The General Assembly elected three new trustees to the UUA Board of Trustees for three-year terms, and the board appointed a fourth new member to a one-year term when another candidate withdrew. They replace Donna Harrison, Lew Phinney, the Rev. Dr. Susan Ritchie, and the Rev. Sarah Stewart, whose terms ended June 30. This year, for the first time, there will be two youth observers rather than one. Meet the new trustees:
Tim Atkins, trustee
In Columbus, Ga., Atkins, 33, was his high school’s most visible atheist. After college, he found Unitarian Universalism through beliefnet.com and joined the UU Congregation of Atlanta, where he taught children’s religious education. Since 2013, he has been director of religious education at the Unitarian Fellowship in Morristown, N.J. He’s a member of the Church of the Larger Fellowship and served as UUA Appointments Committee secretary. UU leadership needs more young adults and religious educators, he said, adding, “We as a denomination have to innovate, and it starts with a more innovative board.”
Greg Boyd, trustee
Raised in the Unitarian Church of Harrisburg, Pa., Boyd, 29, served as its director of young adult ministry. In August, he’ll become interim director of religious education at Neighborhood UU Church in Pasadena, Calif., while he pursues a master’s degree in theological studies. Fluent in French and Spanish, Boyd holds a master’s degree in teaching and curriculum and plans to become a UU minister with a focus on religious education. He’s held numerous youth leadership roles and was elected to the GA Planning Committee. As a trustee, “I wanted to bring that experience, as well as my commitment as a long-term UU leader,” he said.
Dorothy Evans Holmes, trustee
Holmes, a clinical psychologist, became a UU in 1980 “because of its liberating theology that focuses on the spark of the divine in all of us and on the pursuit of social justice.” Holmes, 72, directed the professional doctoral program in clinical psychology at George Washington University for six years before retiring to Bluffton, S.C., where she’s a member of the UU Church of Savannah, Ga., and continues her clinical practice. In this time of “cultural trauma,” she said, “I want to help the board develop the strongest possible church-based programs to combat the ‘isms’ that plague us, in our churches and in the larger society.” Holmes was appointed to a one-year term on the board.
The Rev. Patrick McLaughlin, trustee
A self-described “polity and governance geek,” McLaughlin, 56, is a lifelong UU; he and his family were longtime members of the Palomar UU Fellowship in Vista, Calif., where McLaughlin served many roles before heeding a call to ministry. Two years ago, he was called by the UU Church of Manchester, N.H. “I think the most pressing issues outside the denomination are climate change and the shift in the economic structure in the country, which is causing all kinds of trouble for all kinds of people,” he said. Within Unitarian Universalism, “I see the biggest problem is simply that people want change but don’t want it to be uncomfortable.”
Olivia Calvi, youth observer
Calvi, 16, grew up attending Emerson UU Church in Canoga Park, Calif. She got involved in UU leadership at the senior high camp in her district, where she served on the youth board; on a national level, she served as Youth Caucus dean for two years. Calvi wanted to serve on the UUA board as “an opportunity to get youth more involved in the business of their faith as well as social justice aspects,” she said.
Caleb Leman, youth observer
Leman, 17, is a member of North Shore Unitarian Church in Deerfield, Ill., where he served as president of the youth group. He is part of Luminary Leaders, a UUA youth leadership development network. Leman, who with his family left an evangelical Christian denomination to become UU, said that on the board, “I hope to create a larger community where youth from all around the world will be supported and support each other in chasing after their passions, magnifying their positive impact.”
The print version of this article (Fall 2015, page 43) included a photograph of newly elected denominational leaders with a caption that mistakenly identified one of its subjects, Commission on Appraisal member Kathleen Henry, as new trustee Dorothy Evans Holmes. Holmes was appointed to fill a vacancy the day after GA ended and was not present for the installation service.