2021-22 Elections: Board Slate and Three Resolutions Coming to Your Mailbox

It’s been a year like no other! Yet, here we are emerging on the other side of the pandemic. We’ve found new ways to stay together, apart. As we undertake the work of reopening in the fall, we are also preparing for our Annual Meeting.

Our Annual Meeting will take place on June 27, 2021, at 12 pm. Just like last year, it will be streamed on a pre-recorded Facebook Live @UUSantaMonica (just as we do our Sunday services). Members in good standing can look for your ballot in the mail (remember to vote on the resolutions, too) and in your email inbox. Votes must be received by Tuesday, June 22, at noon.

The results of the election will be announced and we will “swear in” the new board. It will be a time for looking forward with hope for the future and with gratitude for those who serve our community. Please take a moment and get acquainted with the amazing people who have volunteered to serve on the Board of Directors and Nominating Committee.


Board of Directors

Beth Brownlie
Beth Brownlie is running for her second 1-year term as president.

Collaborative Leadership for Collective Liberation. This statement is still powerful for me. How do we all participate together? Making light work for many hands. Collective Liberation is something we have heard a lot of in our work in Beloved Conversations, our powerful anti-racist anti-oppression work we are doing together with the program created by the Fahs Collaborative @ Meadville-Lombard.

Functional Organization Protocol or “Look! Everyone knows what they’re doing!” is really so important to me and now we are working towards modernized Bylaws.  I am really excited about creating better documents to help us collect our institutional knowledge and make it easily accessible to all.

Leadership. How do we cultivate our leaders in our community? I have found so much here at UUSM and become a more developed human being, a better leader in my work by committing fully and participating fully in this community.  How can I help to cultivate this for everyone who wants to learn and grow?

Our Mission and Vision. Let’s work on what this really means.

  • Board of Directors: Past 7 years
  • President (2020-2021)
  • Vice President (2018-2020)
  • Secretary of the Board (2016-2018)
  • Member at Large (2014-2016)
  • Attended UUA GA, 2012, 2015, 2019, 2020, 2021
  • Co-chaired Facilities Committee, past 7 years, Currently Board Liaison for Facilities/Maintenance Committee
  • Co-chaired Green Living Committee (2011-2014), currently a member
  • Led efforts to achieve Green Sanctuary Certification in 2016 and Santa Monica Sustainable Quality Awards for Stewardship of the Environment in 2018
  • Attended Annenberg Alchemy Stewardship/Leadership conference

Eileen McCormack
Eileen McCormack is running for her second 1-year term as vice president.

I joined UUSM, along with my husband, Michael, in May 2015, after attending for about six months as visitors.  I am very happy that we made that decision. We’ve gotten to know so many wonderful people who share our values. We’ve had the opportunity to experience countless beautiful moments of conversations, meals, performances, and, of course, the services.

I have participated in three Heart to Heart groups and am currently participating in Beloved Conversations. I’m on the coffee committee when we meet in person. I’ve served one term on the board as a Member-at-Large and am nominated for my second year as Vice President. I was on the search committee for our developmental minister, am presently on the COVID steering committee, and have also participated in a variety of meetings and planning sessions. Michael and I have tried to make meaningful contributions to UUSM, including becoming part of the Sustainability Fund. We believe in this place.

I have been awed by the grace with which this community has met the challenges brought by the pandemic. I am honored to be among the nominees this year and excited about the opportunity to continue to serve as Board Vice President as we move toward being together in person again.

Larry Weiner
Larry Weiner is running for his second 1-year term as secretary.

My name is Larry Weiner, and I am running for the Board of Directors of UUSM and for a second one-year term as Secretary. I am 72 years old. My wife, Laura, my 23-year-old son, Jacob, and I have been members of our church for about 14 years.  I have spent most of my time here teaching RE, so if you don’t know me well, it could be because I spent so much time upstairs in Forbes Hall.  It has been an honor and a privilege to work with our youth and a lot of fun too.  If you are looking for a way to make a difference here at our church, I recommend teaching RE.

I worked in retail grocery for 35 years and am now retired.  While working, I was a union shop steward and also on the Executive Board of UFCW local 1442.  I also served six years on a Homeowners Association Board in a large community in Culver City, where I have lived for 42 years. I was the President of that HOA Board for the last five years.  More recently, while my son spent 12 years in Culver City Unified School District, I also spent 12 years on various PTA Boards both at school and council levels. I was known for my advocacy. When my son graduated, I left the PTA and moved on to the Exchange Club, a service organization in Culver City that produces events to raise money for children’s and veteran’s causes. I love this Church and would be honored to continue to serve on the Board here.

Vilma Ortiz
Vilma Ortiz is running for her third 1-year term as treasurer.

It has been an honor to serve as church treasurer for the last two years. I knew before I started in this position that it meant working on our long-standing financial issues (namely deficit budgets). But I could not imagine that only a few months later, we would be facing a global public health crisis that would shut down our society. The financial worries of the pre-Covid times paled by comparison. Yet we are a stronger church today because of our commitments to each other and our commitment to ensuring that our church survives. As I originally promised, I commit to working with the board and the congregation to move our church forward. As treasurer, I promise to work on the toughest issues facing our congregation today: that of finances. I commit to listen carefully and work closely with each of you.

Linda Van Ligten
Linda Van Ligten is running for a 1-year term as member-at-large, to fill a vacated seat.

Early this year, Linda jumped in to fill a vacated seat on the board. She is running this June to complete the term.

Linda has been a member of UUSM for over 25 years. With her husband Greg Wood, they raised their daughter Alyssa in this church and tried to live the Seven Principles.  She is a retired RN. During the Pandemic chaired Care Ring, part of Pastoral Care, became a member of the Intersectional Anti Racist Anti Oppression Commission and Zoomed Adult RE Classes. Prior to the Pandemic she participated in RE as an OWL teacher, was an usher, a coffee barista, and part of the Second Sunday Supper team. For fun, she likes to hike, travel, and take classes at Emeritus College.

Mike Monte
Mike Monte is running for his first 2-year term as member-at-large.

Mike ran last year and completed the term of a vacated member-at-large position.

I came out as an atheist on the day of what would have been my confirmation as a Catholic sometime in the late 80s. I didn’t get involved with church until my ex-wife convinced me that church would be good for our daughters. She found the UUs in 2000. I was skeptical. During the first sermon I attended, we broke out into groups for a discussion. I don’t remember the topic, but I hadn’t met that many other atheists in one sitting before.

I started coming to UUSM in 2011. I like it here, and I plan on staying.  I’ve been involved as an OWL facilitator for a few years, and I’ve hosted a few D4$ events. In my spare time, I like to surf and play board games.

Abby Arnold
Abby Arnold is running for her second 2-year term as member-at-large.

Abby Arnold has been a member of the Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Santa Monica since 1995, and raised two Unitarian Universalist children as a single parent. She has served the church as a worship associate and a leader of several Heart to Heart Circles, editor of the newsletter, and co-led a Religious Education group exploring the Sermon on the Mount from the New Testament. She was first elected to the Board in 2019. She values our connection to the Unitarian Universalist Association, attends General Assembly as often as possible, and served on the UUA’s national Generosity Network. She is active in the Santa Monica community where she is co-chair of Santa Monica Forward. Abby works as a consultant and grant writer on issues including homelessness and housing, violence against women, and job development. In 2019, she had the life-changing experience of traveling in Alabama with other UUs on the Living Legacy Pilgrimage, focused on the legacy of slavery and how we repair it.

Norm Richey
Norm Richey will continue his 2-year term as member-at-large. No vote required.

UU Member, West Hartford, CT 2 years
UUSM Member 5 years


  • Board Secretary, 2 years
  • Board Member-at-Large, 2 year2
  • Co-Chair, Membership Committee, 3 years
  • Heart-to-Heart Chairperson, 2 years, Co-Facilitator 1 year; participant 3 years
  • Participant in Meditation Group, 4 years and Men’s Group, 5 years
  • UUA General Assembly, Spokane, WA, June 2019
  • UUA General Assembly, New Orleans, June 2017

I believe…

  • In a congregational home that provides opportunities for spiritual and personal growth.
  • In a caring and loving community that is welcoming and inclusive and assumes an active responsibility for our community and world.
  • That UUSM is a hidden gem in the Community of Santa Monica. I think it should be easier for people to find us!
  • That as we continue to grow as a healthy congregation we will attract people to our Church and membership will grow.
  • That a UU Community that supports high expectation membership will attract members who are dedicated, energized, and committed.
  • That in addition to seeking and growing our UU Community, it is equally important to connect with and care for each other as current members.


  • To fulfill to the best of my ability, the position of Board Member-at-Large.
  • To bring ideas, energy, dedication, and commitment to the Board as we deal with the important issues before us.

Jacki Weber
Jacki Weber will continue as past president. No vote required.



Nominating Committee

Karl Lisovsky
Karl Lisovsky is running for his first 3-year term.

This past year, Karl finished out the term of a vacated seat on Nom Comm.

He has been a member at UUSM since 1995 and has been active in several church areas.  He’s been an usher, served coffee, was on the Facilities Committee for many years, taught in RE for four years, is the chair of the de Benneville Pines Planning Committee, and currently serves on the Second Sunday Supper Committee.  His children went through RE and OWL, and his wife, Janet, has also been involved in Church life for years.

Dan Patterson
Dan Patterson is running for his first 3-year term.

Dan Patterson has been a member of UUSM since 2009.  Has been a youth advisor, a member of the Adult RE committee and Committee of Ministry, a Small Group facilitator, and a member of fUUsion, the young adult group.  He has been an usher for almost a decade and the head usher for the last five years. He enjoys small group discussions and looks forward to doing that in person again.

Barbara Kernochan
Barbara Kernochan will continue to serve her 3-year term. No vote required.

My commitment to this congregation runs long and deep.  In my three-plus decades with you, I’ve served on a dozen committees; taught RE classes and chaired the RE committee; scrubbed, painted, and weeded with work parties, served as a Board member and as your Board president; packed lunches for bunches; hosted annual Dining for Dollars events; led our previous ministerial internship committee; ushered for Sunday services, and mentored coming-of-agers.

Sheila Cummins
Sheila Cummins will continue to serve her 3-year term. No vote required.

Sheila Cummins has been a member at UUSM since 2014 and was a friend for several years before becoming a member. She has served coffee almost as long as she’s been attending this church, served on the Hospitality Committee (now defunct) for three years, and has been a member of the Newsletter team for about two years. She has been affiliated with UU churches for most of her life.

Natalie Kahn
Natalie Kahn is continuing her 2-year term to fill a vacated seat. No vote required.

Natalie Kahn is a 20-year member of the UU Church of Santa Monica.  She has sung in the choir, taught in Adult RE, been on the Adult RE Committee, as well as the Dining for Dollars Committee, the Stewardship Committee, the Membership Committee, and as a Heart to Heart facilitator.  She is beginning her second year as a worship associate with the group.  She looks forward to new adventures in the coming years, most notably greeting new members and old friends, face to face, as in olden days.


Resoutions: Vote Yes or No

Resolution 1: The Congregation of the Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Santa Monica approves the minutes from the Annual Meeting on June 28, 2020.

Resolution 2: The Congregation of the Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Santa Monica approves the budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year.

Resolution 3: The Congregation of the Unitarian Universalist Community Church of Santa Monica authorizes an expenditure of up to $150,000 from the Catastrophe Reserve and Emergency Reserve for the structural repair and improvement of the Arizona Lobby.

Note that the June 27 virtual Annual meeting will be considered an “interim” business meeting. Election results will be ratified at a future meeting when the congregation is able to come together once again and be physically present for one another. Please practice that 5th UU Principle and VOTE before noon on Tuesday, June 22 and then join us online June 27 at noon.

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