Good Officers

We try to have geographical representation among our Good Offices Representatives. You may call the person living closest to you, the person you know best, or the one you think might be most helpful with a particular situation. Mailing addresses are found in your LREDA Membership directory. Call any one of us - we are here to help!

Good Officers: Alphabetical List

Marci Beaudoin, Pacific Southwest, 

Marci has been the Director of Lifespan Religious Education for Valley Unitarian Universalist congregation, in Chandler, AZ since 2009. Prior careers include teaching - high school science and substituting in a variety of grades, working for a promotional products company, and providing after school childcare. Marci brings experiences from these past lives into her current work as DLRE.Marci believes that building community - connections to others in your peer group and interacting with people of other generations, keeps our passion for learning strong.

Tracy Breneman, M.A., M.S., Metro New York, 

I have been a Unitarian Universalist religious educator since 2008 and currently serve two congregations as the Director of Religious Exploration (DRE): at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Northern Westchester in Mt. Kisco, NY. and at the First Unitarian Society of Westchester in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY. Growing up the daughter of a United Methodist Minister, I saw first-hand the effect conflict can have on a congregation and congregational staff teams. I also developed a deep appreciation for the unique potential faith communities have to transform destructive conflict and strengthen beloved community given the appropriate support and resources.

I hold a Master’s degree in Conflict Analysis and Resolution from George Mason University, and have completed coursework and exams toward a Ph.D. in the same. I also have extensive experience teaching undergraduate- and graduate-level courses in conflict transformation, having been on faculty at George Mason University, Columbia University, and in the Dispute Resolution Program at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY. It’s a joy to be able to share conflict transformation tools with my LREDA colleagues, and to learn with you new strategies for managing the challenges we face as we serve our congregations.

Rev. Natalie Fenimore, Metro New York, 

The Rev. Natalie Maxwell Fenimore is a member of the ministerial team at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock, serving as Minister of Lifespan Religious Education. Since 1998 she has served congregations in Maryland, Virginia and New York as Director of Religious Education, Minister of Religious Education and Parish Minister. Natalie is a Credentialed Religious Educator/Master’s Level and past-President of the Liberal Religious Educator’s Association.

Aisha Hauser, Pacific Northwest, 

Aisha Hauser is a trained social worker who  has served a religious educator for over fourteen years in three congregations and the Unitarian Universalist Association. Aisha has served on the LREDA Board and as Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Team. She has led workshops on leadership, conflict and how to have difficult conversations.


Beth Irikura, Joseph Priestly, 

Beth has served River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation as their Religious Educator for Youth since 2007 working primarily with middle and high school youth.  She is a Credentialed Religious Educator and has a certificate in Lay Ministry with an emphasis in Youth Ministry from Wesley Theological Seminary.   Beth serves LREDA as a Credentialing Mentor,a Good Officer, and on the Credentialing Scholarship Committee.  Beth and her family are members of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Rockville, where she was a lead advisor for the YRUU program for three years.  She also served her home congregation as Board president, Religious Education co-chair, membership co-chair, and desktop publisher for the newsletter.

Mary Kroener-Ekstrand, Pacific Northwest,

Mary Kroener-Ekstrand is Director of Religious Education at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Willamette Falls in Oregon City, OR. She previously served as Lifespan Director of Religious Education at First Unitarian Church in Salt Lake City.  Mary holds a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction and has pursued a variety of professional development opportunities in the field of religious education including coursework at Starr King School for the Ministry, district and regional trainings, and Renaissance Modules. She is passionate about lifelong learning and loves helping people of all ages to understand their own beliefs and to put those beliefs into action in their lives and communities.  As a Good Officer, Mary hopes to help fellow religious educators maintain their integrity and honor their values as they navigate the complexities of our professional work in congregations.

Deborah Levering, New England LREDA, 

Deborah is the Director of Faith Development at the First Unitarian Church of Worcester, MA. She has been a religious educator since 1990, serving four congregations. From 2005-2011, she served the UUA’s Clara Barton District as the Program Consultant for Religious Education. She is a good listener, experienced coach, and a passionate advocate for excellence in religious education leadership.

Michelle McKenzie Creech, Metro New York, 

Michelle serves as the Credentialed Life Span Director of Religious Education at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Monmouth County in Lincroft, NJ. She is a member of the Metro New York Chapter of LREDA and has served on the LREDA Continental Board with the portfolio of professional development. Michelle has worked mid to large congregations in the role of Youth Program Director, Membership Coordinator and Director of Religious Education. She is a trained facilitator in the Renaissance Module program. Michelle also serves as a LREDA Mentor for the credentialing program and on implementation task forces of the UUMN, UUMA, LREDA for excellence in shared ministry.

 Linnea Nelson, Southeast,

Linnea Nelson is the Interim Program Director of UU Wellspring, a year-long spiritual deepening class for Unitarian Universalists. She is a Credentialed DRE and former Director of Religious Exploration at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fairfax in Oakton. Previously she was a Head of School, a Learning Center Director and a teacher at private, public and independent schools in the US and Colombia, Indonesia, and Germany. Linnea was also an educational textbook writer and editor and a trainer for the Great Books Foundation.

Linnea is always learning and listening in order to provide meaningful opportunities for our children and youth to engage in life as a UU. She co-created the Collaborative Colleague programs for the Greater Washington Area Religious Educators Cluster and has co-led the NOVA Cluster Teacher Training offered to 11 Northern Virginia UU Congregations. She has served on the GWAREC executive team from June 2015 to Dec. 2017.

As a lay leader at UUCF, Linnea has been an active congregant for over 20 years and a UU for 25 years. She has contributed to the RE program as a teacher, RE committee member and teacher trainer focused on making learning more meaningful. She has co-taught the “Building the World We Dream About” curriculum in support of welcoming diversity and dismantling racism. Linnea has also served on UUCF’s Board of Directors, nominating committee and RE Committee. Professionally she was the Head of School at the Auburn School, and has also served as an administrator at Flint Hill School, an independent day school in the DC area.

Linnea has a master’s degree in school psychology and undergraduate degrees in education and business. She was credentialed in 2016 and has co-led a Renaissance Module.

Michelle Richards, Central Midwest, 

Michelle Richards is a Unitarian Universalist Credentialed Religious Educator at the Master Level and is the author of Come Into the Circle: Worshiping with Children and Tending the Flame: The Art of Unitarian Universalist Parenting (published by Skinner House Books). She wrote and developed the Popcorn Theology curriculum series as well as co-authored the curriculum, Compass Points, and the Tapestry of Faith program, Love Connects Us, which is available on-line from the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA). She has also written two summer camp programs which were used at two UUA General Assemblies and co-authored the recent revision of the UU Identity Module. She is a regular contributor to UU World’s website, starting with writing the UU Parenting blog which ran for four years.

She previously served the Central Midwest District of the Unitarian Universalist Association as a small church religious education program consultant and RE Training Coordinator following a seven year term as Director of Religious Education at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Elkhart. On behalf of the MidAmerica region, she has presented a series of webinars or workshop presentations, including the integration of technology into religious education programs and how to involve youth in the overall life of the church. As a LREDA Good Officer, she co-led a new DRE training and communicates regularly through the MidAmerica “RE Talks” series of Zoom meetings. She is also a LREDA trainer for mentors who, having completed the credentialing program, seek to give back by becoming mentors for others currently enrolled.

Richards spearheaded the development of a new summer camp for Unitarian Universalist families, Chalice Sparx, which debuted in the summer of 2014. Now in the process of incorporating as a not-for-profit entity, she is working on assembling a board and creating bylaws for the organization.
Prior to becoming a professional religious educator 19 years ago, Michelle worked as a writer and television producer for several local public television stations in Indiana. During this time she wrote and produced six documentaries dealing with children and educational issues. She has a bachelor’s degree in Radio/Television/Film from Indiana State University with a specialization in writing and film criticism and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Religious Education.

Michelle has been married to husband Bryan for 26 years and together they have two children: Carson (age 14) and Shannon (age 21). Michelle is also a blue belt in Tae Kwon Do, does Yoga sporadically but appreciatively, and loves sharing via social networking tools like Twitter and Pinterest.

Rich Roberts, Ohio Meadville, 

Rich is a Credentialed Religious Educator who has been the Director of Religious Education for the Unitarian Universalist Church of Akron, OH since 1994. He is active in the Ohio Meadville LREDA chapter, served on the staff of the Eastern Great Lakes Leadership School and is active in Toastmasters International. He spends as much of his free time as possible outdoors surrounded by nature. Rich is a musician and storyteller who loves creating experiential worship. Early in his career he was part of the Ohio Meadville District Religious Professional Religious Leaders group which included both ministers and religious educators. He is grateful to have worked alongside excellent ministerial colleagues and inspiring, creative religious educators throughout his career. 

Lynn Sabourin, Canadian UU Religious Educators, 

Lynn Sabourin has been the Director of Religious Education at North Shore Unitarian Church for the past 36 years. She is passionate about the work, having also been involved as a Renaissance facilitator, a mentor in the Religious Education Credentialing Program and as a Good Officer for CUURE (Canadian Unitarian Universalist Religious Educators). She had wonderful support starting out in the PNWD where she served on the District Religious Education Committee as a member and as chair. She hopes to extend that support to others on this path. Lynn was born and raised in North Vancouver and so is very much rooted in this community. She is a strong believer in good public education having started her career in the public school system. She and her husband, Doug, have three adult sons, now in their thirties and are raising a ten year old boy, which is proving to be an education itself. Her family has enjoyed attending Eliot Institute since 1989. NSUC members have taken on many leadership roles there and Lynn has held many staff roles including Children’s Program Coordinator, Volunteer Coordinator and Dean. As a committed Unitarian Universalist, Lynn has been involved in various social justice issues and volunteer roles in the community.

Rev. Tandy Scheffler, Southeast,

Reverend Tandy Scheffler is Minister of Faith Formation at the Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist in Oak Ridge, TN. She has over two decades’ experience as a UU religious educator and is credentialed at the Master level. Tandy is immediate past chair of the Religious Education Credentialing Committee and currently serves as President of the Oak Ridge Ministers Association, an interfaith group of clergy and civic service leaders who connect in friendship to minister to the entire community. She is taking training to become a volunteer chaplain with the Oak Ridge City Police. Tandy lives with her spouse Peter, their dog Willow, and cat Biscuit. They have two young adult sons, Ben and Sam. She enjoys tandem bicycling, line dancing, and time with family and friends.

 Kathy Smith, Southwest, 

Kathy E. Smith, Credentialed Religious Educator, has served our congregation in Plano, Texas as Director of Religious Education for Children and Youth since 2010.  Prior to that, she served at First Jefferson UU Church in Fort Worth for two years.  She is co-leader of Common Ground Street Choir, a holler-along street protest choir, and is also active in youth ministry in the SWUUC.  


Kathy Stevenson, Pacific Northwest,

Kathy Stevenson has been a religious educator at Quimper UU Fellowship for 30 years. She began the program with 10 children, so is experienced with small RE programs. Her congregation has grown to over 400 adults with 90-100 children. She has worked with several part-time ministers and one long term called minister. She has worked closely with boards and ministers through the years, developing an understanding of staff systems and lay leadership. She is honored to be a LREDA Good Officer and available to receive a call.

Kathy van Leuwen, Pacific Central, 

Kathy van Leuwen served the Unitarian Universalists of San Mateo (UUSM) as a Director of Religious Education since 2003 until 2017.   She grew up in Connecticut attending a liberal Methodist congregation and being involved in the church community was an important part of family life. Kathy holds Masters Degrees in Social Welfare and Public Health.  Her professional focus has been to help communities meet the needs of their families and families meet the needs of their children.   She is passionate about helping young people "find meaning in life and live lives of meaning" and comprehensive sexuality education.  

Eleanor VanDeusen, Mountain Desert, 

Eleanor VanDeusen is the Director of Faith Formation at the Foothills Unitarian Church in Fort Collins, Colorado and a Credentialed Religious Educator. She has served in her current role for the past 16 years, is a past President of the LREDA Mountain Desert District Chapter and served as the Chair of the LREDA 21st Century Fund Committee. She is devoted to supporting the professionalism of Religious Educators and their vital role on shared ministry teams.

 Halcyon Westall, New England LREDA, 

Halcyon Westall has served congregational and organizational faith formation professionally since 2006. A Credentialed Religious Educator, she is currently Project Manager for, crowdfunding Unitarian Universalist ministries, and will graduate May, 2017 with a an M.A. in Holistic Leadership. Halcyon is a Peer Facilitator in the New England Region of the UUA, and is Treasurer for the Unitarian Sunday School Society.

As a LREDA Good Officer, Halcyon promotes the motto, “Call early! Call often!” She delights in hearing from colleagues and helping them find a way forward.

Lynne Weygint, New England LREDA, 

Lynne Weygint is currently the Director of Lifespan Religious Education at First Parish in Waltham, a small congregation in Waltham, Massachusetts. A lifelong UU, Lynne served First Parish in Lexington (MA) as Director of Religious Education from 2004 - 2014, after many years of volunteer work in the religious education program at neighboring Follen Community Church, where she raised her two sons, now young adults. Both of the Lexington congregations are mid-sized II churches, as described in the UUA's geo-indices.

Lynne is the co-author of "The Joyful Family: Meaningful Activities and Heartfelt Celebrations for Connecting With the Ones You Love" and led a week-long conference on Star Island in 2000 based on the book's activities. She has served as the dean of special events for the Lifespan Religious Education conference on Star Island for many years, and has served the New England Chapter of LREDA(NEL), where she is the newly elected vice president, as well as the Unitarian Sunday School Society as treasurer. Lynne is also a trained facilitator in the Renaissance Module program. Lynne became a Good Officer in 2015, and loves serving LREDA in this capacity!

 Good Officers by Chapter

Central Midwest Michelle Richards

(Canadian UU Religious Educators)

Lynn Sabourin
Joseph Priestley Beth Irikura
Metro New York Tracy Breneman
Metro New York Rev. Natalie Fenimore
Metro New York Michelle McKenzie-Creech
Mountain Desert Eleanor VanDeusen
New England LREDA Deborah Levering
New England LREDA Halcyon Westall
New England LREDA Lynne Weygint
Ohio Meadville Rich Roberts
Pacific Central Kathy van Leuwen
Pacific Northwest Kathy Stevenson
Pacific Northwest Aisha Hauser
Pacific Northwest Mary Kroener-Ekstrand
Pacific Southwest Marci Beaudoin
Southeast Linnea Nelson 
Southeast Rev. Tandy Scheffler
Southwest Kathy Smith