2020-2021 BFUU Board of Trustees Members
Ira Armstrong (they/them), President
phone: 510-841-4824 ext. 4
office hours: 2nd and 4th Tuesdays 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Ira grew up in the First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles and is a 3rd generation UU raising 4th generation UUs. They have taught Religious Education classes in different UU churches in Berkeley, Oakland, and Los Angeles both as a volunteer lay leader and as a paid professional. They are a trans Blacktivist, an experienced worship leader, storyteller and vocalist for the revolution.
Ira is currently the President of the BFUU Board, a regular worship associate, an Our Whole Lives facilitator, and the accidental and intentional ad hoc middle school coordinator. They believe it is possible, with OWL and other consent-based sexual education models, to end rape culture in one generation.
Doug Chambers (he/him), Vice President (through October 2020)
Doug Chambers is serving as Vice President and Recording Secretary of the BFUU Board of Trustees, after reaching the term limit of three consecutive years as President. He was asked to continue for a seventh year on the Board to cover a vacancy, to which he graciously agreed, but chose to relinquish his seat when a candidate was located who volunteered to serve. BFUU has greatly appreciated Doug's work for the congregation as a Board member and officer, and congratulate him in his new role as Music Director, and on his continuing roles at the Fellowship. He has been a member of BFUU for many years and also serves on the Membership Committee and Music Committee. He and his partner Kathy Riehle look forward to a time when they can bring back the monthly Friday night, very musical, Hardly Strictly Acoustic Jam.
He, along with his partner and two daughters, lives in Berkeley. He is an accomplished musician who plays several instruments and is a retiree of UC Berkeley.
Michael Gardner (he/him), Vice President
Mike Gardner: My adventures with BFUU began when my first wife and I were married in Fellowship Hall in 1967. We began attending and were inspired by the spiritual message of the minister, Clark Olsen, and his activism, and that of the Social Action Committee, now the SJC. We joined the Fellowship and became active members. In 1980 I stepped away from BFUU.
However, after years of trials and tribulations I realized that again I was seeking to grow and express a sense of spirituality for both my political and scientific interests. In 2014 I rejoined BFUU, along with my wife Jinky. Since then I’ve been a member of the Ministerial Relations Committee, a member of the Personnel Committee and a member of the Board of Trustees.
Ben Burch (he/him) Treasurer and Secretary
Ben Burch: I grew up in Davis, and attended a UU Sunday school at the Davis Fellowship (later Church) in the ‘60s, and was later involved in LRY (UU youth group) there as well. After flirting with anthropology and East Asian studies (BA and MA), I got a library degree, and worked in that area until my retirement in 2009. I was already active in BFUU at that point (having joined around 1997), and continue to do, having served on the board several times. Currently serving as Treasurer, I hope to continue to play a role in making BFUU a sustainable beacon for our 7 principles, as well as continuing to move us toward truly building a beloved community, and at the same time encouraging us to bring our principles to our participation in the broader local community.
Judith Granada-Dewey (she/her or they/them)
Judith Granada-Dewey and her husband, Richard, began their UU odyssey in New England. Their decision was based on the need for a spiritual home that supported exploration and development of a personal belief system and code of ethics, primarily around social justice. They have since been serving members of fellowships and congregations in Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, and California, as well as the Church of the Larger Fellowship abroad.
Over the years, Judith has served as a UU Religious Education instructor, co-chaired a Unitarian Universalist Service Committee chapter, for several years facilitated the Guest At Our Table program, and held a variety of other posts. Judith joined BFUU with her husband in 2007. She previously served as BFUU Treasurer with the able assistance of an outstanding Finance Committee. Judith was appointed to the Board from Alternate, then elected in October 2020 to complete the term.
Margaret Hurlbert (she/her) (starting October 2020)
Margaret Hurlbert has been coming to the Fellowship for almost 4 years, and has been active in the Choir, Chair of the Music Committee, and has taken part in many events and concerts. She has also been active in the Social Justice Ministry. Some projects she has worked on include going to ICE detention centers and protesting the internment of children, going to Climate Change marches with BFUU, helping with concerts and dances and the ukulele group at BFUU, and organizing making soup at BFUU for Consider the Homeless. Margaret was elected to the BFUU Board in October 2020.
David Makofsky (he/him) (Alternate)
David Makofsky: I am an 82 years old retired professor and civil servant. I have been socially and politically active all my adult life, in organizations such as Jewish Voice for Peace and the Democratic Socialists of America. After retirement in 2007, I traveled to the Peoples Republic of China and to Turkey, where I taught English and wrote articles about a central Asian group, the Uyghurs. Uyghur is a Turkish dialect; I speak and read Turkish. I stopped and came back to Oakland permanently after a bad accident in December 2017.
I became interested in BFUU because Cynthia Johnson and Hal Carlstadt were two good friends of mine. We were in a group together and always having events at BFUU. Since my final return in 2018 I have become more active in BFUU and the Social Justice Committee and the Music Committee, and I play the ukulele.
My immediate family lives in Santa Rosa, which is where my ex-wife, my daughter, her husband, and my two teen age grandchildren live.
Phoebe Sorgen (she/her) (Alternate)
Phoebe Sorgen became a BFUU friend 27 years ago when she enrolled her boys in the RE program. Though unavailable on Sunday mornings due to work, she became active via the Social Justice Committee, which she eventually chaired. After becoming a BFUU member, she was elected to the Board during the time that BFUU transitioned from lay led and hired Rev. Kurt Kuhwald in hopes of increasing membership. She served on the then newly reconstituted Personnel Committee, and has also been on the Aesthetics and Nominating Committees.
For effective peace, democracy, and human rights advocacy, Phoebe was a 2005 Outstanding Woman of Berkeley and 2015 Tom Paine Courageous Spirit awardee. As a Peace & Justice Commissioner, she wrote many Resolutions that were adopted by the City of Berkeley. Some were adopted by other cities.
Phoebe is a Green Party County Councilor and state delegate to the GP-US National Committee (the decision making body.) She serves on the GP-US Peace, International, and Conflict Resolution Committees, and is active in the Women’s Caucus. Despite those responsibilities, and being on the Steering Committees of Move to Amend and Berkeley Citizens Action, she also serves as a BFUU Board of Trustees Alternate because our beautiful BFUU community means the world to her.