BFUU Staff

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  - Developmental Minister
The Reverend Theresa Novak, who will be BFUU's Developmental Minister beginning on August 15, 2014, graduated from Starr King School of the Ministry in 2007. She was born in a small town in northern California and attended the University of California Berkeley between 1968 and 1974, earning a BA in demography and a MA in sociology. Prior to entering seminary, she worked for the Social Security Administration in Richmond, CA for 25 years, primarily in management positions. She served her ministerial internship at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis, Maryland. From September 2007 to June of 2014 she served as the full time settled minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Ogden, Utah. That congregation received national recognition in 2012 as a UUA Breakthrough Congregation and that church named Theresa Minister Emerita.

Theresa and her wife, Anne Spatola, have been together since January 1975, although they were only able to legally marry recently. They have three adult children. Theresa was raised in the Disciples of Christ tradition and describes her religious journey as one that has included Christianity, Atheism, Agnosticism, Humanism, and Mysticism. She has been a life-long social activist and sees great value in many different theological orientations.

“The core of what I had come to believe is that life is precious and, amazingly, that “God loves us” in a deep and lasting way. By God, I mean the connection, the life force that is behind what we mean when we say that we respect the interdependent web of all existence. Affirming the inherent worth and dignity of all is just another way of saying all are worthy, all are precious, God loves us. All of us. Not just some. All of us. It doesn’t matter who we are or what we do. It doesn’t matter what we believe about God or whether we believe in God at all.

All of us. Despite the cracks, the imperfections, - and sometimes because of them - we are all beautiful - we are all worthy of love.

We find religion in the sometimes brief glimpses of recognition, of seeing the connections, of feeling like the path we are taking is the right one. We work for justice, for a better world. It isn’t about great flashes of wisdom, about burning bushes telling us what we had better do. All life, God if you will, calls to all of us all the time really. It calls to us when we hold each other in friendship or in moments of terror, when we weep together with joy or with grief, when we make even a small connection with another human being - just making eye contact with a stranger – pausing to listen to water move against the rocks in a flowing mountain stream. Such moments give us hope, they give us courage, and they remind us that we are human and alive. They weave our lives with other lives, making a tapestry of possibility. True connection is a state of Grace that both beckons us and welcomes us home."

Theresa is also a poet and an active blogger. You can read her blog at

Rev. Theresa's office hours are afternoons Tuesday and Thursday.
Other times are available: please call  
510-841-4824, ext. 2, for an appointment.

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - Community Minister

Rev. Earl W. Koteen, whom BFUU ordained, is our Community Minister for Climate Justice. He also serves as the Consulting Minister for Climate Justice with Unitarian Universalist (UU) Legislative Ministry CA and is on the board of UU Ministry for Earth and the steering committee of CA Interfaith Power & Light.  Before entering the ministry, Earl had a 30-year career in strategic planning, organizational development, and human resources. He's a lifelong UU, who grew up in the All Souls Unitarian Church in DC. He has two adult daughters.


This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - Office Coordinator

Susan is a SF Bay Area native who has lived in Berkeley since 1993. She holds a BA in Political Science from UCB and an MBA from CSU East Bay. Susan has enjoyed a variety of office responsibilites but most enjoys working for a community-based, community-enriching organization. Susan enjoys reading fiction, watching good and bad television shows, car camping in the redwoods and spending time with her boyfriend and their cat.

Susan is in the office 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. She can be reached at 510-841-4824 ext. 1

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - Event Space Coordinator

Deborah is a musician, teacher, and community organizer with a long history in the East Bay. Born in Oregon & raised in the greater Bay Area she has felt like Berkeley is her spiritual home ever since her first visit in the 70s. She teaches Mountain Dulcimer classes at the Freight and Salvage, directs Women & Song and organizes the annual Berkeley Dulcimer Gathering. Deborah is active in the local Pagan spiritual community and has several recordings. Her previous experience with booking events was at the First Congregational Church of Oakland. Deborah lives locally with her husband of 30 years and likes to knit when her cat allows.

Deborah is in the office from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. She can be reached at 510-841-4824 ext. 3

Ed Keating - Building Manager

Ed was born in Chicago, IL and came to the Bay Area in the mid-60s with his family. Since then he has made the Bay Area his home, moving to Berkeley in 1976 after college. Ed became a peace activist in response to the Vietnam War. He is also very passionate about the use of energy efficiency and renewable energy; a passion he brings to his work in construction and maintenance.

Ed is an avid reader, and likes to write prose poetry and scientific non-fiction. He likes to spend time in nature, with regular trips to the beach and mountains. Ed has been married to Mary Kay Coen since 2009.

Richard Sandling - Custodian

Richard started as custodian at BFUU in 1978, the same year as past minister Paul Sawyer, and has worked at least 22 of the last 34 years here.

He is most engaged in the world with Afro-Cuban music and has played latin piano montunos for 25 years and congos for 35 years. He also enjoys watching cooking shows on PBS and usually has 20 or so books checked out from the library. His world view has been most influenced by the writing of the late Quaker economist and philosopher Kenneth Boulding.