Our Ministers and Staff
Rev. Wendy Williams
A native of Wisconsin, Wendy came to Colorado following a six-year ministry in Flagstaff, Arizona. Through a strong shared ministry, that congregation grew in membership, commitment, and identity. Prior to entering the ministry, Wendy practiced law for 15 years. That experience is evident in her inspiring pulpit presence and commitment to justice.
Wendy is passionate about Unitarian Universalism as a path for people who want to be awake and committed to act from love in a world both broken and beautiful. She shares the ministry with a talented staff and dynamic congregation to create a church community where everyone is included and all are urged to Deepen, Connect, and Engage.
Rev. Eric Banner
Eric hails from Manhattan, Kansas, and lives in Denver with his wife, Emily, and his daughters, Olivia, Julia and Maia. His first career was an environmental scientist specializing in water quality. Prior to coming to JUC, Eric served the Unitarian Universalist Church of Greeley, following an internship at another large and dynamic church, All Souls Unitarian in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Rev. Keith Arnold
Minister of Music
Keith has served at Jefferson Unitarian Church since 1997. Keith earned a doctorate in the history and performance of choral music from the University of Colorado. He has led Unitarian Universalist music ministry programs in Nashville, Tennessee; Boulder, and Golden..Under his direction, the JUC Choir was invited to represent Colorado in the Washington, D.C., National Cathedral in 2005, and members of the JUC Choir sang at Carnegie Hall in 2010. At the denominational level, Keith conducted the General Assembly Choir (2001 and 2011) and Singers of the Living Tradition (2007), co-chaired a UU Musicians Network Conference (2005), and served as president of the Unitarian Universalist Musicians’ Network (2008-2010).
Outside the church, Keith conducts the One World Singers, a chorus dedicated to promoting understanding through performance of music from many cultures, and the Voices of Light Chamber Choir. Keith studied Renaissance music in England with Peter Phillips and conducted choirs on tour to Bulgaria, England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Canada, and China.
Director of Religious Education
Jules Jaramillo comes to Jefferson Unitarian Church with much experience and excitement for religious education. She has been religious educator since 2006 and has a special love for family ministry and creating a place of belonging in our church community and faith for young people. She believes that religious education is for all ages and encourages everyone to be engaged on a faith development journey throughout their whole lives.
Prior to religious education, Jules was a social worker holding various positions in non-profit organizations including working with homeless teens and children, adults and children on the autism spectrum, and providing family support services. Jules brings her experience as a social worker to her religious education work and believes that the power of love, community, and Unitarian Universalist values allows us to live transformational lives.
A native of southwest Denver, Jenny spent her young adult years building ecovillages in Virginia, California, Missouri, England, and Ireland. After returning to the US in 2002, she got married and discovered her spiritual home at First Universalist Church of Denver. Jenny heard the call to ministry and went back to college, chipping away at her undergrad degree in Social Work while raising her four children. In 2015 she got divorced and applied to Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago where she is currently working on her Master’s of Divinity. Jenny is pleased to serve the JUC congregation as a part-time intern minister from Fall 2019 until the Spring of 2021 when she hopes to finish her education and UU fellowship process just in time to celebrate her 50th birthday.
Rev. Robert T. Latham
Robert is a native Texan, having been born in Wichita Falls. He grew up in the Southern Baptist tradition. He began preaching at the age of 13, was leading revival meetings during his mid-teens and was ordained at age 18. Robert has a bachelor’s degree from Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and two master of theology degrees.
As a result of a challenging educational experience in seminary, his religious view of reality was transformed. And as a result of an equally shattering experience in Vietnam, his cultural perspectives were also transformed. In the wake of these transformations, he discovered Unitarian Universalism and entered its professional ministry in 1969.
Robert served as Senior Minister of JUC from 1988 to 1997. He was conferred as Minister Emeritus on Jan. 31, 2016.
Rev. Ruth Reinhart
Ruth and her family joined Jefferson Unitarian Church in 2009, where she enjoyed realizing she was a “church lady.” She recognized her call to ministry in 2012, and was ordained here at JUC in 2016. After serving as Assistant Minister at Boulder Valley UU Fellowship in Lafayette, Ruth has been following her call for a unique UU addictions ministry here in Jefferson County. JUUST Living in Lakewood is a new model for serving those who struggle with addictions. Ruth and Dave and their daughter Amelia live in Golden just up the road in Golden.
Jen Simon (they/them, she/her), MDiv, serves as the Community minister for The Mountain Top BIPOC Community and CO UUs for Racial Justice. Jen’s calling is to provide space for BIPOC UUs and their families to live into the fullness of their spiritual growth and expression, as well as to provide resources to our UU communities as they do the work of dismantling white supremacy within and without. Jen has been welcomed into preliminary fellowship by the Ministerial Fellowship Committee and will be ordained on May 15, 2021.
Rev. Nadine Swahnberg
Nadine was ordained as a Community Minister by Jefferson Unitarian Church in 2000 and has served a ministry of pastoral counseling. She earned the Fellow level in American Association of Pastoral Counselors in 2006 and was honored for “spearheading the development” of the Code of Professional Practice of the UUSCM in 2005.
Music Ministry Team
Pianist/Assistant Choir Director
Adam began playing the piano in 1978. He was trained classically and competed and performed throughout his childhood. He received his bachelor of music degree in piano performance in 2002 from CU Boulder, where he studied with Doris Lehnert, Robert Spillman, and David Korevaar. He went on to earn a master’s degree in jazz performance and pedagogy, also from CU Boulder. Adam has since been part of many bands, combos, and other musical projects. His music has taken him to Germany, Italy, Alaska, New York, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, and many other venues across the US. In 2010, he released an album, entitled “Triple Leaf” on the Dazzle Recordings label. His band, Adam Revell & Essence Rider, performs in the Denver metro area, and he also works as a freelance jazz pianist, producer, and composer.
Director of Music for Children & Youth
Sarah has a bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Maryland. She also holds a Level III Orff Schulwerk certificate. Sarah has taught music to people of all ages from babies to adults in public schools and in various churches. She is the founder of the Whole Note Music Academy, which provides classes in music and movement for children and their parents. Her son Luke, who has Down syndrome, has further inspired her to investigate the link between language development and music, something which is reflected in her teaching and which benefits all children.
Mrs. Laura Lizut, MM, started taking formal piano lessons at age 9 and starting accompanying choirs in high school. She received her Bachelor of Music degree at Northern Arizona University and Masters of Music at Illinois State University. She has received scholarships, assistantships, and has won various awards during her studies. She is recognized as a STAR award winner from the Music Teachers Nations Association (MTNA). Laura is a former college professor and has prepared music majors and non-majors for piano proficiencies and college recitals. She has also worked with children teaching general music to elementary school students. Laura currently teaches privately in her home studio and conducts group lessons at schools across the area. From 2007-2009, Laura played for the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Flagstaff where she first met and worked with Rev. Wendy Williams. She is happy and excited to be reunited with her and to join the Music Ministry team at JUC!
Carol Wilsey has been the Administrator since the fall of 2012. She joined JUC in 1995 and held many volunteer roles prior to being employed here (initially as the Assistant to the Administrator, part-time beginning in 2003). She has a master of nonprofit management degree from Regis University. Her prior career path was as an actuary for an employee benefit consulting firm and a stint in the middle teaching math at Red Rocks Community College.
Darcy is a Denver native who attended JUC with her grandparents as a child. After moving to the Golden area with her husband and two children, she became a member in 2012. She is overjoyed at the opportunity to use her experience in marketing and business development to further the mission of her beloved church community.
Membership and Adult Faith Coordinator
Katie believes in the power of connection to make the world a better place. Originally from Kansas, she found Unitarian Universalism in 2010, while working on her Masters of Public Administration at Indiana University, Indianapolis. She has been a member of three UU churches, most recently making Jefferson Unitarian Church her spiritual home. After spending ten years in nonprofit management, Katie is excited to use her expertise in collaboration and facilitation to weave connections and support adult faith formation at JUC.
Children, Youth, and Family Ministry Coordinator
Karey grew up in Maryland, completed her schooling in Michigan, and found her way to Colorado in 2002. She taught middle and high school for 20 years, and she is thrilled that her experience in education can be of service to the kids and members of JUC. As a member of JUC since 2016, Karey has thoroughly enjoyed reflecting with Going Deeper groups, reading with the Worship Associates Committee, and taking copious notes all over her program or any available paper during each service. Karey values how our UU faith weaves spirituality and social justice into action. In her personal time, Karey does yoga, rides bikes, and eats ice cream every Wednesday with her husband and two daughters.
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