Leadership News

Meet Our Summer Ministers

Revs. Judy Welles and Duane Fickeisen will serve as summer ministers during July and August. They will preach and lead Sunday worship services during that time and also be available for pastoral care.

Duane and JudyJudy Welles grew up as a pre-merger Unitarian in Wellesley, Massachusetts and has always had a UU church in her life. After a career as a mid-level manager for Planned Parenthood in Southern California, she graduated in 1994 from Starr King School for the Ministry, where she met her husband, Duane Fickeisen. Following a long and happy settlement as the first ministers of the Unitarian Universalists of the Cumberland Valley, a new congregation in south central Pennsylvania, Judy and Duane retired to Portland, where they have lived since 2011. Judy loves being Nonna to her three grandchildren and Duane's five; she is a member of the First Unitarian knitting group and enjoys reading and gardening. She continues to be active for Unitarian Universalism, serving on the board of the UU Retired Ministers and Partners Association, on the Western Regional Sub-Committee on Candidacy of the Ministerial Fellowship Committee, and being a trained mentor to ministerial candidates and ministers in preliminary fellowship.

Duane Fickeisen grew up in Bremerton while sailing on Puget Sound and backpacking in the Olympic Mountains. He came to Unitarian Universalism in 1981 and was an active lay leader in the Pacific Northwest before going to seminary at Starr King School for the Ministry in 1993. There he met and married Judy Welles. After their successful ministry in Pennsylvania, Duane was happy to retire and return home to the Pacific Northwest when he and Judy moved to SE Portland three years ago. He serves on the board of the UU Ministers Association as secretary and is a coach to other UU ministers as well as consulting with UU congregations on behalf of the district during ministerial transitions. He is webmaster for the UU Retired Ministers and Partners Association. As a member of First Church, he is on the UUA Outreach Group, has offered classes in process theology and photography, and serves as the Chalice Lighter Ambassador. He and Judy were the First Church summer ministers in 2012 and were sabbatical fill-in ministers for the UU church of Vancouver (WA) last year. In addition to grandparenting, he enjoys gardening, cooking, photography, and walking. He joins Judy frequently in marveling at the good fortune of living in Portland, landing in a great neighborhood, and participating in First Church.


Notes from UUA Outreach Group


More than a dozen winning bidders joined the UUA Outreach Group recentlycdpape to enjoy a wine tasting and good companionship. This was the first Committee sponsored auction event and offered both an interesting venture into viniculture in Oregon and beyond, plus a rare opportunity for church members to talk about the Unitarian Universalist Association, its various parts and activities. Shown below is committee member Jim Shorr telling the story behind one of the wines he contributed to the tasting.


Opportunities of Scale:

We know about economies of scale -- lower cost of input, and also about efficiencies of scale -- lower cost of through-put. There are also opportunities of scale -- simply put, those chances that come to you just because you have the size to attract them. I’ve been noticing these around First Unitarian this year. For example, we showcased an intern conductor recently, Owen Hoffman-Smith of Eastrose UU Fellowship, was completing requirements for his Masters in Choral Conducting from PSU. Others come to mind, such as the mentoring relationship First Unitarian will enter with Jefferson Church of Golden, CO, a mid-size church working on a growth vector to  ward large church status. Emergence of our young adult ministry is another, of course, brought simply because we are positioned to attract these new members. As we look forward to building our intentional future, let’s remind ourselves how much of the richness and diversity we enjoy about First Unitarian comes from our ability to attract what we want in our religious experience.

Confluence Committee Update: A New Name!

We found our old name confused some folks, so we’ve renamed our Committee the UUA Outreach Group. We’re the same people doing the same things -- being your gateway to everything UU outside the church. We link you to the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) and exciting events like General Assembly. We connect you to the Pacific Northwest District and Pacific Western Region with their education, training and fund raising efforts like Chalice Lighters. You get briefings on Mt Hood Cluster meetings and events we share with all other UU congregations in the Portland area. And we link you with many of the UU interest groups that thrive in our effort to bring about a more just and compassionate society. Check us out on the website. Drop by our table in Fuller Hall any Sunday.




Mt Hood Area Cluster Annual Picnic

Mt Hood Area Cluster of UU Congregations--
Annual Potluck Picnic
Sunday, May 19, at 3 p.m. in Hood River, sponsored by Mid-Columbia UU Fellowship of Hood River.

This will be a non-business get-together. Meet at the Rockford Grange, 4262 Barrett Dr., Hood River.

Get directions here (allow an hour+ from downtown Portland).

Bring whatever you like; this is a free-for-all potluck. Drinks, dishes, and silverware provided. Also available: refrigerators, stoves, microwaves, etc. Why not first attend the Mid-Columbia UU Fellowship for worship at 10 a.m.? Rev. Ken Jones, the new interim minister, will speak, and several members of the congregation will provide sightseeing tours between the service and the potluck. If you plan to attend, contact >  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , so he can alert our hosts.


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