May 2020

BFUU Transition: Music Director

With a heavy heart, the Board of Trustees Executive Team announced that Dr. Susan T. Mashiyama will be ending her time as Music Director at BFUU. This transition will technically be effective June 30, 2020, but  Susan will be devoting the remaining time of her contract to focusing on caring for her elderly mother in Southern California, so will not be working at BFUU in the interim. Susan has had a profound impact on our congregation, and our music program won’t be the same without her. Many of us will feel a great loss as a result of this decision. To help us through this time of transition, the Board will schedule a forum where frank and mediated conversation can take place. We’ll let you know when they’ve set a date for this. The Board wishes Susan a bountiful life, and hopes that she will continue to be a part of the BFUU community in the future.

March 2020

Coronavirus Update from BFUU:

Due to the state of California, Alameda County, and City of Berkeley Health Dept. orders, all in-person meetings/events/gatherings have been postponed or moved online by the BFUU Board of Trustees until the orders are lifted. Our staff is checking email and voicemails from home during regular office hours (Mon-Fri 11AM - 5PM).
We will be conducting Worship Services on Sundays at 10:30 AM on Zoom. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you'd like to join our worship service.
If you need pastoral care or have other concerns, please reach out. We're all in this together and we'll get through this together.

Coronavirus Advisory from BFUU:

In this time of worry about COVID-19, also called novel Coronavirus, BFUU is taking precautions to make sure that everyone is as protected as possible, including making sure our cleaning crew is wiping down all surfaces 3 times a week.

Notes from Deborah Hamouris, Event Space Coordinator and Manager of the cleaning crew:
We have found information that a 50/50 vinegar & water spray, left on surfaces until it dries naturally, will be effective. They will be applying this each time they come in (Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday nights).
It is also recommended that we use the sanitize cycle along with the heated dry cycle when using the dishwasher. Using the dry cycle eliminates the need for drying with dish towels, another possible factor in keeping the virus in check.

Recommendations from local Public Health Professionals include:
Frequent hand washing.
Stay home if you’re sick.
Refrain from hugs and hand holding in public spaces and gatherings.
We will update our community with any news as it comes.
Please find a recipe for hand sanitizer, in case you want to make one:

In community,
Ira X Armstrong, BFUU President, on behalf of the Board of Trustees and staff

December 2019

Farewell to Guy Colwell

Guy has left BFUU after a year and a half of excellent, dedicated service to our community. We will miss him, but wish him well and trust that we’ll see him in the future - either visiting us here or at one of his art shows. Thank you for all of your good work here, Guy!

October 2019

Welcome Rev. Tom McAninley, Community Minister

Please join us in welcoming our new Community Minister to BFUU, the Reverend Tom McAninley! Tom is a longtime BFUU member, an ordained minister, and the first participant of our 3-year community minister incubator.
Tom, we look forward to the next three years and beyond in this wonderful community partnership. So much love and admiration for your contribution to BFUU and to the world.
With gratitude and excitement,
Ira Armstrong on behalf of the BFUU Board
Douglas Chambers, Ben Burch, Judith Grenada-Dewey, Joanna Foley, Jeff Palmer, Mike Gardner

September 2019

Farewell Lincoln Statler, M.A.S.C.
From his start here so many years ago, to his fill-in position providing Pastoral Care, to his role in expanding the BFUU ministry (while still providing Pastoral Care!), Lincoln Statler, M.A.S.C., has brought wonderful healing, energy, and growth to the BFUU community. As his current role here has come to an end, we thank him for sharing his training, experience, and natural gift for gently guiding our community to look within, heal, join together, and move forward with good intention. We hope that we can lure him back from Portland occasionally to see the continuing nature of his good works with us! You can find Lincoln William Statler on Facebook and Twitter.

February 2018

Welcome back Reverend Dr. Carrie Knowles!

Rev. Dr. Carrie Knowles is returning to BFUU. She will preach fourth Sundays each month, bringing sermons based on her love for the natural world and her concern for environmental justice. Rev. Carrie’s gentle supportive pastoral care will take place each week on Tuesdays, 2-6 pm. She will be open to individual appointments, walk-in chats, and scheduled visits to homes, hospitals, or residential care facilities.

December 2018

Farewell, Claire Eustace, M. Div.
BFUU has appreciated your wonderful care of our congregation, and for your availability to extend your good works here much longer than we originally planned! We all wish you very well as your focus on ordination precludes your continued service here at this time.

Pastoral Care Update
Lincoln Statler, M.A.S.C., has extended his pastoral care through June of 2019. Claire Eustace, M. Div. extended her care through the end of December 2018.

November 2018

Pastoral Care Update
Rev. Marsh Agobert, Lincoln Statler, M.A.S.C., and Claire Eustace, M. Div. will be available for Pastoral Care this November. They will receive all emails to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and voicemails left at 510-841-4824 ext. 2.

October 2018

Welcome Michael Simpkins, Jr., IT Consultant
BFUU is pleased to announce that Michael will be providing part-time contract IT services beginning October 27. Look for his photo in Fellowship Hall and we’ll soon have more info on this website. We’re happy to have Michael bring his expertise to our systems!

Farewell, Rev. Earl Koteen
BFUU has enjoyed the Outreach Ministry of Rev. Earl Koteen for many years. The other demands upon his time have led him to resign this position. We thank you for the good work you've done here and wish you continued success in your mission.

Welcome and Thank You Claire Eustace, MDiv.
BFUU is very grateful to Clarie Eustace, MDiv., for her temporary work in Pastoral Care this month.

Thank you Lincoln Statler, M.A.S.C.
For extending your pastoral care service

August 2018

Welcome Lincoln Statler, M.A.S.C.

BFUU is pleases to annoounce that Lincoln will be providing Pastoral Care for August and September! Please see more information about Lincoln at BFUU Ministers and Staff.

July 2018

Welcome Guy Colwell, Sexton

BFUU is pleased to announce that Guy will be managing custodial, room-use-related, and security issues as Sexton for the BFUU. Guy is a renowned American painter and occasional underground cartoonist. His "Figurative Social Surrealist" paintings reflect on the human condition, economic inequality, injustice, and alienation from the natural world. Welcome aboard, Guy!

Farewell Richard Sandling

Richard will be leaving the employ of BFUU this month, but we hope to have him continue as a participant and BFUU-community member for years to come. BFUU thanks Richard for decades of service in custodial care and tens of thousands of day-brightening jokes!

June 2018

Farewell Rev. Elena Rose Vera

Rev. Elena has taken on a significant role at Trans Lifeline, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of trans lives by responding to the critical needs of our community with direct service, material support, advocacy, and education. She won't be continuing at BFUU on a regular basis, but we hope she'll return as a guest worship leader. We thank her for her caring, leadership, and teachings and wish her continued success in building, enriching, and supporting community.

August 2017

Farewell Rev. Dr. Carrie Knowles

Rev. Dr. Carrie will no longer be providing regular ministry services at BFUU, though we hope she can return as a guest worship leader as time allows. We at BFUU thank her for her wonderful works here and wish her well in her continuing ministry.

January 2017

Welcome Rev. Marsh Agobert, Minister

BFUU is pleased to announce that Rev. Marsh Agobert has joined our ministerial team.

Welcome Rev. Elena Rose Vera, Minister

BFUU is pleased to announce that Rev. Elena Rose Vera has joined our ministerial team.

Welcome Susan T. Mashiyama, Music Director

BFUU is pleased to announce that Susan T. Mashiyama has officially accepted the Music Director position at BFUU beginning January 2017. Susan is a BFUU member and has been a guest musician and leader in the music program for Sunday Services. She will continue to provide her exceptional talent and vision to BFUU in this expanded role.

September 2016

The BFUU Social Justice Committee issued a statement of support for the Standing Rock Sioux:

We, the Social Justice Committee of the Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists, declare our support for the historic gathering of the tribes, led by the Standing Rock Sioux, to protect the sacred earth and water from the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). We thank the First Nations for courageously defending the interdependent web of existence, of which we are all a part. We call on all people to stand with the Standing Rock Sioux. To donate and for more information, please visit

Holly Harwood
Former Chair, BFUU Social Justice Committee
BFUU Poet Laureate 2016-17

February 2016

Good Grief!

A Meeting for Those Who Have Experienced Recent Loss
Reverend Carrie will begin hosting a small group for those who have lost a loved one on Wednesday February 24th 7PM-8PM and continuing on 4th Wednesdays through June. Going forward, Reverend Carrie will be in the office on Tuesdays from 10:30 AM - 2:30 PM, EXCEPT for the Tuesday before the 4th Wednesday - for that week of the month, she'll be in Wednesday from 4:30 PM -5:30 PM for appointments, then host the Good Grief group at 7:00 PM. Please contact Office Coordinator Susan Macke at 510 841-4824 ext. 1 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to sign up for the Good Grief group or to make an appointment with Reverend Carrie.

November 2015

Welcome Reverend Dr. Carrie Knowles!

The BFUU is pleased to announce that Reverend Caroline Knowles will be joining us as a part-time Pastoral Care Minister. Reverend Carrie – as she prefers to be called - will provide a caring presence for BFUU members and friends of the Fellowship experiencing times of stress, change or uncertainty. For now Reverend Carrie will only be working with BFUU on Tuesdays from 10:30 AM - 2:30 PM. Some of that time she may be out of the office as she will attend the Elders' Circle on the first Tuesday of each month and pay visits from time-to-time to housebound members and those in hospitals or health care facilities. Appointments can be made by contacting BFUU Office at 510 841-4824 ext. 1 or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..