Gini, in Her Own Words
We post an excerpt of the interview of Gini Courter in the current issue of UU World on the occasion of the end of her service as Moderator of the UUA. Read the full interview on uuworld.org here. – Ed.
: You have served more than eighteen years in elected office in the UUA. How did volunteer service come to be so important to you?
: I was raised to be a volunteer. My father, who died last spring, was a district lay leader for his Methodist faith. He was the president of his congregation twice: once from 1956 to 1957, and the second time from 1959 until about 1985. My father lived a life of service. My mother, her church was public education. She was the secretary of her school board. She was the person who would get called—you know, “Somebody didn’t show up to help open up polls for the elections today. Can you come?” My younger sister just retired as a major general with the Civil Air Patrol. She’s been the national commander, and that’s a volunteer job. This is my family.
: What has been most rewarding about your service to the Association?
: I get to work with amazing people. I’m not the only person who volunteers that way. Most folks who work in so-called regular jobs who serve on the UUA board or the GA Planning Committee or the Ministerial Fellowship Committee use every vacation and personal day they have to do that work. But I’m the example a congregational president holds up to their partner or spouse to say, “I’m not the only crazy person in the world, leave me alone.” There are a ton of us crazy people who are committed volunteers for church life. They’ve made some choices. You make a choice that you’ll retire early or cut back on your regular paid work. Or you’ll go without some things, maybe vacations with the rest of your family or maybe even starting a family. All of those things wait because what we’re doing right now is important. There’s a lot of reward in that.
: What has been challenging in giving so much time to the Association?
: It made my work life a challenge. I have clients who have been waiting for me not to have something at the end of June every year. It is a lot of time and it’s a lot of travel. I have spent a lot of time with congregations because it was clear that it was needed and it was something that made a difference.
Read the entire article in UU World here.