In 2017, the UUA is blessed with 3 excellent candidates, any of whom would do a great job if elected.
I wanted to tell you why my vote will go to Jeanne Pupke. I’ve known Jeanne for several years now as a ministerial colleague in the Southern region and working shoulder to shoulder on the UUA board. I see Jeanne as someone who brings expertise, vision, and wisdom to the role.
The UUA is a large non-profit with about a $20 million budget, dozens and dozens of employees, and relationships with other peer institutions that sprawl out in every direction, and of course, all the congregations. It needs somebody at the center who is used to working and familiar with working at that level of organization and that level of complexity.
Jeanne not only brings management expertise, she has a corporate background, experience with large congregations, and has worked with the UUA board as chairman of the finance committee.
She brings that kind of expertise necessary for the scope and complexity of a system as large as the UUA.
As conversations would be going around the board table sometimes it could get stuck in the technical mode, in the answer mode, or solution mode. And it was Jeanne, who after a long pause could bring us home, back to the question of why, questions of impact and outcome. What communities would be reached, how would this bring transformation and move our mission closer to the beloved community? So she brings not only expertise, but she also brings vision.
And last of all she brings wisdom.
I remember one Saturday morning I was set to give a presentation in the afternoon. In the morning, word came that someone in my community had died, and this wasn’t a member of the church but someone with a relationship with the congregation. I was torn, I wasn’t sure which of my roles to honor. To stay with the board or to go home.
She said, of course you’ll go home. She had the moral clarity that comes from years of spiritual practice, and of serving as an effective pastor.
I will remember the clarity and compassion she had in my moment of decision.
That kind of clarity and depth is necessary for a leader.
As Jeanne brings all of these gifts to the UUA presidency, I am excited to vote for her in 2017, and I hope you will consider doing the same.
Rev. Jake Morrill
Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church
Oak Ridge, TN