Mission Peak Board of Trustees, 2023-2024 (starting July, 18 2023)

President – Beth Schafer

Beth Schaefer has been a member of MPUUC for about 28 years and has served on a variety of committees and in many roles, including as a board member. Currently she acts as a Worship Associate and belongs to the MP Poems group and the women’s Small Group Ministry. Over the years, she’s worked as a molecular biologist, science journalist, teacher, speaker on mental health issues, and author. Her husband, John, can be found at the Welcome Table some Sundays, and they have a 15-year-old daughter, Amy. Beth looks forward to helping guide Mission Peak into its next exciting phase.

Treasurer: Jay W. Steele

Jay has been a member of MPUUC roughly since he moved back to the SF Bay Area with his family (wife Ilze; daughters Julia and Jessica) in 2008. Jay is originally from Palo Alto and now resides in Milpitas. In addition to board duties, Jay also provides piano music for some Sunday services (sometimes with the help of Jessica on vocals). Jay is a big believer in continuous improvement and still occasionally takes music lessons. Jay’s formal education is completely technical, and during working hours Jay is a software engineer designing and implementing embedded control software for proton therapy machines for cancer treatment. Jay is looking forward to expanding his contributions to MPUUC by taking a new role as Treasurer.

Secretary – Michelle Wallace

Michelle Wallace was born and raised in a small farming town in Indiana. She attended a nondenominational Christian church throughout childhood and into adulthood. She served actively as a volunteer then as the assistant secretary. Her responsibilities included writing, organizing, and formatting the newsletters and bulletins, performing PR duties, scheduling meetings, sending email reminders, and tracking attendance. She eventually left her faith tradition due to life’s circumstances.
After a few years, Michelle felt disconnected spiritually without a church, but discovered the UU. She found happiness and many rewards there. After moving to the Fremont area she sought out another UU, and found MPUUC, where she’s been a member since 2008. Michelle has volunteered in the Sandwich Squad, sung in the choir, served on the ARO team, and recently become a Board Member. She now seeks the role of Secretary and believes she is ready to serve in this position.

Trustee at Large: Valerie Stewart

I am a founding member of Mission Peak, which still surprises me. Creating a spiritual community was never on my bucket list.  Like many, I wanted my child to have a spiritual upbringing and I was willing to ‘do the work’ when I found Mission Peak after moving to Fremont.  I was on the Religious Education (RE) Committee (now CAYRE) for about 10 years and taught in the Children’s and Youth programs.  Many newcomers didn’t know I was a member, because I was always at Sunday School, not Services.  For four years MPUUC had a community program called The Children’s Advocacy Forum which I co-chaired with Lynda Schwabe, another founding member.  We organized legislative advocacy efforts and community projects to improve education and social services for children.  We obtained separate funding through the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee and community partners to fund our efforts. We had an active Garden at Cole Hall for a few years that I helped manage.  I was part of the Search Team for our last Interim Minister, who became Rev. Jo Green.  I served on the Transition Team for Rev. Green, which morphed into what was essentially her COM Team. I have served on the Justice Council, Leadership Committee, Sunday Service Team and most recently, served as the Chair-Coordinator for Canvass for the last 2 years.   

I look forward to working with the Board as a Trustee At Large to support and grow our Beloved Community!

Trustee at Large: Stephen Longfield

“Stephen joined Unitarian Universalism and MPUUC in 2017. He was on the search committee to find Rev. Greg, makes music for the community in Peak Rocks, and was an active member of sandwich squad. This year his wife Tiffany and he welcomed their first child into the world, and he’s excited to work with the rest of the incoming board to build a welcoming community for all.”

Trustee at Large: Kathi Bayne

I have been a member of Mission Peak, Unitarian Universalists Congregation for about five years. My husband, Omar, and I were grateful to find a community where people cared about each other and were willing to share a spiritual journey together. I have participated in several MPUUC activities including Civic Engagement, Leadership, Asylum, and Antiracism Anti Oppression. My brief time on our Board has given me a new appreciation for the work involved in making MPUUC a success. I am hoping to help find opportunities for all of us to participate in our spiritual community and feel uplifted by it.