Please note there are multiple candidates for the open positions this year. Be sure to scroll all the way through the web page to view all nominees and bios. All nominees will be present on the voting ballot. First listed is the group nominated by the UUCS Nominations Team. Second is the group nominated by the UUnite, an informal team of UUCS members following the guidelines laid out in our church Bylaws for alternate nominees. This year the Nominating team is seeking candidates for three Board of Trustee and four Nominating Team positions. Also note that there have been some board members who have stepped down this year; there are nominees listed to complete the remaining term for those board members.


Your duly authorized UUCS Nominating Team consisting of Martha Nichols, Rachelle Strawther, Pam Davies, Deena Romoff and Phyllis Thayer present the following slate of candidates for the Board of Trustees to be voted on at the Annual Meeting, June 14, 2020.

 

UUnite Steering Committee, Dan Eacret, Jon Bagby, Mary Giannini, Kelsey Gray, Joe King, Betsy Rush, Karen Dorn-Steele, Dr. Richard Steele

And Supporters, Craig Aldworth and Kathryn Ann Hobbs, Wayne Attwood, Jane Bowen, Bob and Sunny Cook, Dick and Judy Gammon, Janice and Dave Gard, Lila and George Girvin, Caryl Heller, Lynn and Robert Jinishian, John and Ann Klekas, Jean and Gordon Larson, Reginald Martin, Suzanne Rivers, Candice Schmidt, Fran Williamson, Don Willingham, Sue Stiritz, Darl Vander Linden, Sandy Horn, Kurt and Tana Workmaster, Greg Rogers, Tom Schmidt, Maggie Montana, Lynn Israel, Carly Fisher-Israel, Paul Linddholdt, Kari Eacret, Vern & Bill Prouty, Laurie Baugher, Gary Anselmo Marnach, Deb Theology, Catherine de la Vigne, Maurina Ladich, Tom and Mary Mosher, Dan Obrien, Bob and Lisa Bernstein, and others.

 

BOARD OF TRUSTEES CANDIDATES

 

ONE YEAR TERM

 

JON BAGBY

I have been attending at UUCS for over 40 years, but only became a member in the last 6 years.  The reason I decided to join the church officially was because of the minister, Todd Eklof.  Since joining the church, I have had the following numerous roles.  Most recently, I was on the Board of Trustees where I was the designated documents expert.  As such, I also worked on the Documents Review Team in response to the Health Congregations Second Recommendation.   I was also a liaison to the Children and Family Ministries Team.  Prior to joining the Board of Trustees, I taught in the Religious Education program with high school and middle school aged children.  Prior to formerly joining the church, I also served (1999-2000) on a UUCS committee which monitored and managed the construction of a hospital in Nalta, Bangladesh, in which the UUCS served as an international non-profit for dispersing the funds raised by my father, Dr. George Bagby.

I am in my 20th year of teaching and teach science, computer science and math for Spokane Public Schools and work in a K-12 alternative school, which supports home-schoolers in the area.  Prior to becoming a teacher in 1999, I was an environmental consultant and worked with government and business to remediate large scale contamination as part of the Superfund program.  I have a teaching degree from Whitworth University, as well as a Masters in Forestry from University of Washington, and undergraduate degrees in Environmental Health and Chemistry from Western Washington University.

If elected to the Board, I would like to work on developing robust procedures within the Board for ensuring transparency and mutual accountability and amending our Bylaws and Policy and Governance documents to formalize these practices.

 

WARREN G. CARPENTER

Nine years ago, my wife, Marilyn, and I were searching for a church home.  We longed for a church community that valued and promoted social justice.  In addition, we searched for a church that offered thoughtful and inspirational sermons.  The community at UUCS and the sermons of Todd Eklof met these requirements.  Since we joined the church I have served on the Generosity Team, the Ushers and the Board of Trustees.  I was lead usher for five years.

As a member of your Board of Trustees I hope to help our church community define and establish the type of ministry and community engagement that best meets that community’s needs, beliefs, and values.

I am a retired project manager.  I spent my career leading large software implementation projects for manufacturers.  Much of my non-work activities have been spent in woodworking and dog agility competition.  My dog, Dixie and I reached the Masters level in competition.  Of late, however, Dixie’s hearing and my knees have failed, hence driving us both into retirement.  But she still chases the ball.

 

TWO YEAR TERM

 

MARILYN CARPENTER

I have been a member of UUCS for over nine years.  I have participated in the following ways:

  • Lay leader
  • Chair of the worship committee
  • Storyteller and chair
  • Co-chair with Jerry White of the Spokane Alliance Team
  • Usher
  • Healthy Congregation Implementation Team, committee on “Search for Truth and Understanding.”

As a member of the Healthy Congregation Implementation Team, I have been investigating what other UU congregations have been doing in learning about racism and oppression in our society.  As part of that investigation I have interviewed ministers of other churches and reviewed curriculum about racism used by other churches and made available by the UUA.  I have spent many hours on these activities in the hope that when our congregation so choses there is a wealth of opportunities to learn about in order to expand our understanding about areas in our culture that are oppressing others.

My PhD. is from University of Arizona.  Before I retired, I was a professor for fourteen years at EWU.  There I was chair of the Reading Major and taught graduate and undergraduate courses in Children’s Literature, Young Adult Literature, World Literature and Reading Methods.  I have published more than 200 articles in peer reviewed, professional journals and continue to speak at National and International Professional Conferences.

I have been married for over fifty-seven years to Warren Carpenter, the light of my life.   We have three children and four grandchildren.

 

STEPHANIE SAMSON

I lived in Pennsylvania until I was 21 years old and then moved to Phoenix until 2003 when I moved to Spokane.  I attended Business College and then pursued a career in the financial field for General Electric, Honeywell International and Cascade Windows.  While in Phoenix I attended Kino College and studied both New and Old Testament for 4 year and then completed a 4-year study program in Christian Leadership which lead me to various volunteer opportunities in both church and work areas.  While in Phoenix I chaired a Cub Scout Pack for 3 1/2 year and at work chaired the employee community service board, worked in youth ministry at church, taught religious education and scripture classes and led several women’s retreats.

Moving to Spokane led me eventually to the UU church and many more volunteer opportunities.  I have served on the Pastoral Care Team; served as both a member and leader of the Stewardship team, Adult Enrichment Team, and Worship Team; chaired the annual dinner for 7 years; taught the teen groups for 1 year; been a member of the Building and Grounds Team, Partner Church Team, and the Operations Team and a volunteer in the office for almost 6 years.

In 2017 I was offered the job of being the Local Area Coordinator for General Assembly which was held this June in Spokane.  I have led a couple of travel groups to our Partner Church in Felsorakos and am currently planning another trip in August with a group of our teens and some of their parents.  Guess you could say I’m passionate about service.

I have 5 children who live in Pennsylvania, Arizona, Oregon and Spokane. Additionally, I have 10 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren.  In my spare time I enjoy spending time with family and friends, reading, cooking, baking, knitting, and traveling.

 

CANDACE SCHMIDT, PhD

I am respectfully putting my name forward for consideration as a candidate for the 2020-2021 Board of Trustees, and am doing so out of my belief in the importance of traditional Unitarian Universalism values.  My history with Unitarian Universalism began as a teenager when I accompanied my father to services in Kansas City, Missouri.  I reunited with the UU Church when living in Moscow, Idaho.  Since becoming a UUCS member in 2007, I have served on the Greeter Team, Community Auction Team, and the Healthy Relations Team.  I also taught Religious Education classes, assisted the Building and Grounds Team, and have co-led the Kerdcera Dojo for the past 3 years.  I am motivated to invest time and energy in this church because I want to support the church’s missions to strengthen our community, work for equity in the wider world, and be part of a community that encourages individual growth and development.

Professionally, I am a licensed psychologist in Washington State and have worked for 20 years as a psychotherapist.  In addition, I have raised 2 children as a single parent and am the proud Nana of my two-year-old granddaughter who lives in Denver with her parents.  Pastimes include perennial flower gardening, weaving, and reading.

I appreciate the congregation’s consideration of my candidacy for the UUCS Board of Trustees, and if elected, I will work diligently to help rebuild our church, based on the foundations of our shared humanity, compassion and respect for others, freedom of conscience, and the democratic process.

 

CATHERINE TRESTRAIL

I’m a recent import from Seattle to Spokane. UUCS was the first place I’ve found to be a meaningful liberal home and I’ve met some wonderful people here. My partner of 34 years died in 2015. Spokane is the place I’ve chosen to create a new home and to recreate my psychotherapy practice.

While I’m grateful to have been encouraged to serve as a member of the Board of Trustees for our church by a number of new friends I’ve made here, I need to disclose some things which some in our church may find disqualifying. While I’ve been a religious and spiritual seeker all my life and a Quaker and Buddhist in practice, UUCS is the only church I have ever formally joined.

The reason I decided to formally join is in large part because I came to see the importance of continuing to work for social justice. I understand that not everyone has read the Gadfly Papers, but this controversial book clarified for me the importance of the conversation it was intended to spark. As a clinical social worker for the last 30+ years I am intimately familiar with matters of class, race, gender and identity. These are central issues I’ve incorporated into my practice and my life.

In 1990, I founded and still own “A Positive Alternative” in Seattle, – the first outpatient, gender specific, non-AA based substance abuse treatment program in the Pacific Northwest. I had to live through and gradually win over political forces in my profession that criticized both my gender-specific focus and my AA- alternative approach. Currently, the program I developed has become the model, the standard of excellence in the Seattle area – while at first it was vilified.

So I know how to take a calm, logical, open-hearted stand for something I believe in over the long haul. I’d like to help something similar take place in our church. I’m a problem solver and think carefully and deeply. I believe there are policies at UUCS that are demanding a careful review and reworking in order to prevent the kind of uproar and dis-communication between our board and our minister. I want to participate in setting updated policies – not for this particular minister, but for all ministers we may have in the future.

I know I am a bit of a maverick, but I’m also respectful, kind and open-minded. I think that the grounded, long term UU’s who are my fellow board candidates will surround me with the kind of wisdom and history that will allow me to make a contribution to our congregation. This, like all my experiences so far at UUCS thus far, would be deeply meaningful to me.

 

THREE YEAR TERM

 

CRAIG ALDWORTH

I grew up in a UU family in small UU fellowships in Billings and Yakima where I made lifelong friendships with other UU kids.  I joined UUCS in March 1991 with my wife, Kathryn Ann Hobbs.  We raised our son Tyler in the RE program. I enjoy singing in the choir.  Last year I retired from a career in Civil Engineering in municipal road construction.  I have served on three boards: Juneau Youth Hostel Board helping finish construction of the building; Emerson-Garfield APPLE Board working on revising bylaws to improve decision making; and on the Newman Lake Property Owners Association Board working on environmental awareness and local community issues.  As a Board member I will work to increase communication and understanding between the Minister, the Board and the congregation.

 

PATTY BEDALOV

I have been a UU since 1986 when I married.  I was involved in the Naperville, IL and Cedar Rapids, IA churches, including serving on a team similar to our Team on Ministry. At UUCS, I have sung in the choir, taught RE, served on Pastoral Care, belonged to UUJME, headed Adult Enrichment and Small Group Ministry, served on the Engagement Team, served as Board Secretary and currently serve on the Board of Trustees. I have been a delegate from UUCS to the UUA General Assembly.

I am willing to continue on the Board, as I envision a resolution to our current church conflict.  I believe working together we can create a vibrant and healthy community again.  We need to see the best in each other’s eyes in these stressful times, a time when love and reason could be strengthening the bonds that have held UUCS together for so long.  As for expanding our mission of social justice, outside of UUCS, I see a continued need for us to be involved in local issues of injustice, need and equity.  I am proud of the work of the Social Justice group in our church; I believe they need our financial support, and volunteers, to continue.

Personally, I will soon be retiring as a speech-language pathologist after 44 years in the profession.  This will afford me more time to serve our congregation.   My sons are my dearest treasures in life.  Thank you for the opportunity to continue my UUCS service.

 

LYNN JINISHIAN 

UUCS is a church big enough for all of us. I come to this church for the “push” I receive to expand my thinking and challenge my perspectives—but maybe you come seeking ritual and comfort.  There are multiple ways we can come together to realize our mission.

My History: Spokane is my forever home. I have lived here my whole life except for 4 years in the 1980’s as an Army Nurse in Washington DC.

My Interests: If you saw my Facebook page, you would know I have a tiny obsession with dogs. Big, little, puppies, and seniors. I only have two—Lola (labradoodle) and Cyrus (yellow lab), but I want them all, including yours.

My Experience: I am an associate teaching professor of nursing at Washington State University. I am the lead faculty for our first semester with oversight of six courses and 17 clinical groups on 3 campuses in Spokane, Yakima, and TriCities. I have been a registered nurse for 34 years with experience in the NICU, hospice, and academia beginning in 2013.

My Involvement at UUCS: I have been a member of our church for 24 years. I’ve served on multiple teams, taught RE, Junior high OWL, staffed the Welcome Table, ushered, and been a lay leader. I’ve made coffee, washed dishes, and picked weeds. I appreciate the potential opportunity to serve on the board and I expect to be held accountable for transparency, respect, and forward movement in this world of uncertainty.

 

JOAN PERKINS

I’ve been attending UUCS since my husband and I moved to Spokane from Austin, TX in November of 2015. I grew up UU, as did my mom. According to her figuring, my two brothers and I are sixth generation Unitarian. I have grown up with the seven principles, and they inform my understanding of the world. Recently, I’ve helped lead the Creating Community Team in attempting to bring greater unity to the church.

Growing up in Austin, TX, the large church my family attended had many difficult moments. My parents were visiting Spokane last summer and I spoke to them often about the controversy. My mom reminded me that a church is many people, a thing of itself, an energy made up of many small parts. That energy, that life, those people are worth the hard work to hold things together in difficult times.

I’m a mother of two, Phoebe age three and Simon age 7 months, and the eCommerce Payment Systems Administrator at Gonzaga, working as their general Accounts Receivable with technology and financial systems. I’m eager to lend that expertise to the board and the church as a whole.

 

JOAN MEDINA

I grew up at the Glover Mansion site in the 1980’s, attending UU YA Leadership conference on scholarship. I’ve engaged in various roles for Winter Solstice Singing Services; facilitated dozens of CUUPS ceremonies; organized the Goddess Awareness Festival; contributed silk paintings and dinners for silent auction; co-facilitated Youth Group; presented at RE classes; been guest minister. Currently, I serve on your GA Delegates Team.

I founded Brigid’s Cloak (homeless outreach) which was supported by our Social Justice Committee. I’m the 2015 recipient of CFJ’s Justice Hero Award.

As an ordained earth-based minister, my efforts have focused on both prison ministry and the greater Spokane community. I’ve officiated at weddings, memorials, and other rites of passage, and written books used in prison systems. I represented non-traditional religions in a mandated nationwide prison staff training on RLUIPA.

I’ve served on a handful of non-profit boards; written/published newsletters, policies, bylaws, and other documents; negotiated contracts; organized events and fundraisers; taught classes; created workshops to build Beloved Community; published poetry with Love & Outrage.

Last year I retired after 34 years at Spokane Public Library. I’m amicably disentangling with my husband Ted and in a loving relationship with Ken Lee.

I identify as an Atheist, Pagan, and UU. The UUA Seven Principles are close to my heart. I advocate for inclusive/participatory conflict resolution, transparency, fairness, and democratic process. I learned to pour love into our larger community while coming of age in this congregation, and now want to focus that back toward UUCS.

 

RICHARD STEELE, PhD

I was born January 12, 1943 in Modesto, California.  I was raised in Southern California, attending public schools in Westwood, Palos Verdes, Mar Vista, and Brentwood.  Between 1960-1964, I attended Stanford University, where I met my wife Karen, and graduated with honors in Physics, studying also much Russian and mathematics.  My graduate studies were at Harvard University, where I received my M.A. (1966) and Ph.D. (1973) in Slavic Language and Linguistics.

Between 1968 and 1980, I taught Slavic languages, linguistics, and communication at Harvard, MIT, Cornell and Grinnell College, before returning to California to work as Research Health Scientist at the Rehabilitation Research and Development Center in Palo Alto, CA.  There, during the 1980s, I was Principal Investigator on a multi-year funded project, with a multidisciplinary team developing computer applications to improve stroke recovery.  In 1990, I helped found the company Lingraphica to commercialize my patented inventions.   I continue there today as Chief Scientist.

I am a long-standing UUCS member and involved congregant.   My wife Karen and I were married by Rev. Dr. Bill Houff in 1983.  I sang in the choir and served on the Music Team.  I am an elected member of the Endowment Team, and a volunteer in Group 3 of the Implementation Team, researching curricula on combating racism and oppression for UUCS use.  To this candidacy, I bring scientific training, research experience, analytical and communication skills, a publication track record, and a successful business history.  I ask for your vote to the UUCS Board of Trustees.


 

NOMINATING TEAM CANDIDATES

 

SCOTT FITZGERALD

I was raised a Unitarian Universalist and I have been actively involved in UU church life for over 50 years.

I have been a member here at UUCS since 2000. I was the editor of the SUUN for over 20 years, and almost that long as the Sunday Morning Coffee Guy. I taught Sunday school and served as an adult advisor to the UUCS youth group for many years. And I served a term on the UUCS Nominating Team.

In my two prior churches, in addition to Sunday school teacher and youth group advisor, I served on church boards twice, served on several nominating teams and on a host of other teams and committees, far too many to remember them all.

While still in California I also served on several UU District committees, including a term on the Personnel Committee for the regionally owned UU camp, de Benneville Pines, a committee that rewrote all of the personnel policies for the camp and also searched for and hired a new Camp Director.

As a lifelong Unitarian Universalist, I have a deep commitment to the life and health of this church, as well as to the greater Unitarian Universalist world. As the spouse of a career Unitarian Universalist Professional Religious Educator, I have an extensive understanding of church and denominational operations and history. As the father of three third-generation UUs, I have a vested interest in working to ensure that they have a vibrant and welcoming church to call home.

 

MAUREEN SMITH

In 1993 I joined the First Unitarian Church of Salt Lake City. I volunteered as an RE teacher and on the RE team. I joined UUCS in 2017. Here I have taught in RE, participated on the RE Team, and helped to plan the festival. I am co-chair for the Art Committee, am on the Creating Community Team (a subgroup of the Implementation Team) and help produce Soul-Weaving services.

My painting career and family take a back seat to our UUCS as our congregants are in need. I see this division as an opportunity to grow, to hear individuals completely, and help heal the divisions. There is room for all of us, including our minister, and I hope that through deep listening and respect we can create that welcoming space where all seven principles and all people are honored.

I have a black partner, am a lesbian, and have learned I am also pansexual. Although I don’t feel a need to declare this, I believe in the right to. My friend, Lynn, was transgender. She had parents that refused to use her pronouns she/her. She ended up taking her life because of it. I believe in her right to respect, and I believe that individuals in our congregation have a right to opinions and needs.

I am also a mother and grandmother. I try to be an example of love and kindness to them. I enjoy the love that UU beliefs bring to our world!

I believe I can reach out to others and help include all voices. I trust the democratic process and believe that it will help create unity. I will support the Board of Trustees and the Nomination Committee that is elected.

 

NANCY AVERY

I have been a member of UUCS since 1985 or 86.  I’ve served on the Board, Generosity  team, Management Team, Social Justice Coordinating Council, choir, PRIDE team lead, Acting Team on Ministry, and temporarily RE “co-director” to name a few of the things with which I have been involved.

 

SUNNY COOK

I have been a UUCS member for just over a decade, most the that entire time happily engaged in annual fund raising and related Generosity Team activities.  Before moving to Spokane from the Tri-Cities, I was on the Board and President of the UU Church in Kennewick, also serving 6 years on the UU Pacific Northwest District Board, the final year as President.  Before Bob and I moved west in 1983, I chaired the Board of the UU Church in Arlington, VA.  I admit I have probably done almost everything in a half century career as a church volunteer – except make the coffee.

 

RICHARD GAMMON

I have been an active member of Unitarian-Universalist churches and a fellowship for sixty years- in Delaware, Alabama, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and now Spokane since 1998. At UUCS I have served on the Board and been a member of Long-Range Planning, Finance, Endowment, Adult Education Teams and the Choir. My interest in joining the Nominating Team is to help create and sustain a community with a meaningful diversity and mutually respectful behavior.

 

JOHN KLEKAS

My wife Ann and I moved to Spokane in May, 2001.  I had just retired from the US Department of State where I had served as an American diplomat for twenty-four years.  I became acquainted indirectly with the UU Church about fifteen years ago when I joined the  the Monday morning “Problem Solvers.”  Since virtually all participants in the Problem Solvers were members of the UU Church I realized that I shared their values and that I would be comfortable with Unitarian Universalists — and nowhere else.

One of the key aspects of the UU Church I respect most is its commitment to Social Action in support of Justice, the Environment, and the well-being of marginalized people.  I’ve been a member of the Center for Peace & Justice’s volunteer Peacekeepers for several years.  In that role I participated in virtually all Progressive marches and demonstrations.  In 2008 I was voted in as a Spokane area representative to the Democratic Party’s Washington State convention.   I attended a “Black Lives Matter” demonstration at the Courthouse a few years ago and shortly thereafter I joined the Spokane Chapter of the NAACP.   If selected to be on the Church’s nominating team I would bring my Progressive perspective to bear on my assessment of candidates for the Board and future Nominating Team members.


Nominating Team Member Position Information

A new opportunity for you! Use your passion for our church, your skills in organizations and your diverse interests in community, meaning and justice. Your Nominating Team is continuing the search for church members to put forward as candidates for three Board of Trustee positions and four positions for the Nominating Team. These individuals will be elected at the June 14 Annual Meeting with three year terms beginning July 1, 2020. Interested? Contact Martha Nichols: marthaporter1@hotmail.com or 509-270-2182.

Board of Trustee Position Information

Are you interested in an exciting opportunity to serve our church and use your leadership skills to accomplish the church’s mission and goals? The Nominating Team is currently seeking candidates for three BOT openings, for three-year terms beginning July 1. We seek candidates with a strong commitment to the church, good thinking and communication skills, and a record of service on other church teams and committees. If you are interested, look for the position description and application form by clicking the link below or call the church office, 509-325-6383 to get the forms. Please submit your application by March 20, 2020.

Please find job descriptions and application here:

Board of Trustees Job Description

Board of Trustees Application

Nominating Team Job Description 


A Message from the Nominating Team

 

The UUCS Nominating Team is seeking candidates for three Board of Trustee and four Nominating Team positions. The guidelines for our search are outlined below and can be found on the UUCS website under the Member tab. If you have any questions or if you wish to be considered for one of the positions please contact Martha Nichols, marthaporter1@hotmail.com, 509-270-2182.

 

1.    Pursuant to the Board Members’ Code of Conduct from our UUCS Policy Governance Document:

Board members must represent unconflicted loyalty to the interests of the congregation.  This accountability supersedes any conflicting loyalty such as that to advocacy or interest groups and membership on other Boards or staffs.  This accountability supersedes the personal interest of any member acting as an individual congregant.

 

2.    Additionally, the Nominating team is looking for people who:

  • Enhance ethnicity, age and gender balance
  • Can facilitate meetings
  • Show interest in how our organization works
  • Have the personal time to devote to the job
  • Are able to participate in meetings as a leader and a follower
  • Have experience in our or another UU church
  • Represent diverse groups within our church
  • Have demonstrated reliability and diligence
  • Commit to the welfare of the whole church
  • Support the board and our governing documents
  • Support the Healthy Congregation Implementation Team’s work
  • Listen and support each other relationally
  • Follow the UUCS Covenant for Good Relations

3.    The broader directive that defines how a prospective candidate can be nominated is the following bylaw:

ARTICLE V, ELECTION OF TRUSTEES, NOMINATING AND ENDOWMENT TEAM MEMBERS

Section 1. Candidates for Trustee and Nominating Team vacancies may be nominated by the Nominating Team or by the congregation at large. Endowment Team nominees will be nominated by the standing Endowment Team. The congregation shall be informed of candidates nominated by the Nominating and Endowment Teams at least four (4)weeks before the annual general business meeting.

  1. The congregation may make additional Trustee and Nominating Team nominations to the Board by submitting the names of candidates endorsed by at least twenty (20) members to the President at least two (2) weeks before the annual general business meeting.
  2. No nominations shall be made from the floor of the annual general business meeting, unless this rule is suspended by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of those present and voting.
  3. Brief resumes of all candidates shall accompany the announcement of candidates to the congregation; except that information regarding candidates nominated by petition may be introduced at the annual general business meeting

Section 2.If the number of candidates exceeds the number of vacancies, election shall be as established by secret ballot and be decided by majority vote of those present and voting