Q: What are some of the reasons that you have become connected to First Unitarian Society of Denver?
Patrick C. - My goal as a Leadership Development Committee member is to assist in the process of identifying and encouraging new and ongoing leadership in our congregation. As background, I have been an active member of First Unitarian for over 20 years. I have served on a number of First Unitarian committees, been an RE teacher for many years when my sons were younger, and I am now completing my third year on the Board of Trustees.
Terri C. - I have been a member of First Unitarian since 2003. My husband Fred and I joined with our children to have a spiritual community for our own benefit and that of our children. Being a busy family we have been attenders but haven’t been able to participate as volunteers much. Our lives have been enhanced and supported in every way as a result of being connected with the First Unitarian community.
Colleen B. - I bring experience and skills in helping organizations work through change: fixing things that are broken, and structurally nurturing new growth. I have experience with long-range planning; using a trained ear to listen to people’s aspirations and helping them form paths to achieving common dreams. I have a quick, clear-eyed understanding of how the structural integrity of organizations affects their overall health and function. I am able to deal with conflict and stay in loving relationship. I have deep appreciation for the gifts that accumulate from broad involvement of members across cohorts, abilities, and perspectives.
Craig D. - I am looking forward to getting an even greater sense of community while I become an active committee member and attend. I plan to grow my relationships with other members of the congregation and learn more about the seven principles of Unitarian Universalism.
Coral C. - I’ve been a member of First Unitarian since 2008 and served in various volunteer roles at First Unitarian. I’ve served on the Connections Ministry since it was established and participated in the Leap of Faith program over this past year in partnership with the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta. I also regularly volunteer for HUGS duties on Sundays. I’m interested in serving in another capacity within First Unitarian and expanding my connection to a wider segment of the congregation. I believe that my skills and abilities are a good fit for the Board of Trustees.
I’ve served on and worked with other Boards in the past. Just prior to moving to Denver, I served on the board of All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church in Colorado Springs. I was also a board member of the American Planning Association’s Colorado Chapter for 3 years ending last August. In that role, I also co-chaired the chapter’s Legislative Committee. In my professional life, I spent 3 years as the director of a small medical foundation. In that role, I directed, organized and facilitated the activities of the foundation’s board of directors.
Jean A. - First Unitarian has been my spiritual home since my husband, Dan, and I joined in 1977. Our five children have gone to RE here and four of the five participated in the 9th Grade Trip, as did Dan and I. We moved to the Boulder UU Church for several years when I was the RE Coordinator there. Then after all the children completed the Ninth Grade Trip, we took a long break from church, which ended three years ago when we returned to First Unitarian.
Kathy M. - I have been a librarian for 20 years, mostly in “back room” positions where I have managed library materials, technology, and staff. I have a lot of experience and facility with technology and organizing both things and people. I’m detail oriented and able to keep track of things and keep others on track. In addition to a degree in library science, I also have a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing. In my creative work I write mostly poetry, but I also enjoy writing for other purposes, and editing. Helping others understand things through the written word is one of my passions. I am also passionate about creating art—beading and textiles are my current focus, though I have also done painting and drawing. I look forward to using my talents in service to this [spiritual] community.
Ellen V. - Essentially I would like to share my knowledge and skills with the First Unitarian community. I have received a lot of support as I follow my path to becoming a UU minister at Iliff, and I would like to give some of that support and energy back to the community in a meaningful way. I have worked on several different committees and nonprofits in the past. I was on the worship services committee at Boulder Valley UU Fellowship and was considering becoming the assistant chair when I got accepted to Iliff and had to drop back on my responsibilities to go back to school.
Bill K. - I became connected because I live and breathe social and economic justice. Then, I joined First Unitarian because our congregation provides a courageous voice on behalf of justice. I am a retired Methodist Minister with 44 years of service. During the late 60’s and early 70’s I was involved in the Civil Rights movement and served as the chair of the School’s Committee of the Greater Park Hill Community Inc., which promoted the integration of the Denver Public Schools. During the 70’s I was one of the founders of Denver Urban Ministries, known as Denum, currently located on East Colfax. Denum provides services to impoverished individuals and families.
In 1998 I was one of six individuals who founded the Interfaith Alliance of Colorado. TIA provides a voice of reason and justice, in an effort to counteract the oppressive influence of religious extremism. After my retirement, I became a volunteer lobbyist, advocating for justice issues in the State of Colorado Legislature. In 2010, I and two other colleagues founded the Rocky Mountain Employee Ownership Center, a non-profit, 501(C)(3) organization, that seeks economic justice by promoting employee-ownership of small businesses and worker-cooperatives. We are currently involved in a project to develop and urban farming cooperative in Five Points. I am also a volunteer with Metropolitan Organization for People and PICO, People Improving Communities through Organizing, with a focus on economic justice and health care for all.
I am looking forward to joining with members of First Unitarian, in the never-ending struggle for liberty and justice for all.
Robert B. - I became a Unitarian Universalist in 21 years ago in Salt Lake City, Utah and have been an active member in various UU churches in the Mountain West ever since. I have worked in many church committees such as Library, Worship, Program Council and Ministerial Intern. I was also active with the Mountain-Desert District serving on the Extension Committee for three years. I attended the Russell Lockwood Leadership School first as a student and then as facilitator and staff. I have also attended several Mountain-Desert District annual meetings and General Assemblies.
Kate B. - I would like to be a part of the Faith In Action Committee because I think we have made good headway in imagining and enacting our social justice at First Unitarian in a more organized and communitarian way. FIAC has done a great job this past year helping our community to make social justice a congregation-wide priority that takes into account all the time, energy, and funds we have to devote to social justice projects. We are more effective when we work together and take on projects that make sense to our mission and our whole church community.
Scott G. - Mike's sermons about social justice are valuable to me. I've also been emotionally moved by the slam poets who have told their stories. I’ve also found it motivational when we have heard from someone suffering because of a systemic injustice: like immigrant families being torn apart; and a young speaker from a marriage equality rally talking about homeless LGBTQ youth whose parents reject them. I am crying again recalling these painful stories about personal tragedy & injustice.