With gratitude to the Moderator Nominating Committee, the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) Board of Trustees is unable to announce a candidate for nomination to the position of UUA moderator by the February 1 deadline. In their search and deliberations, the Moderator Nominating Committee discovered that the job of moderator requires more time than many volunteers are able to give to the Unitarian Universalist faith movement. This is particularly true as we strive to make the position accessible to someone who is not yet retired nor has the financial means to do the job as it is currently perceived. The position has no provision for compensation and it is unclear how more than one person could share the permanent role. It also became clear that confusion around the special election for the current moderator position (2018) and general election for the upcoming 6-year term (2019) was also considerable.
At our January 2018 meeting, the UUA Board, in consultation with legal counsel, decided to consider ways to restructure the moderator position to make it more sustainable and attractive. The Board overwhelmingly indicated our desire to postpone nominations for the 2019 election for UUA Moderator, for at least the coming year. This recognizes the concerns raised by the Moderator Nominating Committee and affirms our Board’s own agreement to expand the bylaw-defined role of moderator to include co-moderators.
We have chosen this course of action with intention, understanding the heftiness of the decision. We are in a time of significant change and opportunity. Our collective renewed commitment to break historic patterns of white supremacy asks all of us to be flexible and open to change. Postponing the nomination allows us to take into consideration any analysis and suggestions that the Commission on Institutional Change may offer. The Board will use the additional time to strategize around this position and develop configurations or possibilities that are more in line with the aspirations of our faith community. We are hopeful that candidates who may have considered running by petition will allow changes to the role to be determined before they make the decision to run.