Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Lizard Eater Endorses Rev. Peter Morales

I think we’re quite lucky with this election. I know many people who feel strongly about a particular candidate because they really speak to what is important to them. There are people whom I admire who support Rev. Laurel Hallman for UUA president. They have worked with her personally – their opinion carries great weight with me.

There are also many folks whom I admire who support Rev. Peter Morales. Again, many are those who have worked with him, either in his own church, or through his work in the district or for the UUA.

So, I’m feeling pretty fortunate. These are good people who want good things for our religion.

For me, it comes down to which candidate speaks to me, my religious priorities, and the direction I want to see us go.

For anyone who reads this blog, it’s probably not a surprise that I’m supporting Rev. Morales. He speaks about things that I’m passionate about – classism, growing our religion, finding spirituality in a myriad of places.

I like people who can speak frankly when the occasion calls for it, and put a priority on honest, straight talk. From what I’ve read and heard, Rev. Morales does not shy away from that. Here’s an example that caught my eye: “The practice of transparency also means being willing to share bad news. For example, if the UUA undertakes a program to, say, increase retention of youth and young adults and the program falls short of its goals, that information must not be buried. When we bury bad news we compromise our ability to learn and to succeed.”

So, here’s where Rev. Peter Morales is speaking to me. Apologies to Rev. Morales for unabashedly snipping certain points out of his complete statements. Just call me Readers Digest.
“A religion for our time must be about wholeness, integrity, and engagement. It must promote the spiritual practices that give us depth and insight: mediation, prayer, spiritual guidance, small groups, and music … Our new religion must promote deep reflection, but it must never, never, become an escape from life or descend into navel gazing narcissism.”

“We must always remember that we are a religious movement. We are not a political party. We are not a social club …”

“… every great religious teacher and religious tradition teaches that spiritual reflection is not an escape, or an end unto itself, but rather a preparation for a more purposeful relationship to life.”

“A spiritual practice is something that prepares us to live transformed lives. The measure of our spirituality is how we live and what we do, not what inspiring things we read.”

“I will seek to model and advocate for an engaged spirituality—spirituality that is so deep that it cannot help but act because its love is so deep that it cannot keep still…Love that does not act is not true love.”

“ … We’ve got a ways to go. While there are a handful of women in our leading pulpits, those are still predominantly male… there are all kinds of issues dealing with other women in our movement. The community ministers, religious educators, who are way too often underappreciated in our movement … we really need a new era of collaboration in our congregations that empowers these other women in these other ministries.”

“… But the real work, I think now, is more around issues of privilege, and class, and gender is only a piece of that.…the situation of women who are Black and Latina is very different from the position of women from the dominant culture. … if we focus only on gender, we will miss powerful dynamics of inequality that need to be addressed.”

“Of the Americans who are 70 years of age and older, three quarters are “white.” Of the Americans who are 10 years of age and younger, only one quarter are “white.” The America that is coming into being is an America that is dramatically more multiracial, multiethnic and multicultural than the America of one or two generations ago. If we are not relevant to this new America, we will fade into oblivion." (Plan) "Convene a task force charged with developing a strategic plan for ministry for the next generation. This task force will include, at minimum, leaders from our seminaries, the head of the UUA’s ministry and professional leadership staff group, representation from our ministerial association, seminarians, and people in our movement who have experience as members of diverse communities."

“…one of the things I will bring in as president, is that sense that nothing significant gets implemented without an evaluation plan at the beginning, not at the end, but designed at the beginning, not being evaluated by the person who’s implementing it.”

At the Women’s Convocation, I had the opportunity on Sunday morning of sitting and talking with Rev. Morales. I was struck by his humility, his compassion, and his generosity in giving credit to others. (And also his intelligence – he is sharp!) We chatted about both UUA type stuff and personal. He was encouraging on many different levels. What can I say? I liked the guy.

But that’s not why I’m endorsing him. I’m endorsing him because I believe he has a very specific vision for our religion. His vision is extremely exciting to me, and it also feels very intuitive. I hope to see him have the opportunity to work towards making it a reality.

1 comment:

Berrysmom said...

I agree with you, LE. We are in a fortunate position with this election, that both candidates rock, and neither one would do damage to the UUA Presidency.

I am on record supporting Laurel Hallman, but I might have gone the other way. It's a good place to be.