Rev. Alex HoltInterim Minister
Reverend Holt was born and raised in Maine. He received his education from University of Southern Maine and his Masters from Penn State University. He eventually made his way West and graduated with his Masters of Divinity from Starr King School of Ministry in 1993. He has served UU congregations in Roseburg, Oregon, Port Angeles, Yakima and was Extension Minister in Tualatin, Oregon for one year. He was also the called minister of Woodinville UU from 2003 through 2008 before he decided to focus on Accredited Interim Ministry.
He was with Clemson UU Fellowship in South Carolina between 2010 and 2012. Then he came back to the Northwest at UU Fellowship of Central Oregon in Bend, Oregon, between 2012 and 2014. This is the congregation featured on the cover of the latest UU World magazine as a Breakthrough Congregation in 2016. And most recently, between 2014 and 2016, Alex has been the Interim Minister at the “other Westside” in Fort Worth, Texas.
Shannon DayCongregational Administrator
Shannon began this position in fall 2013. Previously she served as our Associate Director of Religious Exploration for Children and Youth. As our Administrator, she does many tasks, including staffing our office hours, managing communications, web-site maintenance, bookkeeping, managing building rentals, supervising custodial staff, advising committees, keeping the congregational/building calendar, and updating our membership database and directories.
Rev. Cynthia WestbyDirector of Religious Exploration for Children and Youth
Reverend Cynthia Westby comes to us with a rich and diverse background that includes curriculum development, program administration, mindfulness coaching, and teaching children and adults in a variety of settings. Cynthia is an active member of the Seattle Storyteller’s Guild, and a long time storyteller and artist. She has studied and taught animal tracking and is a Master Wildlife Steward. She has a Master’s degree in Theology and the Arts, and graduated in Interfaith Studies from the Chaplaincy Institute in Berkeley. She was ordained as an Interfaith Minister and Chaplain with the Chaplaincy Institute Interfaith Community.
She brings a focus on healthy communication and the importance of listening to people of all ages, as well as strong administrative and program management skills. But we are most struck by Cynthia’s passion for sparking inquiry and awareness in children. Igniting children’s passion for religious exploration and awakening their curiosity for what is meaningful for them is deeply rewarding and in service to her calling.
Bertram GulhaugenMusic Director/Choir Conductor
Bertram comes to us with an extensive background in choral conducting and voice coaching. Bert earned a Bachelor of Music from Pacific Lutheran University and a Master of Music from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He has been a private studio voice instructor since 1984 and is a self-described “voice geek.” He formed Seattle Glee Clubs, a non-profit choral and musical theater organization for amateurs in 1993 and served as choral conductor for the Seattle Women’s Glee Club, the West Seattle Glee Club, The Olio Players theatrical troupe and the Offbeat Vocal Jazz Ensemble.
As Westside’s Music Director/Choral Conductor, Bert leads the WSUU rhythm section and conducts The Chorale, The Chalice Singers, the Celebration Singers and the Summer Choir.
An experienced performer, Bert has an extensive choral and jazz ensemble background, and has presented numerous recitals of art song, standards, and show tunes. He enjoys a broad range of experience with music genres: classical, opera, jazz, sacred, blues, pop, musical theater, rock, gospel, rhythm and blues, and folk music. He held the position of bass section leader for the Seattle Jewish Chorale from 2010 – 2013.
Cheryl Brown, RE Program AssisstantRE Program Assisstant
Cheryl was born and raised in Atlanta, GA and attended Auburn University. She moved to West Seattle in 2005 with her husband, a Seattle area native, and their 2 daughters. Since moving, her family has been active in the West Seattle community through school/PTA, soccer, dance, Girl Scouts and more. Cheryl has 25+ years of experience in office administration and will be assisting Cynthia with the RE Program by tracking class attendance and registration, lesson preparation, etc.
Rev. Dr. Mark NewtonVolunteer Chaplain
Rev. Dr. Mark Newton is an ordained interfaith minister. He served our Congregation as our volunteer chaplain from 2003 – 2018. Rev. Mark was given the title Chaplain Emeritus at the 2018 annual meeting.
Mark has been a Unitarian Universalist since 1977. He is a retired organization development consultant, university professor, and corporate executive. He is a veteran of the Vietnam War. He lives in Seattle with his partner of many years and enjoys being a father, grandfather and avid boater.
Rev. Peg MorganMinister Emerita
Peg was called as the Minister of WSUU in August, 2002, first half time, and gradually increasing to full time. She retired from the role of being our “called” minister in June 2015. Previous to serving our Congregation, she served University Unitarian in Seattle for six years as Assistant Minister and Pastoral Care Coordinator, and a year at East Shore Unitarian in Bellevue as Intern Minister.
Theologically, Peg drew wisdom from 60+ years of living and loving life, raising two sons, completing 30 years as a social worker and executive director of human services, and traveling extensively around the world.
Peg has been a Unitarian since 1970. Originally a Roman Catholic, she seriously considered becoming a nun as a teenager, but went to college instead. Peg began her first career as a social worker working with emotionally disturbed boys at Echo Glen Children’s Center. From 1973 until 2000 she served as founder and Director of Mercer Island Youth and Family Services, a public-private partnership of the City of Mercer Island.
Prior to retiring from social work, Peg returned to school to earn her Masters in Divinity from Seattle University’s interfaith School of Theology and Ministry. She is the first graduate of the school to be ordained as a Unitarian Universalist.
Peg is the mother of two adult sons, Chris, who lives in Oakland, and Paul, who lives in Boston. Now that she is retired she loves wandering through nature preserves, taking photos of wildlife, gardening, playing with friends, concerts, all kinds of food, dark chocolate, and playing with her granddaughter!
When asked why she chose our Westside UU Congregation, she replied “I loved serving Westside because there is a real sense of community in this part of Seattle. I especially like Westside because it is more diverse. The Congregation is truly multi-generational, fun, welcoming, and dedicated to making this world a more peaceful, justice-filled place.”