Boise Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

Search Committee Profiles

Linden Boice

I grew up as a UU in Tucson. Consequently, I have always felt comfortable discussing religion and philosophy with people of many worldviews. My spouse, Cathy Carmen, and I became active in BUUF in 1998. Our two daughters have grown with the Fellowship. I’m a UU, a HUUmanist, and an atheist who recognizes and appreciates that everyone’s spiritual/philosophical journey is different. I served at least 10 years as a children’s RE guide from Preschool to Junior High, 6 years on Stewardship Committees (including as co-chair), and 3 years on the Committee on Ministry. I’ve been a Coming of Age Mentor (twice), and Boston Bounder chaperone. I’m an engineer at Hewlett Packard, and an outdoor enthusiast – especially of whitewater rafting and camping. My favorite special services are Coming of Age and Senior High School Bridging, because UU youth always renew my hopes for the future.

David Clopton

I'm happy to have found my spiritual home in the Boise Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. I began attending regularly sixteen years ago and have participated in a wide variety of church activities including Landscaping, Congregational Care Team, Men's Chalice Circles, Building Maintenance, and the Board. Sunday services are my most valued church activity and I appreciate the diversity, ritual, and personal growth of our services.

I'm proud of the role the Boise UU church serves in the Boise community and the many ways the congregation serves the community via social action activities.

My wife, Debbie Johnson, is the Boise UU Treasurer and we share our passion for UU faith. I enjoy remodeling the office/mancave house, hiking, boating, and woodworking.

Our congregation is successfully transitioning from a long term settled minister and I'm very excited about what our future minister will bring to our church and congregation.

Elton Hall

Born into a fundamentalist Baptist community, I gave up this faith in high school because I was introduced to the Darwinian ideas of evolution. When I met my wife of 53 years in college, I was introduced to Unitarian Universalism and was married by a UU minister in San Diego. For 40 years, I taught philosophy and religious studies (both Western and Eastern) at various universities and colleges. During much of that time, involvement with UU congregations was sporadic—a little at First Church of L.A., and congregations in Santa Barbara, Ventura and, more frequently, Santa Paula, CA. Upon retiring in 2002, we moved to Boise and found the congregation here warm, welcoming, and dynamic. Having made presentations (sermons, if a lay person can deliver such) in some of these churches, I began doing the same at BUUF, giving one or two a year to the present. The previous settled minister and I co-taught a course a year in the Adult Religious Exploration program. And I do a course a year for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Boise State University.

Since becoming a member of BUUF, I’ve served on numerous committees and the board, eventually joining the board of the Pacific Northwest District, where I served as president for two years. The most rewarding was a long stint on the BUUF Committee on Ministry (which also encompassed conflict resolution and ministerial support), and on the Personnel Committee. At present, I am part of the PNWD Healthy Congregations Team.

What made BUUF home for me was its diversity. As a genuine welcoming congregation, LGBT issues and concerns have been integrated into BUUF on the personal and institutional levels, resulting in deep friendships and good social justice work. Being an isolated congregation, various religious points of view cannot drift to one congregation or another as sometimes happens in large metropolitan areas. We are the UU church for the Treasure Valley, and so our congregation consists of working class and down home, professional and intellectual, members, including many economic levels, and is altogether interactive, always pushing our (often unconscious) boundaries in healthy ways. This is the richest congregation I have had the privilege of participating in, and I am grateful for its living presence.

Wanda Jennings

The Boise Unitarian Universalist Fellowship is my home, my community, the people I love. Every interaction brings me joy! I love the choir, the joys and sorrows, the sermons, the meditations, the congregational commentary, and the hymns. I love to walk the labyrinth, to smell the beautiful flowers, to walk across our bridge to our sister church in Romania.

One of the highlights of being a Unitarian Universalist for me was in 2012 when we stood on the side of love at the Justice General Assembly in Phoenix, as we joined the protest at Sheriff Joe Arpio’s Tent City Jail and demanded justice for immigrants. I enjoy the interactions with the children, whether as a teacher in the Religious Exploration program, at the potlucks, or watching them light the chalice on Sunday mornings.

Highlights for me at BUUF through the years have included the dedication of our new building, the dedication of the Peace Pole, the dedication of trees for various members, Deck the Halls services, times when I have told my story from the pulpit, as well as times when I have been the celebrant.

Because this place means so much to me I am happy to volunteer my time and give my money to make BUUF the wonderful place that it is.

Patty Nakaoki

It was with great joy and little relief that I joined BUUF in 2009. In college, I had been flirting with Unitarianism and joined the First Unitarian Church of St. Louis in 1980, soon after graduating from Washington University (founded by a UU minister) with a B.S. in Civil Engineering. Starting in 1990 my career at Procter & Gamble took me to a new location every 2 to 4 years, so even though I still considered myself a UU, and attended church when I could, I never joined another church. When I was searching for a long-term retirement location, I visited Boise, and was delighted to find a healthy, vibrant UU congregation.

It was great to move to Boise, and join BUUF, especially knowing that I would be staying here for the long-term. I finally had a “church home” after nearly 20 years as a “nomad”. Initially I joined the Fundraising Committee and found myself working hard on the annual Auction. Being a confirmed coffee-holic, I also thought it only fair to join the Hospitality Committee and brew my share of java. Since I love to travel, it’s natural that I became a founding member of the Travel Bugs, we can travel vicariously to a new destination every month. In addition I am a regular BUUF volunteer at the Boise Farmers’ Market EBT booth, and at the Interfaith Sanctuary Shelter.

Will Smith

I was born and raised in Boise, and I’ve grown up with Unitarian Universalism from an early age. The Boise UU Fellowship has provided for me a sense of stability in community and allowed me to cultivate moral awareness. I’ve been a student at all levels of BUUF’s religious education classes including the Coming of Age and Our Whole Lives programs, the Bridging Ceremony, and BUUF’s Junior High students’ trek to Boston (the Boston Bounders).

Boise UU has provided me channels to explore and participate in social justice issues that have resonance in my life: Habitat for Humanity, Boise’s LGBTQ Pride Parade and Idaho’s minimum wage initiative. My concern with food insecurity issues motivates me in my work as Nutrition Director at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Ada County as well as in my volunteer work through BUUF’s involvement in the annual CROP Hunger Walk.

I’m also involved in BUUF’s music program as a regular performer for Sunday services and other events. Boise’s vibrant and growing music scene has inspired and nurtured my musical endeavors. Beyond the arts and culture that abounds in Boise, it is immersed in nature, filled with parks and wildlife reserves, and divided by the Boise river and it’s greenbelt. These I sojourn to spiritually connect with the world. I’m a proud Boisenian and UU and I’m pleased to offer my time and services in honor of this beloved community!

Lori Watsen

I was raised in the Mormon/LDS faith and church activities were a big part of my childhood and youth. In college, I came out as a lesbian and left the LDS church. I come from a large family (I have 5 siblings) – and my parents and siblings are incredibly supportive of me and my family.

I became interested in issues of social justice during my years at Reed College and was a Teach for America corps member from 1996-1998, teaching special education in under-resourced public schools in Louisiana and California. The first UU church I ever attended was in Shreveport, LA.

I moved to Boise in 1999 and absolutely love Boise and Idaho. I love the outdoors – and Boise is an easy access point for amazing hiking, camping, and other outdoor fun. I love the pace of life and ease and affordability of day-to-day living in Boise after having lived in larger cities.

My wife, Sharene, and I began attending BUUF regularly in May of 2011. Sharene gave birth to our son, Conley in May of 2013 and I was thrilled when I was able to legally adopt him this past July. Sharene and I were plaintiffs in Idaho's marriage equality lawsuit – which we successfully won in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. It was a joy to be able to watch our friends marry on October 15th and to know our New York state marriage will now be recognized in Idaho.

BUUF has helped me be open to the mysteries of spirituality and has provided a place for me to be part of a loving community. I have served as a nursery volunteer and RE teacher. I hope to see BUUF focus on how important support for children and youth is to the young families in the fellowship and to be an advocate for BUUF to strengthen its social justice work.

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