History of our Congregation

You might also be interested in the History of our Buildings.

From the University Unitarian Church of Seattle

The Edmonds Unitarian Universalist Congregation was originally an offspring of the University Unitarian Church of Seattle. Inspired by Rev. Aron Gilmartin, minister of the University Church, a small group organized the Sno-King Unitarian Fellowship in 1957. For two years the group met informally on alternate Sunday evenings.

Robert Fulghum, Maybelle Chapman, and Jaco ten Hove
Jaco ten Hove, Maybelle Chapman,
and Robert Fulghum

Robert Fulghum

In September, 1966, our new church building opened its doors with The Reverend Robert Fulghum as part-time minister. Rev. Fulghum came for "one year to help the church get its feet on the ground," and stayed for 18 years, until his retirement in the spring of 1985.

Stuart and Maybelle Chapman

In 1969 the congregation ordained its founding members, Stuart and Maybelle Chapman, as lay ministers. The Chapmans and Fulghum worked harmoniously and effectively to make our congregation a strong liberal religious community.

After Stuart's death Maybelle and Rev. Fulghum continued to work as a team until Fulghum's retirement, after which he continued to serve as Minister Emeritus of the church.

Rev. Davis Joyce

In 1985 we began a year of searching for a minister with Reverend Aron Gilmartin serving as our interim minister. The search brought us Reverend Davis Joyce, our first full time minister who served us during the 1986-87 church year.

Rev. Jaco ten Hove

Our second full-time minister, Reverend Jaco B. ten Hove was called in June, 1988. His wife, Reverend Barbara Wells, served the Woodinville Unitarian Universalist Church. In July, 1998 Jaco and Barbara resigned their positions to find a congregation where they could share a ministry. Jaco and Barbara currently serve as ministers of Cedars Unitarian Universalist Church on Bainbridge Island.

Rev. Ed Brock

In the fall of 1998 Reverend Elizabeth Kerman came to guide us through a year of search.

In August of 1999 Reverend Edward Brock was called as our settled minister, and he continued to serve in that position until the summer of 2007.

Wil Sederholm
Wil Sederholm

Wil Sederholm, Music Director

Our congregation has been blessed with the creative musical leadership of Wil Sederholm for many years. He has created a musical community of the choir. Over the years he has drawn people in where they can enjoy musical expressions through Open Mic, Drummers Circle, Vespers, and the Children's Choir. He wrote "Spirits Bright and Pure" which we sing as the children go to their classes on Sunday mornings.

Three years of search:
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Right

Susan Senft
Susan Senft

In September of 2007 Rev. Cecilia Kingman Miller became our interim minister for a two-year search. None of the ministerial candidates proved to be the excellent match we sought, so we continued our search. Reverend Charlotte Cowtan served as our new interim minister beginning in August 2009 as we looked once again for a minister who was as good a fit for us as we were for him or her.

Susan Senft, Congregational Administrator

On Rev. Cecilia Kingman's first day in our congregation, our Administrator, Barbara Sand, passed away. So, Cecilia's first major task was to hire a new administrator, and she selected Susan Senft. Our staff, committee chairs, volunteers, and the entire congregation tresure Susan's gift to remember and connect the disparate details of life in this congregation and to keep us and our projects moving smoothly forward.

Eric Kaminetzky
Rev. Eric Kaminetzky

Rev. Eric Kaminetzky

Our patience and determination in seeking the perfect match paid off. In April of 2010 we called our new settled minister, Rev. Eric Kaminetzky, and he began serving the congregation in August. We were pleased and honored to ordain and install Eric on March 13, 2011. Eric's warm smile and excellent leadership builds and strengthens our community.

Rev. Cecilia Kingman

The congregation warmly welcomed Rev. Cecilia Kingman when she returned to our congregation as the Minister for Families and Faith Development. She directs the children's programs and brings families with and without children together in community.

Rev. Cecilia Kingman
Rev. Cecilia Kingman

New name for this congregation

On January 31, 2016 the members voted to change the name of our organization to "Edmonds Unitarian Universalist Congregation". Leading up to this vote, members participated in thoughtful introspection and respectful discussions where they shared their feelings on why they preferred to remain being called a church or preferred to drop the word "church". Congregants came to understand how "church" and its Christian implications evokes vastly different feelings in people from warm positive feelings to uncomfortable disconnects for non-Christians to painful memories from experiences at other Christian churches. The members ultimately chose to replace "church" with "congregation" which is used by many Christian, Jewish, and Muslim religious institutions.