Meet Our Staff

Reverend Lois Van Leer

Minister

revlolo-bumperstickersThe Rev. Lois E. Van Leer was ordained into ministry in 1983 by the United Church of Christ after her graduation from Yale Divinity School. Her first years of ministry were spent as a Campus Minister at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon. She became the Minister to Youth and then the Associate Minister at the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Corvallis. While there her primary focus was on taking youth on mission/cultural exchanges both in country and internationally.

In the summer of 2000, she partnered with the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Corvallis to take youth to Transylvania. That trip solidified her desire to broaden her theological and professional options in ministry as a Unitarian Universalist. She was minister at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Bozeman in Bozeman, Montana, from 2003-2010. She began her ministry with the Woodinville Unitarian Universalist Church in August of 2010. She holds dual ministerial standing with the United Church of Christ and the Unitarian Universalist Association. She shares her life with her spouse, Lori.

“Like so many before me, I have found Unitarian Universalism a gift in my life. The place my heart, mind, and spirit can call home. And like “home,” it comes with love and challenges. It nurtures us and it nudges us always further into exploration and into the living of questions. What a privilege it is for me to be making my way in this faith tradition with others who as the poet Rilke encouraged, try ‘to live the questions…’”

Are you wondering when you should call Rev. Lois?  Why on earth should I call the minister?

minister@wuuc.org

Reverend Jaelynn P. Scott

Director of Lifelong Learning

The Rev. Jaelynn Scott comes to us after serving as the Acting Director of Lifespan Religious Education at First Unitarian Society of Denver. She has previously served the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fresno where she directed and developed a lifespan RE program and at Boulder Valley UU Fellowship as an Assistant DRE under the mentorship of Katie Covey. She regularly facilitates courses on Engaged Buddhism as well as conducting worship services and preaching.

Rev. Jae is the 2014 Fahs Collaborative Contemplative Education Research Fellow with the Unitarian Universalist Seminary, Meadville Lombard Theological School.  In her research, she proposed a youth-led action-based contemplative practice community within the Unitarian Universalist faith. Jae also works with Meadville Lombard Theological School’s Fahs collaborative as an instructor for their multi-faith/multi-cultural dialogue program. In response to the attention given to police violence against Black men in America, Rev. Jae worked with Tibetan Buddhist Lama Tsultrim Allione and Chandra Easton in the creation and facilitation of a program to bring the teachings of Machig Labdron to the problem of American racism.  The program, Compassionately Awake to Privilege and Oppression, was hosted by the Tara Mandala Bay Area Sangha in Berkeley, CA.  Rev. Jae has been active in faith based social justice work with the group Faith in Community of Fresno, the Buddhist Peace Fellowship of Oakland, CA and others.

Rev. Jae has a Master of Divinity from Naropa University. She was ordained as a Buddhist minister by Acarya Bhante Chao Chu in the International Order of Buddhist Ministers in 2014. She and her 10 lb companion, Bodhi, have practiced ministry together since 2015.

dll@wuuc.org

Karen Hyams

Member & Friend Engagement Coordinator

Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, Karen moved to California where she joined her first Unitarian Universalist congregation. She has been in Woodinville, WA since 2007. Karen has been married half her life and has one son, who grew up a UU. She says, “I’m a working artist and photographer, an enthusiastic supporter of democratic and Sudbury education, and I love living in the Pacific Northwest forest.

My life at WUUC has been incredibly fulfilling, helping me become more compassionate and giving me the opportunity to serve others in many different ways. I hope to share my passion with new visitors, longtime members, and everyone in between.”

engage@wuuc.org

Lori Varosh

Administrator

Lori Varosh joined the staff of WUUC in September 2008 after a 25-year career in journalism.

“I am warmed by the kind, inclusive spirit of church members and staff, and particularly appreciate the social justice and environmental sustainability components of Unitarian Universalism.”

office@wuuc.org

Jennifer Rodgers

Choir Director

Jennifer Rodgers came to the west coast in 2016 to pursue a doctoral degree in choral conducting from UW.  She has been a freelance singer, teacher, and conductor in the Washington, DC area for the past 20 years.  There, she was the Artistic Director of the Vienna Choral Society and the Director of Music for the UU Congregation of Rockville, in addition to performing and teaching through a private voice studio.  She is also the founder and executive director of Plunge! Cabaret, a non-profit theater that works to creatively unite higher education and community service organizations. Jennifer holds a B.Mus. in vocal performance from Ithaca College and an M.M. in Opera Theater from the Maryland Opera Studio at the University of Maryland.  She has a passion for finding out what music can do out in the world – from stretching our individual boundaries, to creating effective community partnerships, to singing our way to new perspectives on global needs.  She also has a passion for teaching and leading adult singers and plans to focus her dissertation on their musical process and love of lifelong singing.  Jennifer is excited to be with WUUC and play a role in the expanding music program!

jrodgers@wuuc.org

 

Terence Levitt

Pianist

Raised in Southern California by a psychiatrist dad and an artist mom, Terry took to the piano so naturally at age 4 that music clearly chose him rather than the other way around.

He’s been writing his own music since the age of 7. First trying to write like an early influence, George Gershwin, then for his own rock and fusion groups, and then for original stage musicals. To date he’s got umpteen credits for those, numbering among them quite a few children’s shows. He has acted in “Casablanca, Casablanca” (a movie musical) and “War of the Currents” (about the relationship between Tom Edison and Nikola Tesla).

Terry finds his current gig as a church pianist to be an enjoyable challenge. Each Sunday he partners with the many varied musical folk in the WUUC congregation to arrange a wide variety of musical styles. He performs and accompanies all genres of music, bringing a sense of adventure and surprise to worship services.

Devrah Bennett

Bookkeeper

Originally from Hollywood, FL, Devrah and her family moved to Snohomish in 2005 and absolutely love the Northwest. Devrah is happily married and has one daughter and two stepdaughters. She’s an author, a bookkeeper since 2005, and a homemaker. She enjoys traveling, reading, exercising, and staying home to cuddle on the couch with her husband.

Jennifer Ikeda

Nursery Lead

Jennifer Ikeda has been a passionate educator for over 20 years.  She has earned her graduate Master in Teaching degree and her undergrad Wildlife Science degree.  Her methodology is based on experiential learning, an understanding of both learning and developmental processes, and a focus on fostering self-efficacy in youth.

Known for her exuberance and for her ability to tailor activities to individual needs, she has taught babies to adults and every age in between in a wide variety of subjects and situations.  She has also traveled all over the US and the world, learning from various ecosystems and cultures.  Jen is excited to spend quality time with your amazing children, playing and learning together.

J. Manuel Macias

Custodial Services

Manny resides in Kent. He is the proud father of a lovely daughter. He has been with WUUC for 13 years, caring for our facilities and sharing love with our community. He works as a fiberglass equipment assembler full-time.