Dearest Fellow Unitarian Universalists,
Two weeks ago, I mailed in my off-site delegate ballot for the election of a new Moderator for the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations. My vote was for Tamara Payne-Alex, and I am writing to encourage you to vote for her as well.
The reason I cast my vote for her is simple… of our two candidates, I believe she has the deeper understanding of what the role of the UUA Moderator should be… and that is to be the keeper of our Process. Process is sacred among us Unitarian Universalists, because it is in Process that we are able to be in relationships that call us to our best selves, that inspire in us our greatest aspirations, and remind us of our commitment to each other. The election of someone to be the keeper of our Process is the calling of someone to call us to our better selves, someone to name to us when relationships are broken, and someone to show us when people are being excluded… and call us to include them.
I have spoken with both candidates, and both Jim Key and Tamara Payne-Alex have the basic skills to be good UUA Moderators. Yet, in my conversations with Tamara I was able to sense that she understands the sacredness of the task for which she is a candidate. She understands that the role of the Moderator is not primarily about expressing her own opinion, but rather about ensuring that all voices are heard, and to privilege all of our voices over her own personal opinions. I have seen in her life as a Unitarian Universalist one of the most important qualities in a UUA Moderator, the commitment to seek out those who are being excluded from our Process, and to find ways to include them. I have seen her call her fellow Unitarian Universalists back to our values, principles, and beliefs when through being unaware or busy we have strayed.
It takes a special person to be the Unitarian Universalist Moderator… to with compassion and love hold us accountable to what we say we believe. It takes a special person to create for our UUA Board of Trustees a safe space where they can debate the great challenges that face our liberal religious tradition in love and in trust. It takes a special person to look out across the breadth and depth of our Movement, find the voices that are not being heard, and bring them to the table… even if those voices are saying something that you as Moderator might not personally agree with.
I believe Tamara Payne-Alex is that special person, and I invite you to join me in electing her to be our Moderator.
Yours in Faith,
Rev. David Pyle
Assistant Minister, Unitarian Universalist Church of Ventura
Battalion Chaplain, 145th Multifunctional Medical Battalion, U.S. Army Reserves
Director, Lift Up Your Voice to End Homelessness