Unitarian Universalists to Elect New President
On the evening of Saturday, June 27, 2009, the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) will announce the results of the election for the next UUA president, as well as the results of elections for UUA committee members and other officers. The election will take place during the Association’s 2009 General Assembly, to be held from June 24-28 in Salt Lake City.
The two candidates for UUA president are Rev. Dr. Laurel Hallman, minister at large of the First Unitarian Church of Dallas, TX, and Rev. Peter Morales, senior minister at Jefferson Unitarian Church in Golden, CO.
The presidency is the highest office within the UUA. As chief executive officer, the UUA president serves as chief spokesperson and is responsible to the UUA Board of Trustees for the administrative policies and programs of the Association. Presidents may serve up to two four-year terms.
The Candidates’ Forum at General Assembly, featuring Hallman and Morales, will take place on Thursday, June 25, 7:00 - 8:15 p.m. at the Salt Palace in Hall E. A celebration of the candidates and the election results will take place on Saturday, June 27, 8:00 - 8:30 p.m. at the Salt Palace in Hall E. Both events will be webcast through live streaming video on UUA.org.
Votes for the presidency may be cast by delegates and certain religious professionals from certified UUA congregations. Votes may be cast via absentee ballot prior to General Assembly or at the polling place in the Salt Palace, on Saturday, June 27th, from 12 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
For twenty-two years, Laurel Hallman was senior minister at the First Unitarian Church of Dallas, until her January 2009 retirement. Under her leadership, church membership doubled from 550 to 1,100, giving grew from $220,000 to almost $2 million, and lay ministries and social action programs blossomed. Hallman also partnered in justice work with community organizers such as Ernesto Cortes of the Industrial Areas Foundation. Prior to her ministry in Dallas, Hallman ministered for seven years at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Bloomington, IN. She also served as a lay religious educator, church administrator and director of religious education during the ten years that she spent at Unity Church in St. Paul, MN, before becoming a minister. Hallman earned her doctorate in ministry from Meadville-Lombard in 1981.
Prior to serving at Jefferson Unitarian Church, one of our movement's largest and fastest growing congregations, Peter Morales spent two years with the UUA in Boston, MA, as Director for District Services. He has also served on the UUA Board of Trustees, as trustee from the Mountain Desert District, and on the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association (UUMA) Executive Committee, as the first person to carry the new anti-racism, anti-oppression, multiculturalism portfolio. Earlier in life, Morales was a Fulbright lecturer in Spain, a newspaper editor and publisher in Oregon, a Knight International Press Fellow in Peru, and a regional manager in California state government. He and his wife, Phyllis Windrem Morales, have been married 41 years. They have two children, Miguel and Marcela.
Rev. William G. Sinkford has served as UUA president since 2001. His presidency has been distinguished by his social justice work. Sinkford is an outspoken critic of the war in Iraq, a nationally recognized champion of marriage equality, and a passionate advocate for the people of Darfur. Under Sinkford’s leadership, the UUA has voted to work against global warming and become the first national denomination to join the New Sanctuary Movement. While serving as president, Sinkford has freely shared his own spiritual journey and called on Unitarian Universalism to reclaim a language of reverence. Sinkford reflects on his tenure as president in this recent UU World interview.
The Unitarian Universalist Association is a faith community of more than 1,000 self-governing congregations that bring to the world a vision of religious freedom, tolerance and social justice. For more information about the UUA, including recent press releases and news articles, please visit our online press room.
Janet Hayes, Public Relations Director
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