We announced earlier three settled ministries beginning this fall in PNWD Congregations — the Rev. Elizabeth Stevens with the UU Church of the Palouse (Moscow, ID), the Rev. Gary Holthaus at Anchorage UU Fellowship (AK), and the Rev. Kate Landis at Shoreline UU Church (Seattle, WA).

Now we are pleased to introduce three Developmental Ministries that are starting with the new church year:

The Rev. Michael Walker begins August 12 at Kitsap UU Fellowship (Bremerton WA), in a “developmental” capacity (a three-year contract with the possibility of extending a Call.) Rev. Walker is an alum of Pacific School of Religion, and has a professional background in retreat and parish ministries, psychiatric nursing and nonprofit administration. Part of his nursing and medical admin experience was in the Navy, including 2 years in the Bremerton area.

Nonprofits he has managed include a UU Retreat Center in Rowe, MA, as well as a GLBT center in Sacramento, CA, and as a board member for numerous religious and social justice oriented nonprofits.  He is currently the national Vice President of the Covenant of UU Pagans (CUUPS). Rev. Walker is originally from California, and has family members there as well as in Moscow, ID, and Medford, OR.  He shares his life with partner Glenn, who will be moving with him (and their 3 black cats!) from Salem, MA.  In their free time, they are big fans of the arts and nature.


The Rev. Laura Shennum is also beginning a Developmental Ministry, at Cascade UU Fellowship (East Wenatchee, WA) as of August 13. The position is 3/4-time.

She and her spouse have three children, ages 6, 10 and 14. The family is moving from Nebraska, where Rev. Shennum recently completed her Internship at the Unitarian Church of Lincoln. In June, she was ordained by the Second Unitarian Church of Omaha, where she was an active lay leader and eventually served as Director of Religious Education.

Rev. Shennum reflects, “I have learned life is not a balancing act, because that is impossible to do. Instead, it is a juggling act, which allows for the focus of each element to come into view when it is in front of me and still be aware of when it leaves my sight of vision. I am honored and humbled to be recognized as a minister in this dynamic, transformative faith. I look forward to the journey and joy we can bring to the world together by realizing this faith in action.”


The Rev. Carmen McDowell began serving the Vashon Island Unitarian Fellowship as Minister on July 1. The congregation has contracted Rev. McDowell for a 1/2-time position through the PNWD Developmental Ministry Program.

Rev. McDowell recently served as Transitional Minister with Cascade UU Fellowship (Wenatchee, WA) after the Rev. Cecilia Kingman resigned mid-year to prepare for the birth of twins. Rev. McDowell received her M.Div. from Seattle University’s School of Theology and Ministry, and completed her Internship at University Unitarian Church in Seattle (WA). She and her family are members of Eastshore Unitarian Church (Bellevue, WA), where she once served as Membership Director. Rev. McDowell also worked as PNWD Bookkeeper while in seminary.

Rev. McDowell is the second minister, and VIUF is the fourth PNWD congregation, to participate in this district program, which aims to support commitments to new or expanded positions in professional ministry. (The Rev. Sarah Schurr continues to serve the UU Fellowship of Fairbanks, AK, and West Hills UU Fellowship, Portland OR, through this program; she completes service to Juneau UU Fellowship, AK, this July.) For more information on the PNWD Developmental Ministry Program, contact the District Executive.