Regional Elder Development Team

If ours is to be a relevant and growing faith, it requires our active participation. One of the visions of the 2010 Orlando Platform is to encourage people in our faith to work on issues in our congregations and communities where we feel called and equipped to make a difference. One effort to further this vision is the Regional Elder Development team. The Southern Region recognizes that an Elder is:


1)  An influential member of the tribe, community, or society.

2)  A person in a Unitarian Universalist community who can articulate the Unitarian Universalist Faith

3)  A person in a Unitarian Universalist community who can and is trusted to teach the Unitarian       Universalist Faith to people of all ages.

4)  A person who knows our shared covenant.

5)  A person who embodies our shared covenant.

6)  A person who is able to call others back in to covenant.


The Southern Region’s RED team members are servant leaders practicing shared ministry in relationship with the Southern Region Congregational Life Staff.  We envision the RED team to be a vital contributor in making our Southern Region community stronger and more responsive to the needs of individuals, congregations, and the region. The members will develop active relationships across geographic lines so that we can learn from each other and work in concert on issues of importance in the Southern Region. They will also serve as representative of the region in ceremonies and rites of passage along with assisting Congregational Life Staff to recognize congregational elders.


If you have any questions about the RED team, please feel free to email me at mlovins@uua.org.


In faith,


Maggie Lovins

UUA Southern Region staff

Elders Council Supervisor



Our Regional Elder Development Team

Mark Anderson grew up Unitarian Universalist, attending the church in Plano, Texas. From middle school through his late 20s he attended SWUUSI annually, serving on staff 7 times.  Mark has lived in Austin, Texas since 2004, attending Live Oak Unitarian Universalist Church and serving as youth advisor for four years and in many financial roles.  He is the last President of the Southwestern Unitarian Universalist Conference. He looks forward to the adventure of helping turn the dream of an Elders Council into reality.

 

Mark has a bachelor's degree from Iowa State and a master's from the University of New Mexico in Computer Science.  Professionally, he runs software testing for small companies.  He enjoys spending time with his family and playing bridge; he is close to becoming a life master. 

Nathalie Bigord is a current member of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Gwinnett in Lawrenceville, where she has found her spiritual home since moving to Georgia in 2007 from New York. During her time there, she has served on the Board of Trustees, chaired several committees, and has been an active member of the Social Justice Committee and Welcoming Congregation Task Force. She has also served on the district level as a member of the Mid-South District Board, she has been a small group facilitator at SUULE (Southern UU Leadership Experience) and now looks forward to actively serving on the regional level on the Elders Council.

Peter Kandis retired in 2012 in great part so that he would have more time to work for his chosen UU faith. He has a B.S. in Computer Science from Purdue, an M.B.A from USC, and has earned 30 graduate credit hours in the field of education. Peter is a National Board Certified teacher making his teaching license valid in all 50 states.


He has been a member of the Southeast District Board for six years and the Vice President for three years. He is a member and past president of the UU Congregation of the Lowcountry and has served as the president of the UU Congregation of Columbia, SC where he was a member for 25 years.


Peter was Dean of SUULE (Southern UU Leadership Experience) for five years and during that time he also served as a small group facilitator with our sister Leadership Experience, DBLE.  He is a Smart Church consultant for the Southern Region.

Peter is a Trustee of The Mountain Retreat and Learning Center (MRLC), an Independent affiliate of the Unitarian Universalist Association and serves on its Leadership Development Committee.


Peter serves on our Association’s Commission on Appraisal and the Religious Education Credentialing Committee.

Peter is the ‘Ambassador’ and spokesperson for the Hilton Head Island Pickleball club. 

Margie Manning is the last president of the UUA Florida District, and also served as secretary to the Florida District board. She currently is a member of Unitarian Universalists of Clearwater, and serves as a member of the board of the UU Church of Clearwater Foundation. She has been board president, treasurer and worship committee chair at Unitarian Universalist Church of St. Petersburg and prior to moving to Florida in 2003, she served as a member of the board of trustees at Eliot Unitarian Chapel in St. Louis. At UU Church of St. Petersburg, Margie received the President’s Award for Leadership (2011) and Minister’s Award for Excellence in Shared Ministry (2009, 2011 and 2012). Margie is a journalist and print editor at Tampa Bay Business Journal. She her husband, Mike, live in St. Petersburg, Florida, with three cats and a dog, and have two adult daughters who were active in UU youth programs. 

Lewis Morris is a member of First Jefferson Unitarian Universalist Church in Fort Worth, Texas. He has served his congregation in many capacities, starting with a position as Ministry Coordinator Trustee on the Board for two years then serving as President elect for one, Vice President for one year, moving into President for two years and past President for one year. Lewis Morris is a graduate of the Dwight Brown Leadership Experience (DBLE class of 2008!) where he started on the path of Anti-Racist Anti Oppression Multi Cultural work within his congregation.


To strengthen his knowledge around ARAOMC work he has attended many workshops such as right relations, Compassionate Communication, and workshops that increased his knowledge across the Southwest Unitarian Universalist Conference. Lewis has led workshops that focused on Race Relations in the Justice System (New Jim Crow-Mass Incarceration) and celebration of Selma. Lewis has continued his education in effective cultural work by recently receiving his certification in Inter-Cultural Development Identification (IDI) and works in concert with the Regional Staff team to help continue developing and raising the awareness of Inter-Culturalism across the region.


Lewis has served in District positions on the SWUUC District Board of Trustees and served as staff at the Dwight Brown Leadership Experience as part of the Right Relations Team. He has been trained and recognized as a Smart Church Consultant working in covenant with the Congregational Life Staff (CLS) across the Southern Region.


Lewis Morris holds an Associates degree in Aviation Science and is employed by Bell Helicopter in Fort Worth Texas. His greatest achievement is being a loving husband to his wife, Tasha Morris, and stepfather to his stepson, Dorian O’Conan, and their rescue pitbull, Rosie.

Sarah Ritzmann is a lifelong UU and Jacksonville area native who has attended Buckman Bridge Unitarian Universalist Church since it was formed in 1990 - she was 5 years old. Hailing from a family rooted in the Universalist church, she is the 6th generation in a line of dedicated laypeople. Sarah is committed to the growth and prosperity of our faith and has served two years as Trustee on the Florida District Board. Sarah works in administration, focusing on proof reading and graphics for a local print marketing firm. She lives in Orange Park, FL with her husband, Jeremy, and 4-year-old son Judah.