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Rev. Rachel’s Biography

My first protest, age 10, viewing the AIDS Quilt

Although I came to Union Church from New York city, I am an Appalachian girl at heart.  I grew up in Morgantown, WV, where I spent a childhood among Appalachian wildflowers and helping my mother design WV history books. I was also nurtured in a United Methodist Church and became an official church geek.

I went to college at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where I got deeply involved in several things: campus ministry, the marching band (for which I played the tuba), being an improv comedy troupe groupie, and working to help victims of sexual violence and other forms of oppression.  I fully intended to be a journalist, but God had other plans, and sent me to become a missionary after college.

My mission field was the inner city of Seattle, WA, where I worked for a church and drop-in center for homeless women.  After my two years of service, I went to seminary at Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, where I met my love (and future wife), Leslie.  After much discernment, I left the United Methodist Church and joined the United Church of Christ.  In Atlanta, I continued work in community organizing and refugee assistance, and after seminary worked full time in a shelter for homeless families.

Leslie and I moved to New York City in 2008 so that she could pursue her education.  We found a nice little shoebox in Brooklyn, and I was called and ordained in a congregation of the United Church of Christ as a minister for Christian Education.  We moved to Queens after a year so that we could have access to a few trees, and lived happily with our 2 cats for several years.  Leslie and I were married in 2012, right after it became legal to do so in New York State.  It was a joyous occasion all around!

Leslie and me on our wedding day in NY

When the call came to come to Kentucky, our hearts were ready to return to Appalachia.  We are overjoyed to be in a place where neighbors talk to you and are willing to help you out, where plants grow everywhere, and where “y’all” is an acceptable plural noun.  I’ve gotten involved with Bereans for Fairness and Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, and I volunteer regularly at Bereans United for Utility and Rent Relief (BUURR).  I’ve become an excited, if not yet successful, gardener, and am delighting in the warmth and encouragement I receive from the wonderful people at Union Church.  It is good indeed.

When not at church or out and about in Berea, I dabble in various forms of adventure-seeking (travel, triathlons, zip-lines, trapeze…), quilting, and good ol’ junk TV.


That’s me on the trapeze!
With one of the cantankerous cats, Mercury
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Service Times & Directions

Weekend Masses in English

Saturday Morning: 8:00 am

Saturday Vigil: 4:30 pm

Sunday: 7:30 am, 9:00 am, 10:45 am,
12:30 pm, 5:30 pm

Weekend Masses In Español

Saturday Vigil: 6:15pm

Sunday: 9:00am, 7:15pm

Weekday Morning Masses

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday: 8:30 am

6654 Main Street
Wonderland, AK 45202
(513) 555-7856