Meet Our Staff

Rev. Diana L. Smith

Interim Minister

I’m a Unitarian Universalist minister who’s called to working with congregations that are in transition to build communities within the church’s walls and in the wider community that speak to our deepest values, our individual and collective ways of experiencing the sacred, and hold all of us with love and accountability. I’m beginning the process of becoming an accredited interim minister, which is a call that brings together my skills and loves in ministry, as well as my background prior to ministry.

This May I completed my ministerial internship at First Church Boston where I’ve worked with a diverse congregation and multi-racial staff and ministry team to develop new worship services and strengthen our environmental and racial justice engagement. One of my passions is working with people to connect or justice work with spiritual development. Simultaneously, my interest in ministering to groups in transition was developed at Andover Newton Theological School (ANTS), where I earned my Master of Divinity. Over the past three years I’ve deepened and grown my ministry at ANTS, helping the community build fellowship, find closure, and engage in transitions work as ANTS has closed in Boston so it can become part of Yale Divinity School.

Before being called to ministry, I earned a BA in Psychology from Oberlin College and an MA in Environmental and Community Planning from the University of British Columbia. After receiving my MA in Planning, I had a career as an environmental professional in the Pacific Northwest. As a community planner and later working for the WA Department of Ecology’s Toxics Cleanup Program I engaged with diverse communities and agencies around challenging, multi-stakeholder processes. I also developed, implemented, and oversaw programming and policies that brought together psychological research with environmental and public health research and needs.

Outside of my environmental career, I worked with a crisis intervention phone service for about nine years. It was as a crisis line volunteer, trainer, and then leader of the organization as it re-structured that I developed what came to be a love of pastoral care. Between volunteering there and being a lay leader at Olympia UU Congregation I found my call to ministry. I’m an avid hiker, backpacker, camper, and bike commuter. When I have a garden, I love gardening (vegetables, native plants, and flowers). I also love cooking good vegetarian, gluten-free food. Expressing my creativity through art is very important to me. I’m an artist working in ceramic and fiber arts, and I love appreciating and even participating in others’ theater, dance, and music. Finally, I love travelling internationally, although I haven’t had much opportunity to do that in the past few years.

RevDiana@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

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.