Archive for the ‘GA and Voting Information’ Category

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.

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.

Morales momentum grows as GA nears

June 19, 2009

With Election Day at the 2009 General Assembly a little more than a week away, momentum is growing behind the Rev. Peter Morales’s campaign to become the next UUA president. We are within reach of victory. Your support and help will make a vital difference – not only to this campaign, but to the future of Unitarian Universalism.

When Peter Morales entered the race, his opponent, the Rev. Dr. Laurel Hallman, was already well established and had gathered a long list of endorsements. Peter started with a small core group, who had urged him to declare because they felt the job needed his vision and passion. He now has hundreds of endorsers, including more than 200 UU clergy as well as rare unanimous endorsements by the boards of both the UU Women’s Federation and UUs for a Just Economic Community.

Morales is the senior minister of the fast-growing Jefferson Unitarian Church in Golden, Colorado; former Mountain Desert District trustee on the UUA Board, and former director of the UUA’s department of district services.

Here is what Peter’s own congregants say: “We believe that what Peter did here will help our entire denomination. He is dedicated to a vision of a world shaped by our Unitarian Universalist principles of peace, compassion and justice. What else could possibly be a more vital focus for the UUA president?” More than 300 congregants of Peter’s church, including every board member and every staff member, have signed this endorsement. More than 70 are planning to go Salt Lake City, scene of this year’s GA, as election workers.

Letters endorsing Morales came from 55 younger and newer ministers and seminarians, from a star-studded cast of religious educators, and from 15 former district presidents who worked with him when he was on the UUA senior staff. Major decision makers have also endorsed him – 10 members of the UUA Board of Trustees, including the elected financial adviser and the chair and two of the other three members of the Board’s Governance Working Group; former UUA executive staff council colleagues (staff members can’t endorse), and members of the President’s Council.

Rev. Clark Olsen, who has known every president and candidate in the UUA since 1957, says he has never been so excited as he is by Peter Morales. “For me, Peter embodies the spirit, the wisdom and the practical skills needed for Unitarian Universalists to become once again, as we were in the 19th Century, a catalyst with a central role in defining American culture, and, by extension, our global future.”

We are especially grateful for the courageous choice of the board of the UU Women’s Federation. In their unanimous endorsement, they wrote: “As women living and working in the 21st century we share Peter’s focus on a radical hospitality that is inclusive and welcoming, especially to people who have not traditionally felt comfortable within our doors; we share his desire for UUism to be ‘a more powerful force for compassion, justice, peace and environmental stewardship’ and we share his understanding that feminist emphasis on the relational has been a transformative force in congregational life and in our view of power (‘power with’ rather than ‘power over.’)”

The choice is ours. After the strong public witness of the Rev. Bill Sinkford’s presidency, this is no moment to turn inward. Do we have the vision to grasp the tremendous opportunity for Unitarian Universalism, the passion to engage in the great moral issues of our time, the courage to seek and welcome diversity, and the discipline to insist on open and accountable governance? These are Peter’s issues, because they are ours. Together, we can not only win this election, but also truly make Unitarian Universalism “the religion for our time.”

Dea Brayden
Morales campaign manager

A President’s Message to Other Congregational Leaders

May 26, 2009

Sam Gugino, President of the Unitarian Society of Germantown, PA, has written the following letter to his fellow congregational leaders.

Sam Gugino

Sam Gugino

Dear Fellow Congregational Presidents,

I’m not sure if this message is “appropriate” but the issue that I want to bring to your attention is too important to stand on correctness. We as a denomination are at an important crossroads in our history. We are not growing. Indeed, our denomination’s numbers have declined for the first time in almost 20 years. Add to that the fact that we are about to elect a new UUA president, and you have a situation that demands our action as church presidents.

The best candidate to grow our denomination and thus, give us a stronger voice for good in the country, is Peter Morales. I first met Peter in 2003 at the Kansas City Midsize Church Conference. His seminar on how to be a welcoming congregation stayed with me and helped me as Membership Chair to grow our church for the first time in a decade. Peter’s own church has grown even more.

But growth for Peter is more than numbers. He believes that if we don’t reach out to people who are, as he puts it “spiritually hungry and religiously homeless,” we are not fulfilling our mission as UUs. To that I would add that if we don’t grow our denomination, we will become increasingly irrelevant as a voice for justice and social change.

Peter’s debate with Laurel Hallman at last year’s GA convinced me that he is clearly the superior candidate in terms of vision, experience and the ability to communicate the message we need to get across. You can view the video of this forum on the homepage of Peter’s website. If you go to the UUA website and check out the debates between the candidates, I think you’ll agree. Several forums are posted at this link.

I urge you to vote for Peter if you are a delegate to this year’s GA, as I and my minister Kent Matthies plan to do.

If you aren’t going to be a delegate, convince the delegates in your congregation to vote for Peter. Remember that delegates can vote absentee but their ballots must reach Boston by June 17. Every congregation has received information about absentee voting.

Finally, I urge you to view the following video for more on who Peter is and what he’s done.

In faith,
Sam Gugino
President, Unitarian Society of Germantown, PA

Audio of April Candidates Forum Posted

May 13, 2009

The audio of the forum conducted at UUA headquarters on April 17 has now been posted. See the link under the New! heading on this page of the UUA web site.

An Important Decision: A Video Testimonial

May 8, 2009

“The futures they represent would be very different,” says Paula Reed of the two UUA Presidential candidates.

Every delegate — in fact, every UU — should watch a concise and compelling new You Tube video “Important Decision”
to find out how members of Peter Morales’s home congregation, Jefferson Unitarian Church of Golden, Colorado, see him up close. What are his priorities, his spirituality, his record as a minister?

Watch this video to learn more from a member of the community that knows him best.

UUA Election Information – Part 2: What’s a Delegate?

March 10, 2009

This post answers some questions about delegates to GA – who they are and how they get elected.

How do you get to be a delegate?

This is handled differently in each congregation. In some congregations, members who want to go to General Assembly submit their names to the Board – in others to the minister, and in others they are elected by the congregation. You need to find out how your congregation selects its delegates.

The UUA will mail delegate credentials to your congregation by May 8. If you are selected to be a delegate, make sure you bring this card with you to GA registration!

How many delegates are there?

Every congregation gets at least two delegates. Congregations with between 1 to 100 members receive two delegates, but for each additional 1 to 50 members after 100 the congregation gets an additional delegate. For example, a congregation with 101 certified members would have 3 delegates.

There are clergy and others who are automatic delegates.

In 2008 there were a total of 4,915 potential delegates across our Association’s nearly 1,000 certified congregations.

For more information, click this link to the UUA Bylaws.

UUA Election Information FAQ – Part 1: Who’s Running?

March 4, 2009

UU’s are starting to get excited about the election to be held at GA in Salt Lake City in June. Here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions.

Who is running for Election?

Two people are in the race for UUA President:
The Rev. Peter Morales
and The Rev. Laurel Hallman

There are also quite a few uncontested elections: Gini Courter for UUA Moderator and Dan Brody for UUA Financial Advisor are at the top of the list. There are also at large and youth candidates for the UUA Board of Trustees and nominees for the Commission on Appraisal, the Commission on Social Witness, the Nominating Committee, and the General Assembly Planning Committee – all running unopposed.

Who gets to vote in these elections?

If you want to vote in this election you need to be a delegate from a certified congregation.

To see if your congregation is certified, click here.