Find out about some of our SFUU members- how they got here, what matters to them, what they love about SFUU
As a lapsed Catholic and a Baptist, Jeanine and Leo Meunier went looking for a religion that fit, and they found it—Jeanine and Leo have been UUs for years. When they arrived from Massachusetts, they intended to look at the Grass Valley church but never got there. The fit at SFUU was perfect, and they have been attending SFUU for 8 years
Jeanine was originally from Los Angeles, and Leo hails from North Attleboro, MA. They lived “back east” for 30 years before Jeanine was able to convince Leo to come to the “correct” coast. They have one son, Mark, who's 38, and lives forty minutes away. They have no pets (Jeanine is allergic to cats and dogs), but son Mark has a Palomino rabbit named Amber.
Jeanine came from a very artsy family—her mom was a painter, tailor, and needlepoint canvas designer; dad was a carpenter on the side, and could make anything; and sis was also a tailor, and came in second in a California state contest. Jeanine herself has always been an artist; her specialties now are photography and jewelry design, but she was head teacher at Lee Wards (pre-Michael's) and can do almost anything except knit. Jeanine also sings and says she attempts “my feeble Spanish.”
Asked about her favorite memories or experiences at SFUU, Jeanine said “anything to do with music and our church community. I especially loved the music night a few years ago and karaoke. Actually, anything we do as a group is welcomed … Anything we can do to gather together!” She also loves Facebook and Churchies.
Jeanine feels that she’s had a lucky life: she conquered cancer—twice—and overcame a stroke. She says “I love retirement with my husband and my family!”
Jennifer Warner Likes Family Connections at SFUU
Jennifer Warner came to SFUU 9 years ago when she and her wife Nicole were looking for a spiritual community that would be right for their family. They wanted an accepting community that would help them raise thoughtful, compassionate children. Their oldest daughter was 4 at the time and the younger twins were 2. When Jennifer is not chauffeuring children (now 13 and 10) she likes reading for relaxation and travelling.
One of the familiy’s favorite SFUU activities is the annual RE retreat. In Jennifer’s words: “We really get to bond with the other parents who are safe and nonjudgmental people that have great experiences, stories and humor. Our kids get to make lasting friendships and show their true selves knowing they are held in a loving community. We have lots of fun exploring nature, playing games and sharing meals.”
Jennifer has held several leadership positions at SFUU and currently serves on the Search Committee.
Chelle Kucera, Bill Boyce & Harriet Bring Energy and Commitment to SFUU
Chelle Kucera and Bill Boyce first discovered Sierra Foothills Unitarian Universalists at a Festival of Lights parade. They were drawn to the joy on the faces of the people they saw walking and singing and decided to investigate further. Chelle wanted to be part of a community and Bill, who had grown up Catholic, originally started attending SFUU to be supportive of her.
When they first started attending, Harriet was the youngest regular visitor and she got lots of attention. They were looking for a place that put an emphasis on children and would be fun for their daughter, who is now 4. They loved having her spend time around strong, funny girls who influence her in a positive way.
After asking Rev. Wendy & Rev. Lynn why worship had to be only Sunday mornings, Bill was handed an opportunity. The ministers asked him to help start a program called Theologies on Tap, where people could meet in local pubs to have conversations with a different topic each time. That really appealed to him and he is still heading up the popular program with the help of Andy Cramer. He says he loves to have conversations, exploring ideas and engaging in a “brain workout.”
When they came to this area, Chelle bought a pediatric dental practice in Grass Valley and works there three days a week. She is opening a second office in Lincoln soon and will work there the other two days. She likes working with kids in her practice because they are so much fun. Chelle loves to read, and is delving into books about marketing and business right now.
Both Chelle and Bill appreciate the social connections they have made here, especially with other parents. They take what they call the coffee walk to Baked and Brewed in the City Square after church most Sundays with other families with children. The parents get to talk and the kids are safe to run around together within eyeshot.
Bob Coombs: Sweet Creations
When I moved to Citrus Heights I discovered that it was a 30 to 40 minute drive to either Sacramento or Auburn. I choose to attend the Auburn Church because I feel more comfortable at a smaller church. Perhaps this is do to the fact that I was brought up in a small town (Belmont, New Hampshire, population 1,500) attended a small school (20 kids in my class) and my mother took me and my sister to a church which had a small congregation. I appreciate SFUU because the religion that is preached here is based on shared values and principles rather then on any particular dogma, creed or belief.
I got into baking because I was born with a sweet tooth. I have always believed that the best part of any meal was the dessert. It was natural that the next step for me was to start baking myself. I soon found baking to be a very rewarding hobby. It is very satisfying to take a group of diverse ingredients, mix them together, bake them and end up with a delicious creation. I enjoy bringing baked goods to share with members of the SFUU community because I think of refreshments after the service as being the final act in an rewarding worship service that has included beautiful music and inspiring sermons.
David & Kia Hatch: A Life of Passion
David & Kia Hatch moved to Roseville from their home in Rough and Ready about a year ago and they are exactly halfway between SFUU and the UU Society of Sacramento. They visited both, but chose SFUU because it has a more intimate feeling. Working together to build community is very important to Kia and she hopes to continue to do that at SFUU so she became a member this spring.
Kia, an Art History major at San Jose State University, was engaged to another man when she met David, who was teaching art there. When she met him, she knew he was “the one” and they’ve been married 52 years. After graduating, Kia didn’t have a career plan in mind, but she interviewed with Pacific Telephone and Telegraph in San Jose and was hired. That began a 25-year career with the company, where her strengths were project management, budget development and data integration.
David is an artist who is accomplished in many different disciplines. He has worked in and taught pastels, oils, sculpture, ceramics, glass blowing, basketry, leatherwork, silversmithing. He also lectured on Art History, which gave him more time for his own art. He’s been called a Renaissance man and he says the downside of that is that you don’t get known for one thing. He is still making art and recently fired some things in his kiln in his studio. “When I open a kiln it's just like Christmas," he says. Still active in his studios, he travels back to Rough and Ready several times a month to work on projects.
Kia says David taught her how to travel and they’ve been around the world together. They have camped in snow at Half Dome and lived out of a ’66 VW bug for 3 of the months they were traveling in Europe. David traveled to Burma as a Fulbright scholar. He is a musician with a setup of instruments in his home. Kia says one thing that brings her joy is to hear David playing and singing.
Kia discovered the joy of quilting in the ‘70s and she went on to teach and lecture on quilt making. She still maintains an active quilt studio. When they lived in Rough and Ready, Kia was a member of UU Community of the Mountains. Though David thinks of himself as a non-theist, he was also active at UUCM, including becoming the videographer of Sunday services to be aired weekly on local TV for several years.
People often ask, what brought you to SFUU. For the me answer is easy. Free childcare! Now before you consider me shallow, take into account I was the mother of a two year old, pregnant with my second child, and living in a new town with my husband, running our own business. As such, there were few opportunities to meet new people and expand my circle of friends. I remember one day picking up the Auburn Journal and seeing that there was a UU church here!When I saw that the meeting time was at 4:00pm on Sundays I knew I had to go! It was prime football watching time, my hubby would be content, and I realized that for at least an hour I could perhaps rejuvenate my soul, meet new people, and for a blessed hour or so I could be…child free! What a deal! So off I went, and the rest is history.
SFUU has become far more to me than a place to receive free child care. It has become a highly necessary element in my life circle. Through SFUU I came to truly embrace and understand my love of the UU faith. Although I was a teenage UU/LRY’er, it had been a long time since I had been to a UU church. But the day I heard a sermon by Rev. Sam Wright who said “This is a faith that works harder to get heaven into people, than people into heaven” I knew I had come home. Since that day in 1994, I have stretched my own boundaries by being both a lay leader and sermon speaker, working with our children as DRE, and finding spiritual balm for my soul, through the many gifted ministers, speakers and lay leaders who have shared their time and inspirational thoughts with us. SFUU offers so much to so many, and it is a place to spread your wings. Regardless of the religious journey that brings someone to our doors, we have so much to offer folks on that journey, many easily find a spiritual home here with us. I am forever changed, and grateful. - Vicky Jungers