Interim Minister, Rev. Connie Simon

RevConnie@uudavis.org

Member Pastoral Emergency: 530-564-8070

I was born and raised in Oxford, a small borough in southeastern Pennsylvania. My father was a WWII veteran and steelworker who died days before my eighth birthday. My mother was a seamstress and organist/choir director at the Presbyterian church we attended. I inherited my father’s love of travel and my mom’s talent for music and love of learning. I played the piano for all the school choruses and the saxophone and clarinet in marching band. Because I began school a year early and finished high school in three years, I started college as a music major at the age of 16 with the intention of pursuing a career writing movie scores.

After completing a degree in Telecommunications, I received a full academic scholarship to Northeastern University School of Law. I served for six years as Counsel to the Commissioner of Revenue and then spent 15 years in the telecommunications industry. I spent time as a small business owner and working in banking and for a non-profit before going to seminary. In my 40-year career, I’ve been a lawyer, a political consultant, an event planner, professor, realtor and social worker. At the heart of each of these careers has been my desire to serve others and make this a better world.

I enjoy being around people, especially to share a meal, watch a sporting event, laugh or make music. And I am an introvert so I also treasure my alone time when I can read, rest and recharge. I have a wide variety of interests and hobbies including sewing, scrapbooking, writing and genealogy. During seminary, the chair of my Intern Committee describes me as being in “constant, constructive motion.”

I haven’t married yet and didn’t have children, but I am a proud “auntie” of nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews ranging in age from 12 to 57. Both my parents, brothers and all my aunts and uncles are gone. Most of my extended family is still in the Delaware Valley and remains close. Because of my travels, I have good friends in all corners of the country. My constant companion is Rev. Dr. Janeetha Ridley (“Ridley” for short), a six-year-old Brussels Griffon mix I adopted during the pandemic.

I am deeply committed to Unitarian Universalism and its potential to transform our world. For that reason, it is important to me that I serve our faith. I am on the boards of the Meadville Lombard Theological School, the UU Ministers Association, and the UU Studies Network. I facilitate small groups for those in ministerial formation, conduct workshops and webinars on UU history, and am the editor of the Dictionary of Unitarian and Universalist Biography. I have served at the UU Fellowship of Lower Bucks, the Unitarian Society of Germantown, and the First Unitarian Church of Cincinnati. I am delighted to be with you at the UU Church of Davis for the next two years.

If you ask my friends, colleagues or congregants to describe me, I suspect they’d say smart, kind, insatiably curious, personable, loving, caring, organized, capable and a leader. Those who are very close to me might add eccentric and maybe even goofy. When I describe myself, I quote the author SARK and say, “I’m a creative spirit. I just came here to help.”

I’m looking forward to getting to know you!

Rev. C


RELIGIOUS EXPLORATION (RE)

staff_logvykate

Religious Educator: Kate Logvy

re@uudavis.org  / auction@uudavis.org (Auction Coordinator)

Part time, primarily works Sundays.

Since 2017, her efforts have ensured that we have reliable childcare, safe spaces, Religious Education programming and staffing, and a welcoming environment for families!

 

Yael LachmYouth Coordinator: Yael Lachman

youth@uudavis.org    Part time; primarily works Sundays.

The Youth Coordinator provides consistent leadership for activities and programs to junior and senior high school youth in the following programs: Middle School UU Group (MUUGs), Junior High Our Whole Lives (OWL), 9th grade Coming of Age (COA), and the High School Group (UUNIQUE).

Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, I discovered at a very young age that I loved teaching Sunday school, organizing youth groups, and helping congregations become truly intergenerational communities. My first spiritual formation took place in progressive Jewish congregations – communities that were equally committed to social justice and to daily spiritual practice. Building on this foundation, I spent many years practicing meditation in both Vipassana Buddhist and Christian contemplative communities. Along the way, I earned a Master’s degree in ecology and evolutionary biology, taught natural history and field sketching to students of all ages, and spent many years working in the youth services departments of several public libraries, where I organized book discussion groups, all-ages crafts, and after-school homework centers for middle school and high school students. I also had the good fortune to land in a Unitarian Universalist congregation, where I chaired the worship committee and helped organize the religious exploration program before heading off to seminary and becoming an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. Since then, I have led progressive, spiritually diverse congregations in Maine, Oregon, and California. While I love many, many parts of congregational life, my ongoing passion lies in helping children, youth, and families nourish their souls, discover their unique gifts, and joyfully offer those gifts to their communities and to the wider world.

And so it happened that in 2021, I decided to leave my work as Senior Minister in order to focus on children, youth, and families in congregations. Since then, I have served as congregational consultant, retreat leader, and spiritual director. I’ve also been able to devote more time to my art practice (I am a linocut printmaker); to my family (my parents and siblings live in Northern California); and to building a beautiful life here in Davis with my wife, Chris Rubio, and our three Maine Coon cats (Chris and I were married right here at UUCD last October!) As the new church year begins, I am very much looking forward to supporting joyful religious exploration and intergenerational community here at UUCD.

 


MUSIC MINISTRY 

music@uudavis.org        Part time.

Music Director, LuAnn Higgs, (Formerly Pianist & Digital Audio Choral Technician) a Davis native, is Director of the Davis Children’s Chorale and interim accompanist for the Davis Community Chorale.  She can be found as a Staff Accompanist for California State University Sacramento, where she frequently vocal directs the Department of Theatre and Dance’s musical productions.  She is also the Director of the Congregation B’nai Israel High Holy Day Choir in Sacramento.  She has completed some years of study at UC Davis, CSU Sacramento, and at die Hochschule der Musik und darstellende Kunst in Vienna, but her main influence and muse was pianist Louise Savage, currently of Boulder, Colorado, whom she studied with for many years.  In Davis, you may have seen her on the stage in many Davis Comic Opera Company productions, also as accompanist for “Citizens Who Care” fundraisers. LuAnn teaches both voice and piano privately in her home studio in Sacramento.

Juuliebells Handbell & Handchime Co-Director: Linda Birse 

Linda BirseLinda Birse: After Linda earned her BA in Music and a Standard Secondary Teaching Credential, she taught vocal and instrumental music for many years in Esparto, Bakersfield and Davis.  While teaching fulltime, she earned her MA in Education/Counseling and a Multiple Subjects Credential, as well as a Pupil Personnel Services Credential.  Linda taught 5th grade for 16 years at Patwin Elementary, having her students perform musical comedies that she wrote.  In 2013, Linda joined the Juuliebells as a ringer, began conducting in 2016, and became co-director in 2018.

 

Juuliebells Handbell & Handchime Co-Director: Kyria Boundy-MillsKyria Boundy-Mills

Kyria joined the Juuliebells in 2014, and became the co-director in 2021. She minored in music at Hope College in Holland, Michigan, with an emphasis on piano performance. She was the accompanist for the Willett Elementary School Chorus from 2006 to 2013, and has accompanied the seasonal UUCD Family Choir. Since 2016, she has played keyboard with It’s About Time, a 17-piece community jazz big band.

Juuliebells was established in 2010 by Barbara Meixner, Director.  


OFFICE STAFF

Congregational Administrator: Mandy Dawn

(530) 753-2581 (leave a message), office@uudavis.org / rentals@uudavis.org

Full Time (M-F, 9am-5pm);

Answers emails, 9am-3pm, Monday – Thursday.

My position serves as a point of welcome, contact, and connection for visitors, newcomers, Members, Friends, Staff, and other organizations.  I support the work of UUCD staff and leadership through communication, publications, calendaring, and collaboration.

As Administrator, I work with our Financial Manager as part a team that supports the financial workings of the church, including budgeting, bill pay, payroll, hiring, and rental contracts.  We also work to support the Financial Officer, Stewardship Team, and Human Resources.

Along with the Facilities Coordinator, my position helps to support the Operations Co-Chairs, who in-turn support the Board vision by problem-solving as issues arise.

I’ve worked at UUCD since 2004.

 

staff_olsendebrahFinancial Manager: Debrah Olsen

bookkeeper@uudavis.org

Part time, 20 hours per week (remote, usually Monday, Wednesday, Friday).

Working with the Congregational Administrator, Financial Officer, and Operations Co-Chairs, I provide accurate accounting and business records utilizing generally accepted accounting practices and standards for nonprofits.  I’ve worked at UUCD since 2015.

Financial Manager Essential Functions (partial list; for a full list, contact office@uudavis.org):  Implements financial policies and practices put in place by the Board of Trustees.  Follow Generally Accepted Accounting Practices (GAAP).  Maintains appropriate and accurate financial records for the Church.  Prepare monthly financial reporting package and budget preparation.  Timely prepare and report local, state, and federal taxes.  Process quarterly and annual payroll tax reports as required.  Receive, record, and ensure acknowledgment of all gifts, donations, and cash receipts.

 

Jake WhittakerFacilities Coordinator: Jake Whittaker

facilities@uudavis.org

Facilities Coordinator is a New Position!

Maintenance, Repairs, Security

Part time, 20 hours per week (on-site Tuesdays and Fridays; remotely Wednesday afternoons).

Report a Facilities Problem

Jake Whittaker brings experience as a naval officer, educator, and handyman to his new position as facilities coordinator. He takes pride in being versatile and quick to learn. He is not afraid to get his hands dirty or take things apart to figure out how they work. He values teamwork, community, and humanity. Born in Sacramento and raised in Stockton, Jake is an alumnus of Cornell University and UC Davis. Beyond book-learning, he has acquired world experience by sojourning in England, China, and Canada and visiting over a dozen other countries. He speaks Chinese fluently, reads French, and knows tidbits of several other foreign languages. A long-time Davis resident, Jake currently lives in Sacramento with his family. In his free time, he enjoys reading, writing, hiking, and music.