The Board of Trustees is responsible for overseeing the activities and affairs of UUCB on behalf of the congregation, pursuant to UUCB bylaws. A total of nine trustees are elected for three-year terms, and may not serve more than two terms consecutively. The Board annually selects trustees to serve as Board President and Vice President, and appoints a Secretary and Treasurer from the congregation as ex-officio Board members. Board policies and protocols for its work are contained in a Board Governance Manual.

The Board meets on the first Wednesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. on Zoom. UUCB members are welcome to attend. Current and recent agendas and materials can be found in the Board of Trustees current year folder, by month.  Prior and current agenda packets also can be downloaded from the Church Documents page.

Committees of the Board of Trustees

Board of Trustees Members and Their Candidate Statements

Pier Sun Ho
(1st term, 2022-25)
  Pier Sun Ho (Co-President)I have been at UUCB since 2006, when I moved to the Bay Area. I wasn’t raised within organized religion, and I came here initially for community. I’m happy to say that I found that, but I also found a spiritual connection to the world that continues to develop and enrich me greatly. I made social and spiritual connections through Chalice Circles, and the young adult group. I was married here on the terrace by Barbara and Bill Hamilton-Holway, and subsequently brought my two babies to be blessed in the Sanctuary after they were each born. Unlike me, they will (perhaps and hopefully) be lifelong UUs.

I’ve served in various roles such as the Bylaws Committee and the Nominating Committee, but my primary service to the church has been through Family Ministry. I’ve taught elementary RE for 10 years, at all the different grade levels, and I’ve served on the Family Ministry Committee in two separate terms. My interest in Family Ministry, and how to grow our congregation to serve the needs of our community, is my primary reason for accepting this nomination. The past two years have been very challenging for everyone, but like so many other families, attending church over Zoom was not a priority, or even of any interest to my littles! I hope that I can bring a perspective to the Board that will both represent those families who have fallen away, and also ignite interest and involvement of the future families who will come seeking us, as I did. Thank you for considering my candidacy for the Board of Trustees.

Helen Tinsley-Jones
(2nd term, 2023-26)
  Helen Tinsley-Jones (Co-President)
I am very pleased to be part of UUCB’s Board of Trustees! In 2016, my husband, Sheldon, and I had the good fortune to find and join the church. Since then, I have appreciated the warm, compassionate camaraderie and the opportunities for spiritual reflection, including my participation in Chalice Circles. I have joined in partnership with others to take on social justice issues. As a member of the Social Justice Council, I take part in the Literature, Film and Drama Contingent and in the People of Color Caucus. Along with my SJC cohorts, I developed and co-facilitate the POCC. My social justice work also includes organization of the 2018 Multicultural Fair and of social justice film and discussion events in 2016 and 2017.I am a mixed-race woman, who, along with my husband, have raised six children in a blended family, and we now have eleven grandchildren. Before retiring as a clinical psychologist, I worked for Kaiser and had a private practice. I’ve served as member and chair of the City of El Cerrito Human Relations Commission and have been part of the Read Aloud Program for a decade. UUCB is my spiritual home, and I am invested in supporting its Mission and Covenant and in working hard to grapple with the challenges and decision-making necessary in promoting the health of the community. To this end, I think it’s important to work collaboratively, making space for a diversity of our voices. 

Michael Armstrong            (1st term, 2022-25)
  Michael Armstrong (Vice President)When I have conversations with members of our church, we frequently share the stories of our first time ‘on the hill’. As a Board Member, I hope to maintain the impact that experience has had for each individual. Those stories hold deep meaning for our members, as well as for me: In 1981, I was an undergraduate student of Dance at UC Berkeley. Every day for years I would take class, study, commune, and dream with other students in this beautiful studio where the smell of wood mingled with the light from the beautiful panes of glass. It was a place of safety and exploration. Many years later in 2005 I was told about this wonderful ‘church on the hill’ in Kensington. Lynne Cahoon greeted me – I felt immediately at home. Lynne continued to tell me how the church had moved from its previous location on the UCB campus. It hit me – “I’m back … this is the same spiritual home I danced in for years.” I hope to maintain, nurture and expand that connection in my work as a Board Member. As an RE teacher, I have worked with the youth to help them identify UUCB as their spiritual home and I have witnessed our members of all ages seek this same solace here . It would be an honor to support that effort as our church makes changes through new lead ministers, new experiences and emerging ever stronger from a global pandemic.
Michael DeWitt
(1st term, 2024-27)
Michael DeWitt
My Spiritual Journey:
In 1977, at a Christian summer camp, I became “born again.”
Raised in a protestant Covenant church, I participated in this faith until about age 20. I found such faith too simplistic and thirsted to search for deeper truth and meaning. I loved the questions more than the answers, while most resisted such. While I found more comfort in a Presbyterian church for a while, I stopped attending church at about age 25 when I moved to San Francisco.In about 2004, I first attended my first UU service here at UUCB where Rev. Barbara introduced me to the words “liberal theology”. The humanist and universalist themes throughout the service spoke to me. Over the years, I have grown to appreciate many other UUCB core values including social justice, “living as a loving community”, and our “covenant of right relations”.

My potential contributions to the board:
* I appreciate and share the mission of our church and look forward to an opportunity to take a more active role in church governance.
* Broad familiarity with most members of our congregation having attended for nearly 20 years, participated in several chalice circles, choir and the Freestone committee.
* Good communication and interpersonal skills. I believe I get along well with most and play in the sandbox nicely.
* Current Sanctuary AV lead volunteer. I’m familiar with much of the present church electronics in each venue as I used to assist as volunteer in setup for many events. I can potentially serve as a liaison to the board with new technology implementations.
* Past experience in leadership of youth ministry and scouting could serve to advance our church’s R.E. activities.

I believe there is much to be excited in at UUCB right now. Having a great new minister in Rev. Marcus, continued talents of Bryan Baker in music and exciting leadership by Heaven Walker in R.E., I think we have an exciting opportunity to let UUCB shine. Through many scheduled activities and good marketing, I really think we have great growth opportunity on the horizon. I’m ready to help in many ways.

Kay Fairwell
(1st term, 2023-26)
  Kay FairwellMany years ago I realized that my workplace was my community. And I knew that someday I would retire and not have that community. So I went in search. I visited a number of churches of the religion I grew up in. I discovered that I would have to ignore too much to find a home there. When I found UUCB I heard the minister say “We don’t tell you what to think, we just ask that you do.” I knew that I had found my home and my community. So in 1994 I joined UUCB. Almost 30 years ago. Since that time I have been involved in many church activities. I have served other times on this Board and on the last Ministerial Search Committee. I have participated in Chalice Circles, Family Ministry, Pastoral Associates, the Committee on Ministry, and other activities. As you can see, I have been here during a number of transitions. We are now in another one of those times. We are transitioning from the wonderful interim ministry of Reverend Michelle to a new period of ministry. I hope to be part of the process in which UUCB continues to widen our circle and be both a sanctuary and a stimulus for changing these divisive times we live in to a time of more inclusiveness, acceptance, and progress.
Beth Jerde
(1st term, 2024-27)
Elizabeth JerdeI have been a member of UUCB since 2010. I bring to the UUCB Board my creative spirit, joy, a desire to learn and experience things in life, as well as an intense sense of curiosity.

Though I have been told more than once that I ask too many questions, I like to understand how things function/operate. Especially when entering a new “culture.”

I have been very engaged with the Social Justice Council here at UUCB since its re- vivification in 2015: I have managed the Good Neighbor Program and have been SJC chair. I have also organized various events such as viewing the film Ghost Town to Havana, presenting Coach Roscoe, the film’s director Gene Corr and Oakland A reps, to discuss the disparity of parental/societal engagement in youth sports here in Oakland and Richmond. We also hosted the Dine and Dialogue with our Muslim Neighbors dinner so that we could get a taste of Islam 101 thanks to Ameena Jandali from ING (Islamic Network Group); participate in prayers led by Imam Wali Muhammad; learn what goes on in the kitchen with Fayza Ayyad by working side-by-side; listen to music from a Near Eastern trio; and experience calligraphic artistry. Most recently, we launched the Sponsored Project Blessings Bags: Bags containing personal toiletries, warm sox, edibles and a drink, to be distributed to unhoused people.

I have a firm grasp of the Social Justice Council culture and its endeavors.

Now, I am graduating to the UUCB Board to learn how it operates, to understand its culture. It’s my intention to learn more about the multiplicitous other cultures alive within UUCB and how we function/operate together. I will have many questions.

Beth Pollard
(2nd term, 2022-25)
Beth Pollard Being part of the team entrusted with leading this thoughtful, dynamic and caring community is a privilege. I am continually awed by the energy, love, and spirit that both underly and pop up in continual and unexpected ways on the Board and UUCB at large.Service as a church trustee has also been a growth experience in discovering its differences from local government management that has been my career.  There are some similarities – fiscal responsibility, policy development, and goal setting – to name a few. But at UUCB we have the added dimension of living in our covenant, guided by principles, that means an additional lens in the work of our Board.

This lens of UU faith, and the variety of angles through which we each view it, is also a source of strength to fulfill our mission this coming year and beyond. It will help UUCB to sharpen our focus on Widening our Circle to end racism and oppression. It will support our search for a settled minister to inspire and guide us. And will encourage us to continue to examine, explore, and experiment to continually evolve through changing times to be relevant, meaningful and impactful in our community and beyond. I would be honored to be re-elected to engage with the Board and the UUCB community on these and other opportunities and challenges.

David Rosales
(1st term, 2023-26)
David RosalesI’m from Texas and grew up around the NASA community, which sparked my fascination with the beauty of our planet and universe at all scales, from the quantum to the cosmological. I love exploring the latest research as well as science-fiction.

My personal interests include art and music as well as science and engineering. Professionally, I was the founder of a startup and am currently an executive in a large corporation. I believe my experiences in collaborative decision processes, listening to stakeholders, and managing change are helpful in the Trustee role at UUCB.

I am a member of the People of Color Caucus (PoCC), and a new member of the Lawrence Lecture Committee. I was a founding member of the “broadcaster” team which prepared a worship video every Sunday from March 2020 until livestream worship was established in 2022. I’m very proud of the work our worship and broadcast volunteers accomplished for our community.

I believe that people are inherently capable of being thoughtful, kind, and generous. I believe that the hard work of embracing and cultivating diversity (of thought, belief, culture, history, experience, etc) ultimately brings with it broader understanding, resilience, and adaptability as well as capacity for patience, tolerance, understanding, and change.

I believe in investing in family and youth programs, inclusivity and accessibility, and I fully support efforts to study and affect changes to fight systemic racism and white supremacy culture such as Widening the Circle of Concern and Working to Overcome White Supremacy.

Helen Toy
(1st term, 2024-27)
Helen ToyIt’s the people at UUCB! That’s why I’m running to join the Board. But that wasn’t why I came here. My arrival here was actually a mistake. A friend had told me that a church up in the Berkeley hills was a good one. Turns out he meant some other church! But I wound my way up to UUCB and have never looked back. At first it was the non-theology that sold me. In 2011, 2012, after I moved to Berkeley, I visited six other churches in town. All were far more conservative than the Episcopal church in Pasadena where I’d been a long-time member. Yet as soon as I drove up that steep hill in Kensington and saw the signs welcoming seekers and searchers, I gained hope. And the welcome I received from the Hamilton-Holways, as well as Aileen Hohmann, certainly raised that hope. The sermons settled it for me at the beginning. But then it was social justice. When Craig Scott started a drive to support youngsters in Richmond in becoming Dreamers, I was all in. Soon afterwards, he and others launched the Social Justice Council, which has done such exciting, important work in our local community. It has also done very special work here at UUCB. I joined the first meeting of LFDMC and the first gathering of WOWS and have been a member of both ever since. My particular connection has been with the SJC itself, where I’ve been involved in a long string of activities—and where I’ve been fortunate to make many good friends. And the longer I’ve been here, the more it is the people who bind me to this place: Rev Marcus now, of course, but so many others. And it’s our congregation, our principles and our programs at UUCB that make me want to offer whatever I can in support of this church. Even in the past year, since spending five months with so many extraordinary folks as we planned Social Justice Sunday, I felt such a love and respect for who they are—who we are as a community—all of which underscores that being of service here ranks high among my values. Feeling so fortunate to have wandered into this church, I truly am honored at being asked to run. I would be especially honored to be chosen as a member of the Board.
Ex-Officio (Appointed, Non-Voting) Members
Lisa Maynard, Treasurer
Appointed 2024
  Selene Fabiano, Secretary
Appointed 2022

Many thanks to outgoing members for your service on the Board: Bill Brown, Randall Hudson, Cordell Sloan, and treasurer Carolyn James.