Our Ministers and Staff
The ministers and staff at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Boulder are here for you!
Rev. David Schwartz, lead minister
Sam Henderson, office manager
A recent graduate of CU Boulder with a Master’s degree in Music Composition, Sam Henderson (any) feels boundless passion for both individual expression and collaborative support. They have an extensive musical background that spans vocal and choral performance, songwriting, and even vocal percussion! Since 2015, Sam has been hired by a number of churches and a synagogue to help facilitate worship and spiritual growth, primarily through their musical expression. However, this background also introduced Sam to the enriching world of non-profit administration when he was hired in 2018 by Austin-based Grammy Award-winning choral ensemble Conspirare, an organization she works with to this day.
In their off-time, they enjoy a variety of hobbies from gaming, to dining, to shopping, to traveling and attending live shows.
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Irene Kirschenbaum, membership coordinator
Irene Kirschenbaum (she/her/hers) joins UUCB as a lifelong Unitarian Universalist. Born and raised in Cleveland OH, Irene originally moved to Boulder in 2010 before relocating to Austin TX in 2013. She is thrilled to be back in Colorado and close to the mountains again! Irene is also a Montessori guide, specializing in early childhood and teaching children ages 2.5-6. Outside of teaching and Montessori, she also brings experience in nonprofit marketing and communication, as well as executive assistant and administrative support.
Irene enjoys anything that pertains to the creative arts — theatre, dance, music, etc. She also really enjoys reading, hiking and traveling, and is fascinated with anything related to astronomy. Irene is a proud mom to her cat, Benny, who has traveled with her from Ohio to Colorado to Texas and now back to Colorado!
Irene is elated to be joining UUCB as the membership coordinator. She looks forward to getting to know and supporting this community, and to continuing her own journey of growth with Unitarian Universalist Church of Boulder.
Deborah Berioli, music director
Deborah brings more than eighteen years of Unitarian Universalist experience to our exciting, growing ministry. Her creativity and passion span a wide variety of musical styles and traditions. She is committed to making music a vibrant and living part of our Sunday worship services.
Deborah began her formal music studies at Westminster Choir College in her home state of New Jersey, and went on to a national career performing leading operatic roles and orchestral works. She has performed as a soloist three times in Carnegie Hall. In 2013 Deborah received the “Excellence in Music” award from the Florida District of the Unitarian Universalist Association for her work with the UU Congregation of Venice, Fla., and the Venice Interfaith Association.
Ben Thompson, collaborative pianist
Ben Thompson is a piano player, composer, and teacher who currently lives in the Boulder/Denver area. He is a versatile musician mixing jazz improvisation, classical music, salsa, funk, and rock to create his own musical identity. Ben has a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies which he attained in 2020 from the University of Colorado at Boulder. During the summer of 2018, Ben played with the National Repertory Orchestra where he worked with Michael Stern, Chris Deviney, and She-e Wu. In 2020, he was selected to participate in the IASJ music conference in New York City before the conference was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
While being a gigging and composing musician, Ben also loves teaching music. He works with CCJA (Colorado Conservatory for the Jazz Arts), an organization that’s purpose is to let kids learn jazz from professional jazz musicians, of which he is an alumni. In addition to CCJA, he works as an accompanist at Niwot HS as well as teaching students individually.
Renee Loewen, UUCB bookkeeper
Renee has been our bookkeeper since June 2003. She works closely with our Treasurer, Finance Council, and Board of Trustees, and sends out regular pledge statements to pledging members and friends. She started her business, Bottom Line Bookkeeping and Billing, in 2000.
Our Affiliated Community Ministers
Community ministers are connected with the church, but carry out their ministry outside our walls. We usually see them preaching once a year and periodically running a program or activity.
Rev. Barbara Eaton Molfese is a retired community minister and chaplain endorsed by our congregation. She serves in cooperation with the parish minister and is currently on the Caring Ministry Team and the Immigration Ministry, and occasionally assists with pastoral care.
Rev. Dr. Amy Rowland is an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister affiliated with our congregation. She is a coach and facilitator and serves as a member of the Ministerial Transitions Team for the Pacific Western Region of the Unitarian Universalist Association. Amy supports the congregation by providing pastoral care and officiating at weddings and memorial services as requested.
Rev. Jeremy D. Nickel (he/him) thrives at the intersection of spirituality and technology. A lifelong spiritual adventurer and entrepreneur, after Graduate School in Berkeley, CA and jobs in the tech world, Jeremy was Ordained by Mission Peak Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Fremont, CA and served seven years as their Minister.
In 2017 he left to launch EvolVR, a secular/spiritual community creating personal growth experiences in Virtual and Augmented Reality. EvolVR was recently acquired by the leading VR Meditation app Tripp, where he is now the V.P. of Community and Social. He also spent the 2020-21 Congregational Year as our Consulting Lead Minister here at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Boulder. When un-plugged from his ministry, Jeremy enjoys spending time exploring the great outdoors of Colorado with his wife Nicole (a UCC minister here in Boulder) and daughter Eliza.
Rev. Kristen Psaki (she/her) is lifelong seeker of the sacred called to tend to the thresholds of life & death through ritual, practice, and community. She believes that healing is possible, love is transformative, and that all of us need all of us to be free. Kristen did her graduate work at Union Theological Seminary with a concentration in Depth Theology, a Jungian-rooted approach to unlocking the mysteries of psyche & soul. Prior to moving fully into community ministry Kristen served as Assistant Minister for Beloved Community at Foothills Unitarian Church and as a hospital chaplain.
Her current ministry focuses on psychedelic spiritual care and psychedelic chaplaincy at the Center for Medicinal Mindfulness, a mindfulness-based psychedelic therapy clinic in Boulder that works with Cannabis and Ketamine. Kristen also offers 1:1 and group spiritual care & companionship through death, dying, grief, loss and all of life’s many sacred thresholds. Learn more at waterandbones.org. Kristen lives in the mountains of Gold Hill with her partner Andie, their beloved young child Kairos and pup Amos.
Rev. Teri Schwartz (she/her) served as Senior Co-Minister of First Unitarian Church of Chicago from 2013-2021, along with Rev. David, until moving to Colorado for Rev. David’s call here at the UUCB. A graduate of Harvard Divinity School and Brown University, Teri has also served as chaplain to students at the Meadville Lombard Theological School and as a professional hospital and hospice chaplain.
Inside and outside of the church, Rev. Teri believes in the transformational power of narrative for both the individual and the community. With poignancy and irreverence, she examines themes of wholeness and brokenness, despair and possibility, in body, mind, and spirit. Revs. Teri and David live in Longmont, with their two kids, a giant dog who is much larger than Teri is, chaos, lots of fur, and even more love.