As promised, our first Salon! 

This season, we’ll be alternating between interviews – where I talk to folks thinking deeply about worship – and salons, where previous guests join for roundtable discussion. The conversations will feature various folks in various combination, but will always be lively and interesting.

This week’s salon features the Reverends Gretchen Haley and Madelyn Campbell. We talked about ministerial authority in our sermons, who’s worship for, and how we make space for everyone; we begin with a conversation about how our services begin.


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Season Two Starts Now! 

My guests this week are Laura Weiss and Sarah Jebian, music directors, performers, and amazing co-conspirators. Their album, “Not Your Mama’s Hymns” is taking the UU world by storm. We talk about worship, collaboration, hymnody, and big versus small worship.



Their project –



Sarah Jebian is the Director of Music at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Rockville and is a proud member of the Association for Unitarian Universalist Music Ministries (AUUMM), where she serves on the Conference Planning Committee and as Secretary of the Board of Trustees. In addition to her performing career, Sarah is a recording artist, theater director, producer, choreographer, and voice teacher. Her debut album, Love Songs & Lullabies was released in April of 2012.  Sarah is a soloist at many DC Metro area churches and is the lead singer of Keltish (Irish band).

Laura Weiss  is the Director of Music and Arts and Worship Coordinator for the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fairfax and the Band Director for the 2019 UU General Assembly in Spokane, Washington. She has served as Music Minister for South Church, UCC in Andover, MA, was the Interim Director of Music & the Organist at St. Albans on the campus of the Washington D.C. National Cathedral, served as Director of Music for St. Cyprian’s Episcopal in Boston, MA, and she holds a Masters Degree in Education from the Center for Creative Teaching and a Bachelors in Music.  She is a former K-12 faculty member of the Andover Public Schools and Lynn Public Schools where she served as instructor for The Boston Music Center, The Kittredge School of North Andover, Musical Theater Director for the SMARTS Collaborative on the South Shore and piano instructor for Bennington College.

This summer, some of my favorite Unitarian Universalists answer one of the Five Questions for your enjoyment! This week, my guest is the Rev. Sofia Betancourt, who – among many other amazing things – is the Assistant Professor of Unitarian Universalist Theologies and Ethics at Starr King School for the Ministry.

The new season starts September 12th!

We turn the tables with Michael Tino interviewing me for the final episode of this podcast season! We talked about my ministry, the influence of theater on my theology of worship, and trust. We began by noting that Michael and I spent many years actively avoiding meeting each other for years in North Carolina.


My Bio: 

Rev. Kimberley Debus is a community minister based in New York’s Capital Region, where she works to inspire Unitarian Universalists throughout the denomination to be more artful and art-filled in their worship, congregational life, leadership, stewardship, and public witness.

Ordained in May 2017, Kimberley has served One Island Family UU Congregation in Key West, Florida, and the First Universalist Church of Southold, New York. She also serves as chair of the board of directors for the UU Wellspring Spiritual Deepening Program. Kimberley was raised by Unitarian parents and returned Unitarian Universalism in the 1990s during her years as an activist in North Carolina’s LGBTQ community. As both lay leader and minister, she has presented workshops on generational theory, the worship arts, and stewardship. She has been known to burst out in song (particularly show tunes and standards); will wax poetic about British panel shows, mysteries, and The West Wing; and is staff to two tabby cats named Huck and Molly (they didn’t come with hats).

At the heart of Kimberley’s ministry is a call to foster creative, collaborative, and spiritually grounded approaches to the challenges and blessings of our faith, which inspire all of us draw the circle of love ever wider.

I had an amazing time talking with Rev. Aaron White – we share a background in theatre and a love of preaching and worship. We talked about aesthetics, ensembles, protecting white boards, and preaching without a net.



Rev. Aaron White has served for 10 years as the Associate Minister at First Unitarian Church of Dallas, TX. He received a degree in religion and theater from Austin College before attending Harvard Divinity School for seminary, with an academic focus in Sanskrit and Indian studies, comparative religious ethics, and aesthetics. Aaron is a gardener, science geek, and amateur UU historian. He blogs each week at and is the host of the upcoming podcast, Possibility Conspiracy, which will launch soon.

Another fascinating conversation, this time with one of our up and coming ministers, theresa rohlck, whose experience in music and dance informs a beautiful understanding of the work we do in worship. We talked about music school, what we can learn from Indonesian art forms, and the challenges of finding balance.


Lots of links for you today:

Yogyanese style gamelan and dance from central Java (the city of Yogyakarta)

John Cage’s 4’33

The Singing Neanderthals by Stephen Mithen

What Wondrous Love” as performed by Chelsea Moon

Yes” by Shekina Glory

In the Beginning  Was the Meal by Hal Taussig



theresa rohlck is a third year seminarian at Meadville Lombard Theological School; she expects to receive her MDiv in May 2019. She will do a one-year chaplain residency in her hometown of Ann Arbor Michigan after graduation. She holds a Bachelor of Musical Arts from the University of Michigan’s School of Music, where, as a violist, she had extensive orchestral and chamber music ensemble experience. However, it was during that time she first heard a Javanese Gamelan and began learning how to play many of the instruments in the ensemble. This led to further musical studies in Indonesia after graduating. A Fulbright grant supported her study there, and she spent three and a half years becoming an accomplished gamelan musician and dancer. Returning to the U.S. she began work at the University of Michigan’s English Language Institute, which led to a Master’s in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). Currently theresa conducts the Handbell Choir at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Ann Arbor, where she is also a member of the choir, and has served as a worship associate. She is a member of the Association for Unitarian Universalist Music Ministries (AUUMM) and Handbell Musicians of America.