Ministerial Search Team
Introducing... your Search Team!
Amber Alexander (she/her/hers):
I’ve been a part of UUCE since 1993, when I started attending our middle school group as a youth and went on to be a part of our local and district youth group and leadership communities. Since then, I’ve been a worship associate, Religious Education teacher, Board member (both locally and on the district board), youth advisor, and currently serve as the youth conferences coordinator for both the Pacific Northwest district and the Pacific Southwest district.
I am excited to be serving on this committee because I have witnessed time and time again the ways in which our faith can save lives, and I am dedicated to making space for youth and the emerging adult community within our church. Outside of my deep love of the UU community, I am an outdoor enthusiast and love spending time with my family, working in my garden, and cooking food for people. I find joy in my work within youth development at the Eugene Family YMCA, and as a yoga teacher working with people both locally and within the Oregon prison system.
Dave DeCou (he/him/his):
I joined UUCE in about 2002 with my wife Sally. We were both in transition in our work lives, had been away from any kind of church connection for many years, and were looking for community. Since joining, I have served on the Building and Grounds group and on the Board as President and Treasurer. I spent much time centrally involved in both the acquisition and remodel of our current church building. I consider myself one of those members who works to keep things moving ahead at UUCE so others can do other work.
Presently, I have taken on the role of Pledge Secretary after realizing while I was Treasurer that an additional volunteer position of Pledge Secretary was needed. As Pledge Secretary I participate in the Generosity Network, which is focused on funding UUCE from pledging to fundraising. One of my joys at UUCE is singing in the choir.
Janet Barnes (she/her/hers):
I began attending UUCE with my husband in 2015. I was new to Unitarian Universalism, and after learning about UU’s 7 Principles, I knew I was hooked! I assist with editing our weekly newsletters, work on our church library, and serve as this year’s Sustainability Lead for our Ministry Council. I have been a part of the team that coordinates UUCE’s participation with St. Vincent de Paul’s Night Shelter Program and am on the team organizing this year’s UUCE Book Sale.
I have participated in our Small Group Ministry Program and am a member of our very fun Birders group. Our society faces many challenges such as racism, food insecurity, homelessness, and climate change, challenges that UUCE folks are passionate about and eager to help fight. As a member of the Ministerial Search Committee, I am honored to help our congregation find our next minister, someone who can help lead UUCE not only spiritually and intellectually, but also energetically, with social justice work in our community.
Jones Hollister (they/their/theirs):
I am a white queer trans nonbinary middle-class disabled person and have been a UU since I was a teen. I’ve been a volunteer and lay leader for most of the last 40 years, first as a youth leader, then as a young adult, including serving on the Pacific Central District Board. I currently am a Beyond Categorical Thinking trainer, working with UU congregations in ministerial search. At UUCE I’ve taught Religious Education and Our Whole Lives, been on the Accessibility Committee, and wandered in the back of the sanctuary on high pain days.
After nearly two decades as a teacher, I am now a grad student in the UO’s Couples and Family Counseling program. When I’m not studying or seeing clients (or working hard for the Search Committee!) I like to garden, paint, write, and spend time with my chosen family. I’m so honored to be a part of finding the best ministerial fit for our congregation, and while I’m 75% ham, I take this responsibility very seriously.
Judy Shaw (she/her/hers):
I have been a UU since 1997, in Eugene since 2000, and have found just about everything I love the most right here at UUCE. My children drew me to the religious education program where I taught Religious Education (RE) and Our Whole Lives, then served on the RE Committee, the Director of RE Sabbatical Team, and the Coming of Age Support Team. Thanks to the church choir, I’ve brought music back into my life and then served on the Music Committee and the Music Director Search Committee.
Trying to keep the “fun” in fundraising, I’ve helped to organize auctions, bazaars, and pledge drives. I’m one of the organizers of UUCE’s Food Justice projects and a member of the Leadership Development Committee. These have all been fulfilling ways to get to know the endlessly fascinating community of people at UUCE. I am so grateful for the solid grounding that people here have provided me and that we all provide to each other. There’s my motivation for participating in this search for our next minister: to nurture that sense of support and connection, to grow the range of inclusivity within our church and out in the world.
Lizzy Utterback (she/her/hers):
I found UUCE by accident when my husband’s gamelan orchestra rented the space for a concert. After seeing the flyers in the entryway that described a real faith, my husband, our middle schooler, and I began regularly attending Sunday services.
In the 7 years since that concert, I have volunteered at UUCE in many different roles from making coffee and doing dishes for Sunday coffee hour to hosting Tuesday potlucks and serving on the Board of Trustees. I am committed to radical welcoming and hospitality grounded in my spiritual practice of unlearning and dismantling systems of oppression. Professionally, I work as a Research Compliance Administrator at the University of Oregon and have a background in Child Development. My hobbies include reading, crochet, card and board games, backyard birding, snacking, and spending time with friends and family.
Robin Schantz-Mulford (he/him/his):
I have lived in Eugene all of my life and have been attending UUCE with my wife for approximately 15 years. I have served our church in a variety of ways: as an UUsher/Greeter; as a member of the Kitchen, Membership, and Intern committees; and as a Worship Associate. When I come to church, I worship by helping to create a sacred space for all of us. Outside of church, I enjoy reading comic books, cooking, playing Dungeons & Dragons, and showing old movies to my daughter. I look forward to being a part of the Search Committee.
Steve Kuzma (he/him/his):
I became a member of the UU Congregation of Ann Arbor, MI in 1999 where my family found a much-needed spiritual home. My son became active in Young Religious Unitarian Universalists and my daughter in Religious Education. While there, I served as a facilitator, trainer and co-director of the Small Group Ministry (SGM) program. After retiring in April 2017 from owning a commercial photography business for 35 years, I moved to Eugene to be close to my children and grandchildren.
I joined UUCE where I met my wife Anne when choir started up in the fall. At UUCE I have been active with Building and Grounds, Faith Forward, Choir, SGM, Challenging Racism, and the Leadership Development Committee. I have also been able to dust off my professional training to make photos at church fundraisers and the Holiday Bazaar. For fun I fly a small plane, hike, bike, and fish with my son and grandson, activities that are introducing me to the nature spots of my new home state. I am looking forward to working with our team in the search for our settled minister.