- Minister – Rev. Molly Housh Gordon
- Church Administrator – Kathie Bergman
- Music Director – Desi Long
- Director of Religious Education – Jamila Batchelder
- Sunday Morning Assistant – Betsy Fritsche
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 daughter Nora and 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!”
Kathie says, “This is more than my job, it’s my community. I have grown as a human being by being a part of Unitarian Universalism. I hope I am making a positive impact as I serve my fellow UUs.”
Kathie Bergman was hired as a quarter time administrator in October 1992. A few years later her hours were increased to half time. She and her family have been members of the church since 1988.
Kathie brings many years of office work experience, but this is the first time she has ever developed a job from scratch! On a daily basis she is probably the first person a caller will talk to when inquiring about the church. She maintains the membership and the pledge database, pays monthly bills, prints the weekly announcements, organizes the office files, sorts the daily mail, collects articles for the monthly newsletter, maintains the building use and rental calendar, and generally helps see that everything is running smoothly.
Desi grew up and went to school in Monrovia, a suburb of Los Angeles. She graduated from the University of Southern California (USC) with a Bachelor of Music. After taking advance work in Library Science she worked for the city of Los Angeles as a children’s librarian for 12 years.
Fleeing the southern California smog, she landed in Columbia in 1975 and has been a member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbia since 1984. She became Music Director in 1992.
Desi is active musically in the Columbia community, singing in the Columbia Chorale and Choral Union, and playing violin in the Columbia Civic Orchestra. She was one of the founding members of the Cameline Consort (an early music group) and plays in a string quartet, Quartet Dolce, which is available for weddings, receptions and parties. She has a grown daughter, Norah, and one cat, Shadow.
Jamila assumed her duties as Director of Religious Education on Nov. 17, 2016. She has attended UUCC for many years and became an official member in 2014. She has taught in our RE 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.
Betsy Fritsche, who grew up in our church, began her new duties as Sunday Morning Assistant on Aug. 7, 2016. Her job is to help prepare the Sanctuary for worship and work in the kitchen to facilitate hospitality before and after worship services.
The daughter of long-time church members Lisa and Kevin Fritsche, Betsy was dedicated as an infant in our church. She graduated in May 2016 from Hendrix College in Arkansas with a degree in psychology.
Betsy lives in Rocheport and currently works as a school photographer.