It’s that time of year again. April showers have brought an abundance of May flowers, but it looks like June gloom might just wait until June this year. We hope you are able to enjoy the spring renewal, even though COVID-19 has upended everything else over the past few months. With spring comes the stewardship drive followed by budgeting for the next church year and then elections.
As announced, our Annual Meeting will take place June 28, 2020. We will be sharing more details about how we will all come together to “meet” and vote very soon. Stay tuned!
We wanted to introduce you to the amazing people who have volunteered to serve on the Board of Directors and Nominating Committee. The Nominating Committee worked very hard to gather a slate of experienced and dedicated candidates, and presented the slate to the UUSM Board of Directors May 12.
Board of Directors
Beth Brownlie is running for her first 1-year term as president.
Collaborative Leadership for Collective Liberation: this is a very powerful and moving session I attended at the 2019 General Assembly, in Spokane, WA. Collaborative leadership is a topic I would like to explore during this leadership role. How do we all participate together? Making light work for many hands.
Functional Organization Protocol or “Look! Everyone knows what they’re doing!” is really so important. I am excited about creating better documents to help us collect our institutional knowledge and make it easily accessible to all. How do we cultivate our leaders in our community? I have found so much here at UUSM. I’ve become a more developed human being and a better leader 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. When I walked into UUSM and found the strong environmental commitments of this community, with Green Living and Faith in Action, I was in, really in. It is one of our strongest and most powerful statements: We stand with those most affected by climate change…the people in our inner cities and coastal cities. Those who contribute the least amount of a carbon footprint will be the most affected by climate change. We commit to lifting these community partners up, so that all can be resilient and have equity in the coming of climate change.
- Board of Directors: Past six years
- Vice President (2018-2020)
- Secretary of the Board (2016-2018)
- Member-at-Large (2014-2016)
- Attended UUA GA, 2012, 2015, 2019.
- Co-chaired Facilities Committee, past seven years, Currently the 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
- Served on Stewardship Committee
- Attended Annenberg Alchemy leadership development program
Eileen McCormack is running for her first 1-year term as vice president.
I joined UUSM, along with my husband, Michael, in May 2015, after attending for about 6 months as visitors. I am very happy we made that decision. Over the past 3 years, we’ve gotten to know so many wonderful people who share our values. We’ve had the opportunity to experience countless beautiful moments in conversations; meals; performances; and, of course, the worship services.
I’ve participated in three Heart to Heart groups. I started protesting for the first time in my life! I don’t know if I ever would have done that if I hadn’t joined UUSM. My most regular volunteer gig has been the coffee committee, and last year I completed my 2-year term as a board member-at-large. I’ve 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 this year. We believe in this place.
I am honored to be among the nominees this year and excited about the opportunity to serve as board vice president. This moment feels like an important one to our church, holding great potential for what we can build and become, together.
Larry Weiner is running for his first 1-year term as secretary
My name is Larry Weiner, and I currently serve on the UUSM Board of Directors. I was appointed to complete the term of a vacated member-at-large seat.
I am 70 years old, and my wife, Laura, and my 22-year-old son, Jacob, have been members of our church for about 13 years. I have spent most of my time here teaching Religious Exploration; so if you don’t know me well, it could be because I’ve 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 6 years on a homeowners association board in a large community in Culver City, where I have lived for 41 years. I was the president of that HOA Board for the past 5 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 is running for her second 1-year term as treasurer
I first attended UUSM in 1994 with my 4-week-old son and late husband. Ofelia Dumas Lachtman greeted us warmly on that Sunday. As we participated in the service that first day, I felt at home in the church. I was not previously familiar with Unitarian Universalism, and as I learned about what it stands for, I fell in love with its values. What has most resonated for me, is the first principle of valuing the inherent worth and dignity of every person.
In the past few years, I have been involved with UUSM’s right relations effort. This work has helped me be a better person in my relationships with others. Our work in the Right Relations Committee has taught me that our right relations goals are aspirational, and the work is ongoing.
I am committed to working with the board and the congregation to move us forward. I understand that as treasurer, I work on one of the toughest issues facing our congregation today: that of our financial situation. I plan to listen carefully and work closely with each of you as we move forward.
Norm Richey is running for his first 2-year term as member-at-large
UU Member, West Hartford, CT, for 2 years
UUSM Member, 5 years
- Board secretary, 2 years
- Board member-at-large, 1 year
- 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
- Attendee, UUA General Assembly, Spokane, WA, June 2019
- Attendee, UUA General Assembly, New Orleans, June 2017
- 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.
Roberta Frye is running for her first 2-year term as member-at-large.
I joined UUSM about 12 years ago and had begun attending 2 years prior to that. I was drawn by the welcoming community and Unitarian Universalist values such as inclusiveness and, particularly, our 6th Principle: Goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all. My activities at UUSM have included: monthly Sunday greeter; active member and sometime leader of the Peace and Social Justice Committee (including monthly committee meetings; staffing the Faith in Action table; and planning programs, some with the Green Living Committee); host of Dining for Dollars events most years; participant in several Heart to Heart groups; co-leader of a multi-session workshop on the Israeli-Palestine conflict; and co-leader of a workshop for a book on racism.
We are experiencing a time of immense uncertainty and despair. It seems to me that our world cannot emerge unchanged in fundamental ways. It will take a new consciousness and renewed commitment on everyone’s part to create a world of peace with justice. I truly believe that another world is possible, and that UUSM can help sustain us in the struggle.
Mike Monte is running to complete the term of a vacant member-at-large seat, a 1-year term.
I came out as an atheist on the day of what would have been my confirmation as a Catholic sometime in the late 1980s. I didn’t get involved with church until my ex-wife convinced me that church would be good for our daughters. She found the Unitarian Universalism in 2000, but 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 Our Whole Lives (OWL) facilitator for a several years, and I’ve hosted a few Dining for Dollars events. In my spare time, I like to surf and play board games.
Abby Arnold will continue to serve her 2-year term as member-at-large. No vote is required.
Jacki Weber will assume the role of past-president. No vote is required.
Sheila Cummins is running for her first 3-year term.
Sheila 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, and served on the Hospitality Committee (now defunct) for 3 years Sheila is now a valued member of the Newsletter team, for about 2 years. She has been a Unitarian Universalist for most of her life.
Chela Metzger is running for her first 3-year term
Chela has been a member of UUSM since 2017. As a lifelong Unitarian Universalist, she has attended UU churches in Boston; Pasadena; Detroit; Austin, TX; and Wilmington, DE. She is involved in the coffee crew, and has been a de Benniville co- registrar for a couple of years
Natalie Kahn is running to complete the term of a vacated Nominating Committee seat, a 2-year term.
Natalie is a 20-year member of UU Santa Monica. She has sung in the choir, taught Adult Religious Exploration programs, and served on the Adult RE Committee. She has also served on the Dining for Dollars Committee, the Stewardship Committee, the Membership Committee, and as a Heart to Heart facilitator. Natalie currently serves as a worship associate, beginning her second year in that role. 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.
Karl Lisovsky is running to complete the term of a vacated Nominating Committee seat, a 1-year term.
Karl 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, and taught Religious Exploration for 4 years. He is currently chair of the de Benneville Pines Planning Committee and 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.
Note that this past fall, Karl was appointed to serve on a vacated seat on Nom Comm, and has worked hard to assemble this slate. In order to comply with the UUSM bylaws, he is running by petition to serve the remaining year on this term.
Patricia Gomez will continue to serve her 3-year term. No vote is required.
Barbara Kernochan will continue to serve her 3-year term. No vote is required.