UUC’s Version of StoryCorps®

Are you familiar with StoryCorps—an ongoing project dedicated to the recording, sharing, and preservation of stories from everyday men and women across America? Perhaps you’ve heard some of these stories on National Public Radio. The StoryCorps project inspired us to begin capturing the history and legacy of UUC by interviewing our own members.

On this page, you will find stories from long-time members as well as new members. You will hear stories about their spiritual journeys, why they joined UUC, and their unique memories and experiences in this community. To understand the values, history, and spirit of this church, listen to these stories!



(To listen to a story, simply click one of the names below.)

Hazel Thomas

“My parents decided they didn’t want anything to do with religion.”

 Heather Fergusom

“We went to church … wherever we were … in some cases, that was in an amphitheater out in the outdoors …”

Barbara Alexander

“Time stopped. Anything, absolutely anything, was possible in that moment.”

Valerie Kreutzer

“… on Sundays, we pushed furniture to the wall and had Sunday services in people’s living room … and sang … a cappella.”

Beth Herrild

“… but I didn’t realize I would meet so many older people who were so wonderful!”

John Crusius and Deb DeRaadt

John: “The best parenting decision I ever made was to join the Unitarian Church!” Deb: “I’ve been so impressed with the things Adrian has learned.”

Gary Ness

“When John Kennedy was assassinated … we sought refuge … here at the church … It was a profound experience for all of us.”

Laurie Ness

“I don’t think people know that UUC was one of the first art galleries in the city of Seattle.”

Lance Johnson

“It was like a Norman Rockwell moment. I can still picture him (Jon Luopa) standing there, grating that cheese …”

Kevin Clark

“Coming to church that Sunday and listening to Jon … that was the first moment that I felt ‘These are my people. And this is my minister.’ “

Rene and Chuck Murry

Chuck: “I was always joking that I had to wait to come of age myself before I would be suitable to mentor a young man.” Rene: “I took 50 years!”

Tanya and Kiley Dumas

Kiley: “All of a sudden, we went from not knowing where the church was to me co-chairing the silent auction …” Tanya: “I was coordinating all the volunteers for the whole auction by myself!”

Richard Brooks

“I was fortunate and blessed to be on Jon Luopa’s search committee …”

Megan Erickson

“ … so I convinced myself to do it, and we had a really great guide who was talking us through it … and this really magical thing happened …”

Sally Davis

“When I was a senior at the UW, I had an argument with my father about religion … he said, ‘You sound like a Unitarian.’ ”

Dorothy McGee

“We each realized we had missed so much … and our children had missed so much.”

 Dan Lathrop

“I found my niche in this church … I love to greet people as they come through the door!”

Debbie Maranville

“I decided … it was time to try jumping in. So I really did jump in feet first.”

Barb Kendziorski

“The high schoolers were doing a service on peace, and I sat and cried through the whole service. I knew I was home.”

Sharon Enga

“On the day of my graduation, I left my family and everything and came out West alone.”

Meryl Thulean

“What a beautiful, warm, joyful spot in which to spend my waning years! Thank you, UUC.”

Tom Reynolds

“This is a story about a story, or rather it’s a story about teaching a story to some groups of great children, as part of the University Unitarian Church’s church school.”

Judith Hance

“When I moved to Seattle in 1991, it was the end of a Unitarian journey, beginning in the mid-50s … in Washington D.C.”

Mike Kippes

“I thought, ‘Not only is this further confirmation of … a good fit … maybe someday I’d like to be a COA mentor myself.’ ”


Jennifer Bright

“What is meaningful is that we are … creating music together … and offering up this gift to the congregation.”

Jayne Cooper

“… my grandfather … told me that I didn’t need a formal religion. All I needed was the Golden Rule.”