Dave Lloyd - President
My wife, Suzanne Williams, and I joined the church in early 2005. Our first introduction to UCH was when a friend invited us to the Holiday Harvest social event; we met a number of church members and decided to come to a Sunday service. On the way home that first Sunday, we found ourselves talking excitedly about the sermon—imagine that! Sunday services always give me something to think about, and I enjoy the fellowship and friendship of the church community— but there’s more. I have never considered myself a “religious” or a “spiritual” person, but my spiritual side has truly awakened at UCH.
I live in Brookfield with Suzanne and my son Geoff, when he’s not away at college. My background is Roman Catholic and Sue’s is Episcopalian. I have lived all my life in the Chicago area, and went to college and law school at DePaul University. I am a partner in a small law firm in Orland Park, but my real job is as a volunteer in natural habitat restoration.
I have enjoyed volunteering for UCH in several capacities over the years. It’s exciting to be president of the congregation, as there is so much energy among our members and so much potential for the church to be a positive force in all our lives and in the world.
Darline Peterson - Vice President
My husband, Gene Parvin, and I joined UCH in 1993 after searching for a church for quite some time. I was raised Protestant but I was really attracted to the idea of non-creedal church where I could develop my own beliefs and where I could hear practical commentary about day-to-day living on Sunday mornings.
I became quite active in the church in 2005 when I started working part time instead of 60 hours a week. I helped out in the office and also did paperwork and food preparation for Holiday Harvest, our fun annual fundraiser. The church became increasingly more important to me the more I participated in it. As time went on I joined the finance committee and started proofreading the newsletter. This May I was elected Vice President of the congregation and am responsible for the administration of the church.
Gene and I live in Elmhurst with our two cats. We also spend a lot of our time on the farm in Wisconsin where my brother and I grew up. Growing up in the country has given me a deep love of nature and a real appreciation and interest in food and food production. Ironically, my brother and I were raised knowing that we would go to college so we wouldn’t be farmers. So we went to college and went to school and went to school. Now I am a retired attorney, having practiced for 20 years. I’m also a retired chef, food service manager and college instructor.
During this coming year I’m looking forward to my new “job” working with the congregation and the board of trustees here at the Unitarian Church of Hinsdale.
Beth Staas - Secretary
Reared Lutheran by devout German immigrants, church attendance provided an excellent education, exposing me to serious poetry and classical music in the form of hymns, and the discipline of deductive logic found in Sunday sermons. This, along with its spiritual nourishment, has kept church important to me. So when intellectual honesty demanded that I reject traditional theology, I still felt the need for a church home. Newly married, my husband and I found it at Third Unitarian Church in Chicago. Soon corporate gypsies that followed my husband’s paycheck, we moved across the country, finding a welcoming Unitarian home each and every time. We were even involved in building several Fellowships into bona fide churches. Hinsdale Unitarian is the twelfth congregation I’ve joined and am pleased to say that my five children are still Unitarian. Over the years I’ve been active in Religious Education, chairing committees and teaching as well as serving two short stints as DRE during baby-boom years when volunteers did everything. I was active in Women’s Alliance, sang in the choir and spent several years writing a church newsletter. I have been on two different Minister’s Advisory Committees, have conducted occasional lay-services and plunged into the demands of organizing and running a church library. Now widowed and retired from teaching, I spend my time writing in whatever venue strikes my fancy.
Shelley Hendrickson - Treasurer
While searching a church where I would feel comfortable exploring my spirituality and be able to allow my daughter to develop her own spirituality as well, I found UCH on-line in 2005. I started bringing my daughter, Lilly, with me on Sundays. In the spring of 2006 I officially become a member. My husband, Eric, has recently started attending services more regularly this past year. He was brought up Catholic and other than my brief year or so of Sunday school at a Methodist Church as a child, I have no religious background. We believe that UCH is the perfect community to help us pass on our core values to our daughter.
I grew up in Glen Ellyn and graduated from Glenbard West High School in 1993. I pursued fine art photography at Columbia College in Chicago for 1 ½ years and then packed up my bags for cheaper lodging (a.k.a my mom’s) and tuition (College of DuPage). I began working as receptionist for a sales office for flexible package printing located in Glen Ellyn in 1999, and after a year was handling most of the daily accounting tasks. In 2001 the business was sold to an off-set printing corporation based in South San Francisco, CA and I assumed even more accounting tasks. In 2004, I resigned so I could stay at home with my soon to be born daughter. I was asked to come back in 2007 and I am currently working there part-time and enjoying the flexibility and having my Fridays off to spend with Lilly.
Steven Trout - Trustee at Large
I grew up attending Paint Branch Unitarian Church in Silver Springs, Maryland, where my parents have remained active members for over 40 years.
Since moving to Chicago 23 years ago, I first attended the Second Unitarian Church of Chicago. Later, I joined the Unity Temple Unitarian Universalist Congregation, after Athena and I married and moved to Elmwood Park over 20 years ago. We discovered the Unitarian Church of Hinsdale over 8 years ago, shortly after moving to Western Springs.
Since joining UCH about 5 years ago, I have gotten increasingly involved, helping with business solicitations for Holiday Harvest, a Chalice Circle group that meets Saturday mornings twice a month, and with special projects, such as installing insulation in the Sanctuary attic. While getting involved takes time, Athena and I find that doing so offers an enriching opportunity to learn, grow, and make friends and connections to the UCH Community.
I am pleased to serve as a Trustee At Large this year. My portfolio is Communication, which includes oversight responsibility for the Church’s website and the monthly newsletter, The Touchstone, and other forms of print and electronic promotion and publicity for UCH. I am fortunate to be supported in these efforts by a terrific group of dedicated members that work together to produce the Touchstone and serves as members of a recently established Web Committee.
My primary goals for the year include:
• Encouraging outsiders to visit the Church, visitors to attend more services, friends to become members and members to get more engaged with UCH Community.
• Enhancing UCH’s website as an effective forum for attracting outsiders to attend services and for encouraging members to become more active participants in the Church community.
• Encourage the use of social networking sites to promote awareness of UCH on sites such as Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn.
• Encourage the continued production of The Touchstone, as an engaging source of accurate and timely information.
• Work with the Church Administrator, members of the Board and other UCH members to provide timely notice of events and other news via email blasts and other communications modes.
I look forward to comments on how UCH is doing with regard to communications and general governance matters and your suggestions as to how we can improve. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (708) 783-1240.
Hans Lonnroth - Trustee at Large
Portfolio: Building and Grounds
Religion was an interesting topic in my family of origin. My father is an atheist my mother an agnostic. As a child I attended an Episcopalian church mostly because my grandmother was the church secretary. After first communion I stopped attending. Despite not attending a church I was interested in a variety or eastern and western religious and spiritual traditions. In addition to my readings I also received a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy.
After having kids my wife Janice and I felt that it was time to join a church. For years we flirted with the idea of attending a Unitarian Church but we did not move on it. After having a lengthy discussion with our son Lars the existence of God we knew that it was time.
The Unitarian Universalist Church of Hinsdale was a perfect fit. As I talked to members of the congregation everyone felt like a kindred spirit. It was not long we became full fledged members of the church. Since joining about a year and a half ago, I have become part of the Green Sanctuary Committee, taught OWL in RE and most recently become a board member. I have to laugh because 5 years ago there is no way I could have seen myself doing this but here I am. To quote the Grateful Dead “what a long strange trip its been”.
I am very grateful that I have become connected with such a great organization and that our children will get to discover their own path amongst such wonderful and caring group of people.
Larry Price - Trustee at Large
Laurie Culbert - Trustee at Large
Debbie Daniel Wayman - Trustee at Large
Portfolio: Religious Education
My husband Bob & I have been members of UCH for over 20 years. We found the church while looking for someone to marry us who would allow us the freedom we wished for in a ceremony while still bringing a spiritual presence to the event. Ed Searl fit that bill, and, as it turned out, also was a wonderful spiritual guide for us as well, so we quite unexpectedly joined the church soon thereafter.
The religious education program was much smaller when we joined the church, and so the birth of our first child, Adam, was a wonderfully celebrated event among the community who looked forward to a new generation of children to be raised as UU’s. Since that time Adam and his sister Shelby (now in high school) have been joined by many other families looking for the welcoming guidance our R.E. program offers.
Through the years I have taught From Nursery through Jr. High on Sunday’s at the church, sung in the choir many years, accompanied the children’s choir, and have worked on the annual auction and it’s many predecessors. Professionally my background is in music, and I have taught from Pre-school through undergraduates in music and humanities.
Kathy Salzano - Trustee at Large
We live in Elmhurst and have been attending the Unitarian Church of Hinsdale since 2004. My husband, Antonio, and I have three children. We came from different religious and cultural backgrounds and were looking for a church home that would accept people and their diversity. We were welcomed here and are grateful to be a part of this open-minded, intellectual community that honors each individual’s spiritual path.
Pam and the RE program were a huge part of why we joined. We wanted our children to have a broad exposure to religious beliefs and encourage critical thinking to foster their own credo. Now all three of our children have written their first statement of belief, we have two daughters in the Youth Group, and our oldest son is in the Engineering Program at University of Illinois (Urbana).
I enjoy singing in the choir and have participated in other activities, before considering a position on the board. This is an open congregational community that thrives on democratic input. We may not always agree on everything, but we respect others’ opinions. I look forward to serving on the Board and working with the other trustees to continue to grow and improve our church.
I studied Psychology and Spanish at Elmhurst College, before continuing in Spanish Linguistics at UIC. Now I am a Spanish/ Language teacher.
I enjoy meeting new people, talking with friends, reading and learning.
As Trustee for the Worship portfolio, I will be responsible for scheduling lay led services, and making sure that services have flowers, ushers, and after-service refreshments.
Meet me at Coffee Hour!
Paula Sejut-Dvorak - Trustee at Large
Portfolio: Denominational Relations
In 2001 my husband Tim and I were looking for a place to get married. We happened upon the Unitarian Church of Hinsdale and soon found not only a place to hold a ceremony, but a church home as well. Reared as a Catholic, I attended Benet Academy and Loyola University and reveled in the social justice and volunteer opportunities presented to me as a student. However, I often recoiled from the judgmental nature of religion in general. Tim and I have been lucky to find a place to be able to continue our social justice work in a loving and supportive environment.
Our family has since expanded to include two boys, Alex and Ben, who are currently two and four. My parents have also become members of the church. We appreciate the RE program at church and enjoy attending services as a family. Professionally, I have my Master’s degree in child and adolescent counseling psychology as well as my LPC. I am currently working part time for Encouraging Changes Counseling in Plainfield. At church I have been an RE teacher for many semesters, I currently teach both Junior and Senior high OWL. I have been involved with Holiday Harvest, the Social Action Committee and the membership committee.
As the Denominational Relations trustee I will be responsible for the church’s relationship with both other congregations and the UUA. I am looking to expand our connection with other UUs, both regionally and nationally. My main area of focus will be diversifying and growing our role as social justice advocates in the community at large. My portfolio also includes the Social Action Committee, Green Sanctuary and the Women’s Alliance. I invite all members of the church to become active in social justice and outreach acivities through UCH and the UUA. Please contact me at email@example.com with any questions or comments regarding these areas.
Laurel Culbert - Trustee at Large
I grew up in the Unitarian Church of Hinsdale where my parents were active church members. I have fond memories of the youth group lock-ins at the church where we played the hide-and-seek game of sardines. I also enjoyed singing with the Celebration Singers. I recently came back to my church home and thought the best way to meet people was to get involved. In addition to my position on the board as Membership Trustee, I also volunteer at the Greater Chicago Food Depository, crochet shawls as part of the Care Shawl Group, and was a mentor for the RE Coming of Age program. The Membership Committee is working hard to create a welcoming church where our visitors soon become active members. Please feel free to attend the Membership Committee meetings as we can always use your ideas.