History of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto

The 90s: Expanding Leadership

Rev. Ken Collier
Rev. Ken Collier

Following the resignation of Rev. Bill Jacobsen, Rev. Sam Wright served as Interim Minister from 1990-1991. On May 5, 1991, Rev. Kenneth W. (Ken) Collier was called to be the fourth settled minister.

In the mid 1990s, a Worship Associate program was instituted. Worship Associates work with the ministers in planning and conducting the service, lighting the chalice, and presenting original or specially selected readings.

An Intern Minister program, a year-long student apprenticeship coordinated with the Starr King School for the Ministry, was instituted in 1995. Our interns have included Tom Rhodes, Duane Fickeisen, Paul Daniels, C. Elizabeth (Liz) Brown, and Pam Allen-Thompson.

Rev. Scotty Mclennan
Scotty McLennan

From 1998 to 2001 Erinn Melby served as UUCPA’s first Community Minister and directed a Pastoral Associates program. Jean Heriot served as Community Minister from 2001 to 2003. Our current Community Minister is William (Scotty) McLennan.

Social action continues to be an important part of congregational life. In 1994, UUCPA began the process of becoming a Welcoming Congregation. Members attended a series of classes culminating with official recognition as a Welcoming Congregation by the UUA in 1998. Principles again went into practice in 1999 when the congregation voted unanimously to oppose the Knight initiative that bans same sex marriages in California.

In 1997, UUCPA joined with other area churches to form Peninsula Interfaith Action (PIA). The congregation decided to focus on education and initiated RIPPLES, a program which provided church volunteers at an elementary school for before-school story reading, and tutors for the after-school students at Besse Bolton Kids Club. The tutoring portion of the program is completing its eighth year in 2005, and the congregation continues to work with PIA on affordable housing and health care.

Rev. Darcey Laine
Rev. Darcey Laine

Through the years the Religious Education program has been the life-blood of the church. In the 1990s the number of children enrolled in RE grew steadily, the youth group was reestablished and thrived, and adult RE classes were reinstated. Edith Parker served as Religious Education Director from 1988 to 1998. The Reverend Til Evans was Interim Minister of Religious Education from 1998-99 and in 2000 UUCPA made a major commitment by calling the Reverend Darcey Laine as the settled Minister of Religious Education.

History of UUCPA, Index
The Early Years: Building a Church
1960s - 1980s: UUCPA and Social Unrest
The 90s: Expanding Leadership
Religious Education and Music: Centering the Community
The 21st Century: Building a Church Continued
New Parish Minister is Called

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