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Election 2001  UU World Main Page
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Candidate Statements

UUA Board policy allows each nominated candidate for elected office to submit a statement for publication in UU World prior to the election. The magazine received statements from the candidates whose names appear in bold-faced type below. The slate below includes all candidates, in ballot order as determined by random drawing. For more information about UUA elections, see www.uua.org/elections/.

    one to be elected; 4-year term
  • Rev. Diane Miller
  • Rev. William Sinkford

    one to be elected; 4-year term

  • Patsy Sherrill Madden
  • Diane Olson

    one to be elected; 4-year term

  • Lawrence Ladd

    two to be elected; 4-year term

  • Tamara Payne-Alex
  • Conrad Ross
  • Rev. Jose Ballester
  • Rev. Wayne Arnason

    one to be elected; 2-year term

  • Rev. Katie Stein Sather

    three to be elected; 6-year term

  • Mark Hamilton
  • James Casebolt
  • Rev. Linda (Stowell) Weaver Horton
  • Douglas Walters

    two to be elected; 4-year term

  • Rev. Richard Nugent
  • Rev. Jan Carlsson-Bull

    two to be elected; 6-year term

  • Helen Bishop
  • James Coomes

    two to be elected; 8-year term

  • Lorraine Sandoval-Vigil
  • Rev. Michelle Bentley

    four to be elected; 4-year term

  • Elizabeth Collins
  • Lillian Anderson
  • Carolyn Patierno
  • Rev. Bill Murchison
  • Angus Bramadat

Patsy Sherrill Madden
St. Louis, Missouri

The Moderator, in my view, has the task of nurturing the process of the Association -- being at once arbitrator, human resources development officer, listener, bearer of our banner, coach, confronter of those questions others may be reluctant to raise. S/he is not called upon to be the advocate for one particular point of view over another. S/he facilitates process, allows the opportunity for issues to be on the table and ensures that all voices get heard. I see the Moderator as cheerleader, monitor of progress, public herald of those deserving recognition for their efforts on behalf of this faith community.

I firmly believe that as a faith community we must be committed to growth. To be players at the table of world religions, we must increase our visibility, increase our numbers, and continue our work on issues of social justice, human dignity, and spiritual understanding. We must tell our stories and reach out to others -- this is how we share the saving grace of Unitarian Universalism, it is how many of us came to this faith community. We need to continue our generosity so that there are resources to do the life-saving work that we Unitarian Universalists do, and we must live our religion. We need to take home with us what we are in church, to take our ethics and principles with us every day -- to be what we believe.

Because we value the principles of this Association we seem predisposed to seeking many roads for our journeys. I want us work together with that special affection we have for each other when bound together in common efforts on becoming an anti-racist institution. The Moderator's role in our anti-racism initiative is one of assuring the issues are on the table for full discussion and of leading positive programs involving increasing numbers of us to attack the causes and evidence of racism. We need to hold ourselves accountable to the principles of disability legislation.

The work of the compensation, benefits and pensions committees, the office of church staff finances, and the ministerial settlement office, all of which have been the shakers and movers, and district-based compensation consultants who are the points of contact with congregations, needs not only to continue but to be lifted up.

Communication needs to be a natural part of our daily work -- a sharing of the events of this community of which we are a part. I believe lay and professional leadership have much to offer each other, much to gain by standing shoulder-to-shoulder working together on the tough issues.

I know there are those among you who will be invaluable resources: folks I can talk with, argue with, find a path with on what is most productive for our faith community. I respect that each of you brings something different, personal, and valuable to our faith community, as I bring something different and personal and valuable to the role of Moderator not brought before by simply being me. I am called to this service.

Diane Olson
Scottsdale, Arizona

I have served in many and varied positions in our Association over the last 32 years, including service on the continental General Assembly Planning Committee the past eight years. Planning our annual General Assemblies and working collaboratively with the leaders of our Association was such a powerful experience that it compelled me to run as a candidate for Moderator. During my four years as Chair of the General Assembly Planning Committee, I was actively engaged in working frequently with our Moderator, our President, and the Chairs of our major Association committees in planning and presenting our General Assemblies. I am well versed in the issues that challenge our Association today.

Our denominational focus over these past eight years has centered on self-examination, growth, and renewal with particular focus on engaging in the process of covenanting. As Chair of the General Assembly Planning Committee, I had the profound experience of leading the settlement of differences between the committee and several groups of diverse membership requesting more access at General Assembly, more funding to participate in GA, and more presence in presenting programs. These challenges introduced me to the complexities of living in diverse religious community and respecting the differences we each bring as members.

What challenges do we face as a community of faith? Organizational development, the particular needs of our congregations, skills training, addressing Association-wide questions, our growth, and our presence in the world. Covers a lot of territory, doesn't it?

As your candidate for Moderator of the Unitarian Universalist Association, I am committed to tackling each of these challenges.

As Moderator I will:

  • Encourage stronger and more vibrant congregations through relational covenants that promise how we will engage one another;

  • Strengthen connections among our congregations and districts and our Association, by covenanting, by supporting the complex needs of our ministry, both professional and lay, and by offering training in conflict-management and process-facilitation skills;

  • Address tough questions with the UUA Board, such as what is the appropriate size of the UUA Board? How can we improve delivery of services to our districts? When will we make the costs of attending our annual General Assemblies affordable to the average UU? Who will ensure that our continental electoral process is more participatory?

  • Stimulate the growth of our youth and young adult presence, and encourage extension of a warm welcome to those who visit us searching for a religious home.

  • Broadcast our message of open fellowship to the larger community, demand a louder voice for our liberal religious faith, and proclaim to wider audiences our values, our goals, and our commitment to social justice work.
I ask for your support and your vote in my quest to serve our Association. Thank you.

Lawrence Ladd
Needham, Massachusetts

It has been four years since I began serving our congregations as Financial Advisor of the Unitarian Universalist Association. With much gratitude for the honor of serving, I am an enthusiastic (and unopposed) candidate for re-election!

I am the one elected officer who will not be new to his/her position as a result of this year's election. I understand and embrace my responsibility to provide continuity and institutional history.

The Financial Advisor position was created to provide the Board of Trustees, President, and General Assembly with an independent and expert evaluation of financial issues and the fiscal health of the Association. The Financial Advisor also recommends changes that will improve the quality of financial planning and management of the UUA. The Financial Advisor is a voice for fiscal responsibility.

Doing the job well requires broad experience and deep knowledge of all aspects of finance and business operations, preferably in the nonprofit environment, coupled with effective communication skills.

Since being elected in 1997, I have labored to provide useful financial advice and information. I've created the UUA Financial Monitor, a variety of other statistical information, and a statement of "Standards for Good Financial Performance." This material (and more!) is accessible to all Unitarian Universalists at the Web site www.uua.org/TRUS/financial/. During my tenure, investment performance has been strong, the annual audit is more timely, debt has been restructured, pension management has been upgraded, the information technology infrastructure has begun to improve, standards for church insurance have been recommended, a Committee on Socially Responsible Investing has been established, revenue has been budgeted conservatively, and the administration's proposed budget has been accompanied by a clear written explanation of the priorities embodied in that budget.

Aside from the duties that fall within the traditional definition of the Financial Advisor, I have been a vocal advocate of denominational growth, of improved church staff compensation, and of more serious engagement with youth and young adults.

Professionally, I lead the consulting services to not-for-profit organizations at Grant Thornton LLP (the sixth largest accounting and consulting firm in the U.S.). My 27 years of nonprofit management experience includes Director of Budget and Financial Planning at Harvard University, Chief Financial Officer of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and Dean of Administration of Tufts University. I've also served as a trustee of universities, foundations and other not-for-profit organizations.

I am a member of the Church of the Larger Fellowship, which I have served as treasurer and investment committee chair. I have also served as a member of the UUA Commission on Appraisal, as a Board member of the Connecticut Valley District, and as continental president of Liberal Religious Youth (the predecessor of YRUU).

I am deeply appreciative of the opportunity to serve Unitarian Universalist congregations in this important role. I take very seriously my responsibility of assuring that the UUA is fiscally responsible and a good steward of its resources.

BOARD OF TRUSTEES (At-Large Members)
Tamara Payne-Alex
San Jose, California

As the youngest Board member, a third-generation UU person of color, mother of young children, and the daughter of a disabled Vietnam vet, I bring a unique perspective to our Association's dialogue on anti-oppression, antiracism, and inclusion. Thirteen years as a consultant in business systems and diversity means I have experience in organizational assessment, change management, and facilitation. My lifelong UU congregational involvement includes almost two decades of lay leadership, volunteer and professional work in religious education, and youth leadership at local, district, and continental levels. My UUA service includes Ministerial Fellowship Committee (1994-2000), Racial and Cultural Diversity Task Force and Research Team (1992-1993), and the Black Concerns Working Group (1991-1993).

I am committed to stewardship of our liberal faith tradition through effectiveness: leveraging UUA financial and systemic resources to amplify our vision, reflect our principles, and further our mission; accountability: broadening and deepening paths to participation and leadership for talented persons of varied ages, abilities, stages of life, economic circumstances, racial and cultural backgrounds; and innovation: developing a comprehensive, long-term strategy to use technology to advance outreach, education, service delivery, and promote active involvement.

Conrad Ross
Auburn, Alabama

My faith as a UU was tested in the social unrest of the 1960s. We moved to Louisiana in 1961, then to Alabama, where we professed a liberal religious presence in our daily lives and in the institutions and causes we trusted. My wife taught at Tuskeegee University for 22 years and I at Auburn University. We are now both retired. Two of our three children and three grandchildren live nearby.

The Church of the Larger Fellowship sustained us until we found a small fellowship that allowed our lives to unfold in a congregational setting. Monroe Husband visited us in Louisiana, and mail from the CLF brought us spiritual stimulation. President Dana Greeley came and spoke at the time of the Selma march.

Today our vibrant Fellowship supports a full-time minister. It has grown yet maintains the intimacy that larger congregations work toward.

All congregations, it seems, require outside support. The UUA needs to provide the assistance each society's structural life requires, strengthening ministerial partnerships that ennoble our physical and psychic environment. We must tend to our relationships, varied and diverse as they may appear.

The UUA can help if it can see clearly. Web site: jcro.home.mindspring.com.

Rev. Jose Ballester
South Weymouth, Massachusetts

I believe in:

  • Expansion of our Religious Education programs to meet the current and future needs of all age groups. I encourage more experiential learning programs that are designed to help us live our faith.

  • Social Justice programs which engage us and the larger community in directly combating oppression, especially in racially, culturally, ethnically, and economically repressed communities. I'd work to ensure our Social Justice work is grounded firmly in our UU principles but open to the liberating experiences of the larger community.

  • Ministerial development programs that increase the diversity of all our ministries and provide our professional ministers with structure, support, and renewal. I would demand increased institutional support for Community Ministers and parity for Ministers of Religious Education.

  • Fiscal responsibility and accountability throughout all levels of our institution. I support initiatives that maximize the delivery of services to our congregations in the most cost-effective manner.

  • Youth and Young Adult programs, to be designed and implemented by them, to provide greater leadership development and service opportunities. Furthermore, I would champion the inclusion of youth and young adults in decision-making bodies.

  • Spiritual revival, community revitalization, and outreach based on the love, joy, and commitment of our faith.

Rev. Wayne Arnason
Cleveland, Ohio

My lifelong identity as a Unitarian Universalist and my career in our ministry have been spent building bridges across the gaps that threatened to turn our diversity into division. In the five years I have served on the UUA Board, I have sought to continue that commitment. My Board service has involved work on the Executive Committee, the Anti-Racism Assessment Team, and the Finance Committee. I have served as the Board's Liaison to the International Council of Unitarians and Universalists. As Secretary of the Association, I have managed our process for congregational certification and elections.

If you vote to elect me to a second term, you will be voting for:

  • A firm commitment to the UUA General Assembly's anti-racist imperative and the Board's role in implementing it.

  • Understanding and skill in using the Board's governance roles.

  • In-depth knowledge of the UUA's budget and investments.

  • A supportive voice for the UUA's role in religious education leadership development.

  • The only voice on the Board whose membership and ministerial service comes from one of our large churches.

  • Proven ministerial leadership respected by colleagues and lay leaders alike.
I would be honored to continue to serve.

Mark Hamilton
Toronto, Ontario

I grew up in YRUU in the Pacific Northwest District; Unitarian Universalism has been a central part of my identity since adolescence. I first became involved in leadership in the PNWD young adult movement and at Eliot Institute UU family camp. I am currently a youth advisor in Toronto. I am presently working on my Ph.D. in mathematics.

In any community, it is important to remember the big picture, to keep the vision in mind. I have always been drawn to the sort of large-scale questions the Commission considers, and hope to have the opportunity to serve.

(Due to an editing error, this candidate statement was omitted from the magazine.)

James Casebolt
St. Clairsville, Ohio

I am a social psychologist specializing in the psychology of liberal religion, with expertise in surveying and data analysis. My academic training included scholarship on organizational issues like decision-making and leadership. As a UU since 1993, I have been deeply involved at congregational, district, and continental levels.

My experience has provided me with excellent skills in spoken and written communication and analytical thinking. I am especially concerned with the well-being of small congregations. I believe that my skills can be of great benefit to the larger UU movement by enhancing the Commission's work of reviewing the functions of the UUA.

Rev. Linda (Stowell) Weaver Horton
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

A raised UU who is passionate about her faith, this tradition has been the strongest formative influence in my life. The merger of Unitarianism and Universalism created a dynamic faith which is only beginning to realize its transformative power for individuals and for society. We offer hope to a generation trying to find meaning and mission in the midst of failed absolutes, rampant materialism, and bewildering diversity. Understanding ourselves better helps us to realize that potential. Given my background, gifts, and skills, I can contribute most to this vision by serving on the Commission on Appraisal.

Rev. Richard Nugent
Washington, D. C.

Member, Commission on Social Witness (19972001); interim minister to congregations in Maryland, New York and West Virginia; Washington Representative, UUA (19961997); lobbyist, Epilepsy Foundation of America (19841991); staff, U. S. Senate (19721983); member, Fourth Universalist, New York.

During my first term, the CSW implemented the new social witness process. In the coming years, I look forward to collaborating with UUA leadership and staff, districts and congregations on ways to strengthen our public witness capabilities. Unitarian Universalism offers a vision of an inclusive, just society. Our social witness initiatives are a concrete way to give life to our principles.

Rev. Dr. Jan Carlsson-Bull
New York, New York

We as Unitarian Universalists seldom use the term "witness." Yet it is an apt term when we speak of faith-based social witness, for what are we doing other than witnessing to what we have "eyes to see and ears to hear" in the realm of justice and fair play?

Our social witness at General Assembly and what unfolds in our congregations can be leveraged to reach our political power brokers through yearlong advocacy. Why not work more closely with our congregations, our regional representatives, our UUSC, and our Washington Office of Faith in Action toward this end?

Helen Bishop
El Sobrante, California

The Nominating Committee in any not-for-profit organization fills the key role of identifying well-qualified candidates for elective leadership positions. Members of the Committee should understand the functions of elective offices, be on the lookout for people with the right skills who might not have thought of themselves as leaders, and be willing to mentor candidates through the election process. I am deeply committed to the Association's anti-oppression work, and will offer commitments of time, energy, awareness, and skills to service on the UUA Nominating Committee.

Elizabeth Collins
Lawrence, Kansas

A UU since 1984, I have been active in diverse congregations, and in YRUU and C*UUYAN (youth and young adult organizations). I know disenfranchised as well as integrated members of our denomination, and have organized countless conferences, committees, and worships for them.

Professionally, I have learned to build Web sites and databases, and to teach people how to use them. And, as a hobby, I have done theater technical work, including stage-managing "Twelfth Night" in four parks around NYC one summer. I believe all of this will make me an asset to the GA Planning Committee.

Carolyn Patierno
Berkeley, California

By serving on the GA Planning Committee I will be utilizing skills and previous experience in training and conference planning as an employee of a national, nonprofit agency. I truly enjoy this work, especially when working with others to make such events happen. General Assembly is a vital event within our movement -- one that should be appealing to UUs across generations. Therefore, I am especially interested in programming for children and youth as well as in childcare for the youngest among us. I feel that it would be an honor -- and great fun -- to serve on this committee!

Angus Bramadat
London, Ontario

I am a retired administrator, still involved in organising conferences and producing stage shows locally, nationally, and internationally on multicultural/racial harmony themes, emphasising blending of cultures. I have organised cultural exchanges between countries and have been a production assistant and fund raiser for two UU Videos, "Sharing our Vision" and one on our Lifespan R.E. program. A UU for over 35 years, I am a choir member, a member of the Social Responsibility Committee, the chair of the Communications Committee and the Empty Bowls Committee (a fund raiser to feed the hungry); and producer of Marquee Event for Canada Games 2001.

UU World XV:3 (July/August 2001): 42-45.

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