Rev. Jacqueline Brett (she/they) serves as Lead Minister of the Eno River Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. She is responsible for guiding the congregation in creating beloved community and in the personal and collective search for truth and meaning among its members and friends. Equally responsible for the organizational and programmatic health of the congregation, as Head of Staff, Rev. Jacqueline leads a team of ministers, religious, and administrative professionals in partnering with the congregation to realize its Mission, Vision, and strategic plans.
Daniel (he/him) has served ERUUF for over 12 years as Director of administration, managing communications, facilities, finances, support staff, worship tech, IT, and more. In a new role as Executive Minister, Daniel will join the worship team, offer classes, and work with various groups and teams at ERUUF. He will still provide financial management as well as oversight of ERUUF administrative systems, but no longer handle many of the daily operations of the Fellowship.
Rev. Jim Lewis (he/they) is a queer minister, chaplain, collaborator, educator, ponderer, musician, and lover of games of all sorts. “So much of my work is about encouraging nourishing and flourishing. We gather to enjoy and deepen our spirits in community. At all ages, that includes a broad spectrum of experience: listening, talking, contemplating, playing, adventuring, laughing, crying, protesting, loving, resting, and so much more. I look forward to collaborating with ERUUF in these ways and more as we engage together!”
Rev. Dr. Arvid Straube is a graduate of the University of Chicago Divinity School and Meadville Lombard Theological School. He served as Lead Minister at ERUUF for 21 years from 1983 to 2004 and then as Lead Minister at First UU Church of San Diego until his retirement in 2014. Since retirement, he has devoted himself to teaching and to a ministry of spiritual direction. He has been an adjunct faculty member at Duke Divinity School and Starr King School for the Ministry. ERUUF voted to call Dr. Straube as its Minister Emeritus in 2014.
Shawn Marie Trimble (she/her), was born in New Orleans, LA. Colorful as the city she is from with a background in visual arts, she received her undergraduate degree in Sociology from North Carolina Central University. After 10 years of serving this beloved community in various capacities, she joyfully leans into the role of ERUUF's Office Administrator. A published writer who loves sage, Shawn enjoys promoting spiritually enriching workshops, products, and global movements- including The With Love Movement, world day of healing through letter writing.
Alice (she/her) has enjoyed a fantastic career in nonprofit management, primarily with Planned Parenthood. She recently stepped down as Executive Director of the Cohousing Association of the U.S. Alice discovered UUism straight out of college, belonging to congregations in Virginia and Cincinnati, and joining ERUUF in 2001 after moving to Durham. She is proud to have served as Board President of SUUSI, the UU summer camp, which attracts the largest gathering of UU’s outside of GA. Alice is delighted to be part of the ERUUF team.
Wendy Looker (she/her) is Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina, where she has chaired the Music Department and more recently, the Division of Fine Arts. In addition to directing the College Choir and LUMINA treble ensemble, Dr. Looker teaches early music history and culture, vocal performance and aural skills. Guilford College Choirs have toured Ireland, Prague, Austria, and up and down the East coast. As a choral artist and teacher, Looker is deeply committed to inclusive programming and champions works by underrepresented and historically marginalized composers. She believes wholeheartedly in the power of choral music to serve as a vehicle for social change and justice.
Kaleb Graves (He/They) is a North Carolina native who is passionate about local, national, and international justice. He is a graduate of Duke Divinity School, where he earned his MDiv in 2023. Kaleb previously earned a BA in Abrahamic Languages and a second in Theology from Colorado Christian University, where they organized efforts to protect LGBTQ+ student rights and intellectual freedom on campus.
Kaleb has worked and volunteered in diverse contexts including National Farm Worker Ministry, Binkley Baptist Church, and Elaine Turning Point Civil Rights Park. He also has very personal experience with navigating unjust systems. He has previously pursued fair housing with the Durham Housing Authority and resisted punitive ordinances targeting people experiencing poverty in Siloam Springs, Arkansas.
Kaleb has been married to their partner Hanna for 5 years, and they have four cats together.
Michele (she/her) came to ERUUF 12 years ago and immediately felt like she was "home." As soon as a job opportunity opened up, Michele applied for it and became an Office Assistant in 2012. She left ERUUF for a few years and returned as Program Assistant in 2019. Michele has a background as an administrative executive assistant and graphic design. She loves this beloved community and is happy to be an employee as well as a member.
Ms. Yang easily keeps our accounting and financial systems running smoothly and efficiently. We are glad to have her as part of our team.
Melissa Smith (she/her) joined the ERUUF team in 2021 as the Religious Education (R.E.) Assistant. The Smith family relocated to the Durham area in 2019 and was happy to find community at ERUUF. After witnessing her own children’s growth within the R.E. program, she was excited to partner with the fellowship as a staff member to help others similarly engage. For nearly a decade, Melissa has been a homeschool educator for her own three children and within co-learning communities, working with children with a variety of personalities and preferences while planning and executing fun and educational activities. Additionally, she volunteers as a Girl Scout Leader and in voter engagement. Melissa is a perpetual learner who loves books, podcasts, good conversation, cooking new recipes, and allyship in the social and racial justice movements. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Mary Washington University in Political Science and is a graduate of L’Academie de Cuisine.
Jennifer Nelson (she/her) is a lifelong UU and Chapel Hill resident. She has worked in the RE program at the Community Church of Chapel Hill Unitarian Universalist for the past 8 years.
Jennifer recently completed her Masters of Arts in Teaching at UNC Chapel Hill, focusing her studies on inclusive and multicultural education. She teaches because she believes that it is up to us to purposefully create change in our communities and that education and collaboration are the catalysts of progress. In her free time, Jennifer enjoys knitting, swimming, and traveling.
John is a recent resident to the Durham/Triangle area after moving from Columbia, South Carolina. Eager to plant roots, he joined the UU Fellowship team for the inclusion and strong community. When he isn’t occupied being the New Guy, John is busy playing video games, practicing 3D digital animation, enhancing his Japanese proficiency, or thinking about his two cats. If you see him walking around, approach with caution - he tends to be too friendly.
Michael (they/them) is excited to be a part of the ERUUF team! In Michael's previous life, they enjoyed creating and presenting engaging museum programming at institutions such as the American Museum of Natural History and the Central Park Zoo. They also have enjoyed directing and performing in theatrical performances throughout the NC and NYC areas for over 12 years. These days, when not at ERUUF, Michael can be found driving the train for the Museum of Life and Science, or enjoying life with their husband, Morgan, and their sons, TJ and Emmanaul.
Originally from Mobile Alabama, Mr Ruffin is a single dad who moved to North Carolina 8 years ago to be closer to his son. A veteran of the U.S. Marines, he is a retired commercial truck driver who comes skilled in landscaping and as a maintenance technician. He has attended a lot of car shows, but when he isn’t working or helping to take care of his mom, his hobbies include playing cards, skilled games, watching sports (baseball is his favorite), swimming, and fishing.
With a unique voice and unconventional style King (he/they) is an interdisciplinary storyteller, artist, and teacher who weaves together imaginative webs that cultivate passionate understandings of Movement, Color, and Sound. His intent is to see his creative work span every artistic medium! King’s 5 Elements of PLAY, is a learning method and lens through which he intends to teach himself and those he finds community with to reignite their connection to the Spirit of their Inner Child. As a dancer, pianist, and poet; he takes his inspiration from the hours upon hours spent alone in the basement of his teenage home where he first began to build self-love through these crafts. King has grown into the artist he is today by virtue of the community of Black Trans and Queer kindred who champion his talents and continue to encourage him to go after his dreams with full impassioned desire.