A Message from Peter Morales

June 27, 2009

Dear UU Friends,

As many of you know, I have just been elected President of the Unitarian Universalist Association. But this victory belongs to all of us. I may have been the candidate on the ballot, but we were all in this race together. The real candidate has been our shared vision of what is possible.

I have trouble expressing how profoundly the generosity of people in this campaign has touched me. I can only say, in the Spanish phrase, mil gracias, “a thousand thanks.”

When a small group of us launched this campaign more than a year and a half ago, we made two promises to one another. The first promise was that we would conduct a campaign we would be proud of when it was finished. We committed ourselves to focusing on our vision and never to allow ourselves to be drawn into personal attacks.

The second promise sounds frivolous, but it isn’t. We promised to have fun. What we meant is that we would take time to enjoy each other’s company and to celebrate what is good, joyous and life-enhancing in our faith.

We have kept both promises. They are good promises to remember as we go forward. We have won the election, but we are only beginning our campaign to make Unitarian Universalism the religion for our time.

We are only beginning our growth, not just in numbers but in spirit, vitality and diversity.

Fortunately, we are continuing and building on the great achievement of President Bill Sinkford in social witness. Ours will be a presidency passionately engaged in the great moral issues of our time: economic justice, peace, and human rights.

And we pledge together to work for open and accountable governance in our Association – above all, one that is sensitive to the diversity of our districts and congregations and is truly useful to them.

These great projects are nothing that I, even as UUA President, can do alone. They are our continued campaign. Over the past year and a half, as I have traveled the country I have had a chance to talk with – and listen to – many of you. As president, I will continue to listen. I plan to travel, to meet again or for the first time as many of you as I can. I also want to use 21st century technology to make this a democratic, interactive presidency.

I would like to thank and praise the Rev. Dr. Laurel Hallman for her deep insights and inspiring contributions to our faith. Over these many months, as we have campaigned together, we have almost learned to finish one another’s sentences. Her concerns for spiritual depth, covenantal relationships and stewardship are values I share.

To Laurel’s supporters, I offer my warmest welcome. There are no divisions in our movement, only complementarities. Your call for spiritual depth has always been a call that leads us to work together to make a better world. Together, we are answering the same call heard by Servetus, Ballou, Channing, Parker and Susan B. Anthony—a call to leave behind what is outmoded and to let compassion guide us as we shape a future together.

So, as we bring this unforgettable electoral campaign to a close, we begin our campaign to govern together. Our goals to transform our movement are ambitious. In the hard days ahead, let us remember that we have already achieved what seemed a distant dream. You have my heartfelt thanks. You hold in your hands our shared hopes for what is to come.

In gratitude and faith,

Peter Morales

TGIF: Morales Rally 10 pm – midnight Friday at GA

June 26, 2009

Don’t miss the Friday night Morales Rockin’ Rally – live music, dancing, munchies and more!

St Mark’s Cathedral, 231 East 100 South, only a three-block walk from the Salt Palace.

If you need a lift look for the Moralesmobile (it looks like a school bus!) right outside the Salt Palace entrance as you leave the Service of the Living Tradition.

There will be an opportunity to donate to St. Mark’s community outreach project, Hidegarde’s Pantry, a member of the Utah Food Bank.

Morales Answers FAQ

June 25, 2009

At the Morales booth at GA we’re having a blast meeting UUs from everywhere!

In response to some Frequently Asked Questions, we’ve updated the FAQ page of Peter’s web site with some important answers.

Don’t Miss the Candidate’s Forum Tonight

June 25, 2009

The UUA Candidates Forum, 7:00 – 8:15 pm Thursday June 26, will be the only opportunity at General Assembly to see the candidates side by side, answering questions about the issues that confront our Association and religious movement.

If you are not at GA, you can watch the forum on the UUA’s live streaming video.
See the GA Web site for more info.

Rev. Dr. Marie deYoung Endorses Morales

June 24, 2009

The Rev. Dr. Marie deYoung, who was the first UU woman chaplain in the U.S. Army, has endorsed Peter Morales to be the next UUA president.

DeYoung, whose current ministry is in high-poverty communities in the New Orleans area, once did similar work in the West Side of San Antonio, where Peter grew up.

The Rev. Marie deYoung

The Rev. Marie deYoung

As Unitarian Universalists began to gather in Salt Lake City for the General Assembly, deYoung wrote to Morales headquarters that she’d not intended to endorse but that colleagues had urged her to study the candidates.

“When asked to promote a candidate, ” she said in her endorsement letter, “I decided to rethink my own responsibility as a community minister who passionately wants our values of justice and compassion to be visible to every part of society as our faith in action.” Peter Morales is her choice.

An excerpt from Rev. deYoung’s letter follows:

Earlier in my ministry, I served on the West Side of San Antonio, developing leadership programs for first-generation Latina college students to strengthen their capacity to thrive in middle-class institutions – beginning with their experiences in college.

I know from my work in San Antonio that it is possible to bridge the class divide in our nation. I believe that the life contributions and UU ministry of Rev. Peter Morales – who grew up on the West Side of San Antonio – reflects our highest Unitarian Universalist capacity to bridge the true impediment to our growth as a denomination, the class divide.

Surely as a denomination, if we believe that we have something special to offer the world, we must make an effort to let our little lights shine in ways that make it desirable for those outside our current demographic to learn more about us – and to join our congregations.

With his expertise as a media professional, I believe Rev. Morales is best qualified to restore Unitarian Universalism to its rightful position as a well-recognized faith community that not only invites others to consider our points of view on this or that issue, but to adopt our values and our spirituality by participating in our congregational life as members.

Rev. deYoung now serves as consulting minister of the Gulf Coast Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Gulfport, Miss., which was devastated by Hurricane Katrina, and teaches music, enrichment skills and writing in high-poverty public schools. She formerly served as the director of the Center for Women in Church and Society on the West Side of San Antonio. Drawing from her experience as an Army chaplain she authored two books about military life.

Reaffirming Commitment to the Candidates’ Covenant

June 23, 2009

On the eve of General Assembly, I want to say how pleased I am by the way the Morales team has conducted our campaign. We have offered a positive vision of what is possible for Unitarian Universalism and a clear and practical plan for how to get there. We have also maintained a respectful tone towards our opponent, the Rev. Dr. Laurel Hallman, in keeping with the joint Candidates’ Covenant which we issued jointly in April:

“We jointly pledge to campaign in a spirit of mutual affirmation. We highly respect and admire each other. We view this campaign as an opportunity for constructive debate and creative exploration of the future of the Unitarian Universalist Association. We ask our supporters to show respect to both candidates and to keep discussion respectful and positive, in the spirit of our religious community.”

I write this now to reaffirm my commitment to this Covenant and to urge all my supporters to campaign joyfully in that spirit even if they encounter negativity in the heat of the final days of campaigning at GA: May we join in a spirit of openness and reconciliation as we share our vision of growth for the UUA in spirit, vitality, numbers and diversity; engagement in the great moral issues of our time, and open and accountable governance.

I extend my welcome to Laurel’s supporters, as well as those who are undecided. I am confident that in the next UUA presidency we can unite to make creative use of the diverse insights and talents in our Association.


Peter Morales

Endorsements Continue at Ministry Days

June 23, 2009

When UU ministers gathered for the opening reception for their Ministry Days, which precede the General Assembly, nine more ministers endorsed Peter Morales to be elected UUA president on Saturday. The ministers are:

The Rev. Carolyn Brown
Has served congregations in Wichita, KS and Evansville, IN

The Rev. Sally Hamlin
First Universalist Church, Rochester, NY

The Rev. Victoria Ingram
UU Fellowship of Los Gatos, Los Gatos, CA

The Rev. Ray Manker, and his wife, Gretchen
Ray is Minister Emeritus of the UU Congregation of Phoenix, Phoenix, AZ

The Rev. Nancy Palmer-Jones
First Unitarian Church, San Jose, CA

The Rev. Donald Robinson
Director, Beacon House Community Ministry, Washington DC

The Rev. Yvonne Schumacher Strejcek
Served as Associate Minister, Harrisburg, PA

The Rev. Carlton Smith
Interim Minister, Central Unitarian Church, Paramus, NJ

The Rev. Anne Williver
Family Minister, First Universalist Society, Franklin MA

Open letter from Peter Morales as Election Day nears

June 23, 2009

Dear Fellow Unitarian Universalists,

In a few days we will elect a new president of our Association. This may be the most important election in our history. Our choice will set the direction of our movement at a time of great social change and at a crucial time in our history.

Ultimately, this decision is religious and spiritual. It is a decision about who we are called to be as a religious people. I believe, and have always believed, that we are called to embrace the future. We are called to be a more powerful voice for compassion, justice and environmental stewardship. We are called to be a religious home to millions of seekers – seekers from diverse racial and cultural backgrounds. We are called to transform lives as we nurture our spiritual communities. In short, I believe we are called to be “the religion for our time.”

This call to new possibilities is the same call heard by Michael Servetus, William Ellery Channing, Hosea Ballou and Susan B. Anthony. They heard the call of a transformed future. The ability to envision a new world and the determination to bring it into being is the core of who we are as a religious people.

This is a time of exhilarating possibility and a time of profound need. We are becoming a multiracial, multicultural nation. Millions are finding the religious traditions of the past inadequate. We can be the religious home for millions of seekers and for the spiritually hungry.

This is a time of anxiety, fear and tribalism. Hatred and ignorance drive people to violence and to oppress others. Greed threatens life on our planet. This is a time that calls us to be a powerful, angry, and gentle voice for love, understanding and stewardship.

This is a historic opportunity we must not miss. Together we can transform our faith. Together we can answer the ancient and timeless call to embrace possibility.

This campaign is ultimately about answering the call to be “the religion for our time.” Together we can do it. We must do it.

I want to be president to help lead us as we answer our call. I ask for your vote—and for much more. I ask for your commitment, energy and passion. Together we can lead this faith we love into a new era.


Peter Morales

Women who ran for UUA president endorse Peter

June 22, 2009

Both women ministers who have run for the UUA presidency – the Rev. Carolyn Owen-Towle, a candidate in 1993, and the Rev. Diane Miller, in 2001 – have endorsed Peter Morales in this year’s race.

Rev. Diane MillerMiller is now the minister of the First Religious Society of Carlisle, Mass. For eight years she was the director of the UUA’s department of ministry, and she was a founder of the UU Ministerial Sisterhood.

She came to value Peter when she served as an interim minister in 2003 at Jefferson Unitarian Church in Golden, Colo. Peter had served as senior minister from 1999 to 2002 – and was destined to return in 2004 after two years of service on the UUA senior staff in Boston.

“When an interim minister arrives,” Miller writes in her endorsement letter, “that interim becomes well acquainted with the results of the ministry of the settled minister who had led the congregation. This was how I got to know Peter.

“He had left a strong, vital, healthy congregation at Jefferson Unitarian Church. His style had empowered the congregation to lead. He emphasized welcoming visitors, being open to new ideas, and focusing on results. In this way his leadership set things in motion that carried on. The emphasis and values of his ministry were embraced by the congregation, and effectively so.

“Oh, one more thing. When JUC’s ministerial search committee learned that Peter would consider returning to Golden, they were elated at the prospect, as was the congregation. My viewpoint of his effective ministry was shared by the parishioners.”

Rev. Carolyn Owen-TowleOwen-Towle, minister emerita of First UU Church of San Diego, is former president of both the UU Service Committee and the UU Ministers Association. Her endorsement message focuses on Peter’s vision for the future of our faith.

“I share Peter’s perspective,” she writes, “on what Unitarian Universalism can become as a growing public force for progressive religion in today’s multicultural world. Peter knows that the embodiment of our great faith saves lives, and he is determined to spread Unitarian Universalism where it will do great good. I want to be a part of this.”

Going to GA? An Invitation from Team Morales

June 22, 2009

If you will be at GA in Salt Lake City this week, you are invited to…

…visit with Peter and Team Morales in the Exhibit Hall (#510) every day!

…attend the UUA Candidates Forum (#2041) Thursday 7:00-8:15 p.m. Plenary Hall

…grab some friends and come to the Rockin’ Rally for Peter, Friday 10 p.m. – Midnight, St Mark’s Cathedral, (231 East 100 South) just a 3 block walk from the Salt Palace, or catch the Moralesmobile (which happens to look quite a bit like a school bus). It will be waiting for you as you exit the Service of the Living Tradition. Enjoy Live Music, Dancing, Munchies, and More. This will be THE event of GA, especially if you are there!