults for Climate Justice network

Climate change is no good, very bad news. The good news is that Unitarian Universalists are taking action to address climate change with courage, community, creativity, and justice at heart. UUs are responding to climate change in ways that build greater equity, sustainability, and reverence for the interdependent web of life, grounded in both scientific facts and UU moral values and principles. In this workshop series, participants will learn about current UU climate activism and tap into individual and collective sources of courage, creativity, and wisdom to find inspiration and readiness to create meaningful change for climate justice. Sessions may include meditations, videos, story circles, art activities, writing and reflection, and intergenerational dialogue about the many ways we can be courageous participants in a vision for Climate Justice.


Tools for Building Better Understanding

with Christine Purcell, Congregational Life Field Staff for the Southern Region of the Unitarian Universalist Association

Covenant helps us stay in relationship with folks who share our highest values. Compassionate communication can help us hear and be heard, while identifying real needs, even when emotions are high. These common tools in UU congregations can work well when folks consent to their use, but what can we do outside of our congregations when we need to de-escalate a situation? How do we interact when there is a power imbalance or history of abuse? How can we bring our best selves as Unitarian Universalists to conflicted situations outside the walls of our congregations?

Division is high in our country right now, but the good news is that Unitarian Universalists are uniquely suited to the work of building understanding! Christine Purcell from our UUA’s Southern Region field staff team will introduce some tools and techniques for de-escalation and building understanding. We’ll “workshop” some scenarios in which reaching an understanding is challenging, and build our skills together.


Black Music: Free Your Body, Mind & Soul

with Rev. Chuck Freeman & Rev. Gerald Davis

More struggle.  More soul.  We gon' be alright.  Black music is the the lifeblood of a vibe that is at once nakedly vulnerable while it lifts up the inevitable destination of genuine hope.

Rev. Davis and Freeman will guide us on a sojourn of black music that begins in Africa, is forged in the cruel inhumanity of America, leading to a global awakening and metamorphosis.

Come bask in the music of liberation.  Come free your body, mind, and soul!  Come walk into the future of  Unitarian Universalism.  A future that is vulnerable.  A future that connects heart and head.  A future where the Spirit’s wind blows.  A future that feels the personal/collective pain while authentically shouting the universal oneness!!


OWL is for Ministers, Too!

with Theresa Parrish, MSEd, Our Whole Lives Coordinator for the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Fayetteville, Arkansas, and Lydia Nelson, sexuality educator and labor and postpartum doula

The #MeToo movement has brought into sharp focus the necessity for Americans to engage in productive conversations around sexuality. Women’s healthcare -- including everything from health screenings to contraception to abortion -- is under constant attack at the state and national levels. This landscape presents a perfect opportunity for UU congregations to create, rejuvenate, and grow the Our Whole Lives (OWL) program in their congregations. OWL is a values-based, evidence-informed, comprehensive sexuality and relationship education curricula that “changes lives. It dismantles stereotypes and assumptions, builds self-acceptance and self-esteem, fosters healthy relationships, improves decision making, and has the potential to save lives.”*

Adults have asked me, somewhat rhetorically, “What on earth can I learn about sex at my age?” Here’s an opportunity for our ministers to sample the Adult OWL curriculum first-hand, and to learn why this program is essential to our social justice mission.

*www.uua.org/re/owl


For full program details and presenter bios, check out our handbook. Please contact Kathy Charles with programming questions.