Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association, Weekly News and Reflections

May 10, 2019

Living Into Our Values: A Reflection from the UUMA Treasurer


Richard Speck, UUMA Treasurer

Values: Important and lasting beliefs or ideals shared by the members of a culture about what is good or bad and desirable or undesirable. Values have major influence on a person's behavior and attitude and serve as broad guidelines in all situations.


The UUMA Board has been discussing the specific values that undergird our association. We have asked members at several forums over the past year and a half about what values should be our guiding lights. We recently synthesized our thoughts into the following statement:


Values of the UUMA as Articulated by the Board, April 2019

  1. Integrity – We adhere to the moral and ethical principles of Unitarian Universalism in our ministries and our lives. We uphold the honor of our calling in our actions and our words.
  2. Accountability – We have an obligation and willingness to accept responsibility for our decisions, choices, and deeds. We hold each other accountable to our covenants between us.
  3. Justice and Equity – Inclusion/Accessibility – We are committed to building a just world that is inclusive, anti-oppressive, and multi-cultural. We value the personhood of all people within the UUMA, modeling the beloved community.
  4. Faith/Fidelity/Faithfulness – We are true to our word and our calling, upholding promises and vows we have made to each other, to ourselves, and our faith.
  5. Leadership – Vulnerability, Risk-Taking – We embrace the capacity to lead, taking risks and being vulnerable in our humanity.

We believe that using these values in conducting the work of the UUMA will provide us with a touchstone to lead us to the best decisions for our membership. We must have integrity in all that we do. We face some major challenges as we revise our code of professional conduct to increase the accountability of all our members in how they live their lives in public as well as in private. We must be fully accountable to the membership for the decisions we have made, even when some would question the wisdom of those decisions.


Our association is looked to by the larger Unitarian Universalist world for our leadership. We must model what the beloved community is in our actions with one another and in our congregations. We each vowed to uphold the calling to which we were ordained and we must maintain the promises that we have made.


And lastly, we are called to lead, to take risks, to go boldly where others have not gone before -- not knowing the final outcome, but faithful to our path. Our slogan for this past year has been “It’s a new day at the UUMA.” We are living out that slogan in so many ways by holding our members accountable for their actions, taking stands on controversial positions, and charting new ways to work and learn together as ministers.


If you were identifying the values of our association, would you choose different ones and why?


Open Conversation About the Guidelines Proposals


Please join the Guidelines Committee members from the Ethics and Accountability teams on May 23 at 4:00pm Eastern / 1:00pm Pacific to discuss . We will be voting on these changes in Spokane this year and if they pass, we then engage in a year of study. This is a chance to consider the proposed changes, to ask questions of committee members, and to share with others your thoughts about these changes.



Announcing Our Next Intern: Julica Hermann de la Fuente


We are delighted to announce that Julica Hermann de la Fuente will be our next UUMA Intern. Sana Saeed will complete her internship with us in June, and Julica will begin work with us in September. Julica sends along this note:


Greetings, colleagues! I’m delighted to be the incoming UUMA intern this fall, and look forward to my work with all of you as I continue my path to ordination.


I have been honing a call to anti-racism and anti-oppression work my entire adult life. Born and bred in Mexico, I spent significant amounts of my childhood in the United States visiting my dad, and immigrated permanently myself in 1990, starting with college at the University of Michigan. While at Michigan, I gained a much deeper understanding of my intersecting social identities and how these identities impact my ability to move through the world. I often find myself occupying liminal identity spaces: bilingual, bisexual, bicultural. I also identify as a temporarily able-bodied, cisgender, upper middle-class, trauma survivor, immigrant, white Latina, and feel it is a privilege to leverage the complexity of these identities and the intersections thereof in the service of social justice education and anti-racism.


Prior to answering the ministerial call, I have been a social justice educator in academic and non-profit settings and a life coach. In addition to an MA in Leadership Studies from Meadville Lombard Theological School, I also hold an MSW and an ABD in Sociology from the University of Michigan, and two life coaching certifications. I have been privileged to serve on the Beloved Conversations Retreat Leader Team and as a Program Leader for the UU College of Social Justice.


I’m looking forward to this internship as an opportunity to continue to hone my call to serve religious professionals and lay leaders in Unitarian Universalism as we work together to close the gap between our espoused anti-racism/anti-oppression values and our actual organizational and congregational practices.


When I’m not on-shift for the resistance, you will find me playing with fabric, making costumes for my two daughters Aliana and Sofia, looking for more excuses to frost fancy cakes, and reading optimistic sci-fi and fantasy possibilities of a just and equitable universe.



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