I am delighted that our UUA has three fantastic candidates for its presidency ready to take on leadership. And today I am endorsing the candidacy of Jeanne Pupke.
Jeanne is a colleague that I have been impressed by time and time again for her savvy leadership, for her wise spiritual counsel and for her skillful way of navigating the many challenges of spiritual leadership at this time in history.
I first met Jeanne when our congregations were paired together through the UUA’s Leap of Faith program. I was impressed most watching Jeanne among her people in her congregation. The fact that here was a strong, committed leader whose strength never shadowed the people around her, but rather magnified their skills and gifts that let them come forward and flourish in ways that seemed to surprise even them. The congregation had a strong buzz about it – a buzz of ability to meet any challenge, that came not from egotism or arrogance but from strong commitment and the lived relationship that they shared with other that let them know that they had each other’s’ backs, always.
That is the strength of Jeanne’s leadership to bring forward the strengths of others, and to harness them in ways that no one can do on their own.
Youth and young adults connected with Jeanne just as joyfully and eagerly as did the elders in the congregation, and the congregation as a whole knew that they had a responsibility to the congregations around it, even if they were as far away as Massachusetts.
They lived the commitment that is our covenant to one another. That is our UU Association of congregations.
Jeanne has a rare and precious combination of skills for leadership that will allow her to be a tireless advocate for justice and reach out and remain a kind, respectful, empathetic connection with those who disagree.
She knows how to keep tethered to her own strong commitments while reaching out at the same time.
There has rarely been a moment in our history that is more important for skills like this, and I know Jeanne will bring that skillfulness to our UUA presidency, in ways that can help us as a faith tradition to reach out across lines of race, class, ethnicity and faith in order to build coalition with those who want to create the kind of peaceful, just world that we all dream of.
Jeanne brings a depth of understanding of our UUA and all of its complexity with her years on our UUA board, and she brings deep experience with complex large organizations as well as her spiritual well, her spiritual depth that will infuse and sustain all that she does in the name of that which is holiest to us all.
I am delighted to support Jeanne Pupke as our next UUA president.
Rev. Parisa Parsa
Public Conversations Project