A Holiday Message from the President of the Unitarian Universalist Association
A Holiday Message from the President of the Unitarian Universalist Association

What are your fondest memories of the holiday season? My favorite childhood memories involve Christmas pageants, a series of large and boisterous intergenerational family gatherings, and, of course, my Tía Amelia’s wonderful tamales.

Later, as young adult, my most precious memories involve my own children. I recall, while traveling in Spain, creating a makeshift Christmas tree in a hotel room from a fallen branch and decorating it with curled orange peel.

Now, as an “older adult,” I cherish the holiday reunions with family and friends. As a parish minister, I loved seeing the faces of young adults light up as they encountered old friends at holiday services.

The presents I received and gave have long since faded from memory. The relationships remain. The stuff is long gone. The love endures.

I encourage you to be with your own most precious memories of the holidays. Experience the love and joy once again. Our most precious memories have much to teach us. Our most cherished experiences are much more than nostalgia; they are religious teachers. Remembering is a spiritual practice.

The lessons that our fondest holiday memories are trying to teach us can transform our daily lives, revitalize our congregations, remake our economy, change our politics, and bring lasting peace to the world.

Love endures. Relationships really matter. In the long run, stuff doesn't matter. The implications are revolutionary.

If we lived our lives with this in mind, we would nurture relationships with people we love. We would create religious communities that foster intimacy, and we would truly open our hearts to the newcomer.

If we lived with the deep conviction that what connects us is sacred, exploitation would end. Violence would end. Peace would reign at last.

May this be a season filled with blessings.

Rev. Peter Morales

About the Author

  • The Rev. Peter Morales was the eighth president of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). He was elected in June 2013 to a second four-year term and resigned in March 2017. Prior to his election, Morales served as the senior minister at Jefferson Unitarian Church in...

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