Heartland trustee seeks to connect UUs through technology and theology.
David Jackoway likes governance and the challenges that come with explaining complex topics.
And that makes him a good fit for the Unitarian Universalist Association Board of Trustees. Jackoway, a member of the UU Church of Indianapolis, Ind., is the board member from the Heartland District.
A computer programmer for an insurance company, Jackoway grew up without religious ties, except for the marking of occasional Jewish holidays at a relative’s house. He was introduced to Unitarian Universalism in 1991 by two coworkers who invited him and his wife, Claire, to a dinner. Several years later, with their son approaching preschool age, they sought out a congregation for religious education.
He was a member of the UU Church West, in Brookfield, Wisc., before moving to the Indianapolis area. He was on the governing boards of both congregations, including serving two years as president at Indianapolis.
On the UUA board he is a member of the Right Relationship Monitoring Committee, the Communications Working Group, and the Election Campaign Practices Committee.
He said a group of friends encouraged him two years ago to run for the UUA board. “I thought I could make a contribution, learn, and grow. I like governance, although I’ve not had direct experience with policy governance, which the UUA board practices.”
Jackoway has been a member of the board since June 2011 and is serving a two-year term. He said he’s enjoying the opportunity to delve deeply into subjects, especially at meetings of the board’s committees and working groups. “The size of the board itself is inhibiting to in-depth discussions. We have to say what we need to say and then move on. But work in the working groups is more what I enjoy.
“I think I bring strong analytical and communication skills to the board. I’d like to use them to help explain some of the complex issues the board is dealing with.”
He has an interest in engaging youth and young adults, including campus ministry. “With my son going off to college this fall I’m interested in how we can reach out to students.” To that end, he adds, “It’s important to adjust the styles of worship to accommodate young adults so that they will respond to it. I personally like not knowing what the format of a service will be from week to week. I like variety.”
He said he hopes one of his growth areas from his time on the board will be social justice. “That’s not something I’ve been actively involved in. I have appreciated the times in the past year that the UUA board has gone out into the community––visiting the Occupy encampment in Boston and traveling to New Orleans. Some types of social action are a little outside my comfort zone. I’m hoping to stretch myself and grow a bit in that regard.”
He hopes the board, through its communications work, can help congregations use social media effectively. “Social media are an entry point for people to connect with church. I see in my son’s life how younger people use it.” Jackoway confesses to a strong interest in reading UU blogs. “I also like reading the sermons of various ministers. I like having access to all of that.”
He adds, “I’m looking for ways UUs can be better connected, including theologically. We make too much of our differences. I’d rather look at what unites us, what we share in common.”
An abridged version of this article appeared in the Fall 2012 issue of UU World (“Heartland trustee aims to connect UUs,” page 40).
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Donald E. Skinner was the founding editor of the InterConnections newsletter for congregational leaders and a senior editor of UU World from 1998 until his retirement in 2014. He is a member of the Shawnee Mission Unitarian Universalist Church in Lenexa, Kansas.
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