Womyn's Program Leader
Gretchen Ohmann has been a UU since she and her late husband Pat joined BUUF in the 1980s. Jumping into women's spirituality after Roz and Gloria convinced her to attend a UU women's retreat in the 90s, she has since led workshops and singing circles, and has helped plan UU women's events in the midwest and southwest regions of the US as well as at the national level. She is currently a board member of Continental UU Women & Religion (www.uuwr.org) and UU Women’s Federation (www.uuwf.org). An avid proponent of the Red Tent movement and the ongoing need for womyn's circles, she has also faciitated Cakes for the Queen of Heaven classes and trainings.
Gretchen is a website developer whose day job is tech coordinator for the UUA’s MidAmerica Region. She spends her spare time with her daughter and son-in-law and 2 grandkids.
Hilary Johnson was born and raised in Colorado. She grew up in Denver and graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder in 2012 with a Bachelor's degree in linguistics. After graduation, she lived in Washington, DC for several years, then briefly in Annapolis, Maryland until moving permanently to St. Joseph at the end of 2015. As well as working as the Berrien UU Office Administrator, she is Office Assistant at Western Michigan University--Southwest in Benton Harbor. She is a grad student at Western Michigan University in the Master of Social Work program. Her ultimate goal is to work in addiction treatment. She enjoys reading, cats, dogs and Bob's Burgers.
Rev. Jim McConnell
Our minister Rev. Jim McConnell provides 18-36 thought-provoking services per year in which he draws from his extensive knowledge of how various cultures experience and communicate the mysteries of the universe. He serves on the Board of the Berrien County Association of Churches and is active in many community events. He leads our volunteers in preparing and serving lunch at the Benton Harbor Soup Kitchen and helped create the Social Justice Coalition of which BUUF is a charter member. Jim also provides pastoral care and is available for baby-naming ceremonies, weddings, and memorial services.
Director of Religious Education and Program Director
Dave Sarra leads our children and adult religious education programs and special events, as well as our Senior Brunches and Creative Conversations.
Candace Onweller is our pianist most Sundays. She is also available for private lessons and holds an annual recital at BUUF each spring. When possible, live music is offered on Sundays when Candace is not at the piano, using members of our BUUF Jam Session.