Working Committees


The work of the church never stops, and it takes both our dedicated staff and many volunteers to keep the church running!

Serving on a committee or team can be a great way to get to know others and understand how we keep the wheels turning at First Unitarian. All committees, unless elected by the congregation, are open to new members anytime!

Accessibility Team

Contact: accessibility@ucdsm.org.

The Accessibility Team advocates for those with varying abilities. Members  identify issues and work on strategies to make persons with mobility, visual and hearing needs feel welcome. In addition, our Board of Trustees has made monitoring accessibility issues a regular part of its agenda.

Accessibility Team:

  • LeeAnn Back (she/her/hers)
  • Janice Hawkins (she/her/hers)
  • Donald Shephard (he/him/his)

Adult RE Council

Members: Walter Pearson, Chair; Ginger Nekvinda; Heidi Lackmann; Linda Lemons; and Susan Seitz.

  • Susan Seitz leads Circle Suppers, which is being launched this summer with about 60 participants.
  • Heidi Lackmann leads mUUvie nights, which has already launched with a monthly movie showing and discussion.
  • Kathy Mercuris is organizing Tai Chi, which will continue a day session this Summer and Fall and expects to launch an evening session soon.
  • Linda Lemons is shepherding three book groups organized around Parker Palmer’s book A Hidden Wholeness . This will launch this summer.

Art Gallery Committee

Contact: Jean Tauber (she/her/hers), chair, art@ucdsm.org

The Art Gallery Committee recruits artists, reviews applications, and makes final selection of artists who will exhibit their work in Griffin Hall Gallery. Guided by the Art Gallery Policy the committee has final approval of all work exhibited in the gallery. A liaison from the committee will work with the artist on arrangements for hanging the show and any publicity, reception or artist talk. The committee endeavors to meet quarterly, sometimes at interesting “artsy” locations offsite.

If you would like to show your artwork at First Unitarian, please complete our Application Form.

Art Gallery Committee:

  • Jean Tauber (she/her/hers),  Chair
  • Ron Bowerman (he/him/his)
  • Larry Bredeson (he/him/his)
  • Janis Elliott (she/her/hers)
  • Charles Mertes (he/him/his)

A/V Team

Contact: Bill Allen (he/him/his), avteam@ucdsm.org

The Audio/Visual Team operates the sound board for Sunday services and special occasions/events. Some training is required to understand how to operate the sound board and learn the procedures for video recording the services. If you have an interest in joining this team, please contact Bill Allen.

Building Team

Contact: buildingteam@ucdsm.org

The Building Team monitors issues with building maintenance, coordinating repairs. If you notice a building issue, contact the Building Team and they will work with Charlie to get the problem addressed. We are using a team approach now that Charlie is working remotely, to ensure efficient communication on issues. If you have skills with building maintenance that you’d be willing to share with the church, or are interested in serving on the Building Team, please contact us.

Building Team:

  • Alice Stewart (she/her/hers/they/them/theirs), Chair
  • Louise Alcorn (she/her/hers)
  • Christen Bain (she/her/hers)
  • Patty Notch (she/her/hers)

Endowment Committee

Contact:   endowment@ucdsm.org.

Our Endowment Fund is managed by a seven-member committee responsible for promoting the importance of the Fund to our church’s financial stability and educating members about ways to contribute. The committee is elected by the congregation to staggered, three-year terms. Elections take place at our annual congregational meeting on the first Sunday after Memorial Day. Oversight of our fund investments is carried out according to the Endowment Fund by-laws.

If you are interested in serving on the Endowment Committee, contact a member of the Board of Trustees Nominating Committee at nominate@ucdsm.org.

2020-21 Endowment Committee:

  • Dawn Connet (2024)
  • Deidre Fudge, chair (2023)
  • Marilyn Lantz (2024)
  • Jean Rommes (2023)

 

Faith Formation Council

The Faith Formation Council (FFC) creates a faith development program plan which strengthens and clarifies the ethical, moral and spiritual lives of our UU children and youth. The roles of the FFC include:

  • Making Faith Formation policies
  • Creating, reviewing and evaluating programs
  • Securing resources (volunteers, space, funding) to support our Faith Formation plans

The Council commitment is a two-year term with 10-11 meetings per year. Current members are:

  • Sally Boeckholt (she/her/hers)
  • Chelsea Hayes (she/her/hers)
  • Anne Stamper (she/her/hers)

Grounds Council

Contact: Doug Aupperle (he/him/his), grounds@ucdsm.org

The Grounds Council meets periodically to discuss the priorities of managing our church grounds, to plan work days, and to communicate these needs to the church community. Goals include maintaining established flower beds using volunteer “adopters;” general weeding and sprucing up of the grounds, parking lots, entryways, sidewalks, and patio area; maintaining play equipment; maintaining the trails and labyrinth in the woods; controlling storm water runoff and erosion; and improving the bio-diversity of the plants. Meetings happen as needed. If you’re interested in learning more or joining the Grounds Council, contact them any time.

Memorial Receptions Committee

Contact: Susan Jellinger (she/her/hers), memorialreceptions@ucdsm.org

When there is a death in our church community, the Memorial Receptions Committee is called upon to provide set-up and refreshments following a memorial service, funeral or celebration of life.

For more information please see When a Loved One Dies.

Religious Services Celebrants

Contact: Rev. Amy Petrie Shaw (they/them/their), revamy@ucdsm.org

Our Religious Services Celebrants are a team of 10+ members of our church who work with our minister and each other to support our service themes. A celebrant is assigned to each Sunday service and works closely with our minister or guest speaker to help with the selection of readings, music, and other liturgical elements, such as opening words, meditations and a celebrant reflection. A celebrant attends quarterly planning sessions in addition to the meetings required for working on particular services. Celebrants serve  two-year terms upon invitation of the Senior Minister. If you’re interested in serving as a celebrant, please contact the minister.

For more detailed information and a list of current celebrants, please see Service Celebrants.

Youth Advisory Council (YAC)

Members of YAC meet the first Sunday of each month to discuss the integration of youth in all aspects of church activities and help with the High School Youth Group (YRUU).

Youth Members:

  • Max Jenson
  • Rachel Brauch
  • Jasper Countryman
  • Torin Lackmann

 Adult Members:

  • Sally Boeckholt (she/her/hers)
  • Mark Metz