I promise to ignite faith, empower change, and advance justice.
The Rev. Alison Miller, senior minister of the Morristown, New Jersey, Unitarian Fellowship, is a candidate for UUA president. (Courtesy Alison Miller)
I said “Yes!” with my whole heart when our Presidential Search Committee nominated me to run for the next UUA president out of a lifelong gratitude for the healing power of our faith. Currently, I serve as senior minister of the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship, chair of the board of the Church of the Larger Fellowship, on the board of the UU Legislative Ministry of New Jersey, on the board of United Way of Northern New Jersey, and on interfaith leadership teams advancing Immigrant Justice and Black Lives Matter in Morristown and New Jersey.
I bring three qualities to the president’s office that we need at this divisive and dehumanizing time: a deep ethic of sharing power and shared ministry, experience growing our faith in traditional and innovative contexts, and longstanding engagement with antioppression, antiracism, and multiculturalism. I have honed these skills through twenty-seven years of shared leadership and service alongside other religious professionals and lay leaders in diverse contexts, including in congregations, in young adult and campus ministries, in prisons, in global online ministries, in UU and interfaith justice networks, in antiracism and accountability committees, and at the UUA itself in fundraising and development.
As president, I promise to:
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Ignite faith across generations and across cultural confines. Our faith makes room for diverse theologies and practices allowing for more people to find a spiritual community. To do this more effectively, we need to support the creation of worship and lifespan faith development materials and training that equip religious professionals and the laity to lead in multicultural, multigenerational, multiracial, religiously diverse, and theologically complex communities.
Empower change by becoming a nimble network that links headquarters and regional leadership with the people serving in the congregations and the covenanted communities that drive our faith forward. This means reallocating staff time to build relationships between our UUA and local communities and towards the resource and leadership development needs identified by people serving in congregations and emerging spaces of faith.
Advance justice through centering the collective leadership of people on the margins of our faith and on the margins of the towns and cities in which we live. This will involve moving past simply welcoming people of color and indigenous people to listening, learning, and following their leadership as we commit ourselves to more holistic and intersectional ways of building the beloved community.
Unitarian Universalism is a faith that offers inspiration, renewal, and hope in our broken world. Our congregations and covenanted communities can be the places where we practice the work of repair and reconciliation with one another, with all beings, and with our earth. We can all say a wholehearted “Yes!” to the call to “Lead with Love.” Together, we can ignite faith, empower change, and advance justice.
Please visit AlisonforUUAPresident.org for details about this shared vision that grows out of dialogues with Unitarian Universalists in diverse contexts and to email us your hopes for our future. Finally, I ask you to make me your first choice for UUA president this June.
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The Rev. Alison Miller, a candidate for UUA president in 2017, has served as senior minister of Morristown Unitarian Fellowship since 2005. Previously, she served All Souls (NYC) in Ministry, Religious Education, and Administrative staff positions; All Souls (Tulsa) as Intern Minister; and on UUA’s Stewardship and Development staff. Miller is an interfaith leader for immigrant rights, antiracism, and economic justice and is on the Boards of UU Legislative Ministry and United Way of Northern-NJ. Miller invests in growth as Board Chair of Church of the Larger Fellowship and as a planter of young adult and campus ministries. She graduated from Bryn Mawr and Harvard Divinity School. Miller, her husband, David Snedden, and son, Asher, are all lifelong UUs.
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