Rev. Crestwell's sermons are part of my regular podcast routine. Today, on the UUA Election discussion list, he posted the below endorsement. I found it quite interesting, especially the quandry that he faced about changing his endorsement, so with his permission, I'm reposting it here.
Early in December 2007, I spoke at a workshop promoting my book at the Reverend Dr. Laurel Hallman's church in Dallas, Texas. My experience with her and her congregation was memorable. The workshop went extremely well and my lunch conversation with her and a few others was good. It was my first time meeting Laurel and I was very impressed! She is graceful, humorous, charming, insightful and witty. It was easy for me to endorse her as a candidate for the UUA presidency; and I did. However, at that time, there was no one else running against her. It was easy to endorse her from my first impression and because she was the only candidate.
I had heard a few months earlier that there may be another candidate and that was confirmed when I met the Rev. Peter Morales at the "Listening to Experience" Conference in Louisville, Kentucky. I did not know Peter Morales, but he began sharing with a few of the select participants that he was "thinking strongly" about challenging Laurel for the office. I did not think anything of it. Months later, in March 2008, I attended a Ministers of Color gathering. Peter attended as well and was a very active participant (unlike myself) and I watched him having several personal and group conversations with attendees about his now serious run for UUA President. Weeks later, he called me on the phone and has since called several times to share his vision for the UUA. In March 2009, Peter again attended the Ministers of Color gathering and was a full participant. He shared his vision once more, with me personally, and with several others. His vision was passionate, real, timely, and it spoke to me deeply. I began feeling conflicted. I had already endorsed a candidate but what I believed was more in line with what Peter was saying. I had to do some serious thinking...
It took me many months to finally realize that I had to follow my conscience. Both candidates are incredible people. However, the candidate that most resonates with what I support is the Rev. Peter Morales. So today, I have switched my support from Rev. Hallman to Rev. Morales, not only because of his agenda for the UUA which makes more sense for where we are today in America as a faith, but also because he showed me, by example, what it means to grow our faith, to live our faith, and how to move our faith forward in the 21st century. We grow and live out our faith with personal touches-- with reaching out to others consistently; and we move our religion forward by calling those involved to see a higher vision--that
vision that moves us "onward and upward" so we can secure our faith's legacy, lest we become more irrelevant in this new age of multiculturalism and spiritual awakening.
For me, Peter exemplifies his platform in the way he lives and that says more about the man than anything else. I proudly endorse the Rev. Peter Morales as the next President of the Unitarian Universalist Association!
Rev. John T. Crestwell, Jr.
Davies Memorial UUC
Camp Springs, MD