Minister News

The Southern Region

The Southern Region is a cooperative venture between the four Southern districts of the Unitarian Universalist Association: Southeast, Mid-South, Florida and the Southwestern Conference. 
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Promoting Justice, Equity and Compassion---

Unitarian Universalists Respond to Racialized Inequality: a UUA Southern Region Webinar 

Tuesday, March 10, 20158:00pm ET / 7:00pm CT

Oscar Grant. Trayvon Martin. Michael Brown. Eric Garner. As the numbers of unarmed black people killed by police officers and vigilantes continue to mount -- including in our Southern Region -- we seek ways to engage and make a difference, even when justice seems to have been denied.

In the week following the Selma 50th Anniversary Commemoration, this webinar will be an opportunity to deepen the context of our work for equality under the law, to learn how UU congregations and Unitarian Universalists in general are putting their faith in action, and to encourage one another in the struggle. 

Register here for access instructions

Rev. Carlton Elliott Smith is a member of the Congregational Life Staff for the Southern Region of the Unitarian Universalist Association. He is the primary contact for our regional justice work and for state-wide legislative networks, as well as for UU congregations in Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana and Pensacola, Florida. An ordained Unitarian Universalist minister since 1995, he has served congregations in Greater Boston, Metro New York, Northern California and Northern Virginia. He currently lives in his hometown in north Mississippi.

Elandria Williams is co-coordinator of the education team at the Highlander Research and Education Center and is on the Organizational Leadership Team. She coordinates the Appalachian Transition Fellowship Program and the Southern Grassroots Economies Project. She is a lifelong youth organizer/adult ally. She is an almost lifer UU from TVUUC in Knoxville, TN and is on the Fahs Collaborative Advisory Committee, Presidential Search Committee, DRUUMM's Steering Committee, and used to consult for the UUA.


Congregation Liaison Center

April 28, 2017

Message from Doug Rhodes


Thank you for agreeing to be Liaisons for our UU Justice Ministry-NC Network. This is an emerging project that is seeking to find our footing in our state and in our UU environment.

My goal, here, is to give you an advance sense of who we currently are with the promise that more Congregational Liaisons will be added as we go along. I also want to give you a slight bit of context and something about our collective roles, as we currently envision them, without making this communication far too lengthy. My attempt at brevity is to proceed “by the numbers”, but in no particular order.

  1. Our UU Justice Ministry Network seeks to become a statewide resource for Unitarian Universalists that will:

-       encourage and support local UU congregations in their work for justice

-       link UU congregations, UU ministers, and UU Justice activists in North Carolina together in a statewide network,

-       offer coordination, resources, and visibility for social justice witness, action, and advocacy in North Carolina based on Unitarian Universalist values, and

-       work to build coalitions between Unitarian Universalists and others engaged in the work for justice in this state.

  1. Our Network is one of 22 UU state action networks within our denomination. Although our respective goals or missions differ slightly to match the contours of UU state interests and needs, our connection is part of the Coalition of UU State Action Networks (
  2. We Congregation Liaisons are vital links between our Justice Ministry Network and our own congregations. Our task during the next few months (and onward) is to figure out how this link can most effectively be used. Intuitively, we understand that part of our work is to be two-way communication channels about justice developments and opportunities, and yes, a sharing of local needs, challenges, and successes. We also presume we will be an important consulting resource for the Network’s Steering Committee (soon to be formed) that will eventually be replaced by an elected board of directors composed of lay justice leaders and ministers. The goal here is to develop a statewide UU Justice community with attention to small congregations as well as larger ones – we know needs and capabilities differ, but our working relationships begin not only with our UU relationship, but the acknowledgement that “we’re all in this together.”
  3. It is important to emphasize that this is a justice ministry. The Network is not merely another organization pressing for justice; our foundation builds from our UU Principles and values and calls us to raise our voices with the prophetic message of love, inclusion, and the protection of human rights that form our understanding of justice.

The following is the current list of Congregation Liaisons.

Chapel Hill

            The Community Church of Chapel Hill Congregational Liaison:            Ginger Long


            Piedmont UU Church         Congregational Liaison:          Bill Crowley

UU Church of Charlotte  Congregational Liaison:  Mike O’Sullivan



            UU Fellowship of Lake Norman   Congregational Liaison:           Amy Hartman



            Eno River UU Fellowship  Congregational Liaison:           Doug Rhodes


            UU Congregation of Greenville    Congregational Liaison:  Sandy Shepard



            UU Fellowship Hendersonville    Congregational Liaison: Charlotte Corrigan

   Carole Repici


            UU Congregation of Hillsborough           Congregational Liaison: Michael Garner

                                                                                                            Chris Larsen

Morehead City

            Unitarian Coastal Fellowship       Congregational Liaison:  Miriam Green


New Bern

            UU Fellowship of New Bern          Congregational Liaison: Fred Pittenger 


            UU Fellowship of Raleigh Congregational Liaison: Jim VanKirk

                      Jessica Lin

Seven Springs

            Outlaw’s Bridge Universalist Church      Congregational Liaison: Robert Stolar


            Thermal Belt UU Fellowship   Congregational Liaison: Robbie Bietk 



            UU Fellowship of Wilmington       Congregational Liaison: Eden Avery



            UU Fellowship of Winston Salem            Congregational Liaison: Jim Norris

This is just the beginning. Rev. John Saxon and I are delighted you have agreed to serve and to contribute a small amount of your time, energy and wisdom to advance this project.

As questions or suggestions occur to you, please pass them on to me. I will create a small Google Group to ease our communication. We are all busy people who are constantly bombarded with information and e-mails. We will honor your participation and limited time by keeping our communication succinct and limited to significant needs or developments.

Cheers.  And again, thank you.