This courageous and principled push to raise the visibility of ministerial misconduct and clarify the accountability of our leadership has my full support. My experience in our congregations and UU communities, and my terms of service on the Ministerial Fellowship Committee, UUA Board, Panel on Theological Education, has provided me with insight into the ways our complex systems and our culture of independence allows us to treat misconduct as isolated occurrences, obscuring the more widespread system dynamics.
Addressing this issue will require that we examine issues of power, collusion, and our fondness for privacy and avoiding conflict that often result in silence, voicelessness and isolation. This work will not be without pain and disagreement even as we agree on the values of dignity and justice.
As an active, dedicated lay leader and a lifelong UU who has witnessed our broken faith communities from many perspectives, and who has personally experienced our system protect those who have done harm at the expense of our most vulnerable, I am fully committed to holding our association accountable for fulfilling its promise to victims of clergy misconduct and other abuses of power.
As a candidate for UUA Moderator, I publicly state my willingness to start a new conversation of compassion and courage on clergy misconduct in the UUA, and to ensure that survivors of misconduct have a real voice in the conversation. I commit to supporting the UUA Board of Trustee’s ownership of the recommendations of the Safe Congregation Panel and the Board’s role in holding the staff accountable for implementation of the recommendations. I commit to using the power of the office of Moderator to investigate the systemic accountability relationship between the Board, Ministerial Fellowship Committee, Administration and other UU organizations in caring for and supporting the individuals and communities that are the survivors of misconduct.
Together in faith and courage,