CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates of Contra Costa Co.) recruits, trains, and supports volunteer advocates as a powerful voice for the best interest of abused and neglected children during the court process, in order to help every child ultimately thrive in a stable and permanent home and complete their education.
Creating loving community • Inspiring spiritual growth • Encouraging lives of integrity, joy, and service
Board of Trustees
The Board of Trustees meets on the first Wednesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. Visitors are welcome. Agenda packets can be downloaded from the Church Documents page. Below are the candidates’ statements written by the current elected members of the Board.
Maryann Simpson, President
Maryann has been attending UUCB for 30 years. She has served on many committees including the ministerial search committee, recently coordinated the ushers, and currently is on the RE advisory council. Maryann is married to Cynthia and both of them are very proud of their daughter Rev. Aija Simpson, currently serving the UU Church of the Cumberland Valley.
I started attending a Unitarian Universalist Church in 2005. I was looking for community where my beliefs, or, more pointedly, my “un-beliefs” wouldn’t make me an outsider. In 2011 we moved to Oakland and went searching for a UU church where we would feel at home. We found it at UUCB. In 2012 we became members.
I am retired from California State Parks as a Park Ranger. After being a banker for 30 years I worked for Juvenile Hall and then State Parks. I’ve served on community boards in the past that did economic development and affordable housing. As a board member I learned to listen, do the homework, and to stay focused on principles and sustainability.
I am currently a volunteer teacher’s aide at Coronado Elementary School in Richmond, and my wife and I both teach and assist Kindergarten and First Grade Religious Education at UUCB. I think the Board of Trustees is a way that I can be of service to our congregation in return for what I’ve received. I think we have a debt to those who came before us. What they established, we need to maintain, strengthen, and grow. I think a trustee needs to be a leader when it’s called for and a good follower as well.
Lee Helena Lawrence (Term 2017-20)
Lee Helena Lawrence
I’m interested in helping implement some of the top priorities emerging from our congregational Cafe Conversations: increasing our diversity and outreach, increasing UUCB’s public presence and voice in the community and at Cal Berkeley, and increasing member engagement at UUCB. I support our participation with CCISCO, the multi-racial, multi-cultural congregation based community organizing group we may vote to join this February. I hope we can provide opportunities for member engagement and growth at UUCB and in the community, empowering us to deepen and transform ourselves and others in the spirit of our UU values. I hope our style of governance and coordination can be consistent with our UU principles and convenant.
A life-long UU, I joined UUCB in 2001, founding the UUCB snack table and convening it for 8 years. I also founded Humanist Connections in 2003, which meets weekly for engaged discussions with 30-35 people, and participated in many social justice activities, bringing the No on Prop 8 phone bank, and noted speakers (George Lakoff, etc.) to our church. I was a founding board member of the Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry, served on the board of the Starr King School, the board of the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, and the board of the League of Women Voters of Diablo Valley, where I currently serve as Co-President. I’m a retired clinical psychologist and former faculty member at Harvard University.
Cynthia (Cindy) Maxim
My partner, Jean Hyams, and I became members of UUCB in Fall, 2013. We came to UUCB seeking a community of like-minded people, and have felt held closely by our beloved community ever since. In addition to participating in several singular events – celebrations, a Harmony Walk, concerts, community suppers and the like – I have been a member of three chalice circles (including two as a co-facilitator.) I feel I’ve gotten so much from UUCB, and serving on the Board is a way of giving back. It’s a role I saw my parents play; they were active participants in the life of our church as we were growing up and held many positions there, including each serving terms as Board President.I’ve spent my career in healthcare, working in various positions including the clinical laboratory, the operating room, and quality assurance. I’m now a public health consultant for a small company. Our work focuses on helping local organizations get the funding and tools to help those in our community most in need, including those with HIV, trans people, and low income families. We also have a subspecialty in disaster planning for governments. It’s a job requiring strong organizational skills, good listening, and an ability to think creatively – skills that I will bring to my role on the Board of Trustees.
When I joined UUCB in 1989, it was because it sparked that part of me that was seeking community and spirituality. In the years since, it has not failed to provide me with connections and growth opportunities that both pull me into the comfort of belonging and push me to the outer edges of my comfort zone and beyond. And now – being on the Board of Trustees – I’m drawn in curiosity to ideas yet to be known, analyzing and evaluating what is and could be, and figuring things out collectively with other leadership and the congregation.
It has been my honor to be involved UUCB in various way over the years: Coordinating Team, Stewardship, Finance, and Interim Minister Search Committees, Chalice Circles – to name a few. Far and away the most rewarding was being on the Minister Search Team that led to calling the Revs. Kristin and Christian Schmidt.
Being part of community governance has been my vocational passion. So much so that I obtained a master ‘s degree in public administration, and have worked in local government for more than 35 years. Whether it’s being a city manager or an agency director, I like exploring what is desirable and possible and working with others to make it happen. Now, being a Trustee, I get to tap into what I’ve learned from my work and challenge myself further in my faith community.
My husband Karl and I grew up as United Methodists, but eventually realized that what the church told us to believe and what we really thought were increasingly far apart. After many years of leisurely Sunday mornings filled with brunches and crossword puzzles, we were reasonably content but still felt something was missing in our lives. We attended a Christmas Eve service at UUCB and knew immediately that we’d found a new spiritual home.
In non-church life I work as a Vice President at Bank of America, ensuring our technology stays compliant with changing regulations. My position requires me to bring different teams together to work toward a common goal. My strengths in consensus building and problem resolution are also an excellent fit for the Board of Trustees at UUCB.
The reincarnation of a Roman gladiator, Cordell is currently the last living devotee of the mystic cult of Mithraism. While on a spelunking trip in the Pyrenees, he witnessed the emergence of Mithras from the rock wall of the cave, carrying a dagger in one hand and a torch in the other. As flames shot from the god’s Phrygian cap, he commanded the astonished Cordell to lead the revival of his devotion.
Unable to find any other Mithraists to lead, Cordell wandered far and wide, attempting to convince others of the reality of his vision. Finally someone made a suggestion that changed his life: “Why don’t you join the Unitarians? They’ll take anybody.” Finding his way to UUCB, he soon realized that he had found a spiritual home.
Logan Stump-Vernon, Vice President:
Hi, I’m Logan Stump-Vernon, I’m 27 years old, and I’ve been attending this church for 27 years. I grew up here and this is one of the few places I can really call home. I care about it very deeply. I am running for the board because I believe in the heart of this church. I believe in its capacity for connection and empathy. I do truly believe that we can be a “Beacon on the Hill”. I know it might sound kind of cheesy but since I was young that phrase has embodied what I believe this church can be. A place of shining light where all are welcome and where we build the beloved community. Getting there may be difficult and we have a lot of work to do but I think we can get there. I believe in us.
I’ve served this church in many capacities over the years, from most recently as a board member and middle/high school adviser, to being an usher at Christmas Eve and dishwashing and waiting for events as a kid. Each and every one of those roles and jobs has given me as much as I’ve given to them. Serving this church has been one of my lifelong loves and I hope to continue doing so. I believe I bring a fresh perspective and new and different ways of viewing old problems. I’ve been serving the wider UU faith since 14, serving as youth leader for the Pacific central district of the UUA and now helping to run the district’s middle school program. Through these and my work at UUCB I’ve gained many tools that I believe can help us navigate these critical times. By building deep connections, by keeping an eye on the details but making sure to never lose sight of the bigger picture, and by honestly trusting each other we can become the Beacon on the Hill.
Ray WestergardCoordinator of UUCB Volunteers for GRIP
UUCB Coordinating Team
Ann Harlow, EditorUUCB The Week Ahead
Ann Harlow, EditorUUCB Beacon on the Hill
Lonnie Moseley, ChairUUCB Pathways to Adventure and Spiritual Growth
UUCB Stewardship Committee
Nancy (Kelly) KellyUUCB Social Justice Council
UUCBPastoral CareReaching out to those who need caring attention.
UUCB Communications Team
Rev. Kristin SchmidtSenior Co-Minister, UUCB
Thank you for writing.
I check email when I am in the office on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. My writing days are Wednesdays.
During my office hours I can be reached at the church at 510-525-0302 ext. 303. Outside of office hours, or if you have a pastoral care emergency, please call me directly at 510-592-8738 and leave a message with your name, whether you are calling with an emergency need (serious illness, death, trauma, etc.), and how I can best reach you when returning your call. I will respond to urgent and emergency messages as soon as I can and all other messages the next time I am in the church office.
The Rev. Kristin Grassel Schmidt
Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley