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. He previously served congregations in Virginia and Massachusetts, where he had a special emphasis on ministry to those with no church affiliation who were looking for a welcoming spiritual home. Passionate about social justice, Tim has been involved in supporting the Black Lives Matter movement, policing reform, Climate Change action, immigration reform, gun control, LGBTQ+ rights, living wage, death with dignity, and other progressive stands. Tim was a recipient of a 2020 “Way of Peace” Award from the Fresno Center for Nonviolence for his work coordinating a series of Friday night vigils for “Allies of the Black Lives Matter Movement” in the wake of the murder of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and so many other unarmed black citizens killed by law enforcement. Tim is a proud member of the national Planned Parenthood Clergy Advocacy Board, and a supporter of Planned Parenthood Mar Monte. 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, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uganda, Rwanda, and South Africa. (To find out more about Tim, CLICK HERE.)
JODI B. – ADMINISTRATION AND FACILITIES MANAGER
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.
CINDIE G. – ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT
Cindie is originally from Fresno, grew up in San Jose, spent many years living in Gilroy, CA (Garlic Country) where she raised her children, and has now returned home to Fresno to be closer to family. Cindie has two adult children, three mischievous grandchildren, three well behaved grand-kitties, and a wide circle of family and friends that keep her busy! She has an AA Degree in Communications and has a wealth of Executive/Administrative Assistant experience with the City of Gilroy and the Town of Los Gatos. Her passions are reading books on a wide variety of subjects, birdwatching, road trips, visiting loved ones, and supporting people in becoming their best true selves.
Kiran was born in India and moved to the United States when she was 5 years old. Although she grew up in San Jose, she has lived in Fresno for almost 17 years. She graduated from San Jose State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. Kiran has dedicated her career to working in the non-profit community because of her passion to help others. She comes to us from Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission, where she has over 15 years of experience working with many different programs. In her personal life, Kiran enjoys spending time with her family, reading and traveling.
PATTY B. – COORDINATOR OF CONGREGATIONAL LIFE
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.
Chloe Emily has been identifying as a Unitarian Universalist since the age of 13, and has grown through our congregation’s religious education programs. She has participated in many national UU Youth and Young Adult Trainings. She’s served on the UUA’s Moderator Search Committee, as well as our own Worship Associates team, and is currently leading the UUA @ the U.N. Office’s Communications and Publicity Team for their Seminar Planning Committee. Chloe has an Associates Degree in Communication Studies with an emphasis in Media Design and Technical Operations. Her favorite pastimes include traveling, writing, and consuming copious amounts of caffeine.
LORENZO – 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 F. – 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 M. – 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.