VEN is pleased to announce that we have three new candidates for the next WUUC board. They are Janet Putnam, Bob Ditzler, and Ron Hammond. In addition the board appointed Dawn Blomberg last year to serve the remaining term for a vacated seat. These nominees will be introduced to you at the Town Hall meeting Sunday, April 24. You will have the opportunity to vote on them at the Congregational meeting Sunday, May 22. Please take a moment to read their bios below.
I have attended WUUC since the Spring of 2003 and joined soon after that. For years after leaving evangelical religion in my 20s, I attended a church only as a paid musician. I missed the sense of community of my former faith, but couldn’t buy into the belief system and the lack of authenticity that went along with it.
My first experience with a Unitarian Universalist church was when I attended rehearsals for Broadway Symphony which met at University Unitarian Church in Seattle. When I was eventually hired to play for a Music Sunday there, to my great surprise, I realized that my evolving spiritual journey would be accepted and even celebrated at a UU church. I thought, “I could do this. If I ever willingly go to a church, it will be a UU church!”
15 years later, when I searched for a vibrant UU community nearby, WUUC immediately felt like the right place. It became the place for a deeper spiritual life, beloved community, personal growth, a place of challenged comfort levels, and service to others. My grounding spiritual practice is Zen Buddhism, which I first encountered up close, and continued to develop at WUUC’s Buddhist meditation group. From February of 2009 through the summer of 2010 I was co-chair of the Ministerial Search Committee that brought us Rev. Lois.
In my work life I am a professional oboist, oboe teacher, and music coach. In the past I have been a school counselor and guidance teacher in classrooms, with an M.A. in educational psychology. I am happily married to Leif-Ivar Pedersen, WUUC choir member and former volunteer WUUC bookkeeper. I am mom to Kelsey and Kirsten, mother-in-law to Nell, and future mother-in-law to Cregor.
From the beginning, WUUC has been an energetic, can-do congregation. I am excited and honored to be a part of it. In appreciation for all those who have come before to bring us to where we are, and in service to all who are part of WUUC now and in the future, I intend to bring wholehearted effort to this important leadership role.
I was born in Iowa in 1931. At 17 I joined the Navy, was trained in aviation electronics and flew radar in a patrol plane during the Korean war.
When I got out I worked at Boeing for a year then started working my way through college: Reed, Edinburgh, Berkeley and UW, getting a masters in history in the early 1960s. But I didn’t feel deep down that history or academia was my calling so, having earned my way through college largely by designing and building things for people, I chose that as my profession gradually adding drawing the plans also.
Those skills eventually led to designing and building a number of custom houses and large remodels and helping found and build houses in a co-housing community. After I retired at 70 I went on to build three more homes and, in 2002-3, our church. I have been a UU since 1968 and have been a member of this congregation since its founding in 1991.
Although quite new to WUUC membership, my wife and I feel a deep connection to it. We were part of the group at East Shore UU that hatched the egg that became WUUC, I took the portrait of the Rev. Barbara Wells that hangs in our library, and we attended WUUC fairly regularly during the “church in the office park” era. I am both honored and more than a bit humbled to be asked to stand for WUUC’s board.
We have been UUs since 1963 and have held memberships in UU churches in Huntsville, Alabama, and Williamsville, New York as well as the greater Seattle area. I have taught RE classes, served on numerous committees, held board positions including chair, patched roofs, painted a lot of walls, and shoveled a lot of gravel.
Most of my board experience was during a successful period of transformation from pastoral to program organization and governance and I hope my experience and enthusiasm will aid our thriving WUUC in its current transformation.
I have been a member soon after the church moved to the current location. I was searching for support for my family and something we could all do together. We found it in WUUC. I was a co chair for 3+ years for RE and a member of VEN. I enjoyed the last year as a board member taking over Karen Hyams position when she began her new job at WUUC. I have a private practice in Kirkland as a pediatric speech/language pathologist. I am married to David, have 3 boys, 3 chickens, 1 dog and 2 cats. I am looking forward to growing the church and looking to the future.