Morales: ‘We have this amazing potential’
In a brief conversation with UU World and members of the UUA’s Communications staff shortly after he was named President-Elect on Saturday, June 27, the Rev. Peter Morales praised his opponent and identified some key goals of his administration.
Morales said, “To get to where we want to go requires all of us, and we need [the Rev. Dr. Laurel Hallman's supporters'] commitment, their enthusiasm, their passion, and their vision. I also particularly want to say that I fully appreciate Laurel’s consistent emphasis on spiritual depth, on the creation of profound covenant in communities, and also her deep passion for retaining our youth and young adults.”
Asked where he would like to take Unitarian Universalism in the next four to eight years, Morales said, “I want to grow our faith, to reach all those people who are looking for nondogmatic, liberal religious community. I look forward to working with partners in many other progressive and justice-seeking religious groups. There are tremendous issues that we’ll be facing in the coming years and we’re going to need one another.” He pointed to Friday’s interfaith rally for immigrant families as an example, which brought Mormon, Episcopal, Roman Catholic, and Unitarian Universalist leaders and laypeople together.
Morales described what Unitarian Universalism has to offer to the world. “The number of people who are already in agreement with us—not just in an intellectual sense, but in complete harmony with our core values—is enormous. The breadth of our message is very appealing, but we need to become more culturally diverse in our forms of expression in order to reach the millions of people who share our theology and values. We’ve tended, because of our particular history, to have a narrow range of expression. I so want to see our faith become much more multicultural and open to other ways of expressing the same fundamental values.”
Did he expect to win? “I had no idea,” he said. “We thought momentum was on our side,” but he said the final vote count “really surprised me.”
“We were underdogs for sure,” Morales continued. “I started out a good year and a half after Laurel, and understood that she was very well funded, and also that four or five other people had considered it and declined to run. So it was a daunting undertaking, we had no illusions about that.”
“I hope, and believe, that people resonated with the call to take our faith to a place it has not yet been, although we have this
amazing potential. The consistent message of our campaign was that we could be much, much more. We need to
make some adjustments because we live in a time of tremendous change. There’s an enormous demographic shift going on.”