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You can contact any staff member by using the email links below or calling the church phone at 314-821-0911. Office hours are 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday, and 9:00 am to 1:00 pm on Sunday. Voice mail is available after hours.

Summer office hours are 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, Monday through Friday, and 9:00 am to noon on Sunday.

Rev. Barbara Gadon, Lead MinisterGADON, ROBERT; (Staff)61
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Rev. Gadon joined Eliot as our Lead Minister in August, 2013. She was raised in a small town near Minneapolis, Minnesota, and brings a Midwestern sensibility: a strong sense of populism, an appetite for substance, and an unpretentious warmth and friendliness.  Humor is important to her.  She says, “If you can’t laugh, you are in the wrong church.”  She is eager to explore with us the next great chapter in our life. 

Rev. Gadon earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Linguistics from the University of Minnesota, with a focus on writing and feminist studies. She earned her Masters of Divinity at Meadville/Lombard Theological School in Chicago’s culturally diverse Hyde Park. 

She brings a wealth of experience and enthusiasm for Unitarian Universalist church life having served churches of all sizes over the past 17 years.  She learned about the power of large, vibrant UU churches as intern and student minister for two UU churches in Northern Virginia.  Under her leadership: a tiny fellowship in Ludington, Michigan, bought their first building and start their first formal religious education program.  A fellowship on the Eastern Shore of Maryland grew from 60 to 95 members in five years, and began their journey to building a beautiful, new sanctuary. As an Associate Minister for a large congregation in Wilmington, DE, her leadership helped the church build its programs in pastoral care, small group ministry and adult religious education, and to weather a difficult transition after the departure of its Senior Minister.  Most recently, she has served as Interim Senior Minister for the First Unitarian Church of Chicago, helping them to revitalize music and worship. 

In her ministry, she brings a deep love of worship and preaching as primary sources of energy for a congregation. She is interested in promoting deep conversation and shared purpose across differences of age, race and religious belief, both in the church and in the wider community. She is committed to her own spiritual practices of prayer, meditation and study, and enjoys introducing these to Unitarian Universalists.  The daughter of a long-time public school teacher, she is a passionate supporter of public schools.  She feels that churches need to join forces with partners in the community to make a difference. The church needs to learn how to minister to people in the 21st century, and invites Eliot Chapel members and friends to engage in this learning together. 

She is married to Robert Gadon, an instructor of Iyengar yoga, garden designer and web designer.  They enjoy playing Scrabble, exploring new restaurants and museums, and going to the movies.  She enjoys making collage, writing and reading; to keep fit, she practices Zumba, cardio kick-boxing and R & B line dancing.

 

Welcome from Rev. Barbara:

Welcome!

“If your heart is full of fear, you won’t seek truth; you’ll seek security. If a heart is full of love, it will have a limbering effect on the mind.” – William Sloane Coffin

Real love requires so much from us - patience, time, and energy. Reading a child the same story for the 45th time because she loves it. Real love requires forgiveness -  your friend makes a thoughtless remark and it hits you in just the wrong spot on just the wrong day and you just…can’t.  Then you draw a deep breath, tell them why it hurt and if you’re lucky, they say they’re sorry and you forgive them. And real love asks us to have courage. What made it possible for you to speak up about the hurt in the first place, if not courage? What makes it possible for you to watch a child – of any age - experience rejection, illness or injury, knowing fully that there’s so much you can’t protect them from? When I conduct weddings, I will usually say, “One day one of you will die before the other. Either we are so foolish that we pretend this won’t happen, or we are so brave that we love anyway. My prayer for you and for me and for everyone, is that we can be so brave.” To truly love, then, you need to cultivate courage.

A church is a community that will help you with that. If you are exploring Eliot Unitarian Chapel, and considering if we might become your spiritual home, I encourage you to think of us this way. Look at our programs, particularly worship and covenant groups. They are primary ways that newcomers become part of the community. But in everything we do, we hope to help people practice courageous love.

The mission of Eliot Unitarian Chapel states:  Bound by courageous love, growing in spirit and inspiring compassionate action. Our mission begins with courageous love! This year, we are going to explore what this means as a community. Certainly we are here for one another when we need help with courage in our personal lives.

We also must love courageously as a body. There’s a special term for this kind of community that loves courageously, that shares a mission with possible risks and even dangers:  it’s communitas. A communitas forms a unique bond. It changes friends into comrades. This community has been teaching me about this since the day I arrived three years ago. A communitas brings both joy and pain. It is what being a church is really about. I am excited and honored, once again, to take this path with you. 

Yours in faith and service,  

Barbarasignaturefirstname

 

Rev. Jim Crawford, Minister of Pastoral CareRevJimCrawfordREVcompressed
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Rev. Crawford joined the staff in January 2016 and brought over 23 years of experience as a spiritual care provider. Presently, he works as a spiritual care coordinator for Heartland Hospice of St. Louis and has served in this capacity since 2005.  He is also an adjunct faculty member of American Public University and teaches in their undergraduate Psychology program. He is a graduate of Truman State University and Eden Theological Seminary.  Jim is married to Cathy Sandy, and they reside in St. Charles, MO.

From 1992- 2004, he served United Methodist Churches in Missouri as an ordained clergy person.  Due to significant differences concerning theology, justice, and inclusion, he terminated his affiliation with the United Methodist Church in 2005.  From 2004- 2005, he completed a 12-month Clinical Pastoral Education Residency at Forest Park Hospital.  During that same year, he received ordination from the Everlasting Light Church in St. Louis- an independent, African American congregation. 

Since 2012, Jim has been exploring Unitarian Universalism. He comments, "The seven principles of Unitarian Universalism are consistent with my own beliefs and values.  I resonate very strongly with the UUA embrace of human diversity, commitment to justice and non-creedal approach to religion and spirituality.  I feel blessed and excited to be joining the staff of Eliot Chapel as Minister of Pastoral Care." 

Availability: Rev. Jim is available on Tuesdays, Thursdays and most Sunday mornings.  He is in the office on Tuesdays from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.  To make an appointment, please contact him at jcrawford@eliotchapel.org or 314-821-0911.

 

 

Scott Stewart, Director of Religious EducationSTEWART, Scott
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Scott Stewart has served as Eliot Chapel’s Director of Religious Education since 2009.  Prior to his work at Eliot, he became certified as a high school social studies teacher and student-taught at Webster Groves High School.
 
Some of the major highlights of his job include:
  • Recruiting, developing and supporting volunteer leadership teams for the program, including both youth and adults
  • Coordinating the Our Whole Lives (OWL) sexuality education program
  • Coordinating and directing the youth program
  • Ongoing publicity about program events and activities
  • Youth leadership development and advocacy for senior high youth, including serving as the Co-Dean of the UU Youth Midwest Leadership School in Decorah, IA, as a Youth Conference (CON) consultant for the MidAmerica Region, and sponsoring youth at the UU General Assembly.
  • Serving as a member of the Chapel staff team, supporting the ministry efforts of my colleagues, and representing Eliot Chapel in the wider UU community.
 

Scott and his wife Jennifer have been married for 15 years. He enjoys reading, traveling throughout the country, playing games with family and friends, hiking, viewing wildlife, and bird watching. Scott is also an avid supporter of the St. Louis Cardinals and the St. Louis Blues.  

Availability:  Scott is usually in the office on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. His day off is Wednesday. To make an appointment, please contact Scott at scott@eliotchapel.org or 314-821-0911.

 

Christie Lee, Assistant Director of Religious EducationLee, Christie_staff
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Christie Lee joined the Eliot staff in the fall of 2008 and is delighted to have the opportunity to work with such wonderful children, youth, and families here at the Chapel.  Her job includes a wide array of responsibilities, some visible and some behind the scenes, but all of which are aimed at helping the program run smoothly and provide meaningful opportunities for fellowship, spiritual growth, and community for Eliot children, youth, and families. 

Some of her major duties include:

  • Developing lesson plans for preschool and elementary classes
  • Obtaining and setting up supplies for Sunday RE program
  • Supporting our volunteer elementary and preschool teachers
  • Updating and maintaining RE bulletin boards
  • Assisting with correspondence and publicity about program events
  • Coordinating and leading special events & activities
  • Leading orientations and workshops for volunteer teachers


Christie and her husband, Tony, have been married for 20 years and have two children in high school - Colleen, a senior, and Tyler, a sophomore.  They have two dogs and three cats. Christie loves to volunteer, listen to music, and vacation at the beach.

Availability: Christie is available by appointment.  Please contact her at christie@eliotchapel.org.

 

Jan Chamberlin, Music DirectorCHAMBERLIN, BOB; (Staff)50
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Jan joined the Eliot staff in 1997.  Her undergraduate studies were in choral music education at Webster. She then studied theology at Eden Seminary and received her Masters in Church Music from Webster University in 2008. As Music Director, she encourages Eliot volunteers to minister to each other by sharing their talents in worship. Jan collaborates with the ministers to find inspirational music, supportive of the sermons, while reflecting the diverse musical tastes of the congregation. She says, "Just as we gather to hear each other's stories, we also gather to hear each other's music."  Jan leads hymns on Sundays, as well as leading the Womens Chorale, the Children' Chalice Choir, and the Chalice Chimes hand bells. She schedules guest musicians, arranges for special musical events and serves on the board of the Friends of Music concert series. Jan is an active member of the UU Musician’s Network and earned her Certificate of Music Leadership from the UUA in 2016. In her free time, Jan likes to tend her garden.  

Contact Jan about:

  • Joining a choir or instrumental group
  • Volunteering to help with the sound system/pod casting
  • Playing or singing special music in worship
  • Expressing musical and hymn preferences
  •  Music for weddings and memorials


Availability:  Jan is available by appointment.  To make an appointment, please contact her at music@eliotchapel.org.

 

Dr. Leon Burke III, Choir DirectorBURKE, LEON; (Staff)111
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Leon joined the Eliot music staff in 1995.  He studied music composition at Oberlin and received his Doctorate in conducting from the University of Kansas in Lawrence. As the Choir Director, his focus is to bring us choral music that enhances our worship experience, He also assists in worship services as needed by leading hymns, singing, or playing organ or piano. He collaborates with ministers and staff, selects and rehearses music with the Eliot Choir and Chamber Singers. Leon is an active member of the UU Musician’s Network and served on the task force that created our teal hymnal, Singing the Journey. Leon is currently volunteering on the national level by serving as the General Assembly Music Coordinator for both New Orleans (2017) and Kansas City (2018).

 Leon also serves as Assistant Director of the St. Louis Symphony Chorus, Music Director and conductor of the University City Symphony and the Belleville Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. He is a frequent guest conductor and vocal soloist nationally and internationally and is on the voice faculty at East Central College in Union, MO. He also works as an environmental consultant, enjoys playing bridge, and visiting his granddaughters, Maia and Violet, in Topeka, KS as often as he can. 

Contact Leon for:

  •  Information about Eliot’s choirs 


Availability:  Leon is available by appointment.  You can reach him by emailing choir@eliotchapel.org.

 

Charles Lewis, AdministratorLEWIS, CHARLES; (Staff)79
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Charles, the full-time Administrator, is responsible for keeping Eliot running on a daily basis. Among his many duties, he handles pledges, deposits, bills, bank statements, payroll, contracts, the church website, running background and driver checks, managing the administrative staff and interacting with Eliot Chapel Nursery School. That’s just a short list of the many things Charlie does to keep Eliot on track. 

Contact Charles about:

  • Check requests
  • Questions about your pledge
  •  Facilities and financial management
  • Questions, comments or suggestions about Eliot's website 


Availability:  Charles is in the office Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.  To make an appointment with him, please contact him at admin@eliotchapel.org or 314-821-0911.

 

Terri Burtin, Communications SpecialistBURTIN, Terri
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Terri joined the Eliot staff in March 2010, and her job is to make sure that Eliot visitors and members know what’s going on around the church and can easily find the answers to any of their questions about Eliot. She produces the Sunday Order of Service, Eliot’s monthly newsletter, weekly emails and brochures, event flyers and sign-up sheets. She is also responsible for website updates. 

Contact Terri for:

  • Newsletter submissions
  • Order of Service and weekly email announcement submissions 
  •  Publications questions
  • Website suggestions


Availability: Terri works from home, Monday through Friday. She is at Eliot on Tuesday and Thursday mornings and is available by appointment on those mornings or at other pre-arranged times. To make an appointment, please contact her at news@eliotchapel.org.

 

Mecy Stanfield, Administrative AssistantSTANFIELD, Mecy_staff
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You can find Mecy in the church office most weekdays and nearly every Sunday. As Administrative Assistant, she answers phones, maintains the calendar, runs copies, orders supplies, distributes church mail and files the many papers and contracts that come her way. In addition, she acts as a liaison between renting groups and Eliot Chapel by writing contracts, managing payment and scheduling sextons. Mecy is the expert on weddings at Eliot Chapel. She works with brides, grooms and ministers to ensure a wonderful wedding experience. 

Contact Mecy for:

  • General or miscellaneous questions
  • Room reservations for meetings or events
  • Rental of Eliot Chapel facilities
  • Wedding arrangements at Eliot Chapel


Availability:  Mecy is in the office Tuesday through Friday, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.  Her day off is Monday. To contact Mecy, please email frontoffice@eliotchapel.org or call 314-821-0911.

 

NALESNIK, DavidDr. David Nalesnik, Pianist
David joined the Eliot music staff in the fall of 2012. He accompanies the Women’s Chorale and plays for worship services. He studied music composition and received his Doctorate from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. David accompanies String Orchestra and teaches the Summer Composition Intensive at Community Music School in Webster Groves. David likes to spend his summers hiking in Maine. 

 

 

 

GailHintzphoto2016Gail Hintz, Pianist
Gail joined the music staff in fall 2016. She ail holds a bachelor’s degree in piano performance from Webster College, a master’s degree in vocal accompanying and coaching from the University of Illinois,and spent a year in Paris studying piano at the Ecole Normale de Musique. She then worked as a vocal coach/accompanist in New York City for several years, coaching singers and serving as music director/pianist for various regional opera and musical theatre companies and tours. Gail has lived in St. Louis since 1989, and currently coaches singers privately, accompanies rehearsals for the Saint Louis Symphony Chorus, plays for the Metropolitan Opera district/regional auditions in St. Louis, and works on various education/outreach projects for Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and Washington University. She and her husband have two sons, Alex (at University of Wisconsin-Madison) and Eric (at Parkway West High School). Gail is thrilled to be joining the music team at Eliot Chapel, and looks forward to working with old friends and new ones in this faith community!