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Vancouver Unitarians

Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees is elected each year at the annual general meeting in November.

Scroll down for board-sponsored upcoming events and recent posts from the board.


Mairy Beam

Mairy joined the Vancouver Unitarians in early 2017 shortly after their move to Vancouver, very grateful to have found a home in this community. Prior to that they had been a member of the First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto and the Elora-Fergus Fellowship. For five years Mairy has enjoyed working with the children in the RE program, in the excellent programs chosen by Kiersten. As a member of the earth spirit group, the GSA, IPA and Zero Waste they have gotten to know
many members.

Mairy’s three-year stint on the Board, two as secretary, as well as chairing the Human Resources committee has broadened their understanding of the structure and operations of VanU and given them appreciation for our fine staff. Mairy has served on the Board of three coops as well as the South Granville Seniors Centre.

This should be an interesting year as we finalize preparations for our settled minister. Mairy looks forward to relying on the wisdom of the congregation. They have seen this wisdom in the way we listen respectfully to one another, the way we keep an open mind, and the way we can admit our mistakes and learn from them.

Vice President

Cheryl Amundsen

Cheryl and her family began attending VanU in 1998. She and her husband chose this as a place where their children would grow up to appreciate a variety of spiritual ideas and learn to work with others from different backgrounds. Cheryl has taken on many roles with the Vancouver Unitarians over the years.

She was active in the children and youth programs for many years. She is currently in the fifth year of her term as a Lay Chaplain, a personally rewarding role and important outreach service to the broader community. She also coordinates the Sunday community candle lighting.

Cheryl is Professor Emeritus at Simon Fraser University. Her recent retirement allows her the opportunity to devote more time to VanU. She is excited about the work of Vice President to the Board, understanding that it will afford a great opportunity to learn during an exciting time in our history.


Griffin Tedeschini


Karen Bartlett

Karen joined the Vancouver Unitarians in 1989. In the intervening years, she has been in choir, served on the Worship Services Committee, and helped design workshops to welcome new members into the congregation. Most recently she served on the Board of Directors as a member at large, and then three terms as Secretary of the Board. Karen has also served on community Boards of Directors, including in her housing Co-Op, where she was Treasurer for two terms of office.

Karen looks forward to working closely with the VanU Finance Committee as we move forward into this very exciting period in our history, welcoming a new settled minister.

Member At Large

Carolyn Grant

Carolyn has been attending the Vancouver Unitarians since early 2006 and joined in the autumn of that same year. She has been on the worship committee, the Board (twice), the Outreach Opportunities committee and was a greeter for many years. Always curious she likes to know what is going on around here and being a member-at-large is a proven way to get good intel, and occasionally free cookies. She works full time for a scholarly journal located at UBC and looks forward to working with the board and the new minister.

Member At Large

Karin Hall

Karin has been attending the Vancouver Unitarians since 2009 and became a member in 2013. She has been a member of the R.E. Committee and the coffee service team, coordinated youth lunches, and recently joined the Starting Point (formerly New U in a Day) team. VanU has been a great support for Karin and her daughter and she wants to help keep this a thriving and supportive community for all. Karin has been a librarian for 30 years and loves films, reading, the outdoors, and being part of a welcoming community.

Member At Large

Michael O'Neil

Michael and his wife, Catherine Stewart joined the Vancouver Unitarians in 1990. The 90’s were spent involved in children’s RE. There was a hiatus of involvement at the turn of the millennia when 2 children’s teenage activities dominated. Michael and Catherine re-connected in 2004 after Steven Epperson arrived. Michael was involved in a few projects such as the Services Auction and the “Capping it off” fundraiser. He then was on the Re-development Committee for 3 years. He joined the VanU Board in 2019 as a member at large and then was VP 2020-21. Michael served on the Interim Ministry Search Committee and then the Ministerial Transition Team. After this, he was on the Decision-Making Task Force and then the Ministerial Search Committee for the settled minister. He currently is on the Health and Safety Committee and the Partner Church Committee. He also supports Catherine with some of her Vancouver Unitarian activities such as Sunday kitchen duty, and her work with B+G and the Refugee committee. Michael feels that Unitarian principles are an important element in working toward a just, equitable and sustainable world.

Member At Large

Ingrid Luters

Ingrid attended Vancouver Unitarian services and events for about a year before becoming a member in  November 2019. She has – literally – served the VanU community as a member of the coffee  service team and found the kitchen was an excellent vantage point for learning about the community’s members, committees and forums. As a lifelong printing and publishing professional, Ingrid is always interested in anything that has to do with books and has enjoyed the  book/magazine offerings of the library and participated in Book Bash. She is particularly  interested in environmental issues and has a few subversive ideas to address the problem of  plastic pollution.

Ingrid would be pleased to join the board of directors in a role wherever her skills could best contribute.

Member At Large

Ralph Theroux

In 2016, Ralph and his wife moved from New York to Vancouver, and began attending services at VanU. They felt at home here and before long became members. Ralph had retired after more than five decades in the thoroughbred horse racing industry–the last 15 years as a racing official — and they moved here to be close to their older daughter and her family, including their first grandchild. In 2019 Ralph joined the greeters’ team, which has given him the opportunity to meet many fellow members. He enjoys this role tremendously. If you don’t see him at a Sunday service, he’s probably in California with his younger daughter and her family. Ralph is happy to be part of the Vancouver Unitarians, and he looks forward to serving as a Member-at-Large of the Board.

Member At Large

Catherine Ponsford

I have been attending VanU on and off for almost 20 years. It has been there for me in times of  need, and I want to give back, to keep the flame alive. I have sung in the choir, and served on the HR committee. I bring the perspective of busy, working parents who value spiritual inquiry in our commercialized world. I work in the environment field and have two teenage daughters.