UUA President Bill Sinkford Has Ignored My "Obviously Deep Concerns" For Over Four Years Now
The "In faith" salutation used by UUA President William G. Sinkford, and indeed other UUA officials, to sign off their letters and emails is particularly annoying in that President Sinkford and various other UUA officials have acted in considerable bad faith towards me and no doubt other victims of U*U clergy misconduct and other U*U injustices and abuses for many years now. . .
My picket sign slogan that said -
A "CHURCH" THAT ACTS IN BAD FAITH
comes to mind whenever UUA officials use the effectively meaningless "In faith" sign off.
From: William Sinkford
To: 'email@example.com '
Cc: David Hubner
Sent: Thu, 9 May 2002 09:36:02 -0400
Robin, thank you for writing and sharing your obviously deep concerns. The appropriate person to review your complaints is Rev. David Hubner, head of our Department of Ministry. I've asked him to review the file on this matter and respond to you directly.
Sent: 5/2/02 6:03 PM
15 Lafleur apt. 11,
Verdun (Montreal) Quebec
Canada H4G 3C3
Rev. William Sinkford
President of the Unitarian Universalist Association
25 Beacon Street, Boston MA May 1, 2002
Dear Rev. Sinkford,
Today marks the second anniversary of my public protest in front of 25 Beacon Street in early May 2000. I was protesting against the failure of the UUA's Ministerial Fellowship Committee to responsibly redress my own and other UUs' legitimate grievances about abusive clergy misconduct. I was also protesting against the anti-religious intolerance and even outright bigotry that is quite pervasive within UUism since the clergy misconduct that I was subjected to arose directly from the religious intolerance, even anti-religious bigotry, of a UU minister. My case does
not involve sexual misconduct however I am concerned about the MFC's past failure to responsibly redress other UUs' complaints about sexual misconduct by UU clergy. In fact, my protest was approved by members of UUs for Right Relations. Prior to picketing 25 Beacon Street I asked representatives from UUs for Right Relations if they felt that my public protest might be detrimental to their efforts and I was quite prepared to refrain from picketing 25 Beacon Street if they felt that this was the case. Their response, after discussion at a UUs for RR meeting, was that they had no objections to my public protest and felt that it might do some good . Some were already quite familiar with my ongoing protest in front of the Unitarian Church of Montreal most Sundays since late May 1998, and some even wished that I could stay in Boston for a few days longer to publicly protest at a UUA Trustees meeting that was being held later that week.
My protest was pointedly ignored and arbitrarily dismissed by most UUA administrators. I did get a better response from some UUs visiting 25 Beacon Street but the fact remains that most UUA administrators willfully ignored my protest and pretended that it had no legitimacy whatsoever. Only one UUA administrator bothered to enter into dialogue with me. I believe it was John Weston. We did have a civil conversation, and he did seem genuinely concerned, however when I called him and various other UUA staff after returning to Montreal, it became abundantly clear that they had been instructed by top level UUA officials not to speak to me.
I had intended to contact you after giving you a few months to settle in as the new President of the UUA and to ask you to ensure that my serious grievances, particularly my formal complaints about the abusive clergy misconduct by Rev. Ray Drennan of the Unitarian Church of Montreal that the UUA's Ministerial Fellowship Committee unjustly, inequitably, and uncompassionately rejected in the spring of 1996, are finally responded to by the UUA in a responsible manner that clearly lives up to both the letter and the spirit of the Seven Principles and other UUA policies, particularly the UUMA's Guidelines and Code of Professional Practice and indeed the new Safe Congregations program that you were closely involved with. Needless to say the tragic events of September 11th 2001 caused me to hold off for a while and to give you and the new UUA administration some more breathing space. In that I expect significant progress to be made in this matter by the UUA GA in June I feel that now is a good time to raise this matter, indeed it is rather overdue. I regret that circumstances prevented me from contacting you earlier and giving you and the new UUA administration more time to deal with this matter before the UUA GA in June however you still have almost two months to make the significant progress that I seek. In my opinion this matter could be largely resolved within two months if the UUA, the MFC, and indeed the Unitarian Church of Montreal made a sincere effort to responsibly redress my serious grievances rather than willfully ignoring them, unjustly rejecting them, and even quite severely punishing me for refusing to accept the unjust, inequitable, and far from compassionate rejection of my legitimate grievances. I am now an "excommunicated" Unitarian as a result of this abuse.
Unless the Ministerial Fellowship Committee removed my original correspondence from Rev. Ray Drennan's file these letters should be available to you. You may not however have the significant amount of additional documentation that arose from the serious escalation of this situation due to the failure, indeed the willful refusal, of the MFC and the Unitarian Church of Montreal to responsibly redress my serious grievances which could have been largely redressed by a formal apology and retraction within the first year or two of this dispute. Due to the repeated punitive measures that I have been subjected to by UUs for refusing to accept their injustices and abuses, I now insist that Rev. Ray Drennan must be responsibly disciplined by both the UUA's Ministerial Fellowship Committee and the Unitarian Church of Montreal for his demeaning and abusive behavior towards me (to say nothing of others) and the further harm that he has caused to me and to others by obstinately refusing to accept any responsibility for his harmful words and actions. I also expect the UUA and the Unitarian Church of Montreal to formally acknowledge the additional injustices and abuses that I have been subjected to as a result of their past refusals to responsibly redress my serious grievances. I expect genuine restorative justice in this matter.
I am formally asking you to ensure that my serious grievances are finally responsibly investigated and redressed by the UUA according to the latest UUA procedures. I expect to be provided with a UUA advocate. I not only expect genuine restorative justice to be done I expect it to be seen to be done by the UU religious community as a whole. In fact the upcoming UUA GA in Quebec City presents an opportunity to do just that if this dispute can be largely resolved by then. I believe that it can be if the UUA responds in a timely manner that is entirely consistent with UU principles and purposes. I am prepared to enter into dialogue
with you personally indeed I would like to do so. I am confident that via civil dialogue you will soon discover that I have much to contribute to UUism and not just in terms of exposing injustices, abuses, and hypocrisy within the UU community although I will not abandon that role. I am very concerned by the anti-religious intolerance that quite evidently pervades contemporary UUism thus making some, even many, UU congregations far from Welcoming and even rather less than Safe for God believing people in general and Christians in particular. Besides sharing my concerns about serious problems within contemporary UUism, I have plenty of other positive contributions to make, some being of considerable significance and value to the religious community as a whole.