Meet Last Sunday’s Newest Flock of Members!

March has been an exciting month for new membership!! So far, eight new names have been entered into our books just this month. And just this past Sunday, we welcomed Candice & Martha Bautista-Biddle, Cait McQuade, Rachel Peterson, Joe Polman, and WikTeh Sanchez as our newest UUCB members! See their headshots and read their bios below – you’ll also find new member Marc Esenwein, who signed our book on February 19th.


Candice Bautista-Biddle

Candice Bautista-Biddle started going to virtual UUCB services with her wife Martha during the pandemic. Even virtually she could feel the strong sense of community and commitment and knew this was the place for her! Originally from NYC, Candice is happy to now live near the mountains where she skis, climbs, and hikes. By day she is a regulatory affairs program manager at a medtech cardiology AI startup called Cleerly, where she creates regulatory submissions for review by the FDA. By night she spends her time petting her dog Theo and cat Mochi, and playing chess.


Martha Bautista-Biddle

​​Martha Bautista-Biddle is so excited to be back at UUCB as a member! Initially, Martha joined the church at the start of COVID, due to wanting to build connection and foster community albeit virtually. After multiple moves between Boulder and Denver, Martha and her wife Candice have found their way back to Boulder and UCCB and are enjoying learning so much about the church in person! Raised within the Episcopal church, Martha remembers church gatherings and religious rituals fondly, but is excited to be part of a community that shares values, but not necessarily religious beliefs. Originally from the east coast (NY, CT, and MA), Martha found her way to Denver to study Psychology. She is a Clinical Psychologist working in Denver with couples, individuals, and families with concerns around neurodivergence and identity. In her free time, Martha loves to hike, bake, and do crafts like knitting, sewing, and embroidery. Candice and Martha are excited to participate in family and parenting events in the future, as Martha is pregnant and due at the end of June!


Marc Esenwein

Hello, I’m Marc Esenwein, and I live in Louisville, where I have a practice helping kids and parents, couples and individuals improve their lives.  My start with Unitarian Universalism began with my father, as he served as a minister in both Virginia and Illinois churches.  I learned about the significance of social justice at a young age, marching for civil rights in Chicago, and then speaking for racial equality growing up with discrimination in Norfolk, VA.   I consider social justice work my spiritual practice and want to participate in ways to improve mental health access, homelessness, climate change and racial equality in Colorado.  I also need the spiritual growth I get from worship and belonging to a Beloved Community, where faith gets stronger in an insecure world.  I am moving to UUCB from the Boulder Valley congregation.  I’m feeling welcomed and reinvigorated with the people I’ve met here at UUCB, and love Rev. David’s presence in the pulpit.


Cait McQuade

Church-going wasn’t part of my growing up, though my family is culturally Christian.  I didn’t explore religion until my late 20s, when I started wondering what all those people were doing on Sunday mornings. I tried different liberal congregations and found it laborious to translate words like “God” and “sin” and “heaven” into concepts that held meaning for me. In a UU church, I didn’t need to do that work—no one assumed that we all had the same vocabulary for our beliefs. 

My last church home was in St Louis, where I became deeply invested in the congregation, serving on the board and a ministerial search committee, organizing lay-led services, and—with my new husband Joe—hosting a covenant group. We moved to Boulder in 2012 and found that we weren’t ready to fill the hole left by our dear community in St Louis. I spent a long time grieving its loss. 

In the meantime, I began learning insight meditation and Buddhist concepts (#soBoulder). Buddhism makes sense to me, and I find its perspectives useful and uplifting.

At the end of last year I realized how much I missed having a community of support for hopefulness, right living, and meaning-making. Accompanying Joe to an Advent service in another church, I suddenly comprehended this stark absence in my life (how had I not noticed that big hole that our last church had vacated?) and spent the morning weeping. So here I am, ready and eager to find both my place in UUCB’s community and UUCB’s place in my life. 

By profession and inclination I’m a museum geek. I specialize in planning, researching, and writing for exhibitions. I worked for the Missouri History Museum and the National Park Service and have freelanced for museums all over the country—that’s what I’m doing now. I teach in the graduate museum studies program at CU Boulder. 

Joe and I love to travel and have been lucky enough to visit lots of cool places in the years just before the pandemic: Mexico, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Israel, Dubai. As I write this, we’re packing for a trip to Ireland. While there, I’ll probably strike up conversations with anyone accompanied by a dog, since we’ll be missing our two pups. I’ll pass the time on the plane reading or listening to science fiction, fantasy, or regency romance novels. 


Rachel Peterson

Rachel grew up in Missouri and graduated from the University of Missouri in 2018 where she studied Spanish Language/Literature and dabbled in many other things along the way. She and her boyfriend moved to Boulder in early 2021. She currently works full time as an analyst for an area non-profit and is also in school part-time working towards a Computer Science degree. When not doing work or homework, she is usually reading, climbing, running, watching soccer, or spending time with loved ones. She first learned about UU at a political rally in college, where the local minister gave a speech that endeared her to the mission/values of UU. She started attending UUCB in August of 2022. Rachel is delighted to be joining this community that has already opened her heart and mind so much, and she is very grateful for everyone that has welcomed her here already!


Joe Polman

Joe Polman grew up in South Bend, Indiana, in a large Roman Catholic family. He had a very positive experience in the liberal, post-Vatican II Catholic community where he was raised. Catholic Christianity helped instill in him a love of ritual, and a belief that stories provide us all vital meaning and purpose. As he grew older, his religious beliefs diverged from Catholic Christianity. He studied comparative literature (American and German) as an undergraduate at Brown University and studied abroad in the late 1980s in what was then the German Democratic Republic (East Germany). Living and learning in a culture and political system so different from our own was a profound formative experience for him. He learned that the black-white, good-evil dichotomies of the Cold War were massive oversimplifications of nuanced, complex social systems—including our own—and came to understand how contingent humans’ experiences are based on the historical and cultural circumstances in which we find ourselves. After returning to the U.S., he worked for several years at a software company. He then pursued a doctorate in “Learning Sciences” at Northwestern University and subsequently became an Education professor at University of Missouri-St. Louis. While living in St. Louis, he met Cait McQuade, who introduced him to Unitarian Universalism. His first visit to First Unitarian Church of St. Louis was to see her give a sermon at a summer service. Cait and Joe were married in that church, and Joe came to cherish the UU principles and the community of fellow travelers at the church. They were members of First UU St. Louis until they moved to Boulder. They moved to Colorado because Joe had the opportunity to become a professor and associate dean at CU Boulder’s School of Education. Joe designs and studies interdisciplinary, project-based learning environments in schools, after school programs, and summer programs. Joe and Cait are devoted dog companions, and Joe enjoys hiking and being outside in our beautiful environs. He also enjoys reading novels and nonfiction books about life sciences, and how humans and more-than-humans co-exist in the world. Although he is unsure about some of the ultimate questions such as the afterlife, he has a firm belief that the divine is manifest in the connections among all living things. 


WikTeh Sanchez

Headshot and bio coming soon!