Biographies as of Aug. 1, 2019
Joseph Bednarik serves as the Co-Publisher of Copper Canyon Press, a nonprofit literary publisher dedicated to poetry. He studied philosophy at Haverford College, and speaks regularly at Unitarian-Universalist congregations in the Puget Sound region.
Joe Rettenmaier is a UU minister. He received his Master of Divinity degree from Meadville-Lombard Theological School. Joe was raised in Kansas and has lived in the Salish Sea since 1988. In 2016, he left a high-tech career to fully pursue his call to ministry – a call that aims to dismantle systemic racism, develop beloved LGBTQ+ multicultural faith community, and reverse climate change.
Bridget Laflin is a seminary student at Seattle University pursing her Master of Divinity degree. She lives in Shoreline, WA with her husband and two children. She enjoys hanging out with friends, playing board games, and performing with her comedy improv troupe. After she completes her education, she plans to become a Unitarian Universalist minister.
Rev. Amanda Aikman served OUUF from 2001 to 2005 as our Consulting Minister. Amanda retired in Spring, 2016 after 23 years in UU parish ministry. She lives in Everett; Amanda has won over a dozen national sermon contests. She is a playwright and a spiritual director.
In his youth, he aspired to become a mathematics professor, but by the time he had completed all his doctoral work except the dissertation, George had been seduced by computers. After a 42-year career in Information Technology, he enrolled at the Emerson Theological Institute, where he was ordained as a New Thought minister in 2006 and earned a doctorate in religious studies in 2011. His primary interest is world religions, which began when he was an undergraduate student in the 1950s, and he is also an accomplished musician (keyboards and trumpet; classical, sacred, and jazz). His appreciation of other religions and cultures has been intensified by lecture tours and periods of work and study in China, England, India, Japan, and Thailand.
George grew up in Marietta, OH, and his wife Annette in Woodsboro, MD. They moved to Sequim in 1995. Between them they have three children, eight grandchildren, four granddogs, and three grandcats, spread among Alaska, California, Minnesota, and Utah.
Vivian Mulligan has been a UU for over 30 years and has belonged to OUUF for 10 years. She currently is a member of the Sunday Services Committee. In the past she has served on the Board of Trustees, and on the Membership and Religious Education Committees. Vivian has presented several talks on UU history, and collaborated with other congregation members to teach the New UU Program and the Aging Gracefully Workshop.
Rev. Rinehart has been a Unitarian Universalist for over 20 years. She recently earned her Master’s Degree in Divinity from Seattle University. She lives in Silverdale with her family, including her cat Chloe.
The Rev. Tom Bozeman grew up UU in the Connecticut River Valley, attended the Evergreen State College and the Starr King School for The Ministry, and, after serving a few congregations in Massachusetts, is delighted to be back near the Salish Sea. He is the minister of the Evergreen UU Fellowship in Marysville.
Bruce A. Bode
Rev. Boderetired in 2018 as the Senior Minister of the Quimper UUF after serving the congregation for fourteen years and is now a Minister Emeritus. Before coming to QUUF, Rev. Bode served churches Houston, Texas, Tulsa, Oklahoma and Grand Rapids, Michigan. Bruce is a graduate of Calvin College and Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He has been married to Flossie Boerema Bode since 1970 and is father to Katie Bode-Lang and Libby Bode, and grandfather to Clara Grace Bode-Lang. One of his interests is facilitating study groups in adult religious education on poets. Archived print versions of Bruce’s sermons from 2004-2014 and both print and audio versions of his sermons from 2014-2018 can be found on the QUUF website at: https://www.quuf.org/older-sermons/.
Bob Nuffer is a social worker by profession, a storyteller by avocation and a frequent speaker at Olympic Unitarian Fellowship. He was a lay speaker in the United Methodist denomination and has been a service leader here at OUUF for the last nine years. He is putting his 43 year career working in hospitals, drug treatment facilities, hospice programs, mental health centers and private practice to use as the Lead for Pastoral Care for OUUF.
Rev. Dennis Reynolds
The Rev. Dennis Reynoldscurrently is the half-time minister for the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Whidbey Island. He has spoken at OUUF many times in the past.
Gene Bradbury is a retired minister who teaches adult classes in theology and biblical history. He has a B.A. in Philosophy, M.Div., and a Master’s Degree in Spiritual Direction. He speaks in churches and does school presentations for children. Gene’s writing encompasses poetry, short stories, and children’s stories. He has self-published seven children’s books, three poetry chapbooks, and a book of short stories.
He calls his house Bookwilde Cottage.
Rev. April Frazier
Rev. Frazier is a community minister affiliated with Shoreline UUC. She received her Masters of Divinity from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. For the past several years she has worked as a home hospice chaplain. Originally from South Dakota, she lived in Portland, Oregon after college and fell in love with the Pacific Northwest. She currently lives in Kenmore with her husband and four-year-old daughter.
Rev. Kevin Lawson
Kevin Lawson was recognized as a UUA minister at the 2015 General Assembly. He received his Masters of Divinity June 2013 from Marylhurst University. He is a longtime member of First Unitarian Portland, where prior to seminary he served on the Board of Trustees, sang in the Choir, and volunteered his time in community on various committees and work groups. Kevin recently completed his Clinical Pastoral Education (Chaplaincy Internship) with Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland. He is currently the Intern minister with Westside Unitarian Universalist Congregation, West Seattle.
Rev. Julia McKenna Blessing
Rev. Julia is an Inter-denominational minister, ordained 31 years ago. She was consecrated a Kahu (Spiritual Shepherd) at the Westminster Abbey of the Pacific, Kawaiaha’o Church, where she often officiated and was a supply Pastor for the United Church of Christ Conference statewide. Additionally, she founded The Ministry for Divine Harmony and Aloha Spirit Ministries. Julia lived in Hawaii for over 35years accepting invitations to speak across the U.S. Canada and England and is still on call to her worldwide “far, flung, flock.” She is a Reiki Master Practitioner and Facilitator.
Rev. Grace Simons
Rev. Grace Simons is Minister Emerita of the UU congregation in Modesto, California. She is a graduate of Starr King School for the Ministry, a former teacher and a returned Peace Corps volunteer. Grace and her husband David moved to Redmond, WA to be near their children and grandchildren. Grace enjoys exploring the Pacific Northwest. She is an avid gardener and a member of the Woodinville UU Church.
Colleen Squier is a recent transplant to Sequim OUUF and The Storypeople of Clallam County. Her family says that she has been telling stories as long as she has been talking. About six years ago, she decided that she wanted to learn to “really” tell stories and took a class from Cherie Terbon at North Seattle College. Since then she has shared stories at church, parties, classrooms, and bookstore story times. She appeared at Northwest Folklife for three years, and treasures her genuine recycled trophy for placing 3rdin the Liars Contest!
Rev. Dr. Karen B. Taliesin
After many years of hospice experience, the Rev. Dr. Karen B. Taliesinwas called to Unitarian Universalist ministry in order to work as a chaplain. She is currently in her thirteenth year as a full-time chaplain at Seattle Children’s Hospital where she provides spiritual care to patients, families, and staff members. A long-time meditator and Reiki Master, Karen teaches meditation and mindfulness to children and adults at the hospital as well in the Seattle community. Karen is Minister Affiliated at East Shore Unitarian Church in Bellevue where she and her husband, Brian, are members.
Dan actively participated in Southern Baptist activities from birth. However, he began to develop the belief that any God he could believe in would not condemn anyone to a place called hell. When Dan left home to begin college he found Ouachita Valley Universalist Church in the Ouachita River valley of Arkansas. He enthusiastically adopted what he considers the first principal of Universalism “God is love”. He regards himself as a practicing Christian Universalist.