some quotes from Gini’s charge

Gini lighting GA chaliceHere are some selected quotes from Gini’s final Moderator Report (see also full text, video, or UUWorld article):

“I like to pride myself that one of the things that I do is speak truth to power. And so I am here to do that, today. And by ‘power’ I mean I want to speak to *you,*because our organizational form is congregational polity and you hold the power of this Association…in our congregations, in your hearts and hands.”

“I believe that when you quit funding growth, you might stop growing…if we are not financially supporting new starts, I believe we will continue to experience the kind of non-growth that we have now seen for about the past six years, and it is not acceptable.”

“you cannot have a worthy vision, a compelling vision—a salvific vision—an institution-building vision, an outreach-expanding vision, four or six years at a time. That you can have *tactics* in six-year blocks, and strategies in six-year blocks, but you cannot have a worthy vision six or four years at a time.”

“vision…comes from the people. You heard earlier, ‘without a vision, the people perish.’ But it’s because the people aren’t visioning, not because no one gave them something. Without a vision, the people perish, because they are no longer active in their own future. You congregants—us together—are responsible for setting that fifty-year vision for
Unitarian Universalism, with and through your Board of Trustees and your
General Assembly. The long-term vision of Unitarian Universalism, what we will
bend our arc towards, that is ours to set. And we have not been doing it lately.”

“We believe instead that we can elect a personality–I’ve been one for us—that we can elect a Moderator or a President and let them tell us what to do. That’s not congregational polity, my friends. That is Episcopalian polity.”

“I also think this gets tied to growth, my friends. It’s because I think without a vision, the people perish, and if the people in your place aren’t dreaming, maybe then you’re not exciting enough to be with. I need you to dream. You need you to dream. Without a vision, the people perish.”

“we finally heard the Administration say, ‘we don’t know how to measure some of these things.’ And the UUA Board of Trustees said, ‘now we hear you.’ Let’s hire a consultant to help put together plans that will work, and measurements that will work against them. Let’s help you get the answers. And the result of that was a headline that it made it seem like the Board was spending 100,000 dollars for some purpose I can’t even imagine. But it’s a hundred thousand dollars—big money, yes—but it’s out of a twenty-two million dollar-a-year budget. A hundred thousand dollars not to fix or repair a relationship, but to provide skills to the Board and skills to the Administration, so we can answer the question of, before we stop one more program, might we know it doesn’t work? And before we start one more program, might we know going in what would make it successful?”

“Do you remember when we knew that part of our job was to become the anti-racist, anti-oppressive, multicultural Unitarian Universalism that would survive, and even thrive in the future? But we’re not doing much of that right now. For example, we have a training that happens tomorrow where everybody who was elected today—yesterday, actually—is supposed to show up at that training. And it used to be paid for out of the UUA budget. Sometime in the last few years, we shuffled that cost off to individual committee budgets. So, one way to save money is…don’t participate. But we’ve also removed a whole raft of programs, that helped us be more anti-racist, more just. And I was here when we did it. And it’s not okay.”

“the same skills that Eboo Patel talked about we could learn inside Unitarian Universalism because *we* are multicultural and multi-faith inside our walls, too!”

“there are just a few things I would ask. Extend to the next Moderator the same trust you extended to me, my first year, so that he can have this relationship with you, too. That’s number one. You started with trust, we start with trust every time. No matter who you supported, we start in that place. I want you to extend that trust and love to President Peter Morales, as well. He deserves your love and trust.”

“I want you to demand accountability, which you can still do when you love and trust. You can love me and trust me and still hold me accountable! You can support the Board when they hold our leaders accountable. That’s not about love and trust. That’s about accountability, which is the *basis* for love and trust.”

“If we are to fulfill our promise, if we are to be the religion for our time—and for all time, for all time—you will have to learn to love in a way you have not yet learned. You will have to vision in a way you have grown unaccustomed to. And you will have to preach and demand accountability in a way that is uncomfortable. But if you can do all those things, my friends, all those things, in addition to what you do today already, there is no power, between the atom and the stars, that will slow us down.”

 

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