This is a pivotal moment. We are in a time of great change for our nation and our planet. This is also a time of opportunity. More than ever, Unitarian Universalism is called to be a bold and vital voice for love and justice.
To be effective in this moment, we need spiritually vital communities, strong relationships, and an Association that is mission-focused and organized for impact.
We need a President capable of providing strategic, spiritually grounded leadership, in the midst of uncertainty. For the last eight years, I have served a vibrant, growing congregation in Phoenix, Arizona. Living in a border state, I have come to see that ours is a border faith, and this is a border time. A border community is a unique place. It is not defined by either/or thinking, but by a both/and way of life. It is a place of change, growth, and opportunity. We need a leader who can help us grow as a border faith, reaching more deeply within and beyond. We need a compelling voice to remind our communities that what we do matters, that how we live and share our border faith matters and how we witness and work for our values matters. This is desperately needed in this world.
As President, I would be focused on unlocking the power, the opportunity and the calling of our faith in this moment.
To the Presidency…
- I bring a breadth and depth of relationships.
- I bring the experience of revitalizing congregations for greater health and vitality.
- I bring the capacity to articulate a compelling vision for our faith and the skills to move that vision forward.
- I bring an abiding love and respect for our faith and tradition and the unwavering commitment to see it grow and thrive.
To the Presidency, I bring a breadth and depth of relationships.
I bring relationships with leaders across the Association and national faith and justice movement leaders beyond the Association.
With over 17 years of ministry experience and having been part of congregations in all 5 Regions of the Association, I have relationships with ministers, lay leaders, and congregations across the country. In my role planning and implementing the 2012 Justice General Assembly, I worked with the UUA Board of of Trustees, Senior UUA Staff, the General Assembly Planning Committee, the Accountability Group of leaders from identity-based ministry groups, Regional and District Staff, and lay leaders from around the country. These relationships have helped me see the diversity of our Association and how needs and culture vary from region to region. It’s also prepared me to effectively lead our Association and navigate the intricacies of our institution.
Beyond our Association, I bring national relationships that will help strengthen partnerships beyond the UUA from day one. Through my work in Arizona, I have developed ministry and justice partnerships with Black Lives Matter co-founder, Opal Tometi; General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ, John Dorhauer; Executive Director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, Pablo Alvarado, and National Grassroots Coordinator for Church World Service, Noel Anderson. These are some of the most effective and dynamic leaders in justice and faith movements today and these relationships have taught me the power of collaboration, that we are stronger together.
To the Presidency, I bring the experience of revitalizing congregations for greater health and vitality.
In the congregations I have served, I have led tremendous financial, numerical and organizational growth. This growth was fundamentally a result of being focused on our mission — understanding that our communities are called to minister to the spiritual health of the people and be engaged in advancing justice in the world. This reminder of our larger purpose led to a deepening of the spiritual health and the quality of community in these congregations. It also fostered a strategic focus that allowed us to effectively use our resources for impact and growth. Leading organizational change is not easy, but being focused on too many things undermines impact in any area. Clarity of mission and purpose is critical for the long-term health and success of our Association.
To the Presidency, I bring the capacity to articulate a compelling vision for our faith and the skills to move that vision forward.
As the primary vision caster and key organizer for the 2012 Justice General Assembly, I helped build consensus around a bold vision of what could be done with a Justice GA and then worked to make it real. With Justice GA, we embodied the power of what it means for a faith community to show up on the front lines. As we gathered 2,000 people strong outside of Sheriff Arpaio’s notorious Tent City Jail, with candlelight and song, we demonstrated powerfully how we can pray with our bodies and create sacred space where it is needed the most. We shifted away from “business as usual” so we could focus on impact. We made GA less about ourselves and our internal business. We moved out of plenary hall and onto the streets in partnership, following the lead of grassroots undocumented-led organizations to witness against injustice, against human rights abuses, and to show up boldly on the side of love. Justice GA had impacts well beyond the assembly. It changed how we think and talk about partnership and multiculturalism. It changed how we are today living into partnership and multiculturalism with our racial justice work.
Faith and Tradition
To the Presidency, I bring an abiding love and respect for our faith and tradition and the unwavering commitment to see it grow and thrive.
As a lifelong Unitarian Universalist raised in our inclusive, affirming and courageous tradition, I know I would not be the person I am today without this faith as my strength and my foundation. Our faith continues to teach me how to boldly embody and lead from the values of love and justice.
Many are leaving religious communities and institutions because they fail to see their relevance for the real challenges that confront us. If we can lift our eyes to see a larger vision of who we are and how we are called, we can remind people of the power and meaning of religious community. I know the power of our faith. I know the challenging call it makes to us. I know the powerful life changing, life saving places our communities can be. Together, I know that we can unlock the radically inclusive, justice centered, spiritual depth of our faith, and live it more boldly and powerfully in all of our communities.