Nominating Committee

What is the Nominating Committee?


The Nominating Committee searches for candidates for Board of Directors as well as itself. It is made up of six committee members plus one representative from the Board and the last year’s Board president (ex-oficio). Each committee member serves two years.

More About What the Board and Nominating Committee Do and Why It’s Important This Spring (and every Spring!)

How will First Church bring its visions to life? How will we live out our UU principles and covenant as a church body in the mid-2020s? How will we serve each other as stewards of our church home? And not just how: who?

These are questions at the heart of the responsibilities entrusted to First Church’s Board of Directors and Nominating Committee.

The Board is nine members who keep us going and take us toward where we want to go. The Board meets once a month and does a lot in between.

The Nominating Committee leads the church’s annual search for members who may feel a call toward leadership-in-community. (We are never “leaders alone"

This renewal of shared leadership brings new energy, new ideas and new skills.

Board service is year-round. Nominating Committee work is focused from late January to May. Terms for both start and end in June, after the Annual Congregational Meeting, which is where the congregation votes on Board and Nominating Committee candidates.

The Nominating Committee invites you to reflect on the future of First Church and hold in thought the sharing of your leadership in these roles, no matter how modest you might think it would be. You may also know someone you think would be a good leader: You are free to nominate them to the committee confidentially, and the committee will reach out to discuss the role possibilities with each individual.

It’s okay to feel unsure. But if the idea of Board or Nominating Committee service tingles your spirit or feels like a small, encouraging voice pointing toward a new step on your path, the Nominating Committee invites you into a conversation of discernment.

Email, or grab one of us for a chat on a Sunday soon.

We are open to your hopes and your concerns. Service must acknowledge both.

Service on First Church’s Board or Nominating Committee is a deep way to cultivate your relationship to the church and to Unitarian Universalism. It’s good to talk about it.

We look forward to the conversations.


2024 Nominating Committee Nominees


Carl was introduced to First Unitarian Universalist Church in the 1980s by his parents. Angela and he were married here in 2003, and after a long leave of absence they started attending just before the pandemic hit. He served on the church's Health Advisory Committee during the pandemic, and as the pandemic waned, the family started attending services regularly.

Last year he joined the Religious Education team, where he works with the Spirit Play group. He believes that First Church provides a critical service to its members and the community in offering the many beneficial aspects of organized religion (such as community, consolation, philosophy and exploration, music) to all who desire them, not limited by tradition, metaphysical beliefs, or creed.

Carl works as a nephrologist at Baylor College of Medicine and Ben Taub Hospital. He and Angela and their three sons (Charlie, James, and Sam) live in the Willowbend area just outside the loop.He looks forward to serving the church on the Nominating Committee.


Lauri has been a member of First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston since 2006. She originally hails from Buffalo, New York, and has lived in Houston since 1981 with her husband of 43 years, Joe. They raised their son Nick, who married his wife, Kelsey, at First Church, and their grandson, George, attends Religious Education here when possible.

Lauri is currently serving her third and final year on the Board of Directors (ends June 2024) and worked as the Board Liaison to the Nominating Committee during the same period. She has participated in multiple Adult Programs over the years and has been involved with the Auction, provided organizational support to Stewardship, and volunteered on several Social Justice efforts. She brings her career experience in management, project management, leadership and IT to her work for the congregation.

What she really loves about First Church is the community and the liberal, open, and welcoming nature of the congregation. She has made many close friendships over the years at the church that have enriched her life, and is eager to make more friends. Finding a diverse set of people for the Board and the Nominating Committee is a great way to contribute back to the church community.

Natalie was born in China to Presbyterian missionaries. When she was 2, the family moved to Brazil (her Mother's home) where she lived until she came to college. So she is half Brazilian and half American. In 2003, she and her first husband, Al Kondo, joined First Unitarian Universalist Church, where his atheism and her Christian upbringing were welcomed. She met her second and current husband, Bill Nelson, at First UU. He and his first wife, Barbara Nelson, joined the church in 1984.
Natalie's background as a Child Development Consultant has served her well at church, especially with the Parents' Group and as the Director of Religious Education on staff for four years. She has served as a Greeter, Board Member, Worship Associate, Flower Provider, member of the Personnel Team, and member of the Nominating Committee. She is proud to belong to this community: her faith has changed in subtle and profound ways, and she feel's both blessed and able to bless others.

She looks forward to continuing her service on the Nominating Committee. She is honored to work toward finding excellent and diverse candidates and she loves getting to know new people.

Here’s what some past and present Board members have had to say:


When you are a Board Member, you deal with FUUCH not only in the present as a slice of time/circumstance, you are actually affecting its past and its future. Decisions made today have lasting effects and consequences.


The benefits of being an FUUCH Board Director are being intimately involved with what's happening at FUUCH. Working with fellow Board Directors is a wonderful privilege and opportunity to better know fellow members of FUUCH. The responsibility is being one of the decision makers. You directly affect the future of Our Beloved Community.


As a Board member, you have a responsibility to help with the budget process and to monitor how the expenses affect our church life. This also means that you have an impact on church programs that pertain to all of our members. It also means that you have a great opportunity to work with our senior minister and make recommendations to him. You are also making sure that the church is running smoothly in being a part of the governance process. You will review governance policies and suggest changes that can improve the process.

I think you will find it to be very rewarding.

You get a front seat view of what/how/when/why this church community operates and survives. You will definitely learn intimately some process, work flow and/or decision criteria that you never knew existed and now have an appreciation for. And, in my opinion, more importantly, you get to know fellow church community members so much better, and that enriches your life.

The experience has felt like moving from having a 2D view to having a 3D understanding of FUUCH, which has deepened my appreciation and gratitude for FUUCH immeasurably. Board service provides a close-up view of what staff does, what volunteers do, which groups rent space and what they do, how unplanned events are handled, and how much time and energy so many members of this beloved congregation pour into creating and sustaining this community. I have made new friends, deepened relationships, and I have gained a greater appreciation of the role FUUCH plays in Houston and in the UUA—and through the UUA, in the world. It’s a good feeling.