Well, the campaign for UUA President is well under way, with two excellent candidates in the field -- Reverend Peter Morales, senior minister of Jefferson Unitarian Church in Colorado, and Reverend Laurel Hallman, senior minister at the First Unitarian Church of Dallas, Texas. Their websites are chock full of endorsements from UUs all over the country.
There's something about such "full-on" campaigns which bring out the skeptic in me. Both candidates seem well qualified and committed to the growth of our congregations and denomination. But I'm also committed to more openness and understanding of sexuality issues in both the UUA and the larger society, believing that a faith such as ours has both something to offer to sexual minorities of all kinds, and much to gain from openly welcoming them.
So, with that in mind, I've sent each candidate the following email:
Dear Reverend __________,
I am a UU lay leader at Arlington Street Church in Boston, and specifically concerned with sexuality issues from a progressive faith perspective. In considering whether to endorse a candidate for UUA President, I would like to understand better your perspective on this important area of ministry.
Unitarian Universalists have often spoken and acted prophetically on issues of sexuality and intimate relationships. We have defended reproductive choice, developed and provided comprehensive sexuality education programs for our youth, opened our doors to BGLTQ people, and now continue to stand on the side of marriage equality.
1) Please finish this sentence: “I believe the next phase of our witness in this area will be __________.”
2) Our work on sexuality issues has often been seen as controversial, even by people within the UUA. How would you view and deal with such controversy?
3) Other than gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals, what other sexual and relational minorities are you aware of? How do you thing UUs should minister to them?
Thank you for taking the time to consider these questions, and I look forward to your response.
We'll see what they have to say...