Our Ministers and Staff
Reverend Connie Grant, Interim Lead Minister
Reverend Connie Grant, Interim Lead Minister, has primary responsibility for Sunday and other services of the congregation and for spiritual and programmatic dimensions of congregational life. She also serves as head of staff. Rev. Connie is specially trained and experienced in working with congregations that are in search for a long-term settled minister as they reflect on who they are and who they want to be.Show More Show Less
Rev. Connie brings a passion for Unitarian Universalism, for congregational health, and for helping people live lives of meaning and wholeness. Her continuing education has focused on transitional ministry, grief and end-of-life issues, and family systems theory. Rev. Connie received a B.S. in Spanish from Northwestern University and an M.Div. from Meadville Lombard Theological School. She has served a total of seven congregations across the country in various roles.
Rev. Connie describes herself as an eclectic humanist and metaphorical theist. Her non-professional interests include making jewelry, collecting family stories, and visiting with her widely-scattered offspring when possible.
Rev. Connie can be reached at email@example.com and will be glad to make an appointment. She is often at the church on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. In the event of a pastoral emergency, please call or text 847-840-8542 any time.
Reverend Forrest Gilmore, Affiliated Community Minister
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Rev. Forrest Gilmore is UUCB’s Affiliated Community Minister. He served congregations for ten years as a parish minister and now is the Executive Director of Beacon, Inc, a local nonprofit dedicated to people experiencing extreme poverty. Forrest is a native New Yorker, but has called Bloomington home for over thirteen years. He's a graduate of Cornell University and Starr King School for the Ministry.
Dr. Stephanie Kimball, Director of Lifespan Religious Education
Dr. Stephanie Kimball serves as our full-time Director of Lifespan Religious Education. She is a seeker and educator devoted to lifelong learning and growth. Some of her favorite questions are: Why do we do what we do? Whose interests are served by our norms, assumptions, and traditions? How do we educate for freedom? At UUCB her tasks include developing educational programs for children, youth, and adults; recruiting, training and supporting volunteer teachers; overseeing childcare; and visioning for the future of religious education in our congregation and beyond.Show More Show Less
Stephanie holds a B.A. in Elementary Education, an M.A. in Special Education, and a PhD in the Social Foundations of Education. She has taught all ages, from young children to graduate students; she has also worked for interfaith organizations developing educational programs for responding to climate change.
Aside from work, Stephanie enjoys writing, woodworking, watching things grow, and dreaming about her next big project.
She can be reached via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and is available by appointment on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.
Anabel Watson, Connections Coordinator
Anabel Watson (she/her/hers) is the part-time Connections Coordinator at UUCB. Starting in spring of 2022, she has endeavored to grow connections within the UU Bloomington community through connecting congregants with activities, resources, and each other. She also accompanies and orients folks through the journey of meaningful self-discovery as they seek to embrace the UU tradition through membership and exploratory courses.Show More Show Less
Currently a member of Second Unitarian Church of Chicago, Anabel grew up attending East Shore Unitarian in Bellevue, WA for a number of years and attended Cascade Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in East Wenatchee, WA during a year with AmeriCorps. Anabel holds a B.A. in Peace, Justice, and Conflict Studies and a minor in Religious Studies from DePaul University’s Honors Program as well as a DELE level C1 certificate of bilingualism from the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture, and Sport.
She has prior work experience in the interconnected spheres of social justice, nature connection, immigrant rights, and sustainability, and as a professional tap dancer. Nourished by philosophical discussion and outlets of creativity and imagination, Anabel feels most at home and interconnected when immersed in the natural world.
Susan Swaney, Music Director
Susan Swaney (she/her) has been our part-time Music Director since 1992. Since then, the choir grew from less than 10 to more than 50 active members, and she went from having virtually no experience to having a doctorate in Choral Conducting. In addition to her work at the church, she currently teaches Voice in the IU Musical Theatre BFA program, is Artistic Director of Voces Novae chamber choir (which has won national recognition for creative programming), and sometimes music-directs musicals for the regional theatre company, Constellation. Her undergraduate degree is in Music history and Violin from the University of Michigan (where she also studied Viola da Gamba), and she received her MM in Voice from Indiana University.Show More Show Less
After her first 20 years with the church, the church established a commissioning fund, which has allowed Sue to commission many choral works, large and small, often in memory of late choir members.
Sue is married to therapist/author Ian Woollen. Their son, Jacobsen, grew up in the church and is also now a conductor. She is happiest when riding her bike, reading novels, hanging out with friends and family, and making music.
The best way to reach her is by email: email@example.com
Amanda Waye, Director of Administration
Amanda Waye comes from a background in banking and administration. Her prior roles include branch manager of a local bank and Office Administrator of a local manufactured home dealership. In her current role she is full-time and her available hours at the church are Monday-Friday 9am to 3pm.Show More Show Less
Amanda is an avid learner and explorer. In her free time you can find her relaxing with a good book, practicing another language, gardening, jogging, hiking, roller skating, or walking trails. She enjoys time with family as well as visiting new places. Amanda also enjoys meeting new people, drawing, painting, crafting and loves animals.
Jo Bowman, Office Assistant
Jo joined our staff in June 2023. In their free time, they love to cook, read, photograph, play board/video games, and hike. While their past working experience is varied, they have experience in customer service and managing organizational tasks. They are most excited to get to know each of you and assist you however they can!Show More Show Less
Office Phone: 812-332-3695
Office Hours: Thursday 9am-4pm, Friday 11am-4pm, and Sunday 10am-1pm.
Mandy Skinner, Communications Coordinator
Mandy began working at UUCB as an Office Assistant in the spring of 2018, and in 2023 took on the new role of Communications Coordinator. She focuses on online communications (our newsletters, website, Facebook page, database, calendars, registrations), as well as in-person communications (signage, bulletin boards, and displays around the building).Show More Show Less
Mandy first attended UUCB as a student at IU in the early 2000's, and was also on our childcare staff at that time. She has a background in arts, activism, and education, and has traveled in many parts of the US as well as in Canada, Mexico, Central America, and Brazil. She met her husband in eastern Maine and moved back to Bloomington in 2017; now they have two young children and she is practicing the art of staying in one place.
Mandy works part-time, usually 10 am to noon and 2-3:30 pm, Mon-Fri
Hans Kelson, Technology Coordinator
Hans works on most things related to technology at UUCB. He is responsible for (among other things) the church livestream, all the A/V and slideshow work on Sunday mornings, and the multiplatform (Owl Pro) meeting carts.Show More Show Less
Previously, Hans has done tech support work for the City of Bloomington as well as Monroe County Government. He's been an active UU for most of his life, and loves this congregation. Outside of work, Hans enjoys playing guitar, working on personal tech projects, and doing amateur photography.
Hans works full time, and his hours in the building vary depending on technology needs. He can be reached via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeff Stone, Custodian
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Jeff Stone has been UUCB’s self-described “undercover janitor” for 13 years. Jeff cleans, fixes, organizes, and arranges, and may be largely unknown to the congregation. This has been Jeff’s part-time retirement job, after years in radio where he was well-known yet unrecognizable. Jeff describes his current workplace as something of a miracle. Here, he says, there is common sense, a common purpose, and uncommon compassion.