We believe in the power of shared ministry, that the work of the church is too large and too important to be done by only a few.

Working together we can accomplish more and have more fun in the process! Good leadership supports and empowers people in finding their particular ways to serve. The Board of Trustees, elected by the congregation, is the primary governance body in the church. The Board creates policies and procedures to help us behealthy and dynamic church, and works closely with the minister and staff to set goals that support our mission of being a faith community changing lives and transforming the world.

In addition to the Board and staff, much of the work of the church is done by people working in committees and teams. If you see a need here, or imagine a way you would like to serve, please speak with our leadership. We welcome and need your help!

Church Staff

Rev. Frank Clarkson,
Parish Minister

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This congregation called Rev. Frank Clarkson to be its minister in April of 2008, and he began his ministry here the following August. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Frank previously worked as a freelance commercial photographer before he discerned a call to the ministry. He received his Master of Divinity degree from Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge in 2004 and was ordained to the Unitarian Universalist ministry in 2005. For three years he served as the assistant minister at the North Parish of North Andover. Frank’s been married to Tracey for thirty years and they are grateful to be the parents of two young adults, Will and Emma. In his free time, Frank likes spending time at home with Tracey, going fly fishing and camping, and dreaming about that next fishing trip!

Valerie Miller,
Office Administrator

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Valerie is experienced in accounting, office administration, and customer service. She's also worked as a floral designer and florist shop manager. We're grateful to be working with Valerie, who takes care of a multitude of details, is tech savvy, and makes keeping us organized look easy!

Clare Fortune-Lad,
Director of Religious Education

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Clare Fortune-Lad joined the UUCH Staff in September of 2016. She comes to us from Southern Maine where she has been an active member of the Sanford UU Church since the age of 3. Growing up UU shaped her spiritually and professionally, as she has always had a passion for social justice and multiculturalism. Before moving to Haverhill, Clare worked as a Community Educator at a Domestic Violence Resource Center in Maine. She has her Masters in Public Administration from the University of Colorado Denver. Clare met her husband Kyle at Dartmouth College and they now live in Billerica with their son, Benton.

Sophia Lyons,
Intern Minister

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Sophia received her Master of Divinity degree from Boston University School of Theology in May 2019. Prior to coming to UUCH, she was an active lay leader at the First Religious Society UU in Newburyport. Sophia lives in Amesbury with her husband Jason and their two daughters. She will be our intern minister here for two years, as she hones her skills and prepares for the final steps of becoming a UU minister.

Lisa Zaleski,
Choir Director

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Lisa Zaleski worked as our interim music director during the 2014-15 church year, and we’re thrilled to now have her here at UUCH as our choir director! Lisa works as a drama teacher and choral director at Newburyport High School, and is the parent of two teenagers, Eden and Delia.

Virginia LinGar,

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Ginny started playing piano here in the fall of 2018, and she’s become our primary Sunday morning musician. Ginny….

Nate De Young,

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Nate De Young joined our staff in September of 2015. A music major in college, he studied oboe, English horn and organ. Nate has previously worked at churches in Vermont and Massachusetts. A gifted and expressive pianist, Nate truly loves making music and sharing music with others.

Dawn Crowell,

You see evidence of Dawn’s commitment to keeping our building clean and orderly all around the church! She’s a friendly person and an extremely hard worker, and we are so glad to have her here!

Frank gauvin,
Sunday Morning Sexton


Frank is the longest-serving member on our church staff. He comes in early on Sunday to make the coffee and set up for coffee hour. Frank is a caring soul who quietly does a lot for our community, and we are grateful for his presence in our midst.