UUA Southern Region Staff
Natalie Briscoe: Congregational Life Staff
Natalie Briscoe received her
Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin
in 2000 where her focus was on learning and perception across the
lifespan. She received her Master's Degree in counseling and human
development from the University of North Texas in 2002. She has amassed
a decade as a Religious Educator, serving first as a Children's Program
Coordinator and then as a Director of Religious Education for two
churches, one in North Texas and one in Seattle, Washington. She also
served the Southern Region as a Healthy Congregations Consultant and as a
Youth Ministry Consultant for the last three years. In 2011 Natalie
received both the Ruth Clark Award for service to Unitarian Universalism
from the North Texas Association of UU Societies and the Norma Veridan
Award for outstanding contributions to Religious Education in the
Southwest District. She is married to her best friend, Sean, and the
couple welcomed their first son Ian in 2012.
Natalie may be reached at email@example.com.
Kathy Charles: Congregational Life Staff---Event Planning
Born in Salt Lake City, Utah, I moved to Houston, Texas in 1988. Very soon after arriving in Houston I joined Bay Area Unitarian Universalist Church.
I began volunteering in my congregation immediately and found myself feeling very satisfied with the work.
I am a member of the RCMA (Religious Conference Management Association) and I have attended the annual conference. I have attended DBLE (2007) and several AR/AO/MC trainings. I currently serve on the General Assembly Planning Committee as co-vice chair.
I was a small business owner for 40 years until my first retirement in 2014. I came to work in the Southern Region UUA as an event planner in June 2012 and enjoy the challenge and excitement of this new career.
I have been married for 14 wonderful years to John, who has worked at NASA for 25 years as a scientist. I have one perfect son, Jason. Jason is 32 and a successful business owner in Houston.
My other loves are reading, knitting, quilting, cooking and planning events. I look forward to serving the Southern Region UUA.
Kathy may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jessica Curren: Congregational Life Staff---Congregational Connections
Jessica Curren has been with the Florida District since 2002 and her job has expanded to include administrative work for Mid-South District (2011) and Southwest District (2012). Her role in the Southern Region is "Congregational Connections" administrator.
She is a native Floridian and has lived in central Florida most of her life. She is married, to Tyler, and they have a young adult son, Chris. Her prior work history includes theatre box office management and retail supervisory positions. She has a BS in Liberal Studies and a BA in Legal Studies from the University of Central Florida. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with family and friends, standup paddleboarding, reading and music.
Jessica found Unitarian Universalism while looking at religious education options for her then young son. She began attending First Unitarian Church of Orlando in 1996. She has been a member there for thirteen years and has served in a variety of volunteer positions.
Jessica may be reached at email@example.com.
Connie Goodbread: Congregational Life Staff
Connie Goodbread (Focus: Leadership and Faith Development for the UUA's Southern Region) is a Credentialed Director of Religious Education with over twenty years of experience.
has served as the Program Consultant for Florida, Mid-South and
Northern New England Districts. She also served as the Interim District
Executive for St Lawrence District and the District Executive for
Connie has studied Healthy Congregation
development and congregational conflict identification and
transformation with Rev. Dr. Peter Steinke. Prior to her district work,
Connie was a Healthy Congregations and Conflict consultant. Connie is a
trainer of Dr. Steinke’s Healthy Congregations process and has written
a Unitarian Universalist supplement to Dr. Steinke’s work called The
She has also co-authored, with Rev. Susan Smith, an
emerging congregation process called The Chrysalis Way. Connie is part
of a team that redesigned and leads the Dwight Brown Leadership
Experience and Southern Unitarian Universalist Leadership Experience.
Connie lives in Palm Harbor, Florida with her husband Bob. She has two granddaughters that are the light of her life.
Connie may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Rev. Kenneth Gordon Hurto: Executive Lead, Southern Region
The Reverend Kenneth Gordon Hurto (Focus: Professional Leadership Transitions and Executive Lead for the UUA's Southern Region)
has served our ministry for over 40 years in a variety of parish
settings in Indiana, Iowa, Wyoming, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Florida and
in New Zealand and Australia. He also has served in the UUA’s Department
of Ministry, chaired the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association
CENTER (continuing education) committee and served as Vice-President of
Since 2006 he has been a member of the Southern Region
Congregational Life consulting team. His Southern Region
responsibilities include serving as the Executive Lead for the Region
and coordinating Transitions for our congregations’ religious
Kenn is a graduate of Augustana College (A.B.,
philosophy; Rock Island, IL) and from the Divinity School, cum laude, at
Harvard University. His professional studies include work in
Transactional Analysis and depth study in Bowen Family Systems Theory,
having been privileged to be mentored by Rabbi Dr. Edwin H. Friedman.
He lives in Fort Myers, Florida with Jeannie Kelly.
Rev. Hurto may be reached at email@example.com.
Maggie Lovins: Congregational Life Staff
Maggie Lovins calls it a blessing to be a member of the Southern Region’s “HallelUUjah Staff,” and she is very enthusiastic about this role in her ministry's calling! Maggie serves as First Contact to congregations in Georgia and Florida (north of Orlando).
Living in Pensacola FL, she served her home congregation as Administrator, Volunteer Coordinator and Children’s Religious Education Coordinator. Maggie had also served as lay-leader in the Mid-South District as Ministerial Settlement Representative and District Board Secretary. Regionally, she served as a Smart Church Consultant and Leadership Experience facilitator before joining the Congregational Life staff.
In addition to her Field Staff position, she is currently enrolled in the Starr King School of Ministry’s Masters of Divinity program. Maggie is passionate about Unitarian Universalism and it shows! While the freedom of examination, thought, and spirit brought her to this place, it is the Faith itself that keeps her striving to make Unitarian Universalism an affirming, growing, sustainable worldwide movement. She brings a diverse background with unique perspectives from her experiences in the automotive industry, as an Irish Pub owner, and as a Class A Commercial Drivers License holder. Supporting Maggie in her endeavors is her partner, Chad, service animal Daisy Dog, and two loving felines.
Maggie is on extended leave. Please contact Rev. Kenn Hurto for assistance: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kathy McGowan: Congregational Life Staff
Kathy McGowan is one of the
newest members of the Southern Region staff team. Previously she was a
consultant for the St. Lawrence District in New York, specializing in
Healthy Congregations training and leadership development. She was also
on that district board, served two New York congregations as president
and two as Director of Religious Education. She also coordinated the
cluster of congregations known as Capital Region UUs of New York where
she helped carry a vision of growth with an emphasis on spiritual
depth. Her work comes from a deep respect for individual process of
spiritual development and the power of communal worship. As a graduate
from Brandeis University she holds a B.A. in theatre arts. She grew up
in Springfield, Ohio, lived in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Missouri,
Illinois and is happy to be moving to the state of North Carolina.
Kathy may be reached at email@example.com.
Christine Purcell: Congregational Life Staff
Christine Purcell began working as the communications and technology specialist for the Southern Region team in 2011. She serves as the Southern Region Program Manager for Transitions and the Primary Contact for smaller congregations in Arkansas, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
Her educational background is in media technology, which is her passion, and sociology, which seemed like a good idea when she was in her 20s. She has worked as a workshop facilitator at a military counseling center, a corporate trainer, and a videographer/video editor. She is a Red Cross certified emergency shelter manager, and volunteers for community organizations which assist homeless and low-income families. She attends Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church in TN, and has held congregational and cluster leadership positions. She enjoys travel, photography, and adventures with her family in her spare time.
Christine may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Rev. Carlton Elliott Smith: Congregational Life Staff
Carlton joined the Southern Region Congregational Life Staff in August 2013.
Carlton graduated twice from Howard University, with a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration and a Master's of Divinity (summa cum laude). He lived for five months in France as a student guest-worker following his undergrad years, and five months in Switzerland as a student at the World Council of Churches Ecumenical Institute following graduate school. His first professional position was in the marketing and communications department of The Discovery Channel, when it was a new enterprise. As a Henry Luce Foundation Fellow, he wrote full-time for Religion News Service one year.
He lives in his hometown of Holly Springs, Mississippi, less than an hour from the Memphis airport and only a mile from his beloved mother.
Rev. Smith may be reached at email@example.com and on Facebook -- Carlton Elliott Smith. His radioblogs on lgbtq inclusion, mass incarceration of black and brown people, and immigrant advocacy can be found at www.blogtalkradio.com/revcarltones.
Rev. Smith may be reached at CSmith@uua.org