Rev. Shari Woodbury began serving as Westside’s settled minister in August 2016. Previously, she served in Indiana on the staff of the UU Church of Bloomington, and as Intern Minister and Summer Minister at the UU Congregation of Columbus. A native of Iowa, Shari holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in sociology and has extensive experience in the nonprofit sector, having worked as a consultant, fundraiser and as chief executive of two community foundations, as well as on the staff of a California meditation center.
In 2015, Shari earned her divinity degree from Meadville Lombard Theological School, where she received awards for scholarship and leadership. Shari has served as a UU chaplain, campus minister and membership director, as well as in lay leadership in the areas of racial justice, peace and nonviolence, and governance. She is passionate about social justice, spiritual development for all ages, and creating vibrant Sunday services. Shari has described her own theology this way: “I accept the labels eclectic, mystic, poet, panentheist, religious naturalist and lover of life.” She delights in the diversity of our tradition and embraces the UU emphasis on “deeds, not creeds.”
With her husband William and their elementary-age daughter, she enjoys biking, camping and ping-pong. Shari also dabbles in music and poetry. You can find out more about Rev. Woodbury at her web site: www.shariwoodbury.com. You can also check our her welcome message to visitors.
Rev. Shari Woodbury
Julie Duderstadt is Westside’s Administrative Administrator. She is in charge of putting together the Foreword, Afterword, and the Order of Service, as well as a myriad of office tasks such as approving calendar requests, adding new visitors, and ordering supplies. She is overly fond of Excel, coffee, and cats.
Julie relaxes by riding her motorcycle. She and her wife Shelley have been UUs and members of Westside since 2009. They have two dogs and three cats.
Nicci began as the Interim DLRE (Director of Lifespan Religious Education) at Westside in August of 2019. She has served in Faith Formation roles for over 15 years and has a deep appreciation for families that intentionally and intergenerationally gather. Nicci grew up active with her family in a congregation and understood at a young age the importance such a community truly is. She is a Fort Worth native and happy to be in Fort Worth with her family; parents, sister and brother-in-law; most notable are her nieces and nephews that call her NINI!
Nicci enjoys being out under the stars (especially camping), experimenting in the kitchen, currently learning how to roast coffee beans, is addicted to Sonic Ice, and has four chickens: Suey-mama, HeiHei, Yo Landa, and the Other One - they keep her giggling daily.
Gene McKeon is Westside's Sexton. He is in charge of building operations, which includes building maintenance, supervising repair projects, maintaining the grounds, and setup and teardown for services and other church events.
Gene has been a UU and member of Westside for 20 years. He has served on Westside's Board, as chair of the Canvassing Committee, and has been the Building Committee Chair for 10 years.
Gene has been married to Brenda McKeon for 38 years; they have two daughters and three grandchildren.
A native of Japan, Yuki Kumamoto is currently a candidate of Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in piano performance at the University of North Texas, where she studies under Vladimir Viardo, winner of the 1973 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. Kumamoto has performed internationally in countries including the United States, Japan and Germany. Recently she was invited by the city of Koga, Japan to give a solo concert and master class, and gave a lecture recital sponsored by the city of Tsuyazaki, Japan. She has appeared as a featured soloist with Tokyo International Association of Arts Philharmonic Orchestra
Kumamoto has won the third place in the 8th Petroff Piano Competition and was winner of the SFA Concerto Competition. She was a prizewinner in the 12th and 13th Young Artist Piano Competition in Tokyo, the PTNA competition, and JPTA piano competition and MTNA competirion.
Kumamoto completed her M.M. in performance at Stephen F. Austin State University, where she studied under Dr. James Pitts. Previously, she earned a B.M. in piano performance at Musashino Academia Musicae in Tokyo, where she was selected to study under Konstantin Ganev, a pupil of Heinrich Neuhaus.
Kumamoto is a member of U.S.-Japan Council and is an active educator to help cultivate the arts in the next generation. She has served as an adjunct piano professor at Tyler Junior College, and as faculty of the Music Preparatory Division at Stephen F. Austin State University.
Dr. Russell K. Elleven served as Westside’s minister from 2005 to 2013. He began as a contract minister and was then called, first to part-time, and then to full-time service. Previously, Russell had worked for 17 years in higher education as an administrator and professor, having earned degrees from TCU, Vanderbilt, the University of North Texas, and Meadville Lombard Theological School. After two years in Puerto Rico, Russell currently serves as the Executive Director of The Genesis 1:29 Project in Chicago. He and his spouse, Gayle, enjoy traveling, sharing new experiences and learning about other cultures.