About the Contributors
Laurel Amabile, a life-long Unitarian Universalist (UU) and religious educator since 1989, is the Southeast Regional Lifespan Program Consultant serving the Florida, Mid-South, and Thomas Jefferson Districts of the UUA. She resides in Asheville, North Carolina, with her husband Fred, and is the mother of two grown daughters, Christine and Nicole.
Ken Brown has been a UU minister for thirty-one years and District Executive in the Pacific Southwest District for six years. He leads workshops and consults on church systems, organization, and ministry in the digital age.
Becky Edmiston-Lange is currently serving the Emerson Unitarian Church in Houston, Texas, as co-minister with her spouse Mark. Prior to this settlement, Becky served as solo parish minister to the Accotink Unitarian Universalist Church in Burke, Virginia, for thirteen years. Becky received her M. Div. from Union Theological Seminary in New York City, where she concentrated her studies in the Psychiatry and Religion program. She also holds a Ph.D. in counseling from the Catholic University of America and is a graduate of the Institute for Pastoral Psychotherapy in Washington, D.C. Over the years, she has served on the boards of a number of community organizations and has served in many capacities in district and Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association (UUMA) organizations.
Before becoming a minister, Sarah Gibb worked extensively with youth programs (both as a youth and as an adult) and assisted with the development and launch of the Our Whole Lives sexuality education series. A sexuality educator and trainer, she is editor of The Advocacy Manual for Sexuality Education, Health, and Justice: Resources for Communities of Faith.
Debra W. Haffner
Debra Haffner is the director of the Religious Institute on Sexual Morality, Justice, and Healing and an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister. She is the former president and CEO of the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States and an endorsed community minister with the Unitarian Church of Westport, Connecticut.
Patricia Hoertdoerfer is the children, family and intergenerational programs director in the UUA’s Lifespan Faith Development Staff Group. Her previous publications include Creating Safe Congregations: Toward an Ethic of Right Relations, In our Hands: Grades 4–6. Neighboring Faiths, and The Parent Guide for Our Whole Lives Grades K-1 and Grades 4–6. As a minister and religious educator, Pat has served congregations in Syracuse, New York, and Bethesda, Maryland. She is married to Manfred and they have four adult children with multicultural families of their own.
Betty B. Hoskins
Betty Hoskins has been an active layperson in Unitarian Universalist congregations in Maryland, Massachusetts, and Texas and held leadership and planning positions in the UU Women's Federation, Women and Religion, UUs for Right Relations, Second Circle workshops, the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, the UUA Pamphlet Commission, the Skinner Sermon Award Committee, and Collegium, the Association of Liberal Religious Scholars.
Kenneth Gordon Hurto
Kenneth Gordon Hurto, senior minister at the Florida Unitarian Universalist Church in Fort Myers, has served Unitarian Universalist congregations for more than thirty years. Having trained in family systems theory with Rabbi Dr. Edwin H. Friedman, he is a frequent lecturer on church and family dynamics among Unitarian Universalists.
Anna Belle Leiserson
Anna Belle Leiserson has been a member of the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Nashville for more than twenty years. She considers clergy misconduct an unfortunate expertise—with her real calling being family and the Web.
Tera Little has worked as the Lifespan Religious Education Consultant for the Pacific Southwest District for the past six years, and through their district camping program she has encountered a cornucopia of safety issues. She loves being mom to Adrian and is pursuing the path toward UU ministry.
Angela Merkert has served the Central Midwest District as congregational services director for five years. She has extensive experience in organizational development and church consulting in addition to graduate work in ethics.
Fredric Muir has served as minister of the UU Church of Annapolis, Maryland, since 1983. He is the author of three books and has contributed essays to several publications. He has done consultative work in the areas of safe congregations and as a co-facilitator of the UUA Empowerment Workshop. He is vice president of the UU Partner Church Council. He is married to Karen and they have two children.
Qiyamah A. Rahman
Qiyamah A. Rahman has served as district executive of the Thomas Jefferson District since 1999. She was a board member of the Unitarian Universalist Women’s Federation and a member of Thurman Hamer Ellington, an intentionally diverse congregation, and UU Congregation of Atlanta. She is currently a member of UU Church of Charlotte, North Carolina. She is pursuing community ministry with a focus on interfaith ministry and social justice at Meadville Lombard Theological Center, where she serves on the Catalyst for Change Committee. Her award-winning sermon, “In My Sisters’ Gardens: Women’s History Month” was recently published in the anthology, Glorious Women, edited by Dorothy May Emerson. She is the mother to Libra, Kaleema, and Muhammad and grandmother to Brandon.
Phyllis Rickter is a longtime member of the Arlington Street Church in Boston and a former president of the Unitarian Universalist Women’s Federation.
Tracey Robinson-Harris serves on the UUA staff as the director for Congregational Services. In this role she works with congregational leaders on matters of safety and ethics and in support of our anti-oppression, anti-racism, and multiculturalism commitments.
Phil Thomason joined the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Nashville in 1976 and served as president of the congregation from 1995 to 1996. He is principal of Thomason and Associates, an historic preservation consulting firm.
Patricia Tummino has been minister of the First Unitarian Universalist Society of Middleboro, Massachusetts, since 1998. She is a graduate of Harvard Divinity School.
NOTE: The Safe Congregation Handbook: Nurturing Healthy Boundaries in Our Communities was published as a book in 2005.
For more information contact safecongregations @ uua.org.
This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations. Please consider making a donation today.
Last updated on Friday, April 22, 2011.
- Keeping Children Safe
- Professional Misconduct
- Safe Congregation Handbook
- Responsible Staffing
- Crisis Planning
- Trauma Response
- Building Security
- Conflict Management
- Covenant of Right Relations
- Ethics in Congregational Life Program
- Sexually Healthy Faith Communities
- Disruptive Behavior Policies
- Resources and Reports
- Beyond the UUA
- Closing Words