- Minister – Rev. Molly Housh Gordon
- Church Administrator – Suzanne Clark
- Interim Director of Music Ministry – Marques Ruff
- Director of Religious Education – Jamila Batchelder
- Intern Minister – Alexis
- Sunday Morning Assistant – April Rodeghero
The Rev. Molly Housh Gordon started her tenure as the third settled minister of our congregation on August 1, 2012.
A lifelong UU from Tulsa, Oklahoma, Molly holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Religion from Hendrix College in Conway, Ark. and a Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School in Cambridge, Mass.
Molly and her spouse James live in Columbia with their daughters Nora and Margot and their dog Eddy. Together they enjoy cooking, long rambling walks, and getting involved in the Columbia community. Molly also loves to dance, sing, and bake – her specialty is buttermilk pie.
Molly says: “It is truly a joy to serve the UU Church of Columbia – a warm and welcoming community that is always seeking to grow in spirit and in service. Together we ask the big questions of life and meaning, and together we learn how to better love this world. I hope you will join us!”
Suzanne Clark became our new Church Administrator upon the Sept. 30, 2018 retirement of Kathie Bergman, who served in the position for 26 years.
Suzanne recently returned to Columbia after a number of years residing near family in Rochester, N.Y., where she worked 15 years as assistant executive director at Temple B’rith Kodesh, a Reform synagogue there.
Congregational life and the rewards of working with a community were Suzanne’s main motivators in applying to be our Church Administrator. She is looking forward to meeting everyone and adjusting to a new working environment.
Marques Jerrell Ruff is working with us as Interim Director of Music Ministry for two transitional years that began in August 2017 as we search for a permanent director.
Marques came to us fresh off of several years touring as a member of the Grammy-winning vocal ensemble Chanticleer. A graduate of Central Connecticut State University with a degree in music, he is excited to begin his Master of Music in Choral Conducting at Mizzou in fall 2017.
A lover of classical, jazz, gospel and show tunes, Marques is also a writer and amateur chef. When not listening to and/or creating music, he can be found enjoying nature, new restaurants, and falling down the hole that is video suggestions on YouTube.
Our search team was especially impressed by Marques’ excellence across an extremely wide variety of musical styles, and we are excited to see how he helps our congregation grow musically, as we dream together about our long-term musical hopes and goals.
Jamila assumed her duties as Director of Religious Education in November 2016. She has attended UUCC for many years and became an official member in 2014. She has taught in our R.E. program in the Schweitzer class, volunteered as a youth advisor and coordinator for our high school youth program, facilitated Chalice Circles for a group of parents and a multi-age group, and served as a worship associate.
Jamila says, “This position combines two of my great passions in life – education and my love of religion, spirituality, and most particularly Unitarian Universalism. It is all the more meaningful that I will be serving a community to which I already feel such deep connection and love.”
Read Jamila’s Philosophy of Religious Education.
Alexis is our part-time Intern Minister for the 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 church years as a part of her formation as a minister.
She will be working with various groups and facilitating worship services every other month (or so) during her time with us.
She welcomes conversation and can be contacted via email to set up an appointment.
April Rodeghero is our Sunday Morning Assistant as of October 2017. She was drawn to visit our church in the past year by the strong social justice theme of Unitarian Universalism and hopes to learn more.
April lives with her twins sons and daughter and her spouse in Columbia. She has a background in education and postpartum doula work.
As Sunday Morning Assistant, April will be responsible for helping set up the Sanctuary for worship services, supervising the kitchen and clean-up, and securing the building.