Leadership News

To Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church of Charleston, SC


Thursday, June 18, 2015

I write from a continent away and across differences in theology to stand with the Mother Emanuel community in these hours of violation and shock and grief. Evil visited your church last night in the person of a young man so filled with hate that he could not hear the love you preach and the hope you proclaim.

Our hearts and our prayers hold the families of those who were killed, including your pastor. We also hold those who survived but were traumatized and the expanding circles of those whose hearts are broken by the violence and the senseless hate that refuses to hear the call of love.

Our congregation is doing the work of love here in Portland, in every way we can discern to do it. But on this day our calling is to stand with you.

May you feel the support we send, holding you up today and in the days ahead.


Rev. Dr. William Sinkford

Senior Minister

First Unitarian Church

Portland, OR


2015 Nominees for Board and Nominating Committee

AmeenaAmeena Amdahl-Mason (Board of Trustees)
Ameena Amdahl-Mason began attending First Unitarian Church in elementary school during the 1980's, and continued attending through her graduation from high school. Returning to the church in 2001, she is an advisor for the YRUU, the high school youth group, and she rings in the Parker Bell Choir. She has previously worked on the Christmas Pageant, served on the Covenant Committee, the Nominating Committee, the Ministerial Search Committee, and as an advocate. When she is not at the church, she works as a high school math teacher and debate coach. 
Ameena has served on the Board since 2012, and she is currently the Moderator of the Board. She has previously served as the Board Secretary, and has been active on the Communications Committee, the Policy Evaluation Committee, the Finance Committee, and the Board Officers Committee. She appreciates that Board work gives her an opportunity to use skills and talents outside of those that she employs in her working life.

LauraLaura Milne (Board of Trustees)
Laura Willingham Milne has been a member of 1st Unitarian Church for over seven years. Within weeks of settling into their home in NW Portland, Laura and her family found their way to First Church where Bob Schaibly was speaking as guest minister. They were hooked from their first visit and have found their spiritual home in our Church.
Laura has a particular interest in the challenges the Church is faced with: the complex intersection of providing spiritual sustenance with the need to have strong business practices. In other words, how to have a heart, nurture the heart and have self-sustaining methods and results.
Locally, Laura has served on the board of directors for Chapman Elementary School Foundation where she ran the successful Family Campaign. Laura documented the entire process for the Foundation in order to provide a roadmap for future Chapman fund raisers. Laura also serves as an occasional volunteer in the 13 Salmon Family Shelter.
Laura grew up in San Gabriel, a largely Latino neighborhood near East L.A. She received her bachelor’s degree from Scripps College and is fluent in Spanish.  Laura was loosely raised in the Presbyterian Church and occasionally attended an activist Episcopalian congregation in Pasadena.  When she arrived at First Church, she knew she had found her home.

MaryannMaryann Roulier (Board of Trustees)
It has been a privilege for me to have served as a member of our Board of Trustees for the past 3.5 years. I have had the pleasure of getting to know many more members of our congregation and of being involved in the workings of our church. During my term I have served as Moderator, Secretary, First Vice-moderator, and have been a member of the Board Officers’ Committee, Finance, and Policy Evaluation Committees. Prior to my term on the Board, I was co-president of the Alliance, Annual Fund Drive co-chair, an advocate, a member of the Membership Committee, and an office volunteer. I have been blessed by membership in the Unitarian Choir during all of my 12 years in Portland.  Previously I was a member of First Unitarian Church of Cincinnati for some 25 years, served on the board, and “worked my way up through the chairs.” I would be honored to be re-elected to our Board of Trustees for a second term.  

DarinDarin Stewart (Board of Trustees)
Five years ago, I made First Unitarian my spiritual home. I had just discovered Unitarian Universalism and found that it represented the core of what I thought religion should be. It also pushed back against certain religious experiences I wanted to leave behind. As my family and I found our place in this congregation, I came to believe that the First Church community could serve as a model of what society can and should become. I hope to have the opportunity to serve on the board of trustees in order to move that work forward in whatever way I can. Over the past few years, I have been a part of the membership committee, a Wellspring facilitator, an RE substitute, and an usher.  Professionally I am a research director for an IT advisory firm. I also teach applied information management for the University of Oregon.

JohnJohn Bishop (Nominating Committee)
Our family came to First Unitarian Church as serious visitors for the first time in 2009, at the request of our oldest son who, was interested in checking out the Youth Group.  We joined the church in 2010.  In that same year, I joined the Unitarian Choir, and I am still a member, and am excited to have the opportunity to tour Ireland with the choir this summer. Before First Church, I was a member of the West Hills Unitarian Universalist Fellowship and served as the President of its board.  I am also a devotee and evangelist for the Eliot Institute, a Pacific Northwest UU organization which sponsors summer and winter camps for Unitarian Universalists and their friends.  I have served on the Eliot Institute’s board and its nominating committee.  I would be honored to have the opportunity to serve First Church as a member of its nominating committee.
PatPat Malone (Nominating Committee)
My wife Nan and I have been members of First Church since 2001.  I am a Portland native. I hold a BA in international relations from Brown University and an MBA in Finance from the University of Oregon.  Prior to retiring in 2012, I served as the CFO for a number of Portland companies in a variety of industries over a 35 year career. During the last eight years of my working career, I served as the senior financial manager for two large local non-profits.  During my time here at First Church, I have sung in the Chalice and Unitarian choirs, served as an usher, served as a member of the Board of Trustees, as Treasurer and as a member of the Board of Stewards for the Church Foundation.  I also have participated on a number of church committees, including the Nominating Committee, the Leadership Development Committee, and the 150th Anniversary Committee. I love this church and want to see it thrive for generations to come.

SteveSteve Nelson (Nominating Committee)
I have been a member of First Unitarian Church for 12 years. From the moment I entered the Sanctuary and listened to the sermon, I knew I had found my spiritual home. I immediately sought to participate in the many opportunities of the Church.  I began my journey by being part of the Religious Education team and taught eighth and ninth graders the “Our Whole Lives (OWL)” program for two years. I then became a member of the Religious Education Committee and eventually chaired that group.  I have also chaired the Membership Committee, where our purpose was to provide an engaging and welcoming atmosphere to guests and new members to our church. Most recently, my partner, Bill Cunninghame, and I were called to lead and update the Usher Program. We built the program from the ground up, incorporating training materials, workshops, and some online technology to the program. Currently we have close to 100+ ushers in the program.  
I graduated from Oregon State University with an undergraduate degree in Business Administration and received my MBA from the University of Portland. I currently work at Nike with our Global HR function.


EMO Interfaith Advocacy Day

Ecumenical Ministries of oregon

Media Alert
Jan. 7, 2015
Contact person: Jan Elfers, (503) 221-1054         This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


 Diverse voices of faith will join together to strengthen Oregon communities for

Interfaith Advocacy Day 2015


WHAT:        Interfaith Advocacy Day 2015, “Raising diverse voices of faith to strengthen Oregon communities” – Since 1999, people of faith from across the state of Oregon have gathered in Salem for Interfaith Advocacy Day, a unique opportunity to collectively raise our voices to advocate for a hopeful future for all Oregonians. Please join us for a day of interfaith worship, dialogue, education and advocacy on behalf of Oregonians who face hunger, homelessness, threats of violence or a lack of access to affordable health care. Activities will include an interfaith panel on “Confronting Poverty, Promoting Economic Equality and Preventing Gun Violence,” training in advocacy skills, issue briefings, visits with legislators, and a keynote address by Nichole June Maher, director and CEO of Northwest Health Foundation. Individuals and groups from congregations and community organizations are encouraged to participate. The registration fee is $20 per person ($10 for students) and includes lunch and materials.

Register securely online or download a registration brochure at www.emoregon.org;

for more information, call (503) 221-1054. The registration deadline is Feb. 4, 2015. 


WHO:         Interfaith Advocacy Day 2015 is sponsored by: Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon; Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon; Interfaith Council of Greater Portland; Islamic Society of Greater Portland; Jewish Federation of Greater Portland; Lutheran Advocacy Ministry of Oregon; Muslim Educational Trust; Oregon Area Jewish Committee; Oregon Center for Christian Voices; Pacific University Center for Peace & Spirituality; and Unitarian Universalist Voices for Justice. Endorsers to date include: Central Presbyterian, Church of Scientology of Portland, Congregation Beth Israel, Congregation Neveh Shalom, Covenant Presbyterian, Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Oregon, Episcopal Diocese of Oregon-Commision to End Racism, First Unitarian of Portland, Havurah Shalom, Inter-Religious Action Network of Washington County, L'Arche Portland, Northwest Catholic Counseling Center, Oregon Alliance to Prevent Gun Violence, P'Nai Or of Portland Tikkun Olam Committee, Parkrose Community United Church of Christ, St. Luke Lutheran, St. Mark Presbyterian, St. Paul's Episcopal, Smyrna United Church of Christ, SnowCap and Vermont Hills United Methodist.      


WHY:          To bring together people from many faiths to answer the call to be a voice for the voiceless, as they speak out for compassion, human dignity and an end to poverty.


WHEN:       Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; registration check-in begins at 8 a.m.


WHERE:      St. Mark Lutheran Church, 790 Marion St. NE, Salem, Ore. Doors open at 8 a.m. at St. Mark Lutheran Church, where all morning activities are scheduled. The afternoon will feature a procession to the State Capitol Building and meetings with state legislators. 

                   Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon is a statewide association of Christian denominations, congregations, ecumenical organizations and interfaith partners working together to improve the lives of Oregonians through community ministry programs, ecumenical and interreligious dialogue, environmental ministry and public policy advocacy.


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