Why I’m Running
Dear Members and Friends across the UUA,
Our faith calls us to make the bonds of love visible in the world. In my life, this resulted in an early call to serve, lead, create, and partner with Unitarian Universalist communities across the country for the past 26 years. This call grows out of a deep sense of gratitude for the life-giving and healing power of our faith that has touched so many lives, including my own.
The first fourteen years of my call, I was a lay-leader serving as a volunteer and in staff roles, and the second twelve years I have served as a congregational minister and an avid volunteer in our denomination and the wider world. I am so glad that my first call was to build up, mentor, lead and fundraise for youth, campus, and young adult ministries, which reached new Unitarian Universalists and longtime Unitarian Universalists alike. This beginning has allowed me to experiment and gain success in adapting our faith in ways that work inside of congregations, outside of congregations, and focus on being generationally relevant. It was also during this time that I became grounded in building communities in ways that reflect our commitments to anti-racism, anti-oppression and multiculturalism.
Unitarian Universalism is a faith that speaks to people of all generations, diverse religious perspectives, and diverse identities. Our task is to shape a future together in ways that are loving and just, bold and life-giving, so that more people who thirst for our healing message may find a home with us. As I reflect on the shared ministry I am leading in Morristown, I am thrilled that we have grown younger and older, grown to embrace theological pluralism, and grown to better reflect the diversity of the population in the surrounding area. We have also grown in numbers. We have done all of this through a combination of building on traditions that continue to serve us well and innovative ministries that connect us with new members and engage the whole community with the pressing justice issue of our time.
I am blessed to serve as President of the Church of the Larger Fellowship (CLF), which we playfully call a Creative Laboratory of Faith. This is one of several projects that I have a long term involvement with that has given me experience, insight and practice at moving institutions towards vibrancy and relevance. I also continue to be a leader in brand new projects – such as the UU Legislative Ministry of New Jersey – a young organization, but already known for its impact.
I am called to take the depth and breadth of my spiritual leadership, vision leadership, community leadership, and growth oriented leadership in congregations and in the wider world to serve the Unitarian Universalist Association as President. I will be a partner with Unitarian Universalists across the country, as we grow Unitarian Universalism and live into the healing possibilities our faith holds for the brokenness in our individual lives and the world beyond.
Together we can
- Free our communities to be spiritually alive places people want to participate in whether in person or online.
- Practice gratitude for the heritage we have been handed through this open-hearted and open-minded faith.
- Experiment, innovate, and adapt so that our cherished faith will be a guiding force for tomorrow.
- Create opportunities for learning and spiritual growth that sustain and inspire us through our joy and our suffering, in our youth and our later years, in order to become a faith people don’t drift away from due to age or circumstance.
- Build better relationships, deeper connections, and partnerships between the UUA and Unitarian Universalist communities.
- Put our money and resources to work in projects that reflect our current values, commitments, and aspirations – such as investing in ministries with youth and young adults, the work of multiculturalism and anti-oppression, and the growth of new ministries.
- Live into our shared covenant which invites us to make the bonds of love visible between us and the wider world through acts of courage, compassion, and wholeness.
We will create, collaborate, and shape the future of our faith together in ways that are loving and just, bold and life-giving.
All of us are called.
Rev. Alison Miller