The Nominating Committee is pleased to report that the following ERUUF members have agreed to be placed on a ballot for elected positions of the Fellowship. An election will be held on June 13, 2021, at the Annual Business Meeting. Read more about the candidates below. 

 

Candidates for Board of Trustees 

Summer Anderson

Summer Anderson Photo

My husband, JM, and I moved to Durham in 2018 and started attending ERUFF later that year. We were recently engaged and had been looking to purchase our first home and to find a church home. We were looking for a place where we could continue to grow spiritually, engage in community and fellowship, and be of service. I don’t remember the content of the first service we attended at ERUFF, but on our drive home afterward, we both agreed that we thought ERUFF was going to be the right place for us and that we wanted to check out the Inquirer’s series and continue to learn more.

Since joining ERUFF in 2019, I’ve enjoyed attending Sunday services, participating in small group ministry as a member of a chalice circle, looking for opportunities to connect with ERUFFians in the ’20s and '30s group, and participating in book and film discussions hosted by the Multicultural Team and Earth Justice Team.

Professionally, my work is in health services research, with a focus on program administration and implementation, implementation science, quality improvement, and program evaluation, within the content areas of mental health and interdisciplinary approaches to care. My educational background includes clinical and health psychology and public health (with a focus on health administration). While not directly part of my current professional roles, my personal and professional interests also encompass a desire to better understand and address “upstream” factors associated with human flourishing as well as poor mental and physical health, particularly at the intersection of individual-level factors and structural/systemic-level factors.

In my free time, I enjoy spending time outside--often with our dogs, Iris and Opal--running and walking in our neighborhood, on the tobacco trail, or through Umstead State Park. I’m an avid audiobook listener and also enjoy cooking, traveling, and spending time with JM and other friends and family. I am grateful for the spiritual home and community that I have found at ERUUF and look forward to continuing to connect, grow, learn, and be of service within and alongside this congregation.

 

 Bonnie LaCroix

Bonnie LaCroixWe moved to Durham from Chicago four years ago for a change of scenery and a job. Minnesota born and raised, I lived primarily in the Midwest before moving to Durham, but have come to love the Southern speed of life and amazing weather. Professionally, my work is in cancer research with a focus on racial health disparities. Outside of my work I do my best to embody my values with a car-free lifestyle, front yard food garden, and commitment to the continual practice of racial justice.

Finding ERUUF was an unexpected wonder that has transformed my life in unaccountable ways. I am passionate about the future of our community and helping it live into its promise. I believe that working towards racial, economic, and environmental justice is our only way forward-- and that it is spiritual work.

 

 

 

  Connie Pearcy

Cpearcy

 I have been a member of ERUUF since 1996 when my wife, Tanja Atkins, and I began attending services and wanted a spiritual home for ourselves and in which we could raise a family. Over the years, ERUUF has become much more than a religious community for us. We’ve made life-long friends here and have relied on a network of people to raise our children, Ivy and Emmy, into caring young adults.

Professionally, I am a managing director for a NC-based consulting firm specializing in the health and life sciences industries. I work with global companies to apply technology to solve business challenges. While I’m now a technology leader, early in my career I taught high school through Teach for America and led educational programs for Duke TIP.

Outside of work, I enjoy hiking at the Eno, biking, and kayaking, and camping at Jordan Lake and am on a mission to develop my woodworking and welding skills! Tanja and I will be taking our youngest daughter to France in the fall for college while our oldest lives and works in Durham.

Over the years, I’ve been involved in a variety of ways at ERUUF. I’ve taught RE, been a member of the adult education committee, served as a greeter, contributed to the auction, hosted dinners at our house, and helped with the Christmas pageant. Pre-pandemic, we attended services regularly but have been less engaged over the last year. As I enter a new phase of my life with both children out of the house, I am looking forward to re-engaging on a regular basis with services and as an active member of the Board.

   

Nominating Committee Candidate Bios 

 

Mike McLeod

Lisa JonesI spent my career as a physician at Duke Medical Center in the Department of Medicine. My primary focus was seeing patient referrals to Duke and teaching students, residents, and fellows in training. After retiring from active practice, I was part of a faculty teaching medical students how to establish trusting relationships with their patients and the subjective or “softer side” of medicine from ethics to end-of-life issues. After leaving this course and the death of my wife Anita, I became more involved in ERUUF joining the Pastoral Care and Multicultural groups. I have helped Stacy Grove with the Death Café presentations and Conscious Aging series. I have also helped facilitate our antiracism groups. ERUUF has been an important community for me while also helping me to continue to learn about myself as well as the world around me in all of its complexity.

 

JM Tramontin

 JM Tramontin PhotoHello! My name is JM Tramontin. My wife, Summer, and I have been members of ERUUF for a couple of years now. Summer and I met in graduate school and after moving to the triangle we wanted to find a community to put some roots down and get involved. ERUUF is that place for us. I work as a business operations manager for an open-source software company based in Raleigh. I have a true passion for meeting, getting to know, and connecting people. I hope to use this passion here at ERUUF on the Nominating Committee. Looking forward to the work ahead!

 

 

 

Amy Csorba

 Amy CsorbaAmy Csorba, MD, moved to Durham in 1980 to attend Duke University School of Medicine and stayed here to finish residency in the Duke-Watts Family Medicine program in 1987.  After working at Lakewood Family Practice for several years, she joined Integrative Physicians (formerly Bridges to Health) in 1999. Dr. Csorba has also been an instructor in a class for 1st and 2nd-year medical students at Duke since 1999. She grew up in Annapolis, Maryland, where her lifelong love of water sports began, and majored in Chemistry and Biology at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland Ohio, graduating in 1980. Dr. Csorba is married with three children who all graduated from Durham School of the Arts. She enjoys swimming, reading, word games, and cooking, and has particular interests in nutrition and behavioral medicine. She currently volunteers with Senior Pharmassist, TROSA, and Urban Ministries cafe.

 

 

Candidates for Healthy Congregations Committee

 

Amy Rawls 

 Amy RawlsMy family and I have been members of ERUUF since 2007 (or thereabouts). Here, I've discovered Unitarian Universalism and found my true faith community and congregational home. All seven of the UU principles ring deeply true to me, and over time, I've come to cherish the freedom and personal accountability to the spiritual journey that the tradition promises and supports. It's important to me that we are an inclusive community that welcomes all people with our wide expanse of beliefs, together, and tends regularly to our collective health and vibrancy. I love raising our children in the UU faith and have been an active volunteer in ERUUF's RE program over the years.

Professionally, I am a former research scientist who discovered my natural strengths and interests as a leader in HR, providing best-in-class people practices that advance business goals. I recently started my own gig, so I suppose I'm a business owner now, too. I live in Carrboro with my family—husband John, daughter Elsa, and son Eli (and our two Bengal cats, Mambo and Mitsy). We are an active lot, and I thrive on the hustle and bustle of our family life, especially watching the kids compete at soccer, basketball, and volleyball. For leisure, my very favorite thing to do is walk, particularly near the water, around a new city, or in the mountains.

 

 

 

Candidates for The Ministerial Search Committee 

Diane Blount

519 0491.2Diane Blount retired from the Department of Education in 2010 as an Assistant Principal of Special Education after going through the stages of employment there from paraprofessional to becoming the first Black Assistant Principal in that high school. At the same time, she retired from her social work private practice with LBGTQIA trauma patients. After moving to Chapel Hill in 2011 with her wife, Carol-Ann, they joined ERUUF. Diane soon became involved with the Multicultural Team and took a number of courses facilitated by various ERUUF clergy. Diane also became a member of the Change Team and helped in the organization of the Dismantling Racism Workshops held at ERUUF, as well as a history workshop and a facilitator training workshop. Diane became one of the leaders of the Multicultural Team seven years ago and has done that consistently since. She is also a member of the Black, Indigenous, and People of Color Group. Diane has helped to organize and facilitate various programs at ERUUF. This year's programs included a film and museum series, the Transgender Inclusion Education Program, Interracial Dialogue, and Understanding Caste Discussion Group Sessions. Last year, Diane’s vision of a civil rights pilgrimage was postponed due to COVID-19, but she hopes to resume that pilgrimage soon. Diane likes reading, organizing events at ERUUF, watching crime shows, music, and playing games on her computer. She loves cooking and eating the food she has cooked for herself and her wife. Diane also likes road trips with Carol.

 

 

Julie Edmunds

edmunds photo 214x300Julie Edmunds has been a member of ERUUF for over 20 years. She and her partner, Sara Terry, were married (twice!) by ERUUF ministers and raised their children here. She has been involved in a variety of ways, including as RE teacher, Youth Group advisor, member of the RE Vision Quest team, and a member of the Board of Trustees for four years where she participated in the ERUUF visioning process. She has also been a seven-year member of the Committee of the Evaluation of Ministry (CEM). As Chair of the CEM, she led the development and implementation of a 360-evaluation process for our senior minister. Julie would be honored to be involved in the selection of a minister to help ERUUF move even further toward realizing its amazing potential.

 

 

 

Lisa Jones

Lisa JonesLisa A. Jones is a NC native and retiree of the federal prison system. She spent 30 years in corrections, rising to Warden before making Durham her home in 2018. She and her wife, Ann joined ERUUF in 2018. She serves on the Multicultural Team, BIPOC, and Durham CAN. In the community, she works as a freelance justice advocate and advisor (focus is uniting criminal and social justice), is a member of the Durham Sheriff’s Community Advisory Board, and Chairperson of the Board of Directors for the Southern Coalition of Social Justice. Lisa has a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice (Corrections and Behavioral Studies). She was raised by her grandmother and in the Missionary Baptist church. Seeing it was not her true path, she nurtured her innate connection to spirit without calling it by any name, until realizing it as Unitarian Universalism. She is a writer, sports fan, and family historian.

 

 

 

Vincent Licenziato

Vincent LicenziatoIn 1992 in the middle of the AIDS crisis, I found a spiritual home at Arlington Street Church in Boston, MA. Having been raised a Roman Catholic, I liked telling people that I was a "devout" UU. I quickly became a member and got involved with their anti-racism group. Eventually, I also started to work with the Mass Bay District's anti-racism efforts. Besides racial justice, another social justice issue that I was professionally involved with was disability rights. This lead to my appointment to the UUA's Accessibility Committee. And, for GA 2003 in Boston, I coordinated all of the reasonable accommodations for attendees. I moved to Durham in the summer of 2017 and about a year later I started attending ERUUF (quickly becoming a member) and soon thereafter I joined the Multicultural Team (MCT). It's been through the MCT that I have become involved with a number of projects and programs at ERUUF:

 

 

 

  • MCT Sunday Service
  • AIDS Quilt Display and Service for World AIDS Day (Sunday, December 1, 2019)
  • Common Read: Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States
  • Durham Pilgrimage of Pain & Hope coordinator
  • ERUUF Pilgrimage to Montgomery Alabama (postponed due to covid)
  • Transgender Workshop facilitator
  • Interracial Dialogue facilitator
  • Caste Book Discussion facilitator

I have been inspired by and grown personally and spiritually by all of the above. The same can be said for Sunday services. It will be an honor to serve on the Ministerial Search Committee.

 

Mike McLeod

HuthPhoto KAH 6119 SI spent my career as a physician at Duke Medical Center in the Department of Medicine. My primary focus was seeing patient referrals to Duke and teaching students, residents, and fellows in training. After retiring from active practice, I was part of a faculty teaching medical students how to establish trusting relationships with their patients and the subjective or “softer side” of medicine from ethics to end-of-life issues. After leaving this course and the death of my wife Anita, I became more involved in ERUUF joining the Pastoral Care and Multicultural groups. I have helped Stacy Grove with the Death Café presentations and Conscious Aging series. I have also helped facilitate our antiracism groups. ERUUF has been an important community for me while also helping me to continue to learn about myself as well as the world around me in all of its complexity.

 

Steve Franklin

Steve FranklinMy name is Steven O. Franklin, and I would like to introduce myself. I was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York during the 1950s-70s with my younger sister Barbara. My parents were African American, and among the many children whose parents migrated North from the South during the 1920s and 30s. My mother, Elise W. Franklin, was born in NC and was a Licensed Practical Nurse, for more than 40 years, in the NYC Hospital System. My father, Orcelius S. Franklin, born in VA, a WWII veteran in the Army Air Corps, worked for the NYC Transit Authority. When I was seven years old, my parents separated. They divorced many years later. As a result, my mother raised both me and my sister in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn with the help of my maternal grandmother. My father and his family are Roman Catholic while my mother was raised Baptist. She would later convert to Catholicism. My sister and I were raised Roman Catholic and we both attended Catholic schools until we graduated from college. My interest in Unitarian Universalism began while I was in college at Fordham University. This was several years after Unitarians and Universalists merged to form the UUA. I wrote to the UUA to learn more about this denomination. Nearly 25 years later, my wife Natalie and I joined the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock in Manhasset, NY where I was a member of the Denominational Affairs Committee.

In 2001, my family moved to Chapel Hill from Great Neck, NY, and started to attend ERUUF. We attended ERUUF off and on, while our children (Nathan now 30, and Meryl now 33 years old) attended RE at ERUUF. We became ERUUF members around 2011. At that time, I became a founding member of the Multicultural Team (MCT). Since 2011, many of my activities at ERUUF have been thru my association with the MCT. This has included facilitating leadership for 1st Sunday Conversations and occasionally MCT-sponsored film presentations. It has also included involvement with ERUUF’s HBCU Outreach, ERUUF Greeters’ training, MCT retreat planning, planning for visiting the Civil Rights Center and Museum in Greensboro (and the follow-up discussion), and Montgomery Pilgrimage Planning. I have also been a member of ERUUF’s Assistant Minister Search Team, Beloved Community Chorus, Committee on the Evaluation of Ministry, Showing Up for Democracy (including activities from time to time with YouCanVote, UU the Vote, UU Justice Ministry of NC, etc.). I have routinely attended ERUUF Beloved Conversations, and People of Color gatherings. I have been active, from time to time, in many discussion sessions on racial justice issues within ERUUF and in the greater community outside of ERUUF. I routinely contribute photographs documenting ERUUF Sunday Services and ERUUF sponsored events (VESPERS, ordinations, ministerial installations, musical events, protests, ERUUF’s Connection Fair, and ERUUF sponsored trips).

I am a graduate of Fordham University in the Bronx, NY, where I earned a BS in Chemistry. I went on to earn my Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the State University of NY, Health and Science Center Brooklyn (Downstate Medical Center). I was a postdoctoral fellow at Columbia University (Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons) and Cornell University (Weill Cornell Medical College) both in NYC. I was also a basic research scientist and member of the faculty at Cornell until 2001 when I moved to NC. I have been a research scientist and academic at various academic institutions in NC (NCCU, UNCG, Davidson College, etc.). I retired around 2016, worked briefly for a For-Profit University and I am currently working part-time as an Adjunct Instructor teaching Chemistry at Durham Tech Community College. If approved by the congregation, I believe my diverse background and experience will prove to be an asset to ERUUF’s Ministerial Search Committee.

 

Questions:

Helpful links:

Board of Trustees

Healthy Congregation Committee

Nominating Committee