“At FUUN I am part of a shared ministry that arises from the expression of this community’s unique experiences of the holy spirit of compassion and justice during worship. I am part of a shared ministry made up of the diverse and surprising ways that spirit calls each of one of us to serve love and justice at home, at church, at work, as neighbors and as citizens.”
The congregation called the Reverend Gail S. Seavey to serve us in the fall of 2005. Having served both a humanist and a traditional Universalist congregation, the Rev. Seavey describes herself as “a theological Unitarian Universalist, believing in a sacred Unity that is expressed in diversity.”
A committed social activist, the Rev Seavey has been a leader in family and sexual violence prevention, interfaith dialogue, and economic equity programs. She now serves on the Middle TN Jobs with Justice Board, the TN Advisory Committee to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission and as Executive Secretary of Nashville Organized for Action and Hope (NOAH).
The Reverend Jason Shelton, Associate Minister for Music, has served at FUUN since 1998. He is a published and widely-performed composer, an active local performer, and a passionate advocate for music in our churches and the larger community. Formerly a Franciscan brother, Jason received an M. Div. from Vanderbilt Divinity School in 2003 and was ordained to the Unitarian Universalist ministry in 2004. He has served on the board of directors of the Unitarian Universalist Musicians Network and the UUA commission that created the hymnal supplement, Singing the Journey. His first major work, Sources: A Unitarian Universalist Cantata (for chorus, piano, strings and percussion), premiered in June of 2006, and has since been performed over 20 times around the country. Jason and his wife Mary celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary in April 2009, and they have two young daughters – Amanda and Sam.
For more information about Jason’s music and other work, visit his website: www.jasonsheltonmusic.com
Meghann Robern is currently serving as our Sabbatical Minister. She is in ministerial fellowship with the UUA and received her M.Div. from Claremont School of Theology. She loves being a part of the professional team here at FUUN and the work of the shared ministry within the congregation. When she’s not at the church campus, you might find her at the local library with her kids, or out at a movie theatre enjoying the latest film made to make her geeky heart happy. Before she followed her lifelong call to ministry, she worked in office administration, event organization, the music business, the film/tv business, and the non-profit sector. You can find her portfolio at http://bodilyintegrity.com.
Mary Lindsay comes to us with years of experience in administrative management. Growing up in the Kansas City, MO area Mary attended Unity Churches. Previously she has worked as the Director of Youth & Family Ministry as well as the Volunteer Coordinator at Unity of Kansas City North. She was then asked to lead the Children’s and Youth Ministry in Houston, TX for one of the largest Unity churches with a membership of 5,000. Mary has also served in various administrative management roles in non-profit organizations with great success in growing membership, structural organization, event and program planning and fundraising.
Marguerite Mills, Director of Lifespan Religious Education
Bio coming soon
Jonah Eller-Issacs, Religious Education Administrator
Jonah Eller-Isaacs was raised in the loving embrace of the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Oakland, where his parents were co-ministers for many years. As a UU Youth, Jonah was involved in local and national leadership, helping to plot policy and plan conferences. He was also a Young Adult Programs Intern at the Unitarian Universalist Association. After living in Brooklyn, NY, for nearly a decade, Jonah moved to Nashville, the childhood home of his wife, Kathryn Wilkening, in 2014. Jonah is an experienced early childhood educator, a nationally-broadcast radio documentarian, a published author and regular contributor to Nashville arts and culture magazine NATIVE, as well as an amateur abstract painter – his portfolio is available at Starfire Artistry. Jonah lives in East Nashville with Kathryn, Dance Division Director for Metro Parks and Recreation, and their beloved puppy Rosie Pants. The FUUN community is loving, inspiring and deeply committed, and Jonah is honored to be a part of it.
Sheri Lynn DiGiovanna came to Nashville in 1996 to be the Director of Religious Education for Children and Youth for FUUN. She then served as Assistant Provost at Vanderbilt University, received her MBA from Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management and served as a Manager of Strategic Projects for a few years before returning to work here in 2015 as our Director of Communication. Sheri began her work in communication in 2000 building a website when websites were rare. In 2005, she began working on the new phenomenon of social media for both break-out and established artists at Nashfilms and The Press Office, an entertainment PR/Management firm where she continues to serve as VP.
DiGiovanna has many creative outlets. She began performing musical theater professionally at age 9 and is an actor, singer, songwriter, playwright, and classically trained musician (oboe, sax, and piano). An award winning accessibility clothing designer, film costumer, and seamstress specializing in one-of-a-kind bridal gowns and costumes, she is also the sole proprietor of The Silver Lining sewing and Founder/CEO of Fitsme Fashion, designer clothes for amputees (begun with a grant from the FUUN Endowment Trust).
Laurie Stevens, Membership Director
Laurie Stevens was born and raised in Knoxville, TN. She went to college at Eastern Michigan University for both her Bachelor’s in English Literature and her
Master’s in Women’s & Gender Studies. She held leadership positions in several student organizations, including Alpha Gamma Delta sorority and the Queer Student Union.
Laurie arrived back in Nashville in 2015 to be closer to her family. While enjoying her part-time position as First UU’s Membership Coordinator, she also works a full-time job at the Nashville Public Library.
Susan Snyder has been our church pianist since 1999. Susan grew up in Canaan, CT, and majored in piano performance at Indiana University. She has worked as pianist, organist and music director in several churches in Arizona and Tennessee, and has also worked as an accompanist for numerous ballet companies as well as the vocal studio at Belmont University. At present Susan devotes her non-church time to teaching private piano lessons, and currently has students of all ages. If you’d like to talk with Susan about becoming a piano student, or to arrange for her services for an upcoming wedding or private party, feel free to email her.
Community Minister Affiliated
The Reverend Dr. Laurel Cassidy was ordained by the congregation of FUUN in 1996. She received final fellowship from the UUA in 2000. Initially, she found her call working as a chaplain at the Nashville VA Medical Center specializing in substance abuse treatment and care. Following that, her ministry was providing end-of-life spiritual care to individuals and families as a home care chaplain with Alive Hospice. Her next focus of care and ministry was in the role of nurse care manager for veterans with traumatic brain injuries back at the Nashville VA Medical Center.
For the past five years she has been working as a mental health officer with Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) serving projects in Papua New Guinea, Bangladesh, South Sudan, Belarus, and Chechnya. In between projects with MSF she has worked as a contract chaplain on the psychiatric unit at the Nashville VA Medical Center. Additionally, she recently spent a year as a volunteer with a Peace Corps program, Global Health Service Partnership, on faculty at Muhimbili University for Health and Allied Sciences in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania teaching mental health and psychiatric nursing. Laurel is married with three young adult children.
To contact staff members, see our Staff Directory