Minister & Staff

Reverend Steven Protzman, Minister

The Reverend Steven Protzman  joined us August 1, 2018 as our newly called settled minister.  He is a native Midwesterner and grew up in Missouri and Iowa.  He holds an undergraduate degree in architecture from Iowa State University and his previous career was as a pipe organ designer for several major American organ builders.  He is a 2009 graduate of United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, New Brighton, Minnesota and was ordained in 2010 at the First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis.

Steven is an outgoing extrovert who loves to socialize and meet new people.  He is also passionate about nature, especially wolves, eagles and the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon.  He is an avid country western dancer, and  enjoys gardening, the arts, hockey, good food of all kinds, architecture, and exploring new places.

Rev. Steven believes in the power of Unitarian Universalism to transform people’s lives, to invite us to discover our fullest, most authentic selves, to guide us into deeper relationship with the Holy, and to challenge us to offer our lives in service to a world that needs the love and the gifts each of us has to share.

Rev. Steven can be reach at: [email protected]

Reverend Renee Ruchotzke, Affiliated Community Minister

renee-ruchotzke-2Renee has been a member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Kent since 1996, serving in a variety of leadership roles before being called to ministry. Renee is a graduate of Meadville Lombard Theological School and in Preliminary Fellowship with the Unitarian Universalist Association. She was ordained by our congregation in August of 2010 and officially affiliated with us in December of 2010. Renee is serving the wider Unitarian Universalist Community as the Regional Consultant for Leadership Development for the Central East Regional Group of the Unitarian Universalist Association. She is responsible for providing consultation, programming and training material (including webinars) on various aspects of congregational leadership. She works closely with those doing leadership development at the district and cluster levels as well as participating in the Unitarian Universalist Leadership Training Institute (UULTI) and other in-person trainings at the district and regional level. She also co-authored a Tapestry of Faith curriculum. Renee served for two years as the Consulting Minister for the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Greater Canton. She served her internship in the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Pittsburgh. Before that she served East Shore Unitarian Universalist Church in Kirtland, Ohio for two years as their interim Director of Religious Education.

Twitter: @VitalleadersContact: [email protected]

Reverend Christie Anderson, Interfaith Community Minister and Unitarian Universalist Commissioned Lay Minister

For 30 years, Christie Anderson’s professional career was devoted to the human services field in an effort to support disadvantaged people working to enhance their lives. Although still engaged in this work on a part-time basis, Christie is now supplementing this effort by offering her skills to help fulfill the mission of the Kent UU church. While appreciative of her Protestant upbringing, Christie has embraced the liberal religious perspective of Unitarian Universalism since 2000. Christie is active in the worship life of the Kent UU church and is also a member of the pastoral team.  Christie earned the title of Commissioned Lay Leader in October 2008 following her completion of a 2 year educational program of the UUA’s Ohio-Meadville District.  Upon graduating from The New Seminary of Interfaith Studies in New York City in 2011, Christie was ordained as an Interfaith Minister.  Rev. Christie is thrilled to have the opportunity to reach out to the community by solemnizing marriages, performing commitment ceremonies, conducting memorials, and offering interfaith rituals and worship services. She can be contacted at [email protected].

Lori McGee, Commissioned Lay Minister

Lori Fatchet-McGeeLori McGee holds both a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Spanish Literature from Kent State University.  She has been a professor at Kent State for 20 years.  Lori and her spouse, Jo, have been attending the Kent UU Church since 2005.  Lori has served on many committees in her time with the congregation and feels that service is a fundamental way to live out her values in the world.  Lori has always valued learning and growing, and when she found herself with an empty nest, she began to focus her attention on theological studies.  In April of 2016, she completed a two-year study and experiential Commissioned Lay Ministry program offered by the former Ohio-Meadville District, now the Central East Region, of the Unitarian Universalist Association.  Lori’s areas of focus in the program were worship arts and theological studies.  One of her goals for continuing to serve the congregation and the larger community is to offer classes in spiritual development and theological reflection.  In addition, Lori is happy to offer to the community such services as solemnizing marriages, performing commitment ceremonies, conducting memorials, and offering interfaith rituals and worship services, such as, hand-fastings, rituals for remembering the deceased, and animal blessings.  Lori can be reached at [email protected]

Hal Walker, Music Director

Hello. My name is Hal Walker and I have been the music director at the UU church of Kent for several years now. I like this job and I’ve gotten to where I really love this church. What an interesting and enjoyable task it is to collaborate with the minister and worship associates in creating worship services. I’m so grateful that the congregation has given me such freedom to express myself musically in our services. At our church, you’ll hear a variety of music that you’ve probably never heard in any other church. We have a very musical congregation and it has been my pleasure to welcome the talents of musicians of all types into our sanctuary. Always open to new singers, our adult choir rehearses every Sunday night.As Music Director, I’m interested in silence, shaping sound, building community and creating real beauty. I’m interested in the process of learning well how to incorporate music into worship. Though I don’t join things easily, I can almost call myself a real Unitarian Universalist.

Contact: [email protected]

MaryBeth Hannan, Congregational Administrator

mbhMaryBeth joined the staff in January 2011 as the Congregational Administrator.  She came to the UUCK with several years of previous experience in church administration and bookkeeping, as well as church auditing.  She is a long-time resident of Kent and spent ten years volunteering for the Kent City Schools both as a classroom aide and member of the parent organization and 17+ years volunteering for a local martial arts school.

“I am really grateful to be here at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Kent; not only do I enjoy working with and serving a faith community, I have the opportunity  to work with a great group of staff and lay leaders.    This is a very active and dynamic community that is consistently working towards fulfilling and living into their mission and vision.  It’s rewarding to work with a healthy, thriving  faith community!” 

Contact: [email protected]

Colleen Thoele, Director of Religious Education

Colleen thoeleColleen Thoele joined the staff of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Kent in 2013 following a career in child advocacy for families experiencing interpersonal violence. A mom to two young UUs, Colleen was called to become more involved in the faith formation of the youngest members of our faith tradition. Over the years Colleen has developed the Parents of Young UU’s ministry, leads the Time For All Ages portion of worship and developed a social justice themed R.E. Intersession held during the month of January for children in grades K-12. Justice Intersession focuses on empowering children and youth to fight racism and oppression as they build a fair and peaceful world.

Contact: [email protected]

Michelle Bores, Nursery Teacher

Michelle has attended the Unitarian Universalist Church of Kent since 2007 and has been a church member since early 2009. She is a member of the Religious Education Committee, Safety Committee, and the Children’s RE Program. In addition to her participation on these committee’s Michelle is also actively involved in the Hogwarts program as a Professor, and also has experience as a Summer Institute Nursery teacher. Outside of the church, Michelle is involved with childhood education through community programs such as the Boy Scouts, where she’s been a Cub Scout Den Leader and also a Cub Scout Committee Member. Her professional career includes having been a Preschool/childcare co-Administrator, a Kindergarten teacher, a Pre-K teacher, and a member of the Head Start Policy Council. In every encounter with a child, Michelle utilizes her Bachelor’s of Science from Bowling Green State University in Early Childhood Education and Children’s Services. She has enjoyed being our Nursery teacher on Sunday mornings and looks forward to working with you and your children.

Brian Mulloy, Church Sexton

bryan mulloy sextonBrian, our dedicated Church Sexton, cares for our facilities.  He is a local resident and balances a full-time job, and young family, and his work here.  If you have an questions or concerns about the building, please contact either Brian or the Church Office, [email protected].

Contact: [email protected]

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