DiscoverUU Exclusive: The UUA Presidential Candidates

The UUA has yet to post the UUA Presidential Candidates’ Address, but you can watch it here!

Hat Tip: juuggernaut, video provided by UUA’s coverage (We’re grateful, but eager for the link. What’s the hold up!)

** UPDATE **

The UUA has provided a link with cleaner sound.


You can watch other UUA events, including an amazing WARE address by environmentalist Van Jones here.

I’ll post my thoughts as soon as I have them!


Technical issues with the recording are frustrating, but don’t ruin it completely. The audio could be cleaned up by anyone with basic knowledge of post audio…

Growth Strategy: Hallman’s growth strategies seem much less inspiring, (but much more specific) than Morales, and yet seem to be grounded in the specificity provided by real experience.

I get the feeling that Hallman’s strategies are likely the source of her own congregation’s stunning success. Hallman’s primary focus is on the nursury and attention to youth in the first year after graduating high school.

Morales growth strategy is summed up by him as “repelling fewer visitors.”

(On a personal note, I’m aware of a few instances in which young couples did NOT go back to churches they enjoyed because of the experiences of their children. One such congregation LOST their child from the area and he wandered into the service! It matter’s people!)

Hallman’s (long and vague) Elevator Speech:

“We are a church that was founded at least in America along with the freedoms of our government- we believe that no pope should tell us what we believe and no rabbi or minister or priest should stand between us and our relationship with God. It’s un-mediated. It’s a free church now. Their definitions of what makes it free have expanded dramatically since those early years, but those founders of the democracy of our country and also of our free faith were able to put in place a structure that could contain much more than they could even imagine”

Morales’ Elevator Speech:

“I believe- and actually if you look at the history of religion it’s true- that religion is much less about what we think than about what we love. And we are a group of people who love life, who believes in compassion for one another, who believes in human dignity, and who believes in peace and compassion. And if you believe that, then we have the same religion.


Hallman’s elevator speech SUCKS!

Morales and my views on UUism are much more closely related. HERE, I put forth the idea that UUism should consider itself an ‘umbrella religion’, without separating itself from liberal Christians, etc. Meaning, people of any liberal faith should consider themselves UU, whether they ALSO identify as Christian, Jewish, Pagan, etc.

29 minutes in:

Morales is HILARIOUS. “I really don’t believe, by the way, that there are significant differences among any of us on our goals. I don’t think there are powerful factions within our movement that want to shrink the movement and become irrelevant!” [laughter]

34 minutes in:

Now Hallman is HILARIOUS.

When asked about her experiences understanding another culture, Hallman says “I think one of the primary experiences of experiencing another culture is marriage!” [laughter]

Morales comes back by speaking Spanish at the top of his response and saying that he’s the one entering another culture.

40 minutes in:

Morales gets in a slight zing at Rev. Sinkford’s controversial focus on UU congregations at the expense of independent affiliates, but has a good answer when he moves the blame to the UUA Board and discusses the need to continue to fuel these groups in some way instead of just cutting them off.

I’ll do an additional post just covering each candidate’s closing remarks. In summary of the above, we’ve got two pretty great candidates. If the energy is there, I feel they can point UUs in the right direction.

Feel free to comment below.

See comments from those who attended GA here.

2 Responses to “DiscoverUU Exclusive: The UUA Presidential Candidates”

  1. radicalhapa Says:

    thanks aaron for this. you know, laurel hallman is right on, that year post high school, and the year post undergraduate (for those who go to college) are some of the most challenging in life, and in terms of relationship to the church. something we worked carefully to understand at the uua, but found it difficult to address effectively.

  2. Larry Ladd Says:

    Being UUA president requires many skills and an elevator speech is no doubt one of them. I have no doubt that Laurel Hallman will get better at it. But the central attributes of an effective UUA president can only be learned through years of successful experience in encouraging spiritual depth and institutional vitality. That experience makes Hallman the radical candidate who proposes not new tactics (and tactics have failed) but a new strategy: vibrant congregations grow and thus we should focus on fostering excellence in our congregational life. Larry Ladd

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: