A Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Ministry, UU Church of Sarasota, FL
Susan Frederick-Gray embodies what it means to take our values out into the world. As a minister and activist, she is aware of the awesome potential our congregations have to be collaborative instruments of justice in communities across the nation, and as a pastor she understands how hungry we all are to lead lives integrity and meaning with the support of a community that looks beyond itself. For me, those two ideas represent the promise of Unitarian Universalism, and I can’t think of anyone better suited to leading us into that future.
Co-Creator of Spirit Play, Unitarian Universalist Church of Lancaster, PA
We spend a great deal of time in Spirit Play wondering over great stories of faith and wondering over our own lives and stories. I stress with new teachers just how important it is that if they say they wonder about a thing that they actually enter into a true sense of unknowing about the question. I honestly wonder about the future of our religious movement and where are story will take us next. What I do not wonder about is who we should select to lead us in the next few years. That person is Susan. I could go on and on but I will say over the years in many different roles I have witnessed the integrity and unfailing vision for our faith that Susan brings to her work and her life. There is simply no question, for visionary and effective proven leadership she is the right choice. Integrity is the first word that comes to mind when I think of Susan. She has forged a ministry doing what so few do and what our churches and faith so need which is to lead in a way that supports and builds up the congregation she serves while at the same time offering a continuous voice and presence in the wider world without which so much of what we believe would yield very little in terms of making some impact on the society in which we live. Let’s get this election right.
Associate Minister, Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis
Susan is the right leader for this time in our Unitarian Universalist religious history. She knows key faith leaders, has been active in human rights and was a part of one of the most successful GA’s I’ve been a part of at the 2012 “Justice General Assembly.” Susan is bold, direct and a strong leader. She has an old-soul and is ready to be the first female president of the UUA.
Senior Minister, River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation
Susan has a rare combination of strategic thinking and ministerial presence that is essential to the effective functioning of the President of our Association. We ask our President to be a poet in the public sphere and to speak theologically and morally on behalf of our faith. We also expect our President to work collaboratively with staff and board members to manage the affairs of the Association in a matter consistent with our values. Susan is capable of holding both roles with care, courage, and deep intention. I’m proud to offer her my support.
Acting Dean of Students and Community Life, Starr King School for the Ministry
As a lifelong UU, Susan knows that a spiritual vitality is the essential foundation for our ministries – fostering hope, inspiration and resilience in these uncertain times.
As a leader, Susan brings many personal gifts to the role of UUA President. She is visionary and strategic. She listens well, fosters other leaders, welcomes input, and can make decisions. Susan can inspire a crowd and connect one on one with an individual. Compassionate and courageous, enthusiastic and tenacious, she is willing to take some risks and also knows that real change requires significant commitments over the long haul. She even enjoys fundraising and is excited by the opportunity to bring additional resources to empower our faith! Susan’s leadership prioritizes relationships. She builds trust. From trust grows authentic and effective collaboration.
When I was serving as Executive Director of the UU Legislative Ministry of California, I asked Susan to be part of my small “justice ministry think tank”. Her spiritual depth, on-the- ground experience, intelligence, insight, imagination, humility and practical ideas were most helpful to me as I worked to establish a statewide ministry that was charting new ground. Susan is an outstanding religious leader with compelling priorities for such a time as this. I wholeheartedly endorse the Rev. Susan Frederick Gray for UUA President.
Susan is a remarkable leader. She brings a combination of gifts that equip her well to lead this Association. She has a compassionate heart which derives from a spiritual connection to her community, to her Sacred, to the Earth. She walks gently in the world because she recognizes the value of all living things. She is a deep thinker with the intellectual capacity to see complexity, to analyze nuance, to anticipate consequence, and to envision outcome. She inspires others to bring their best for the sake of a cause or a movement worth showing up for. She is present with voice, courage and conviction on the margins, speaking truth to power in love in order to destabilize systems founded by injustice and feeding on the poor and marginalized. She creates safe spaces for others to enter with their whole self – not just the parts that the powerful want and expect. She knows what an association like the UUA brings in partnership to a larger movement of change-makers called to create a new kind of human community where all are valued and the common good is served; and she will do everything in her power to realize the full capacity and potential of this remarkable denomination as an agent for social transformation. It would be an honor for me to serve alongside this gifted, this visionary, and this spiritual leader as we do all that we can to bring peace, justice, and spiritual health and vitality to a world and a country so much in need of these very things.
Senior Leader (Minister), Washington Ethical Society
Like so many, I am inspired by Susan’s justice work, and I believe she will represent us with passion and a true sense of solidarity on the national stage. But I am also inspired by her organizational sense. I support the ways she wants to revitalize our structures, to make our UUA more nimble and more effective. And as the leader of an intentionally humanist congregation, part of the Ethical Culture movement (and also a member congregation of the UUA), I trust Susan to welcome and celebrate all the strains of UU identity that make up our pluralistic movement. I am proud to add my voice to the many endorsing Susan’s candidacy for President of the Unitarian Universalist Association.
Director of Music, River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation
I am excited about our future Unitarian Universalism with Susan leading the way. I think she has a great vision and leadership ability – especially for our denomination to be effective in making a difference in these troubling times.
Minister, Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis
Susan’s leadership and ministry have helped shape Unitarian Universalism’s clear and prophetic response to systematic injustice and violence. I know she will bring that same clarity and boldness to the UUA presidency.
Minister, First Unitarian Church of Worcester, Mass.
I support Susan Frederick-Gray for UUA President because of her leadership and vision for our faith. In Phoenix, she has built a spiritually vital congregation and helped connect Unitarian Universalists to a vision for justice in the world. She has built relationships with leaders of diverse faith groups and social justice movements to help heal our world. (more…)
As an immigrant and long time immigration justice advocate, I am so grateful for Susan Frederick-Gray’s leadership and commitment to transforming our broken immigration system. Her ministry models cultural humility and encourages all of us to recognize that immigrant people’s rights are human rights.
I have known and worked with Susan since she was first called to Phoenix. I have witnessed her deep and skillful collaboration with other leaders in what was sometimes difficult work to realize common ground. We are a land of many peoples and diverse cultures. Susan’s ministry has proven how deeply she is open to that reality and how thoughtfully she engages its challenges.
Our Unitarian Universalist Association has much to offer the world, in order to realize that potential we must boldly join with interfaith partners in principled partnerships. We need a leader who has shown that rare ability to lead, while also uniting with others.
Susan has a deep and practiced understanding of our liberal religious way. Her leadership will be grounded in both the wellsprings of our heritage and a deep personal spiritual practice.
I reached out to Susan in the preparations for Justice GA, and in the years since, I’ve seen again and again how deeply grounded Susan is in a faithful practice of Love that infuses all that she does. Her faith and spiritual practices are the foundation for her ministry. Susan’s commitment to justice as solidarity with movement-builders is grounded in relationships with key movement leaders, especially but not only in immigrant justice work. Susan’s vision and accountability to broader movements for justice have the potential to widen and deepen our prophetic work as a faith tradition. She’s a leader who I turn to for ideas on how to make my ministry more effective and impactful within the congregation I serve. I admire and respect Susan’s vision for Unitarian Universalism, her commitment to building a just and sustainable world, and her capacity to shift institutions to match this vision and commitment. She will serve our movement well as UUA President.
Through all the years I’ve known Susan, she has been able to hold both a strong vision and the immediacy of the moment in balance. She is committed to the outcome and honors the process. She loves our association and sees a purpose and a path into our future. With her people skills, she can excite Unitarian Universalists into paying for that future! I endorse her without hesitation.
From the first time I met Rev. Susan, I appreciated her clear call and passion for justice. In the many years we’ve known each other, my admiration for those aspects of her leadership has only grown stronger. In addition, I have witnessed her strategic thinking leading to greater health and vitality of her own congregation. I’ve seen first-hand her ability to pastor to people of all ages, including my very own Jewish elementary-aged step-daughter who, because of Rev. Susan, now thinks that UU worship is so cool and fun. Rev. Susan has also made clear her commitment to caring for our small and mighty congregations. In these dangerous times in our world, we need a UUA President like Rev. Susan – a person who will craft a cohesive, compelling vision for the future and who will lead us into deeper love, justice and vitality.
I have admired Rev. Susan’s ministry for a long time, but especially for her leadership of the Justice General Assembly of 2012: she showed us what was possible for our movement. She listens well. She communicates clearly her considerable heart and mind. She inspires action. Her combination of practical savvy, plus her passion for faith are exactly what we need now.
Senior Minister, Valley Unitarian Universalist Congregation
Susan and I serve neighboring congregations and have worked together in a variety of contexts. She is a strong, clear voice for Unitarian Universalism in our city. Her relationships of accountability and partnership with the immigrant community are deep and transformative. Susan’s local and national work has prepared her to be the president to lead us into the uncertain days ahead. I am proud to endorse her.
From the first time I met Susan, I saw qualities of leadership I felt could benefit the entire UUA. After Justice GA those thoughts were confirmed. We are at the edge of an important time in this faith tradition, this country and this world. We need to bring forth the voice of kindness, love and justice in new, creative and bold ways. Susan has demonstrated these gifts and has a vision for the future of Unitarian Universalism for the 21st Century. It is time for us to give gratitude for those who have come before us, but move forward to live our faith out beyond the boundaries of our own making to help facilitate healing, wholeness and transformation for ourselves, each other and the planet. I believe that Susan is the right person at the right time and I wholeheartedly support her.
I’ve known Susan for 20 years and am thrilled for our Association that she’s running for UUA President. She is a skilled administrator and loving pastor. As a leader, she is both practical and visionary, grounded and passionate. Susan’s approach is relational and her work is mission-driven. She knows we need organizational clarity and financial generosity to stay vital as a movement, and she brings a proven track record in fundraising and church growth. Moreover, as a true ally, Susan has modeled how to learn from and stand with local justice leaders and interfaith colleagues. Her courage and compassion inspire me and give me hope. As we face troubling times and uncertainty about the future, Susan’s depth of experience, spiritual grounding, maturity, scholarship and passion are just what we need.
Susan embodies the bright, visionary leadership necessary for Unitarian Universalism to meet the challenges and grasp the opportunities that face us as a faith community, and in the wider world. Her collaborative ability and wisdom, knowledge and passion, her fierce love and her profound commitment to spiritually grounded justice work make her the person to lead our Association.
Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray inspires me. This is why I am endorsing her. Although I missed Justice GA, the energy that lingered in colleagues with whom I spoke was palpable. I began to learn about Susan’s leadership in Arizona around justice issues as well as her partnership with many other leaders and organizations. This model of leadership deeply grounded in the values of her faith and lived out in action inspires me. Susan speaks a lot about mission, which I understand to be another way of saying that we need to inspire people. We need to cast a vision that excites people to reach out, get engaged, and stay engaged. We need a compelling story of who we are as Unitarian Universalists to bring us together and to inspire others to join our movement. When I hear Susan speak – whether in a crowd or small group – I hear her deep commitment to help tell this story, to craft a mission, and to organize actions and allies to put the mission into action. I’d love to see where the UUA would go under her leadership. I’d love to be a part of that journey!
Susan inspired me to travel to Washington, DC to protest immigration policy. We were arrested together in an act of civil disobedience in front of the White House. Susan’s passion for justice, her wisdom in building coalitions and her deep faith make her the best candidate to lead Unitarian Universalism into what is next for us. I trust her to guide us to being the prophetic people we are called to be. I am proud to endorse her.
John MottI like your statement about power in the UUA. I can remember attending a panel at General Assembly in Boston on how to get more involved as a volunteer at the national level, and I was struck at how much of the focus was about learning the system and learning who turned what levers so that you 'could get in the door', It sounded like how to look for a paying job at a desirable company.