I am running for UUA President because, in this time of rapid change in the religious and social landscapes, we need a President who inspires, one with proven executive skills, highest level Unitarian Universalist leadership experience, a person with a heart for the congregations and communities of our faith, an unfailing voice for social justice, and a clear vision for a stronger, more dynamic UUA.
I believe I can be this person.
What do you believe is possible for Unitarian Universalism?
I believe that:
The greater our commitment to include all people, the stronger our claim to be a religion for our time.
The closer our congregations, the nearer Beloved Community.
The stronger our spiritual depth, the more effective our religious witness.
The clearer our mission, the more effective our efforts.
The more ambitious our dreams, the more important our systems and structures.
The more effectively we incorporate our youth and young adults in our discernments, the wiser we become.
The more intentionally we develop our leaders, the bolder and more inspirational we will become.
The more intentionally we understand ourselves to be one species of many, sharing a finite planet, the more peace we will know in our lives.
What will you do as UUA President?
As UUA President, I will:
Always remember, the leader can and must inspire, so our hope is strong.
Faithfully love the congregations, the covenanted communities, the associations and have a heart for who they are, who they dream of becoming and my responsibility to do what can help that happen.
Lift up the message of justice, through our many voices, to the larger world.
Work as a wise partner with our Board in a Policy Governance framework, to collaborate, focus and name the ways we will can assure our efforts will succeed.
Be openhearted leader of our staff, willing to join with them in discerning the ways to serve our faith most effectively and one another most accountably.
Lead an effective and agile organization people love to work for.
Make the remarkable resources of Unitarian Universalism available, so everyone can discover the breadth of who we are and aspire to be. Create networks of learning communities with lay leaders and staff collaborating to improve existing systems and programs.
Help every congregation assess its strengths, make its plans and obtain the right support at the time it is needed.
Support and augment the efforts of the UUA Board to regularly connect with congregations, covenanted communities, and new groups as their sources of authority.
Strengthen clusters, congregations and covenanted communities in their connections to one another, so that we travel together in our faith.
With our congregation’s agreement, refocus of our efforts, on what matters most.
Bring the wisdom of a long-partnered, “out” lesbian woman to the struggle against racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, xenophobia, Islamaphobia and economic inequality.
Jeanne Pupke has been serving as a UU minister since 2002. During that time she has worked with a variety of congregations, both large and small. Since 2006, she has served as Minister of First Unitarian Universalist Church in Richmond, Virginia. In September 2016, the congregation celebrated her 10 years of ministry with them.
Before that she worked with an emerging congregation in Bend, Oregon, at All Souls in Lacey, Washington, and was Intern Minister at Cedars U.U. on Bainbridge Island, Washington. Jeanne was the Growth Minister for the Pacific Northwest District from 2004-2006. In that role she consulted with small and emerging congregations from Idaho to Alaska, to help them grow.
During her time at Bend, the membership doubled in just two years. Under her leadership in Richmond, the congregation has grown by more than 50%.
Jeanne not only brings management experience from her corporate background, but has also not only led, but transformed a large congregation within our system.
– Rev. Jake Morrill
Every time we engage with Jeanne on matters large or small, we feel we are with someone who really gets it. She cares deeply for our faith and we believe she is the leader needed for such a time as this.
- Rev. Dr. Barbara Wells ten Hove & Rev. Jaco B. ten Hove
Jeanne is a founding member and is currently a Director of UU Legislative Ministries of Virginia.
She is often requested as a spokesperson by groups working on a wide variety of social justice issues and frequently testifies to the legislature and government officials. She has testified on women’s reproductive rights, supporting for the needs of trans youth, and for wage justice.
I know that Jeanne (was) very instrumental in bringing about in (her) congregation multiculturalism and she has a firm handle and grasp of the importance of multiculturalism and how to welcome people who are different than the typical UU.
– Rev. Xolani Kacela
After she went off to seminary and became an ordained minister, I then watched her prophetic ministry emerge with clarity and purpose as she helped shape the South's religious narrative around the right to marry.
- Rev. Kate Lore
Search for Calling
Jeanne’s call to ministry is a long term theme in her life. As a young woman, she was a Catholic nun. Here is how she describes that period of her life:
“Once a Catholic sister wishing to do pastoral ministry work, I was sustained by religious life, which was filled with contemplation and work among the poor, sick, and lonely. I was doing the right work in the wrong place.”
“When I learned of First Unitarian in Portland, I was eager to attend a Sunday service but skeptical that any organized religion might contain the broad world of meaning I had so carefully reconstructed for myself. However, my sense of belonging in that church was immediate. It had the emotional resonance of coming home after a long journey away. I became involved in the life of the congregation and realized that there were many ways in which I could contribute to my chosen community.”
Jeanne served as lay Board member and Stewardship Chair at First Unitarian, Portland, Oregon, before beginning her call to UU ministry.
Jeanne has experience at the highest levels of our Association. She served as UUA Trustee at Large from 2009-13, and was the Finance Chair on the Board during the last two years of her term. During her time on the board she was a consistent voice for organizational change and improvement while also working to build bridges between the Board and the staff.
She served as Dean of the Stewardship Track (with Rev. Cecilia Kingman) at UU University in 2009 teaching the course on Finding Our Common Wealth: Stewardship as Transformational Ministry.
Today, she is a leader working on Sustainability of Ministry, Anti-racism and Stewardship.
Business Experience We Need
Jeanne uniquely brings success in a business environment to the UUA President role. As a business leader, Jeanne has served as Vice President, COO, and CEO in progressive growth companies in two very different industries: automotive and coffee.
In both industries she led or helped lead the companies through fundamental cultural changes, focused on quality, teamwork and staff development.
Jeanne gets what makes UU congregations vibrant centers of transformation and vitality – and gets the role the UUA can play in unleashing our greatest vibrancy across our entire movement and into the world.
– Rev. Gretchen Haley
[Jeanne is] a strong committed leader whose strength never shadowed the people around her, but magnified their skills and gifts and let them come forward and flourish in ways that seemed to surprise even them.
- Rev. Parisa Parsa
She and her wife Regina Largent, a retired Army officer and university administrator, have been together 23 years. Regina is a leader of the UU Buddhist practice at First UU Richmond. Together, they enjoy women's college basketball, visiting with family, and time with friends.
Jeanne has the passion, commitment, drive, and experience we need
Support Rev. Jeanne Pupke for UUA President