Ministers and Staff


Leslie Takahashi-MorrisCo-Minister - Rev. Leslie Takahashi Morris

Leslie Takahashi Morris serves as co-minister at the Mt. Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church in Walnut Creek, CA.  Prior to entering the ministry, she worked professionally in the area of leadership development, sustainable economic development and education policy and was the Assistant Vice President for Policy for the North Carolina Community College System. She is the co-author, with Chip Roush and Leon Spencer,  of The Arc of The Universe is Long:  Anti-racism and the Unitarian Universalist Association  (Skinner House 2008)and a contributor to a number of professional publications and meditation collections.  Finding Unitarian Universalism in her twenties, she has served extensively at the congregational, District and national levels both within the Unitarian Universalist Association and the UU Ministers Association.  Her children, Garner and Liam, offer on-going inspiration. Send email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

 

 

 

David Takahashi MorrisCo-Minister - Rev. David Takahashi Morris

David has a Master of Divinity degree from Duke Divinity School, a Bachelor of Music degree from Michigan State University and did graduate studies in music at the University of South Carolina. In his first career, he was band and chorus director at a private school in Tarrytown, NY. He then spent 10 years in college textbook publishing as an editor and field rep at Random House. He is a past congregational President and chair of a Sunday Services, an RE committee member and a student minister. David and Leslie were founding members of the Thomas Jefferson UU District Anti-Racism Transformation Team. He serves on the Southeast Regional Subcommittee for Candidacy of the UUA's Ministerial Fellowship Committee. He loves reading, music and "cooking for those who freely enjoy food." David and Leslie were called to MDUUC as Co-Ministers in August, 2008. Send email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

 

 

 

  

Heather SawyersHeather Sawyers, Director, Lifespan Religious Education

Heather Sawyers heads up one of the most extensive and liberal religious education programs in northern California. Heather's education is in Business and Early Childhood Education, and she successfully operated a childcare business for 10 years. At MDUUC, she became a religious education teacher and served as chair of the LEAP (Lifespan Education and Programming) Committee. She is an OWL (Our Whole Lives) sexuality educator and a graduate of the Pacific Central District/UUA Leadership school.Working with the LEAP Committee, Heather is responsible for religious education and programs for children, youth and adults - and intergenerational events that foster a spirit of community. Her energy along with an outstanding teaching staff makes MDUUC's Lifespan Religious Education programs one of the main attractions of the church. Send email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

 

 

 

 ArceMarie72dpiMarie Arce, Church Administrator

Marie lives in Pittsburg with her husband and their two young daughters. She joined us for an Administrative Office position where she could utilize her ability and skills in multi-tasking, streamlining procedures, bookkeeping, and dealing extensively with the public.  Send email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jen Photo

Jen Marsh - Publications Coordinator

Jen arrived at MDUUC after enjoying the last eight years as the coordinator of a large statewide alternative education conference. She has extensive administrative experience with an emphasis on event management, website development and content management, database and contract administration and volunteer development. She has two adult daughters and a very playful little dog.  Send email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

 

 

markMark Tuning, Music Director

Mark Tuning joined MDUUC as Music Director in September 2003. He holds degrees in Music Education and Choral Conducting from George Fox University (B. A.) and the University of Oregon (M. Mus.). In addition to serving for several years as Music Director for churches in Idaho, Oregon, Illinois and New Mexico, Mark also directed Jazz Choirs in several of those locations.

Mark is also Music Director for Diablo Choral Artists, a community chorus based in Walnut Creek.  He is a frequent soloist as tenor or countertenor and especially enjoys the creative opportunities of music ministry in a liberal congregation.  Send email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

 

  

BrettCarsonBrett Carson, Pianist

Currently working toward his MA in Music Composition at Mills College in Oakland, Brett has performed and has had works performed around the country. Drawing from jazz, experimental, and concert music traditions, he seeks to incorporate an eclectic range of influences in his work. He currently performs and composes in two Oakland-based avant-garde groups, the Medium-Sized Band and Quattuor Elephantis.

 

 

 

Rev. Andy Karlson

Rev. Andy Karlson, Community Minister

Andrew holds a Master of Divinity degree from Starr King School for the Ministry and a Bachelor's degree in Art History from Oberlin College. He serves as the Acute Care Chaplain at Kaiser Medical Center in Walnut Creek, and as a Community Minister here at MDUUC.  He lives in Oakland with his wife Sarah, daughter Greta and son Isaac.  Andrew is a life-long UU, and is passionate about art, music, comic books, and travel.
 

 

 

 

 

Shaun

Shaun Smith, Facilities Coordinator

 I am a 32 year old father of two. I grew up in Contra Costa County, mostly in Pittsburg and Concord. I have  worked in customer service, and labor intensive jobs, and came here from working with the Pittsburg school district as a substitute custodian. I am glad to be here.  Send email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .