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Governance

What is Governance?

Governance is a shared agreement for how the church community envisions its future, sets direction, monitors goals, makes decisions, resolves disputes, and stewards resources. 

Effective governance is grounded in the church’s principles and values, builds on trust, respects all voices, and is guided by clear, inclusive, transparent policies and tools.

In short, Governance is how the congregation participates in the important decisions of the church

Mission

Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church creates and grows an inclusive religious community connected by love, spirit, and service.

Values

In keeping with our mission, we are guided by these values:

  • Love
  • Spirit
  • Service
  • Community

As a self-governing body, the congregation of Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church elects Board members, adopts an annual budget, calls a senior minister, and addresses key questions and decisions at its annual meeting.  Throughout the year, the nine-member Board of Trustees works in close partnership with the Senior Minister to guide the Church toward fulfilling its mission, making decisions and using resources in ways that reflect our values and principles.

Elizabeth Sadlon, President

Elizabeth Sadlon and her husband Tres Izzard have been active members since 2002, raising their daughters Allie and Kenzie…

James Coomes, Vice President

James has been an active member of Neighborhood Church since 1996  and  has  served  in  both  staff  and  volunteer  roles…

Andy Eaton, Treasurer

Andy Eaton has been a member of Neighborhood Church for nearly 30 years! He has two Board tenures under his belt and has…

Taylor Xavier Chazan, Trustee

Neighborhood  since  2016. He is currently serving on the Transition Team  and as a co-facilitator of the Jr. High Youth Group…

Mirna Peterson, Trustee

Mirna Peterson has been a church member since 1987. A former Retirement Benefits Specialist with the Los Angeles County Employees…

Ellen Rosenblatt, Trustee

Ellen has been attending Neighborhood Church since  she  moved  to California  in  2015  and  has  been  a  member…

Mara Leppaluoto, Trustee

I have been a member of Neighborhood for 13 years. I love our community’s
commitment to social justice…

Mae Colcord, Trustee

I have been attending Neighborhood since I was 1 year old (1993) and a member
since taking ROP (2006). I love… 

Abigail Evans, Trustee

I have been a member of Neighborhood since October 2019. I love that this is a
community of warm, unpretentious, smart…

OUR COVENANT

In 2019, Neighborhood Church’s members voted on a Covenant of Right Relations that places our values of compassion and tolerance at the forefront of our interactions with each other. Here is the language on which we agreed:

We the congregational members, leaders, ministers, staff, and friends of Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church are a welcoming faith community that believes a better world is brought about through our daily actions and interactions. It is with this spirit that we covenant to act with integrity so that the needs of the individual and the greater faith community can be in harmony. We covenant to honor one another, engage one another, and give to one another and our institution. 

We hereby covenant to honor one another.

We aspire to live our shared values and shared ministry through our daily interactions. We listen appreciatively being mindful, present, and respectful, assuming good intentions, and seeking to understand one another. We aspire to resolve conflict in a loving, compassionate way, and to forgive each other out of generosity of spirit.

We hereby covenant to engage one another.

We commit to sharing our authentic selves by expressing our needs and ideas, communicating honestly, respectfully, directly, courageously, and without anonymous statements. We take responsibility for the impact of our statements and actions. We remain engaged, even in conflict, through daring and difficult communication, collaboration, and facilitation.

We hereby covenant to give to one another and our institution.

 We contribute our time, skills, and other resources. We commit to understanding and supporting our church structure, including administration and governance. We commit to advancing ethical conduct and addressing misuse of power within the policies and procedures of Neighborhood UU Church. When we are unable to come to an understanding with one another, we will engage members of the Right Relations Committee for support.

We as a community will do our best to abide by this Covenant.

Transition Team

Elizabeth Sadlon and her husband Tres Izzard have been active members since 2002, raising their daughters Allie and Kenzie with the church community’s loving support.  Elizabeth is a member of the Truth & Reconciliation Committee and is active in church racial equity efforts.  She has served on the finance, stewardship, and membership committees, and volunteers with many religious education and social justice activities.  Since 1996, Elizabeth has been a strategic planning consultant to social justice organizations.  She served on the founding board of Girls on the Run of Los Angeles County, including three years as chair.  Elizabeth believes in connecting through stories, raising up historically marginalized voices, and the power of our collective leadership to create joyful, equitable communities.

James has been an active member of Neighborhood Church since 1996 and has served in both staff and volunteer roles, including service as a  high school youth advisor and religious education teacher,  a founding member of Neighborhood People of Color and the UU Motorcycle Ministry, and has offered and co-facilitated classes and discussion groups on anti-racism and identity, suicide prevention and intervention. A lifelong Unitarian Universalist, James believes in the importance of the democratic process and working in relationships with others. He has served on the music director search, the interim minister search, the nominating, and the religious education committees. James is a social worker and program manager with the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health. He is currently actively involved in the Department’s Anti-Racism, Diversity and Inclusion Staff Advisory Council. James has been married since 1999 and lives with his spouse and two teenagers in Burbank.

Andy Eaton has been a member of Neighborhood Church for nearly 30 years! He has two Board tenures under his belt and has chaired the Stewardship, Planned Giving, and Finance Committees (and he just added the Membership Committee to the list). Outside of church, Andy serves as Chair of the Advisory Committee for Rosebud Coffee (Coffee with a Cause) and is on several professional committees. With  a PhD from Harvard in geochemistry, Andy is mostly retired as Technical Director Emeritus for Eurofins Eaton Analytical, a potable water testing lab. He and his wife, Barbara, have two adult children and live in South Pasadena. When not babysitting their grand-twins, the “twinningworleys,” they enjoy planning trips to obscure destinations such as Alaska in the winter for the Aurora Borealis.

Taylor  has  been  a  member  of  Neighborhood  since  2016. He is currently serving on the Transition Team  and as a co-facilitator of the Jr. High Youth Group. He  is also active in the Neighborhood Brave Space group  and  hosts  a  monthly  social  justice  letter-writing  group.  Taylor  worked  on  the  Neighborhood  staff  for  two  years as  the  Office  and  Communications  Coordinator  and  held  many  job  titles  including  warehouse  manager,  homeless  shelter  counselor,  baker, and reality tv producer before that. Taylor is a  lifelong  Unitarian  Universalist  that  was  born  and  raised in Plano, TX. He is  currently  back in  school  to  complete his psychology degree with a focus on social  work.  He  is  a  dedicated  advocate  for  LGBTQ+  youth  and  a  certified  foster  parent.  Taylor  and  his  wife,  Alana,  recently  moved  to  Monrovia  with  their  2  children, 2 dogs, and 2 cats. Outside of Neighborhood,  parenting,  volunteering,  and  schoolwork,  Taylor  enjoys baking, going on culinary adventures, reading,  traveling, and spending time with friends and family

Mirna Peterson has been a church member since 1987. A former Retirement Benefits Specialist with the Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association, she left her job to raise her children. Participation in Neighborhood Church life over the years has included Dining for Dollars, Preschool Feasibility Study, Chalice Children, Spirit Play teacher, and the YRE Committee. She is married to fellow church member, Erik Peterson, and lives in Arcadia with two of their three daughters and a very old Papillon named Stella. Outside of Neighborhood, she is a PTA member and volunteer currently serving on the PTA board of Pasadena High School and a docent/usher at theatre company A Noise Within. She enjoys walking for exercise, cooking, reading, listening to music, and giving help where help is needed.

Ellen has been attending Neighborhood Church since  she  moved  to California  in  2015  and  has  been  a  member  since  2017.  She  sings  in  the  choir,  rings  in  the bell choir, led a Chalice Circle for three years and  started teaching YRE 2-5 graders over Zoom in 2020.  Prior  to  moving  to  California,  Ellen  lived  in  Pennsylvania and worked as a Computer Programmer  and  Project  Leader  for  30  years  at  the  University  of  PA. At  first,  she  liked  working  with  computers  since  they mostly do what you tell them but learned as she  grew  older  that  working  with  people  is  more  rewarding,  even  though  they  are  less  predictable.  Ellen is proudly gastronomically and ethnically Jewish  (loves bagels and  Jewish culture but doesn’t practice  Judaism)  and  found  out  recently  that  she  is  a  Unitarian at heart.  In her spare  time she walks dogs,  knits,  hikes,  and  spends  time  with  her  two  cats  and  her  daughter  Cynthia  and  Cynthia’s  partner,  Colton,  who live nearby in Glendora.

I have been a member of Neighborhood for 13 years. I love our community’s commitment to social justice and equity. I also
love being a part of a community that encourages questioning, rather than blind faith. The past two years have caused a feeling of disconnection for many people, despite the efforts of many to find connections in new ways. I want to be able to support our community as we navigate the changes that are before us. I see the possibility for growth, for my own spirituality as well as for our community. A fun fact about me: I love to roller skate, and I’m in graduate school.

I have been attending Neighborhood since I was 1 year old (1993) and a member since taking ROP (2006). I love that I got to grow up in this community that has become my second home and that raised me into the person I am today. I applied to serve on the
Board because it would provide me with a more meaningful way to participate in the community that has given me so much. I believe serving on the Board will provide me the opportunity to make more of an impact in an institution that I believe is a safe space and
instigator of positive change in this world. A fun fact about me: I actually really like my job. I enforce environmental regulations focused on air pollution at ports and rail yards. I get to inspect equipment in the field and have assessed millions of dollars in penalties.

I have been a member of Neighborhood since October 2019. I love that this is a community of warm, unpretentious, smart, and committed people. It was an honor to be invited to apply for a leadership role in the church. I have wanted to become more deeply
involved in the church itself, and its programs and initiatives. Serving on the Board will connect me to more of the amazing people in the congregation, and provide me with opportunities to learn, serve and grow spiritually in an uplifting community. A fun fact about me: Law is my second career. Before entering law school at 37, I was a theatre producer and manager on Broadway, Off Broadway and in regional theatres on both coasts.