Updated: Dec 1, 2022
Unitarian Universalists across our Association are grappling with a charge from the Commission on Institutional Change to dismantle white supremacy in ourselves, our communities and our wider world. The Commission’s 2020 report, Widening the Circle of Concern, affirms that multicultural congregations are on the rise and that progressive-minded people expect basic practices of equity, inclusion, and diversity that our congregations often lack. Many of us have been on the path toward multiculturalism for a long time, and yet we still have work to do together.
The 2022-23 UU Common Read, Mistakes and Miracles: Congregations on the Road to Multiculturalism, is co-authored by Nancy Palmer Jones and Karin Lin—a white minister and a lay person of color. It explores five UU congregations' journeys toward Beloved Community and shares the joy, disappointment, and growth that these congregations found along the way.
I have been honored to work with Nancy and Karin to create the discussion guide for this Common Read. We offer four 90-minute sessions that invite Unitarian Universalists into deep engagement with the stories in this book and their own congregational stories. The sessions model new methods for equitable, honest conversation and raise questions to ponder, such as “What’s in our congregational DNA?” The co-authors and I believe Mistakes and Miracles is a timely, important resource for Unitarian Universalist faith development today. We hope this Common Read will inspire and support more congregations to find their way on the road to Beloved Community.
Skinner House Books, UUA imprint and publisher of Mistakes and Miracles, is working on an audiobook edition which should be ready in mid-December. If you would like to be notified when the audiobook edition is available, or if you need the book in another format, please email UUA Publications Director Mary Benard at email@example.com.
In faith, Susan Dana Lawrence
Managing Editor, UUA Lifespan Faith Engagement
Susan Dana Lawrence is the managing editor for the UUA Faith Development Office. She is also a writer and educator who belongs to Reform Jewish and Unitarian Universalist faith communities.
The UUA Presidential Search Committee (PSC) has nominated the Rev. Dr. Sofía Betancourt as candidate for UUA President, for the 2023-2029 term. Rev. Dr. Betancourt is an experienced leader and theologian in Unitarian Universalism, including formerly serving as a professor at Starr King School for the Ministry, and as Interim Co-President of the UUA in 2017.
The President of the Unitarian Universalist Association is the primary public and spiritual leader of Unitarian Universalism, as well as the UUA’s Chief Executive Officer. They are tasked with helping to lead our Association on a path to Beloved Community, in which people of diverse backgrounds, identities and theological beliefs can thrive.
The UUA Board of Trustees issued this statement in support of the PSC’s nomination.
Presidential Election Process
Member congregations of the UUA, through their delegates, elect the UUA President. The campaign for President will take place throughout the first half of 2023 and culminate with an election at our multiplatform General Assembly, online and in Pittsburgh, PA, June 21-25. Voting will open in early June.
Elections of the leaders who serve the members and congregations of the Association are at the heart of our Unitarian Universalist fifth principle and our commitment to the democratic process. Although the PSC nominated two leaders to be candidates for President, one of those nominees declined the nomination. Learn more about the PSC’s application and nomination process in this statement from the Committee.
Additional candidates may run for President by petition. Petitions may be submitted, according to the procedures described in the UUA Bylaws and Rules, by February 1, 2023. Learn more about the nomination by petition process as laid out in the UUA Bylaws and download petition forms.
The current UUA President, Rev. Dr. Susan Frederick-Gray, will serve until her successor takes office. As with the current President, the next UUA President will serve a single six-year term and will not be eligible for re-election.
Candidate Biography: Rev. Dr. Sofía Betancourt
Raised in New York City as the child of immigrants from Panamá and Chile, and the grandchild of a seventh-generation Unitarian, Rev. Dr. Sofía Betancourt knows the strength that comes from building lasting community at the meeting point of difference. She is an unabashed Universalist. The teachings of unearned grace, an all-embracing love, relational accountability, and dignity that surpasses all violent forms of oppression lie at the core of her understanding of life, living, and service in faithful community.
Rev. Dr. Betancourt has served Unitarian Universalism for more than twenty years as a religious educator, minister, scholar, member of the UUA national staff and many volunteer committees at regional and denominational levels, and as interim co-president of the UUA in the spring of 2017.
Learn more about the candidate in this profile from UU World . Additional information about Rev. Dr. Betancourt’s candidacy is available at sofiabetancourt.com. Our entire Association will be impacted by the outcome of our presidential election, and congregational participation is vitally important. Follow the UUA online to stay up-to-date on the election and join us virtually at General Assembly 2023.