Rev. Justin Schroeder and Rev. Jen Crow share the parish ministry, including the conduct of Sunday services, rites such as wedding and commitment ceremonies, child dedications and memorial services, and pastoral care.
See this excerpt, printed in the Sept. 2011 Liberal newsletter, about how his childhood shaped him
Justin was raised Unitarian Universalist in Colorado, where the seeds of his ministry were planted while looking up at the mountains and the Milky Way. He earned his Master of Divinity degree from Meadville Lombard Theological School in 2007; his undergraduate is in English with a creative writing emphasis.
Justin Schroeder’s vision for ministry has been shaped and formed by twelve years of experience working in UU congregations, eight of which were at two of the largest congregations in the Unitarian Universalist Association. (All Souls Church in Tulsa, OK, and Unity Church, in Saint Paul).
Justin hopes that, led by the spirit of love, he inspires congregants to follow a path of meaning and purpose as they serve each other and the community. "Relationships" are at the heart of his ministry - deeper relationship with God (however you understand that word), with community, and with the world.
Justin's wife, Juliana, has worked at interfaith organizations as a community organizer and program director. Together, they are the proud parents of Tucker Robert Keen Schroeder, born in 2008.
Justin's role at First Universalist is to ensure the spiritual health of the congregation. He serves as the "chief of staff" and is responsible for the worship life of the congregation. He works closely with the Board of Trustees, the Pledge Team, the Planned Giving Team, and the staff to ensure that the church moves toward fulfilling its mission in the world.
Rev. Jen Crow,
Minister of Program Life
Jen joined First Universalist as the Minister of Program Life in 2012. Prior to that time, Jen served as the Associate Minister of the First Unitarian Church of Rochester, NY, one of the largest and most innovative Unitarian Universalist congregations in the country. Shaped by a desire to offer the life-transforming experience of Unitarian Universalism to others, Jen pushes herself and others to think creatively and boldly about what we can offer each other and those who have not yet entered our doors. A graduate of Meadville Lombard Theological School and Smith College, Jen holds a Master of Divinity degree and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology.
Passionate about creating a community where everyone can grow and no one needs to walk alone, Jen brings a focus on love and transformation to her ministry. She trusts the wisdom of the gathered community, values the empowerment of others, and leans in to the movement of the spirit - on her best days. The founder of the Wellspring Program for Unitarian Universalist Spiritual Deepening which is now used in over 20 Unitarian Universalist congregations around the country, Jen draws on our own UU prophets for strength and inspiration, as well as her own daily spiritual practice of prayer and meditation.
As the Minister of Program Life, Jen oversees the many programs of our church; including the ministries of Congregational Care, Membership and Small Groups, Religious Education, and Faith in Action. Jen also enjoys supervising our ministerial intern and serving our larger movement as a member of the national Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association’s Committee on Ethics and Collegiality.
A mother of two young children, Jen lives in Minneapolis with her partner, Loretta.
You can email Rev. Jen Crow directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Rev. Elaine Aron Tenbrink,
Minister of Membership and Adult Ministries
Elaine grew up in the suburbs of Kansas City in an interreligious household. Her mother was raised Methodist on a farm in Kansas. Her Jewish father was born in Israel and moved to the United States when he was thirteen. When she was a teenager, her family discovered that the Unitarian Universalist church was a natural fit. Elaine feels privileged to now serve our liberal faith tradition professionally though ministry.
A graduate of Meadville Lombard Theological School and Grinnell College, Elaine holds a Master of Divinity degree and a Bachelor of Anthropology and Spanish. She was ordained in April 2010 by the Unitarian Universalist Church of Davis, California, where she completed her parish internship. Since then, she has served as a hospital chaplain in Charleston, South Carolina and as a community minister at the Unitarian Church of Charleston.
As the Minister of Membership and Adult Ministries, Elaine oversees the welcoming and integration of new members, offers opportunities for spiritual deepening, and supports First Universalist’s culture of radical hospitality and strong lay leadership. She is passionate about the potential of human-to-human connections to offer pathways to greater compassion, deeper insight, and communion with the Divine.
Elaine and her husband, Jason, live in Minneapolis with their daughter, Sarah. After services, she can usually be found at the Hub in the social hall. She would love to meet you!
You can email Rev. Elaine Aron Tenbrink directly at email@example.com.
Rev. Kate Tucker,
Kathleen (Kate) Tucker was called as Associate Minister in September, 1998, after serving the previous year on a contract basis. She earned her Master of Divinity degree at the Earlham School of Divinity where she had earlier completed a baccalaureate degree. She also holds an MFA degree from the University of Minnesota. Before coming to First Universalist in 1997, she held interim positions with the First Unitarian Universalist Church in Kent, Washington, and the First Unitarian Church in Portland, Oregon.
In a sermon Kate has commented: "Our individual experiences, powerful as they are, need a language to live in. Our individual experiences, intense as they are, can still seem random, isolating, disconnected from the web of life. This is what religious community is for: to give us a language. To give us a way to see our experience within a larger pattern of meaning and beauty."
In her role at First Universalist she provided and arranged congregational care. She worked with our small-group ministry to ensure spiritual growth of individual members of First Universalist Church.
Rev. John Cummins,
With his wife, Drusilla, Dr. Cummins served First Universalist from 1961 to 1986.