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I have been a member since 1997. I have served in RE since joining, and have been a Youth Group advisor since 1998. I have also served as an usher, and on RE Youth Circle committees. I am also a sustaining member of UGNO (Unitarian Guys Night Out) for fun and community.
I have always been involved in working with youth: as an athletic coach in the town, and within our congregation. I am always enlightened by our younger constituents and educated to the changes I must make to keep pace with them. While I value and honor what has worked in the past with the wisdom of my generation, I also welcome with less trepidation fresh change. I feel I offer a balance of both ideals. My eleven-year-old son is participating in RE, and I want this to stay strong for our family.
I am honored to serve on the search committee, to uphold the best of what we have, to be bold enough to suggest we forfeit some traditional and comfortable ways of doing things for growth and sustainability, and to encourage even better UU ministry, if this is to be found.
A lifelong Unitarian, I was an elected representative of my church at the 1961 meeting in Syracuse, NY approving the merger of the American Unitarian Association and the Universalist Church of America to create the UUA. Growing up, I participated in many church activities and, in particular, as member and officer of LRY (Liberal Religious Youth) at the local, state and district level in both high school and college.
After joining The Unitarian Church in Westport in 2002, I became a member of the Partner Church Committee and went to Alsoboldgogfava in Romania with the church group in 2004. I was a member of the Vision 2028 Ministerial Study Group in 2004- 5. I have been an active participant in Small Group Ministry leading three different groups (two at one time). I was an early member of the Steering Committee of SGM focusing on placing new members in groups.I have been a member of the Men’s Choir for several years, and this year sang with the Christmas Eve Choir and the Special Projects Choir. I have recently joined the Year Round Stewardship Committee.
I retired in 2013 after 45 years teaching at Columbia University as Professor Emeritus of Anthropology, Psychology and Education, which may explainwhy I now have time for new assignments. The “Vision 2028” focus on ministry at The Unitarian Church in Westport can become reality if we work hard and choose well!
Growing up a third generation UU, with a family life that revolved around Murray Universalist in Attleboro, MA, it was inevitable that I’d bring my family along when I eventually returned to a congregation. It took a while to get them here, but once introduced, it ‘took’, leading to my son forming a young adult group at his church in Boulder, CO and serving on their current search committee, to our daughter getting a tiny chalice as her first ‘tat’ at age 18, and my initially resistant husband serving seven years as a Trustee in Westport.
Both he (Randy Burnham) and I are heavily invested in our faith home; in time, finances and emotion. I’m a do-er, so there is hardly a job I haven’t had a hand in over my many years here, including OWL instructor, choir member, Board Chair, Worship Associate, small group facilitator, membership, kitchen cleaner, gadfly…
I’m very proud of this place, and crazy about the people who stand by it and make it thrive, despite our flaws and handicaps. I hope you’ll feel that way, too.
My family and I joined the Unitarian Church in Westport in 1998 after a lengthy search to try to find a place that felt right. My husband, Kevin and I both have relatives who were clergy, and so our need to find a church with great leadership, inspiring sermons and strong programs motivated the search. After one Sunday morning service in Westport, we felt like we had found home.
I have been very active as a teacher in the RE program, starting with a 4th grade class and staying with those same students through their seventh grade, Neighboring Faiths class. I taught that class again the following year because it was so much fun, and because I was learning about something I am fascinated by – comparative world religions. I moved on to spend three years facilitating the OWL parents group, covering both the 6th and 8th grade curriculum. Most recently I became an OWL facilitator, and spent four years having a blast with the 8th graders.
I have attended several Leadership Development Programs, several Large Church conferences and I finally got to my first GA this year. I have had the pleasure of being part of six Search committees, including chairing the committee that brought Interim minister Roberta Finkelstein in 2013. I am a member of the Safe Congregations Committee and I served on the Board from 2007 to 2013 as the liaison to Religious Education. Most recently I served as Chair of the Transition Team for Rev. Roberta.
Kevin and I live in Wilton CT and have three children, Ryan (22), Erin (20) and Morgan (16). All three have been involved in the RE program their whole lives, and my youngest is currently active in the Youth Group.
I know that there are strong, energized and skilled candidates to be found and I’m excited to match their abilities with the vision of our congregation.
I was born and raised in England and was brought up in the Anglican church. I immigrated to the USA in 1980 and became a US citizen in 1993. For many years, I more or less gave up on formal religion. My wife, a psychologist and therapist, was raised Jewish but is non-observant. It wasn’t until our three daughters were teenagers that we started looking for a spiritual home and ended up at the Unitarian Church in Westport, which we joined in 1999. Since then we have become very involved. I served on the Board of Trustees from 2006 to 2012. I am a member of three choirs. Currently I am a member of the Year-Round Stewardship Committee and the Annual Budget Drive Committee. In the wider movement, I have attended the UUA General Assembly, UUA Large Congregation Conferences, and UU Metro Dictrict and Shelter Rock meetings.
I have spent my career as a marketing director for book publishing companies, and bring my skills in marketing and communications to my work for the church. I am honored to serve on the Search Committee because I care passionately about our church. I feel it is critically important for us to choose a Senior Minister who will unite us, care for us, inspire us, and lead us effectively into a bright and flourishing future. I look forward to welcoming you to our wonderful community.
My husband and I started attending the Unitarian Church in Westport in 2010, after moving to the area. We were seeking a sense of community, and we felt at home right when we first walked through the door. We became members a year later. At TUCW I found a place where I could drop my wall of anti-religious feelings, and develop my own path for spirituality and religion. While I’ve been here, I have been a member of the choir, the facilitator for my neighborhood circle, and I have served on the Nominating and Leadership Development Committee for two years, the last year as the chair.
My skills include an analytical approach to problem solving, the ability to listen to multiple points of view before forming an opinion, and I bring a unique perspective as a new member. Serving on the search committee has given me the opportunity to learn more about who we are as a congregation, and to use that knowledge to help select a minister who will guide TUCW into the future, helping us grow both as a community, and as individual people who are seeking their own truths. I am very honored to be serving on the search committee, and I will keep close to heart the needs and hopes of the congregation who has entrusted me to serve them.
I wasn’t even aware that I was coming to a church service in 1994 when I walked into the building; I had come specifically to hear Denny Davidoff speak on “The Liberal Religious Response to the Religious Right.” I was surprised to find that I felt at home. I joined later that year. Sally Dimon asked me to join the Endowment Committee right away, and announced at my first meeting that I was to replace her as chair, a role I filled for the next six years. I became part of the Social Justice Council as it formed and became its president from 2003 to 2007. I have chaired the Racial Justice Task Force, presented at summer services, and presented Odyssey programs. I love singing with the Chamber Choir, Women’s Choir, and Special Projects choir.
I use my fundraising skill and experience for the congregation. I co-chaired the capital campaign in 2002-2003, and have been an active member of annual fundraising, which I chaired in 2013-14. I served on the Year Round Stewardship Committee for two years and have facilitated large church stewardship development conference calls as part of the FORTH program for the past year. I led the fundraising for the senior minister’s retirement gift in 2013.
Serving on the Ministerial Search Committee is a challenge and a pleasure. I enjoy the opportunity to work closely with eight other committed individuals as we delve into what our congregation wants in a new senior minister. I look forward to making our final selection and presenting our choice to the congregation.
On most Sundays I can be found at the front of the sanctuary joyfully singing in the Women’s Choir, the Chamber Choir, or the Special Projects Choir. I’ve been a member of TUCW for more than 25 years, and our magnificent music program, created and directed by our Minister of Music Ed Thompson, continues to move me spiritually and speak to my soul. I’ve enjoyed two amazing trips abroad with the Chamber Choir – the first, in 2003, to our partner church in Alsoboldogfalva, Romania, and the second to Scotland in August, 2010.
In 1985 I moved to Connecticut from Long Island where I was a member of the First Universalist Church in Southold. My husband and I now live in Trumbull, and I am enjoying my retirement from a career as a teacher, library media specialist, and district administrator. I have been involved with Beardsley Elementary School (the school we support in inner-city Bridgeport) for a number of years. In addition to being a regular reader at the fall Read-Aloud Day, I volunteer each week in the school’s library, coordinating a dedicated team of mostly TUCW volunteers who catalog new books, check books in and out, and shelve those that are returned. Twice a month I read to students in a sixth grade reading class.
Over the years I have supported and taken part in many Social Justice initiatives and activities. I have participated in several Odyssey (adult education) programs and even led one on Non-Violent Communication. I am a member of a Small Group that has met for the past seven years. I have served on two Nominating and Leadership Development Committees and was a 2014 visiting steward for our annual pledge drive. Although I am on temporary leave during our ministerial search, I am proud to be a member of the newly formed Worship Associates Program. My commitment to TUCW has only strengthened over the years, and I am humbled and honored to serve on the Ministerial Search Committee.
After many years with no religious affiliation I started attending services at TUCW in the spring of 1985. I was immediately attracted by Frank Hall’s sermons and the Social Justice program. I signed the membership book in January 1986 in time to have a vote at the Annual Meeting.
During most of my years here I have been active in our Social Justice projects. I served as chair of the former Social Responsibility Committee, later served on the Social Justice Council and remain involved with the Anti-Racism Committee and Advocates for Prevention of Gun Violence. I served on the Board of Trustees in the late 80’s and again from 1999 – 2005. I was particularly honored to serve on the Search Committee that recommended we call our first Associate Minister, John Tolley. I am a Neighborhood Circle Facilitator and a member of the Shawl Ministry. I wished to serve on the Ministerial Search Committee because I believe deeply in this church community and feel that calling the most suitable minister is key to our continued strength in the future.