Committees and Contacts

UUSD has two types of committees: Board Committees that are created by the Board of Trustees and Standing Committees that are authorized by the Board of Trustees and whose members are elected at the Annual Meeting. For more information, see the Committee Charges. The UUSD Organizational Chart is here and explains how all the various elements of governance fit together.

Each committee coordinates various aspects of congregation life according to its Charge. Members may join any Board committee in which they have an interest.

  • Board committees elect their own chairs with Board approval.
  • The Leadership Development Committee is a Standing Committee composed of three to five members elected by congregation members at the Annual Meeting each June.

The dates and times of committee meetings are listed on the UUSD Calendar.

If you are interested in joining or learning more about a committee, contact emails are provided below, or the Leadership Development Committee will connect you with the appropriate person.

Church Council: Provides cross-committee communication, coordination, and collaboration on issues impacting the congregation. The Council is made up of committee chairs or their designees. Responsibilities include promoting effective committees through sharing best practices, providing feedback to the Board of Trustees on important matters, sharing information about new activities and programs being planned, coordinating initiatives involving more than one committee, and sharing any concerns about the church and the congregation. Contact Jane Miller, Chair, at

Committee on Congregational Life: Advises the Board of Trustees on the overall congregational health of UUSD, provides support for conflict prevention and mediation, and practices a healthy mediation process. Deanna Duby, Chair,

Communications: Promotes Unitarian Universalism and the vision, mission, and activities of UUSD in Sussex County, DE and neighboring areas. Activities: the monthly newsletter, The Beacon; Internet outreach via the UUSD website, Facebook, and other social media; and advertising UUSD and its activities in local newspapers and media. Contact

Photo Team: Sue Brown,

Publications: Pat Schaeffer,

Publicity: Alice Casey,

Website Team: Anita Gossett;  Elizabeth Shepley; Ronnie Smith; and Alleane Taylor, Lead,

Covenant Council: Contact Ruth Lamothe, Coordinator, at

Denominational Affairs: Informs the congregation about important decisions and activities of the UUA, CER, and other UU organizations and encourages active participation of UUSD members in them. Mac Goekler, Chair, at

Executive Team: Implements the responsibilities listed in their charge. Contact Rev. Heather Rion Starr at

Expansion Planning: Inactive

Finance: Monitors the overall financial health of the congregation, and coordinates the development of the annual budget. Responsible for long-range financial planning, including the update of the strategic financial plan and The Cloud Society (planned legacy giving). Contact Bobbe Baggio, Chair, at

FUNdraising: Plans and sponsors church-wide fundraising events including the Annual UUSD Auction. Develops and coordinates other social activities. Contact Gwen Johnson, Beth Law, Co-Chairs, at

Governance Review Team: The Governance Review Team undertakes a systematic, comprehensive review of UUSD’s governance documents, with an eye to bringing them into conformance with current practice, desired future practice—and one another. Contact Mac Goekler,

Human Resources: Oversees evaluation and counsels with paid staff of UUSD. Contact Pat Murdock, Chair, at

Leadership Development (Standing Committee): Recruits members year-round for potential leadership positions, including service on the Board of Trustees, the Leadership Development Committee, and as committee chairs and members. It supports leaders through leadership education, mentoring, and coaching. Contact Donna Davis, Pam Everett, Co-Chairs, at

Lifespan Faith Exploration: Supports and leads our children and adults in their spiritual and religious lives, researches, plans, and implements the Sunday programs for children from birth through high school using volunteer teachers, offers opportunities for fostering spiritual growth among adults in its Adult Education Program. Contact and Betty Kirk, Chair of Adult Faith Exploration Program at

Librarian: Contact Joyce Fitch, Chair, at

Membership: Welcomes all who are searching for a progressive religious home, greets visitors at Sunday services, and follows up with visits, letters, or phone calls, sponsors events to help visitors, friends, and new members get to know UUSD better and become involved in the life of the congregation. Contact Barbara Barnette, Chair, at

Music: Oversees the music program and provides support and input to the Director of Music Ministries, who oversees and coordinates the music contributions to the Sunday service and other UUSD events. Contact Dianne Conine, Chair, at

Pastoral Care: Assists the Minister in providing pastoral care to members of the congregation, either in the Minister’s absence, due to Sabbatical leave, vacation, or illness, or in the event that the needs of the congregation temporarily exceed the ability of the Minister to attend to them concurrently. Contact Michele Cavanaugh, Chair, at

Property Management: Oversees the maintenance and management of the buildings and grounds at UUSD. Several teams operate under the jurisdiction of this committee. Contact Gary Schmidt, Chair,

Audio/Visual Systems & Operations Team: Contact Susan Goekler, Gary Schmidt at

Energy Team: Contact team members, Allan Cairncross, Chair; Ron Schaeffer, Gary Schmidt, and John Sykes at

Kitchen Team: Contact Anne Pikolas, Chair, Jaclyn Keefer, Sue O’Brien at

Landscape Team: Contact Co-Chairs Linda DeFeo and Margaret Keefe at

Rental: Contact Jean Charles, Chair, at

Usage: Contact the Executive Team,

Safer Congregation Committee: Is responsible for the overall oversight of the safety ministry and is accountable to the Board. Contact Ruth Lamothe, Chair, at

Social & Environmental Justice: Through advocacy, activism, education, and witness, the committee engages the congregation and community in various local, national, and global issues promoting equality, peace, human rights, and sustainability. Focuses on justice in the areas of Economic, Environmental, Immigrant and Refugee, Peacemaking, Racial, and Women, Family, Gender Identity, and Sexual Orientation. Contact Susan Goekler and Mac Goekler, Co-Chairs, at

Worship: Oversees the logistics of Sunday worship services as well as the programs for those services when our minister is not in the pulpit. Trains ushers and worship associates to support the Sunday services. Contact Jean Charles or Rick Welk, Co-Chairs,

Ushers: Tony Codella,