Letter from the UUA Board of Trustees (April 10, 2017)
The resignation of UUA President Peter Morales requires the Board of Trustees to make an appointment to fill the office of the President. This appointment shall last until June 24, 2017, when a new president is elected by the General Assembly. In making this appointment the Board intends to recognize the significant opportunity before us, to recognize the time constraints involved, and to model a profoundly collaborative approach to shared leadership. At its meeting on Thursday, April 6, 2017, the Board unanimously approved a UUA Presidential Transition Plan to frame the brief tenure of the Transition Team and help to shape Unitarian Universalism into the future.
We are deeply grateful to the three seasoned, thoughtful Unitarian Universalist leaders who have agreed to serve together: the Rev. Sofia Betancourt, the Rev. William G. Sinkford, and Dr. Leon Spencer.
The Rev. Betancourt is the Assistant Professor of Theology and Ethics at Starr King School for the Ministry and will serve as Interim Co-President for the Commission for Institutional Change. Her work as a religious educator, parish minister, and seminary professor provide well-honed leadership qualities will surely enrich the team.
The Rev. Sinkford, Senior Minister of the First Unitarian Church of Portland, Oregon, and who served as UUA President from 2001-2009, will serve as Interim Co-President for the roles of President as outlined in the UUA bylaws.
Dr. Leon Spencer is Professor Emeritus in Leadership, Technology and Human Development at the Georgia Southern University and will serve as Interim Co-President for Constituent Outreach. He is a person of broad experience and the 2007 recipient of the UUA’s annual Distinguished Service Award who has been a longtime leader in our journey toward becoming an anti-racist and multicultural faith. He served on the UUA Board of Trustees and chaired the Nominating Committee and held many district leadership roles.
We are grateful as well to their families, to the congregation of the First Unitarian Church of Portland, and to the Starr King School for the Ministry community who are wise and generous enough to lend their leaders to our larger faith.
In the next few days the Team will be working with the Board to specify their particular areas of focus. We look forward with great anticipation to working closely together to take full advantage of the opportunities before us and to prepare our Association and our hearts to welcome our soon-to-be elected President.
Yours in Faith,
Your UUA Board of Trustees
In pursuit of the UUA Interim Presidential Transition Plan the Board appoints a co-equal, three-person Presidential Transition Team to serve together and in collaboration to fulfill the obligations outlined in the Plan: Sofia Betancourt, William G. Sinkford, and Leon Spencer. Sofia Betancourt will serve as Interim Co-President for the Commission for Institutional Change, William G. Sinkford will serve as Interim Co-President for the roles of President as outlined in the UUA Bylaws, and Leon Spencer will serve as Interim Co-President of Constituent Outreach. All will serve in a Pastoral Care role.
It is understood that working with the Board, they will develop a set of working agreements describing their particular roles and responsibilities and the undergirding norms, which will enable and govern their portfolios during this interim presidency.