Many people and congregations participated in the research and development of this manual. I interviewed a dozen ministers and congregational leaders who have faced this difficult issue in their congregations. Because many asked for our conversations to remain confidential, I included no names here but I am grateful for their honest sharing. I also benefited from the wisdom of several colleagues during informal consultations at conferences I attended throughout the year I worked on this manual.
With the support of the Unitarian Universalist Association, we convened a task force to review an early draft of this manual. Task force representatives included the Rev. Patricia Tummino, the Rev. Dr. William Stayton, Dr. Steve Brown, Dr. Steve Thomas, and Joan Tabachnik. We were joined by the Reverends David Hubner and Pat Hoertdoerfer from the Unitarian Universalist Association for a day of spirited discussion and debate. This manual is better because of their contributions, insights, and expertise.
I am grateful for the support of the Reverend Tracy Robinson-Harris and Claudia Hull from the UUA for their support and commitment to this project, as well as their encouragement and astute comments.
This has been one of the most difficult assignments I have faced. It surely may raise some controversy. I hope it will help as you work to balance the needs for justice, compassion, accountability and safety.
Reverend Debra W. Haffner