Rev. Dr. Stephen H Furrer
As a minister for more than 40 years, I believe excellent Sunday worship services are at the heart of all healthy congregations. Consequently, I invest a lot of my creative energies into that effort. My personal style is relaxed, focused, and professional. I am a sixth generation Unitarian Universalist, one of four siblings who attended the First Unitarian Church of Cleveland, Ohio. I experience the Unitarian Universalist ministry as an incredible honor and challenge and pleasure. I believe our UU movement is an extraordinary force for good in the world and I’m both honored and grateful to serve it.
I am passionate about the integration of holistic systems, specifically at the intersection of environmental stewardship and social justice. I hold an MBA in Sustainable Business, B.S. in Zoology, and a B.A. in Economics. In addition, I have more than 15 years of experience in sustainable development with a focus on inclusive community building. At East Shore, I am responsible for Financial Operations, Personnel, Facilities & Grounds Management, Office Administration, and Information Technology. I am more than happy to answer any questions and learn how I can better serve East Shore and our community. I also speak fluent Spanish and English.
Director of Religious Education
Inclusive and welcoming faith formation opportunities for children and youth are at the center of my work as Director of Religious Education. I believe the guiding principles and practices of our faith can be powerful tools in our toolbox. At the University of Washington, I received an undergraduate degree in Comparative History, Religion, and Dance, studying the intersections of social and spiritual movements. Although I’m a lifelong UU, I am raising an interfaith family, a common thread in the UU community. I have a background in movement, meditation, anti-oppressive education and justice, and permaculture, which run through our activities for children, youth, and families.
Membership Development Manager
I believe clear and open communications is key to a strong community. If you are considering membership at East Shore, or even just want to know more about who we are, I’m happy to have a conversation with you. I am a graduate of The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio with a BA in Mass Communications and Social Media. My path to East Shore has included working as a Reporter and Producer at an NPR affiliate, a morning News Producer for an NBC affiliate and at a public relations firm. I worked at a church in Columbus, Ohio for 5 years before moving to Seattle.
As Facilities Manager, I am responsible for reserving and overseeing the facilities rental space and equipment at East Shore for both internal and outside groups. I’ve been at East Shore for more than 10 years and know all the ins and outs! I will work hard to make sure you group, whether a rental or a church group will have the setup you need to have a successful event. I grew up in Ohio and was the business manager of a small non-profit before moving on to the corporate world. I live in the downtown Bellevue area with my husband of more than 35 years and our two cats.
I am a skilled bookkeeper and am ready to answer your questions. I’ve been at East Shore since 2019, and have worked hard to learn everything I can about Realm, our database and financial software. I believe it is my calling to work in non-profits and I am happy to get out of the for-profit arena. I am fluent in Spanish and English.
Eric Lane Barnes
Director of Music
I am responsible for music in services, congregational gatherings and special events. The East Shoe Mighty Choir meets on Thursdays at 7:00 pm (currently via Zoom) and new members are always welcome. I come to East Shore with years of musical theater, choral conducting, piano playing, composition and writing in my professional life. The opportunities to connect, enrich, entertain and edify through music has been one of the greatest joys of my life. The UU seven principles are ideals I find I have long embraced on my life’s journey; with East Shore I feel I have found a true spiritual home. You can learn more about my professional journey at www.ericlanebarnes.com.
I am the face you will see when you walk in the door, and am happy to help you navigate East Shore. I was previously a member of the Conejo Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Thousand Oaks, CA, where I worked in Childspace, as the Youth Group Facilitator, and was a founding member and co-leader of their CUUPS chapter. I am a regular volunteer at the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle (formerly EMP Museum) where I can indulge my love of public speaking. Previously, I worked for the Moorpark Unified School District as a drama teacher.
IT Support Coordinator/Sexton
As one of two Sextons, I am responsible for maintaining the grounds at East Shore, this includes room setups, clean ups, and general maintenance. I am also taking on a larger role with our tech needs, as I am currently working towards my Master’s Degree in Computer Science focusing on AI-data Science and Human Computer Interaction. I am a northwest and Washington native and I love to talk about games and any of the new and cool tech devices that make watching Netflix more accessible.
I am responsible for maintaining the grounds at East Shore, this includes room setups, clean ups, and general maintenance. I moved to the U.S. from Turkey in 2017 and love working at East Shore. In Turkey, I worked as a mechanical engineer and also had a jewelry store for 20 years. I have been drawing on Autocad for 12 years. I consider myself an innovative person, who is skilled at and enjoys repairing items such as jewelry, and like to learn new things.
I am responsible for welcoming children ages 0-5 years old in the preschool room. I am the head toy wrangler and the first UU teacher for most of the children. I teach them that East Shore Unitarian church is their UU family, that we will care for them, make them feel safe, and give them a place to grow and try new things. I have been a member at East Shore since 2005 and help lead our Pagan celebrations, in particular the Winter Solstice Celebration which is always held on December 21.