Amanda Rhoads

I knew I would meet some pretty extraordinary people at college, and quickly realized Alison Miller was one of them. I was impressed not only with her kindness and cleverness, but also her sense of gratitude and purpose, something I had not really experienced before then, and certainly didn’t embody.

I remember fun times in the dorm, getting to hold the first in a series of pet hedgehogs, and trips to New York for a weekend away from school, hanging out with her family. But what connected us most was our shared UU faith. Early on we joined forces to participate in, then organize, our campus ministry program. Even then, Alison was a natural leader and never shied away from the hard work of engaging a busy and, generally, non-practicing college community. We planned worships, organized guest speakers, and facilitated visits to the nearby local congregation. We had a healthy core group of UUs that built relationships that last to this day. Watching Alison through that early experience, I was not surprised to find she was becoming a minister.

Even in college I was impressed by her determined optimism and ability to find humor in all situations. You got the impression then she would handle whatever was thrown at her with grace and aplomb. Along with her intelligence and grounding in our values, these qualities make her an inspiring voice for our faith in an especially trying time for our nation. As a lifelong UU, a parent, and a feminist, I wholeheartedly support Alison’s candidacy for UUA president, and I welcome you to join me. 

Amanda Rhoads, Lay Leader, First Unitarian Church of Portland

Related Posts