The Board of Trustees of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) is pleased to announce its unanimous nomination of the Rev. Meg Riley and Charles Du Mond for election as the next co-moderators of the UUA, at the special election to be held at General Assembly (GA) 2020, in Providence, RI. If elected, they will serve in this position for a term beginning at the conclusion of GA 2020 and ending at the conclusion of GA 2025.
The Board and the two Moderator Search Committees that have brought us to this point have worked hard over the past two years to understand and re-envision the roles of the moderatorship. They recognized from the search a year ago that the combination of unique challenges in our time and the expectations that have grown up around the moderator role have made it increasingly hard to find the right candidate or candidates who could afford to commit to the exceptional demands of this volunteer position. They also understood it was essential to bring forth people who could offer substantial leadership to help move forward the shared vision and goals of the Board and the Administration.
Re-envisioning and recreating the role(s) of the moderator will continue to be an ongoing task for the Board and the new co-moderators, in collaboration with the UUA Administration. It is this kind of collaboration that has—and will—allow us to move our faith and its institutions forward. The world, and the UUA, are in a time of great change, and we believe that this team can lead collaboratively to help guide us towards becoming the faith and movement we aspire to be.
We are delighted to be able to nominate Rev. Meg Riley and Charles Du Mond for this challenge. They would bring distinct skills and obvious depths of experience to the position, and between them have a deep understanding of Unitarian Universalism (biographies below). They have revealed particular awareness and sensitivity about the moderatorship of the UUA. We are grateful that they entered the process, and are pleased by what we see in their resumés, by their interviews with the Search Committee and the Board, and by the grace, flexibility, and great hearts they have displayed—as well as their senses of humor. They bring experience working as a leadership team, from their time when Rev. Riley served as senior minister for the Church of the Larger Fellowship (CLF) and Du Mond as a member of the CLF Board. They have already crafted a covenant to guide them in this work, and intend to develop discrete portfolios to share the job.
We offer this nomination to our congregations and the General Assembly, with our wholehearted support.
The UUA Board of Trustees
Meg Riley (she/her/hers)
A lifelong Unitarian Universalist (UU), Meg Riley grew up in congregations in Charleston, West Virginia and Akron, Ohio. Since 1983, she has served UU congregations, organizations, and enterprises in many capacities. Her primary identity throughout many roles has been as a religious educator. On UUA staff for 21 years in a variety of roles, and on the UUA’s Leadership Council for eight years, Riley directly experienced the impact of UUA Board/ Administration interactions. She concluded that a strong Board and Moderator, in active dialogue and collaboration with a strong Administration, is essential to a strong UUA.
Always deeply collaborative, Riley has worked to create new opportunities for advancing strong leadership, especially the leadership of younger people, people of color, and GLBT people, wherever she has served. One former intern said, “When she sees someone on fire about something, she throws gasoline, not water, on their fire.”
Ordained as a Community Minister in 1992, Riley has worked ever since to transform the UUA into a multiracial, justice-centered religious movement. She is thrilled about all of the positive movement at the current time, especially noting and wanting to support the strong leadership of younger people, people of color, and trans/ nonbinary folx throughout Unitarian Universalism.
Riley has served on many boards of directors, and was founding President of Faith in Public Life and Equal Partners in Faith. She views the Moderatorship as an opportunity to give back, after having received so much from Unitarian Universalism for her whole life.
Riley lives in Minneapolis, MN. She is married to Dr. Nancy Hammond, who recently retired after 37 years as a clinical psychologist, and is the proud parent of Jie Wronski-Riley, 23. After ten years as Senior Minister of Church of the Larger Fellowship, and 37 years as a religious professional, Riley will formally retire from ministry in Providence, RI, in 2020.
Charles Du Mond (he/him/his)
A lay leader who came to Unitarian Universalism from the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), Du Mond, for many years, described himself as a Quaker who belonged to a UU Church. He experienced Unitarian Universalism as a kind of United Nations of Religion and pointed to all the members who claimed some other religious heritage in addition to UU. Now, he is simply a Unitarian Universalist.
He joined the UUs of San Mateo in 1993. He has served on the Board of Trustees, holding all the leadership positions: President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Financial Secretary. He taught religious education (RE), including every Our Whole Lives (OWL) level from kindergarten to high school. He facilitated the Beloved Conversations curriculum three times in San Mateo. He led a capital campaign, participated in a Ministerial Search Committee, developed and led Sunday Services – pretty much everything but sing in the choir.
Beyond his local congregation, he served on the UUA Pacific Central District Board, District Presidents’ Association / Regional Leaders Group, the Board of the Church of the Larger Fellowship (CLF), and the advisory board for UU United Nations Office. He was asked to join the UUA President’s Council in 2008. He attends the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) Stewardship Council and Innovation Council. He has been on pilgrimages to San Mateo’s partner church in The Philippines twice (2011 and 2019). He is a new member of the Board at the Starr King School for the Ministry.
Du Mond sees serving on the Moderator Team as an opportunity to continue to empower the leadership of others. He uses the following questions as a guide and a challenge:
Does the decision create a space that is welcoming and accessible to everyone?
Does it serve the community within and outside our walls?
Is it the sustainable choice?
Are we building Beloved Community?
Does it provide opportunities for spiritual growth?
Are we dismantling racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions?
Are we transforming lives through advocacy, education, empowerment, compassion and love?
Is it the bold choice?
Du Mond has a PhD in Statistics which he uses to design, analyze, report, and defend the results of clinical trials to regulatory agencies. He lives in San Mateo, CA. He has been married to Barbara for 37 years. They have two adult daughters, Jennifer and Emily. Their first grandchild is expected on Christmas day.
Riley and Du Mond first met during the launch of what was then called, “Standing on the Side of Love.” Riley, then Director of the Advocacy and Witness Staff Group, was the founding director of the project.
Later, after Riley became the senior minister at CLF, Du Mond joined the CLF Board and the two worked together for six years.
About Riley, Du Mond says, “I have seen Meg’s leadership, her pastoral care, her deep and powerful love for this religion, her wisdom, as well as her wit and her sense of humor.”
About Du Mond, Riley says, “He has consistently modeled behavior as an older cisgender white man that I wish could be cloned for many others who share those identities. He’s also smart, funny, and is good at different things than I am.”
Riley and Du Mond have co-created a covenant to guide them in this work and will develop discrete portfolios to share the job.
Please contact them at MegAndCharles2020@gmail.com.