Mission Statement

The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Elkhart is a welcoming community encouraging religious freedom, nurturing individual spiritual and ethical growth, celebrating diversity, and promoting a just and sustainable world.

Board of Trustees

July 2021 to June 2022

The members of the Board of Trustees are elected at our annual congregational meeting in May. They meet at 6 p.m. on the second Wednesdays of each month. The meetings are open for all to attend. (During the pandemic, meetings have taken place via Zoom.)

Susie Meeks-Wade, president (one-year term), has been a member since 2017. She is the chair of the Social Justice Committee.

Carl Rust, president-elect (one-year term, will become president in 2022), has been a member since 2018. He retired after 30 years as a educator. Carl serves on the Religious Education Committee. He is a musician, a writer, and a budding naturalist.

Terry Mark, secretary (two-year term ending in 2023), has been a member since 2005. He has twice served as president and is the chair of the Communications Committee. Professionally, Terry works for the Elkhart County Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Ken Clayborn, treasurer (two-year term ending in 2022, total of eight years), is also a past president of the fellowship. Ken retired after 35 years at Miles/Bayer in various management positions. He and his wife, Joan, have been a members of UUFE since 2003.

Zanzer Anderson, trustee (completing a 3-year term ending in 2022)

Mike Darnel, trustee (three-year term ending in 2023), has been UUFE president for two terms and eleven months of a third, a former UUFE secretary, and has just come off a very active two-year period as chair of the Buildings and Grounds Committee. He retired as emeritus professor of mathematics at Indiana University South Bend after 32 years of service but remains active in mathematical research. Mike first joined UUFE in 1993 and after a hiatus of 12 years, returned to membership in 2019.

Dwight Fish, trustee (three-year term ending in 2024)

Pam Wycliff, trustee (one-year term ending in 2022)

Welcoming Congregation

UUFE invites all individuals to be a part of  our liberal religious community, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity,  age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or  national origin.

What is it?

The Welcoming Congregation Program is a voluntary program developed by  the Unitarian Universalist Association in 1989 for congregations seeking to be inclusive toward gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT) people.  It is in keeping with Unitarian Universalism’s first principle, “We covenant to affirm and promote the inherent worth and  dignity of all persons,” we believe that it is essential to welcome, affirm, and support GLBT people.

The process

Congregations who publicly and successfully welcome bisexual, gay, lesbian, and transgender people have the following qualities:

  • Includes and address the needs of b/g/l/t persons at every level of  congregational life—in worship, in programs, in social occasions, and in rites of passage—welcoming not only their presence, but the gifts and particularities of their lives as well.
  • Assumes the presence of b/g/l/t people and celebrates this diversity by having inclusive language and content in their worship.
  • Fully incorporates the experiences of b/g/l/t persons throughout all programs, including religious education.
  • Includes an affirmation and nondiscrimination clause in our by-laws and other official documents affecting all dimensions of congregational life, including membership, hiring practices, and the calling of religious professionals.
  • Engages in outreach into the b/g/l/t community in its advertising and by actively supporting b/g/l/t affirmative groups.
  • Offers congregational and ministerial support for union and memorial services for b/g/l/t persons, and for celebrations of…family definitions.
  • Celebrates the lives of all people and welcomes same-sex couples, recognizing their committed relationships, and equally affirms displays of caring and affections without regard to sexual orientation.
  • Seeks to nurture ongoing dialogue between bisexual, gay, lesbian, transgender, and heterosexual persons and to create deeper trust and sharing.
  • Encourages the presence of a chapter of Interweave.
  • Affirms and celebrates b/g/l/t issues and history during the church year.
  • Attends to legislative developments and works to promote justice, freedom, and equality in the larger society.
  • Speaks out when the rights of bisexual, gay, lesbian, and transgender people are at stake.
  • Celebrates the lives of all people and their ways of expressing their love for each other.

Making it official

In November 2014, the congregation voted overwhelmingly to affirm UUFE’s status as a Welcoming Congregation.