It is the job of the UUA to assure that every congregation and covenanted community has the opportunity and resources to thrive.
The Rev. Jeanne Pupke, senior minister of First Unitarian Universalist Church of Richmond, Virginia, is a candidate for UUA president. (Courtesy Jeanne Pupke)
I believe Unitarian Universalism is a faith the world needs to survive. All the strength—all the heart of our faith—rises from our congregations and covenanted communities. Within them is the talent, capacity, and generosity to positively impact people’s lives. It is the job of the UUA to assure that every congregation and covenanted community has the opportunity and resources to thrive. I am called by my faith to run for UUA president because I believe that by strengthening and uniting our voices, we can bring more love and justice into the world.
We are at our best when we act as a commonwealth of congregations. We’ve proven this on marriage equality, immigration, and women’s rights. We must do this now to assure the very survival of our planet and resist the forces of oppression and hate spreading in our country. We must use what we know, and learn what we don’t, to confront our white-centered culture and dethrone white supremacy practices in our midst. We must listen to those who have been marginalized and trust their leadership to build new ways of discerning our future.
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We need a UUA organized for the twenty-first century. Our Association should be ethically led, continuously improving, and unfailingly effective in helping congregations catch fire. Our UUA staff are wonderful people, but not optimally structured for the work of our UU faith. I want to lead a redesign, renewal, and restoration of effectiveness in the UUA, with more support in the regions, more accountability to our congregations, large and small, and more opportunities to learn and share from each other. To do this, our staff must represent our vision of beloved community—a skilled multicultural team aligned to encourage the best in our congregations and our faith.
We need to maximize our message. Unitarian Universalism is too good to keep secret. Our strength is our amazing theological diversity, our respect for spirit and reason, and our commitment to live what we believe rather than polish some creed. By building a lively multimedia network welcoming to families, young adults, and youth, UUs and newcomers can discover, learn, and connect to our positive and amazing faith.
At this critical time, I ask you to support a candidate who has demonstrated competence in leading large and small organizations through change, growing congregations, and serving our faith at its highest levels. I have built highly effective teams; served as a mentor to young people, seminarians, and other religious professionals; ministered to congregations of all sizes; and am known as someone who brings clarity, collaboration, and courage in difficult times. I will bring all my skills, experience, and love for Unitarian Universalism to move our faith into a robust, vibrant, and healthy future.
When our congregations are in a strong covenant, listening, learning, and growing, the world is a more just and loving place. It is that UUA I hope to lead and serve as its president.
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The Rev. Jeanne Pupke, a candidate for UUA president in 2017, has served as senior minister of First Unitarian Universalist Church of Richmond, Virginia, since 2006, and was consulting minister of the UU Fellowship of Central Oregon in Bend (2004-2006). She was a UUA trustee (2009-2013) and chaired the board’s Finance Committee. Once a Catholic nun, she was an executive for Diemakers, Inc., and Batdorf & Bronson Coffee Roasters before entering the UU ministry. A director of UU Legislative Ministry of Virginia, Pupke frequently testifies for women’s, LGBTQI, and youth rights. Pupke has completed a two-year course in spiritual direction. She and wife Regina Largent, a retired Army officer, university administrator, and UU Buddhist, have been together twenty-three years.
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