Our congregation is self-governing. The overall management of congregational activities is supervised by an elected Board of Trustees acting in accordance with established bylaws. The Board delegates management of specific activities to lay leaders, committees or other groups. Ministers are chosen by the congregation. Ultimate authority resides in the members of the Congregation.
Board meetings are held on the First Tuesday of each month. They begin at 6:30 PM in the Board Room (and on Zoom hybrid), and are open to all.
Meet The Board:
LESLIE NORINSKY, PRESIDENT
It was the late 1990s when I first walked through the doors of the UU Fellowship on Stony Point Road. I was looking for a community, and I had had fond memories of getting to know some UU members through my young adulthood as a member of the Berkeley Co-op, where many UUs were active. I found more than just community at the UU Fellowship. Raised by parents who eschewed religion of any sort, I did not find dogma. Instead, I found a people who individually had different ideas about the great unknown universe, about the concept of God, and about what this whole “life” thing – this existence we share with one another – is about. I found a people who shared laughter and meals and music together.
My relationship with our UU congregation has been a lot like a marriage, with ups and downs and compromises and lots of learning about myself. Over the years I have worked with the youth group teaching the OWL program to teens, I have been a worship associate, and I have worked on the committee that planned the annual All-Congregation Retreat. Hey, I even met my husband at a retreat. Upon retiring in 2017 from both teaching and high school administration, I found ways to contribute to the congregation through my membership in the Diversity Project and the Borders and Beyond committees. I am proud of our work and so happy to be a member of a congregation that is growing, not in the sense of numbers, although that is important as well, but in the sense of allowing each of us to expand our thinking, our compassion towards one another, and towards ourselves.
DAVID REITZELL, VICE PRESIDENT
BIO AND PHOTO TO COME
JAN HESS, TREASURER )
After I retired as a Project Manager from Sonoma County Facilities Dept; I began a journey to work on my spiritual life. I have been a UUCSR member for 17 years. in addition to attending Services and Buddhist Meditation I have worked on various committees, including Endowment, Finance, Budget, Welcome Table, and Glaser Center. As a worker bee, I have helped with the Library, Candles, Sunday Money Counting, and Office Helper. I am very committed to this Community and will do everything possible to further our mission.
SCOTT MILLER, CORPORATE SECRETARY
Scott Miller has been a member of UUCSR since 2006. He served as a Worship Associate for several years. He also has served as an OWL teacher, as an RE teacher, and as a musician, and he has also been active in supporting the men’s retreats and men’s gatherings. He attends with his wife Susan and child Noah (11 as of 2021), and he and Susan have long attended Art of UU Parenting classes. In his professional life, he is a Professor of English at Sonoma State University.
MARGARET BREGGER COSTON
MARGARET BREGGER COSTON is a third generation UU and has been part of congregations of all sizes and in many areas of the country. Since the death of her husband in 2013, she has returned home and become fully committed to this community. Her career as a nutritionist was in diverse communities in the county hospitals of San Mateo and San Francisco and the last 20 years with Sonoma County Indian Health Project before retiring in 2004.
Currently, she coordinates with a partner a Soul Matters Group and the Welcome Table. She participates in the Wednesday meditation group, Saturday morning breakfast, the Older and Bolder ladies, the neighborhood and book groups, and the Borders and Beyond Committee. She is motivated to serve UUCSR on the board during this critical transition period.
In the mid-1990’s, I joined a Unitarian Universalist congregation in the Los Angeles area. I felt I found a community of like-minded people who could explore spiritual growth and social justice. Most of my adult life I considered my social justice and anti-war activism my religion. Along the way my UU friends showed me how to expand my spiritual self. And I continue to explore the “the interdependent web of all existence” around me. During this time, for thirty plus years I worked in healthcare administration from managing a tribal health center to managing the resident doctor training program of a large hospital.
When I retired I moved to Sonoma County and immediately looked for a UU community, which brought me to UUCSR. Here I found a congregation willing to risk taking on difficult issues and struggling to be together as they move forward. In addition to being on the Board, I work with the Human Resources Committee, volunteer as an office helper and participate in the book club. I have facilitated a Soul Matters group, helped with Saturday Breakfast and annual auctions.
Joining the Board will give me another opportunity to contribute to the UUCSR community.
Maria Praetzellis has attended UUCSR since 2017 and became a member in 2018. Maria grew up in Santa Rosa and moved away after finishing high school. After many years away, including ten years in NYC, she happily returned to the area to be closer to family in 2016. Maria works in the library technology field for the University of California, specializing in research data and developing tools supporting Open Science. Maria has served as Chair of COSM for the past two years. You may recognize Maria’s oldest child, Diana (13 years), who recently played The Grinch in UUCSR’s holiday pageant. Her son, Xavier (6 years), can generally be found in search of cookies after service on Sunday.
I first learned about UUCSR when I was invited by a member to join a newly formed UU meditation group. I soon became aware that our minister (Rev. Dan O’Neal) was dying, and that he was choosing to share his journey with the congregation. Impressed by the sensitivity, thoughtfulness, and compassion displayed by everyone involved in this process, I decided I wanted to be part of this loving congregation and joined in 1995.
Since then, I have been involved in many different aspects of UUCSR. I served on the board at the time we moved to our downtown building – a tumultuous joyful optimistic step into the future. I’ve been on the Glaser Center Committee as well as the Endowment, Stewardship, and Human Resources committees, and am currently co-chair of the wonderful Adult Education Committee.
In my career I focused on social justice and programs that originated with Lyndon Baines Johnson’s War on Poverty. Much of what is happening in our country right now is deeply disturbing. I am grateful to stand with fellow UU’s to hold the vision of a loving, equitable and inclusive society – and to work together to make that happen.
RICHARD J. SENGHAS has been a member of UUCSR since the late 1990s. He’s served the Nominating Committee, and has been a member of the Worship Associates since 2018. He joined UUCSR when he moved to Sonoma County to join the Department of Anthropology at Sonoma State University as a linguistic anthropologist. He currently serves as chair of that department. At SSU, he’s been active in faculty governance, including as Chair of the Faculty. Richard’s field research centers around the emergence of a new sign language in Nicaragua, exploring processes of community formation and language change. Before his academic career, he worked in Silicon Valley in various R&D startups. Richard is also a founding member of FrogSong Cohousing in Cotati, where he and his family have lived since 2003.
RECORDING SECRETARY- KATHRYN ALBURY