Rev. Dr. David Breeden (he/him), address as David
Rev. Dr. David Breeden says, “I am deeply honored and humbled to serve as Senior Minister at First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis. I became a Humanist at a small Unitarian Universalist fellowship while I was in college. For years, I read the writings of FUS ministers, never dreaming I would get a chance to be part of the FUS story.”
Rev. David was born on a family farm in southern Illinois. Most of his childhood was spent on the road, with his parents moving from job to job in the South. Farming, growing up in mobile home parks, and attending Pentecostal congregations, deeply informs his sense of justice and his belief in the inherent worth and dignity of each person.
Rev. David has an MFA from The Writer’s Workshop at the University of Iowa, a Ph.D. from the Center for Writers at the University of Southern Mississippi, with additional study at Breadloaf and in writing and Buddhism at Naropa Institute in Boulder, Colorado. He also has a Master of Divinity from Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago.
Rev. David is a published poet and author. He is committed to asserting the historic role of Humanism within the Unitarian Universalist tradition and getting the good news of Humanism out to the world. His many books are available online. His podcasts and videos are available on the FUS website and Din of Conversation.
He is Chair of the Education Committee, the American Humanist Association.
David’s manuscript on humanist liturgy is available here: “Humanist Liturgy Theory and Practice.”
Rev. Kelli Clement (she/her), address as Rev. Kelli or Kelli
Assistant Minister for Social Justice and Welcome
“It’s all relationship, all the time.” Rev. Kelli’s big learning about congregational life is as true today as it was when she was an intern at White Bear Unitarian Universalist Church in 2008. Kelli joined the ministry team at FUS in 2015 as the Minister for Social Justice. Growing into her role here, she now coordinates our Welcome teams and the Pathway to Membership. As a former theater artist, Kelli brings an aesthetic sensibility to Sunday Assembly and other programming.
A native of Paris, Texas, Kelli grew up in the fundamentalist Church of Christ and was baptized in a lake at church camp. A human anthropology course in college cracked that whole worldview wide open. After being unchurched for decades, she found Unitarian Universalism in 1997, to answer a question implied in the 12 Steps: how do I understand God? As a religious naturalist, Kelli would now rather live in the question than pin down an answer, or disregard it entirely. A graduate of United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, Kelli was ordained at First Universalist Church in 2012. She is the past Executive Director of the Minnesota Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. In addition to her work at FUS, Kelli is the quarter time minister of the St. Croix Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, in St. Croix Falls, WI. She is honored to cultivate ongoing relationships within and beyond both of these vibrant congregations.
She and husband Mike have a daughter in college and a mini-poodle who wants to play ball.
Social Justice programming, Welcome teams, and Pathway to Membership
Kelli is a mixed media artist, otherwise known as a magpie. She loves to cook, bake, and host a tea party. She always has a song stuck in her head.
Dr. Jé Exodus Hooper (they/them)
Affiliate Humanist Clergy
Dr. Jé Exodus Hooper (they/them) is a non-binary preacher who is clergy at First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis and within the Ethical Culture Movement.
Allison Wyeth (she/her)
Director of Religious Education
Allison joined the staff as Director of Religious Education in 2018. Her background is in education and program management in both non-profit and for-profit sectors. She has been an educator in the public school system, teaching U.S. History to middle school students, and been credentialed as a school administrator.
In her role at First Unitarian, Allison has overall responsibility for programming for children and youth in cooperation with the Religious Education Committee.
Kate is the main point of contact for FUS, and provides a welcoming, informed, and caring presence to others. She collaborates with members, volunteers, visitors, ministers and staff to facilitate optimal functioning of the Society as a whole. Kate also compiles and edits the FUS weekly email newsletter to share information about our assemblies, programs, activities and volunteer opportunities. She values service to others, as well as effective communication and organization, cooperation and common sense.
Timothy Roehl (he/him)
Director of Facilities
Enjoying the second half of life as Director of Facilities, Tim is responsible for the physical plant that is the First Unitarian Society building and grounds. He also schedules all our spaces for meetings, parties, rentals, and leases and is the point person for weddings and memorials. Previous positions as a licensed general contractor, owners’ representative for Graves Hospitality, general manager for the Carmel Mission Foundation, and event manager for the Carmel Bach Festival help inform his daily decisions at FUS.
During the first half of life Tim was fortunate to work as a professional equity actor and vocalist. His New York credits include Babes in Toyland at the Promenade Theatre on Broadway and productions at The Knitting Factory and Town Hall. National tours with Troupe America include Pickwick’s Stories for a Christmas Evening, Babes in Toyland, and Gifts of the Magi. Twin Cities credits include Chanhassen Dinner Theatre and The History Theatre. Favorite roles include Petruchio in Kiss Me Kate, Nathan in Guys and Dolls, the title role in Candide, Sir Toby in Twelfth Night, and Curly in Oklahoma. Tim spent years with Celebrity Cruises as Lead Vocalist, starring in hundreds of shows, and relishing the starry nights on the world’s oceans. Tim’s original one man show We Three Kings: The Music of Frank, Elvis and Tom received rave reviews from New York and Bermuda audiences.
Now semi-retired from performing, Tim sings at FUS now and then and is on the music staff at St. Joan of Arc, where he gets to sing with some of the top musicians in Minneapolis. Tim studied at Stanford University and holds a BA in Musical Theatre from Viterbo University.
Mike Vasich (he/him)
I grew up in Naperville, IL and began playing piano in first grade. I continued classical lessons through high school, when I began studying jazz. I received two invitations to the Illinois Music Educators Association All-State Jazz conference, and was able to play at the Lincoln Center in New York with the Youth Jazz Ensemble of DuPage as a national finalist in the Essentially Ellington competition.
In 2001, I moved to the Twin Cities to study at Macalester College. Since graduation, I’ve kept busy as a musician and music educator. As a musician, I play with the Orange Mighty Trio (OMT), OMT’s alter ego Nerd Enhanced Sound, and act as music director of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in St. Paul, playing piano and organ. I have studied classical piano with Don Betts and Mark Mazullo, jazz piano with Benny Weinbeck, and gospel piano with Rev. Carl Walker. My musical interests include music from all three of those realms, with an emphasis on improvisation and composition. As an educator, I teach jazz piano lessons privately and at Macalester College, and I work for the St. Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists, where I teach music theory and direct the jazz band and combos.
David Buckley (he/him)
For David, the path to this Humanist UU ministry internship started in a liberal Methodist church that looked out over the Pacific Ocean in California where he grew up. After a brief detour into Evangelicalism in college, he found his way to Washington DC where he worked with several faith-based social justice organizations and began to pursue ministry at Wesley Seminary. But the effort to clarify his Christian beliefs exposed their frailty.
In the search for a new ethical framework, he became aware of Humanism, and after moving to Boston, he attended the Humanist Hub, a congregation associated with the Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard and MIT, as well as various UU congregations. Meanwhile, his training as a mental health clinician offered new insight into the meaning and value of Humanist congregational life and inspired renewed interest in the vocation of ministry.