A Message from the UUA President: Practicing Now For A More Just Post-pandemic Society

By Susan Frederick-Gray

Dear leaders,

I hold you all in deep care. As this pandemic continues to spread, it is taking its toll on our country and people. This toll includes the heartbreak and grief for loved ones and strangers who have died and those struggling to recover from COVID-19.

As religious communities, we will continue to be called on to provide moral and spiritual leadership. Our pastoral presence and commitment to mutual aid are especially important as people’s fundamental needs grow, both within and beyond our congregations. And the UUA is your partner, in covenant and care, as we navigate these times. It is our priority to provide the best counsel, care, and resources we are able in these unprecedented times.

Attacks on Our Democracy

We are witnessing widespread and insidious attacks on our democracy, Constitution, and voting rights. The President’s incompetence and misinformation campaign are costing lives. There are violent attacks by police and federal agents against people exercising the right to protest and people offering humanitarian aid.

Police violence against Black Americans goes unabated. Separation of families happens unimpeded at the border and throughout the country. The spread of COVID-19 in prisons and detention centers is ignored. There is a cruel disregard for the deepening health and economic crisis in real terms. An increasing number of Americans are in danger of going hungry and being evicted from their homes. The President uses every lever at his disposal to undermine a free, accessible, and fair election.

Creating a Foundation of Care for Our Society

We cannot “go back to normal.” The lesson of our time is that we must renew the moral foundation of care in our society. We need to be organizing, agitating, preaching, loving, and practicing now for a post-pandemic society that is more equitable and just. We must continue to amplify the voice of the Black Lives Matter movement and advocate for its demands. Our steadfast commitment is to advance the human rights and dignity of all people.

Essential to this work, is nurturing a practice and spirit of liberation in our own congregations. The UUA, at both the Board and staff level, will be making the implementation of the Report of the UUA Commission on Institutional Change, Widening the Circle of Concern, a top priority. We must continue to do the work of dismantling historic, dehumanizing, and systemic racial injustice in our own communities. Over the months to come, I will be sharing more updates on the implementation of the COIC’s recommendations and support for congregations in this work.

Moving in Partnership

Knowing how difficult these days are, please be in touch with your regional staff with any needs, challenges, or questions you face. They are your first point of contact with the UUA—here to coach, companion, and connect you with helpful resources.

We are all living with grief, anxiety, anger, and uncertainty as we face the enormity of this crisis. Once again, I encourage everyone to make more time for rest, spiritual practice, and for connecting with your religious community and loved ones. Nurture what feeds your soul. Nurture what feeds your community. Nurture what inspires in you compassion, commitment, and action.

We can only navigate this unprecedented time together. Love, friendship, mutuality, community, and commitment—these will fortify us for the moral and spiritual leadership needed.

With you in love always,


P.S. Knowing summer is a time of leadership transitions, please make sure your leadership information is up to date at myuua.org so that current board and staff leaders receive communications from the UUA.

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