As a congregation, we enter into covenants with several of our members who are ordained ministers. Working with the Covenant Committee, each partner develops a unique covenant agreement which defines their role within our church and in the wider community. Covenant partners include hospital chaplains, spiritual directors and ministers advocating for social justice issues. University UCC works with and recognizes the ministries of those not directly involved in local-church ministry but who are, nonetheless, ministers of outreach. By celebrating and recognizing these ministries we give visibility to their work in our midst and support their ongoing efforts. They, in turn, stay connected with University UCC by leading worship on Communion Sundays and reporting regularly on their ministries. All participate in a three-way covenant involving themselves, the Pacific Northwest Conference of the UCC and our congregation. They are guided in their work here by a Covenant Partnership Committee.
Jennifer Butner was raised in the UCC and was ordained at First Congregational Church of Santa Barbara, UCC in 2003. She earned her MDiv at Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley. She served two churches as a pastor and then felt called towards hospital chaplaincy. She completed her residency at Swedish Hospital in Seattle, and currently works as a consultant on the Palliative Care Team at Children’s.
Jennifer has been connected to this congregation since 1994 and has felt the welcome of its members and staff all these years. Here, she has found a rare community that practices a hospitality deep enough to offer an invitation both to “come as you are” AND to empower growth in the Spirit. In her ministry at Children’s she extends this same hospitality to patients and their families.
Jennifer makes her life in Seattle with her two daughters, Cordelia and Clara, and their dog Moxie. When she isn’t working or parenting, she is making things with yarn and sticks (knitting, crochet) or enjoying being outside.
Debra Jarvis has been ordained in the UCC since 1989 and spent her career serving as a hospital and hospice chaplain and writer. She’s written a spiritual memoir; two books on AIDS; co-wrote a book about diabetes and exercise; and most recently wrote a book about working as an oncology chaplain and then being diagnosed with cancer herself. She’s also written and produced a video about palliative care. She has produced and co-hosted a podcast called The Art of Risk and is currently creating a new podcast called The Final Say: Conversations with People Facing Death. For more than you ever wanted to know: www.debrajarvis.com. She has served as an interim minister while UCUCC clergy have been on sabbatical, contributes liturgy and writes a monthly entry for The Comma blog. Debra also serves as Writer-in-Residence. She facilitates a writing group that meets every other Thursday from 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm. It is open not only to members of University Congregational UCC, but also to anyone who is interested in writing and getting and giving support.
Bruce Wilson knew he was called to ministry at around 12 or 13 years old. He started working with Junior High and Middle school youth at age 18 and has now been in ministry for about 16 years now. He was ordained in 2015 by the United Church of Christ, and in 2017 was endorsed as a chaplain by the United Church of Christ and Certified by the Association of Professional Chaplains. IBruce attended Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois from 2007-2010 Bruce is working as a chaplain with Franciscan System Services and is also studying for a Master’s in Mental Health Counseling. He has led a boy’s retreat at University UCC and continues to look for may ways to be connected to members of our congregation. He participates in leading Communion and has also filled in during a paternity leave at Admiral UCC.