Reverend Mary Ganz

Sabbatical Minister for Reverend Amy Zucker Morgenstern from July through December 2016

Rev. Amy Zucker MorgensternGreetings, good people of UUCPA! I am so glad to have the opportunity to be with you as your part-time sabbatical minister when Rev. Amy and her family are away, July through December. I feel honored to have been chosen to walk with you a little way on your journey.
I was born in Kansas City, MO; my family moved around a lot during my childhood, finally settling in Quincy, IL, on the Mississippi River, where I went to junior high and high school. I went to DePauw University, majored in American Literature and edited the college newspaper. Journalism was my vocation, and during college I was lucky to be able to get summer jobs at my hometown paper. I went to graduate school (the first time) at Northwestern U, and began my career as a reporter for the Associated Press in Chicago, then New Orleans and San Francisco, where I also worked for the Examiner, when it was the Hearst paper.
I married and had a son and a daughter, now in their 30s. I have two grandboys, 6 and 3, who live in Boston. I am now married to another UU minister, JD Benson, and she has a son in his 20s. We live in Walnut Creek.
An important formative experience in my young(er) adulthood was living four years in Japan, where the Examiner briefly had a bureau. After I returned, I left daily journalism and ran a bureau of Children’s Express, bringing together kids from the suburbs, the hills, and the distressed Oakland neighborhood around the CE office. Working with these young people, watching how they opened to one another across chasms of difference, filled me with gratitude and made me want to go deeper in my own life – opening hearts, transforming lives, building community, working against racism. After arguing with myself over the course of many years, I entered seminary in 2002. I split my internship between the UU Church of San Francisco and the Faithful Fools Street Ministry in the Tenderloin. I was ordained in 2006 by the Oakland UU church, and I went on to serve UU congregations in Arlington, VA, and Brewster, MA.
Two years ago JD and I decided it was time to come home to the Bay Area. I had long wished to serve again at the Faithful Fools, and that is now my “other” half-time job. There’s a good chance I will be bringing stories from the streets to the pulpit at UUCPA.
What matters to me most in ministry? Building community across difference, walking with each other through hard and joyful times, deep conversations about how we make lives of goodness and meaning. I love worship, small groups, pastoral care; it is a precious gift to be invited into people’s lives the way a minister often is. I have enjoyed working in congregations with more than one minister, and I am looking forward to getting to know Rev. Dan and the strong staff at UUCPA. I’m not a great coffee hour networker or schmoozer, but I love conversation, so for heaven’s sake don’t hesitate to start one with me!
Schedules are still a work in progress but I believe I will be in the office on Wednesdays. My email address will be, and the office will have my cellphone number.




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