REV. TIM KUTZMARK, MINISTER
The Reverend Tim Kutzmark is a graduate of the Divinity School at Harvard University, where he received the prestigious Hopkins Shareholder Award for academic and ministerial accomplishment. Tim has previously served growing congregations in Virginia and Massachusetts, where he had a special emphasis on ministry to families and children, and to those with no church affiliation who were looking for a welcoming spiritual home. Tim has completed advanced training in pastoral care to adults and children. He is a certified instructor of Kundalini Yoga, teaches several different forms of meditation and spiritual practice, and leads spiritual reflection groups and retreats. A world traveler, Tim has spent time in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran as well as several countries in Africa. (To find out more about Tim, CLICK HERE.)
JANISE BARAJAS-RENNIE – DIRECTOR OF LIFESPAN LEARNING & FAMILY MINISTRY
Janise is a native Californian. She has two children who are attending college, several furry friends, and a big extended family. Her studies included Family and Human development, Credentialed Interfaith Spiritual Director, and she served many years volunteering, fundraising and team teaching in Hospice of SLO County. Janise worked at the Atascadero school district in special education from K-young adults. Janise weaves her experience and education to fine-tune her lens in multicultural education. She has a sincere belief in the worthiness of all living beings. Her focus is to support and empower individuals to search for their own truth and meaning through guided opportunities to explore UU faith, social justice, world religion and rituals. She endeavors to provide a collaborative environment where children, youth, and adults feel safe, respected, accepted and heard.
JODI BAKER – CONGREGATIONAL ADMINISTRATOR
Jodi is originally from Clovis, but spent many years living in Mt. Shasta/Weed, CA area where in addition to raising her children and co-owning S & J Distributing, she was active in her surrounding community. With a strong background in business and non-profit administration, she was the founding Executive Director of Weed Community Resource Center, a grassroots non-profit community center largely funded by First 5 California and California Mental Health Services Act and a Case Manager for Northern Valley Catholic Social Services Wraparound Program, where services were designed to provide family reunification support to 0-18 year old clients, their families and their caregivers. She served on the School Board for Weed Elementary and Middle School, Siskiyou County Child Abuse Prevention Council, Area on Aging and many other community-based organization and leadership groups.
KATHY HUBER – FACILITIES AND FINANCE MANAGER
Kathy Huber received her undergraduate degree from Arizona State University and her MBA from the University of Southern California. After growing up in Arizona, living in Los Angeles and Bishop California, Kathy moved to Fresno in 2001. She has extensive experience in manufacturing, retail, and healthcare. She has worked for many years as Accounting Manager, Vice President of Finance and Director of Finance. She most recently worked as Chief Operations Officer for a large Pathology Lab in Fresno where she was responsible for the design, build and maintenance of a 16,000 sq. ft. facility. After early retirement, when boredom set in, she volunteered for Hinds Hospice. Ultimately she was put on the payroll at Hinds and worked for over three years with the Director Donor Relations and Major Gifts. She feels blessed to find such a wonderful group of individuals to work with here at the church.
PATTY BENNETT – MEMBER SERVICES COORDINATOR
Patty Bennett is a community advocate with interests in peace, social justice, environmental justice, and disability awareness. She is a lifelong Californian who grew up in Santa Barbara and earned her bachelor’s degree in literature from UC Santa Cruz. When she and her husband Tim Parker moved to Fresno they joined the UU Church and raised their two sons William and Max in this welcoming community. Patty has previously worked as editor of campus publications at UC Santa Cruz and as an elementary school teacher for Fresno Unified School District. Her community work includes chairing the Fresno branch of Women’s International League for Peace and Justice and helping coordinate the branch’s 50th anniversary celebration in 2015. Patty also directs the Fresno Raging Grannies as they sing their songs of peace and social justice at events throughout the Fresno area.
KAYLIA METCALFE-ARMSTRONG – COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR
Kaylia loves being a part of the UU Fresno community. She teaches Spirit School, volunteers with Chalice Camp, and coleads the Social Media Team. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing (CSUS) and a Copyediting Certificate (UCSD). Currently, Kaylia is a freelance copy editor, podcast host, and writer. She also stays busy as a stay at home mom, community organizer, activist, and volunteer. She serves as Secretary for the Central Valley’s Alliance of Atheists & Skeptics and runs a local book club. She enjoys short walks on safe roads, coffee shops, and playing dinosaur princesses with her daughter Ella.
LORENZO BASSMAN – MUSIC DIRECTOR
Music Director Lorenzo Bassman received his A.B. Degree in music from Duke University, after which he received a Diploma and Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School. He has performed with many of today’s leading classical musicians. Lorenzo and his family moved to Fresno in 1997 and joined our church in 2000. Lorenzo quickly became active in our music program, and in 2006 assumed the Music Director position. He has brought many innovations to the program, broadening its scope to include music of many genres. He has arranged music for adult and youth instrumental and vocal ensembles, has established a versatile church band, Stolen Thunder, and has taken our music program to the greater Fresno community, performing at numerous peace community events.
DAVID FIRTH – SEXTON
David Firth has been the sexton of our church for 24 years. It is David’s job to prepare the church for the many events that take place throughout the year, plus he oversees the housekeeping and maintenance of our physical campus. David also assists with the sound system and taping of our Sunday sermons for our website.
DESMOND MCCOLLUM – CHILD CARE WORKER
Desmond received his B.A. from San Jose State University in 1994. While pursuing a music career, he worked for fourteen years with adults with disabilities. He and his wife and two children moved to the Central Valley to be closer to his parents. Working with people, he has learned many useful skills, such as the ability to listen to what others say, stay professional, and problem-solve with clients and students. He is grateful to be part of the UU Church of Fresno and to work in an environment that supports individuality, respect, and love
BETTY PINGEL – MINISTER EMERITA
Betty Pingle, Minister Emerita, served for eleven years and worked with the congregation to build a more spiritually contemplative style of Sunday Service. She introduced more singing and a meditation time. She included children in the service with a story for all ages. Together, Rev. Pingel and the congregation built a more solid organizational structure. After retirement, Betty moved to Colorado to be with her family. After the Rev. Betty Pingel retired, the congregation was served for four years by the Rev. Stephanie Nichols who was then succeeded by the Rev. Bryan Jessup.