As a Unitarian Universalist minister serving on active duty military as a chaplain, I have a particular lens through which I view the UUA President. The leader of our movement must pass the following:
1. The Chief of Chaplains’ Test: The UUA President must have familiarity with—if not adaptability to—the military institution, its customs and courtesies, and represent our faith at the highest echelons of our respective branches of service.
2. The Congressional Testimony Test: Should the occasion arise, the UUA President must have the courage and grit to enter into the legislative battle field, the steadiness of a commander officer to maintain their cool under fire, and the ability to persuasively present and advocate their position.
3. The Media Test: The UUA President must be professional, articulate, and accessible in the wider world, so should those whom we serve (in addition to others) see our leader say, “I heard what the ‘CO of your faith’ had to say and I am impressed. If that’s what UUism is about, then I want to know more about it!"
To me, the choice is clear. Jeanne Pupke is the only candidate for UUA President who decisively aces all three tests.
I have known Jeanne since 2004 and can attest she unequivocally has the experience (personally and professionally, individually and institutionally), temperament, centeredness, drive, and vision to represent Unitarian Universalism not only in our military world, but also lead it in our wider world.
Rev. Cynthia Kane
Commander (select), Chaplain Corps, United States Navy