UU Pastoral Care Associates (PCAs) are here to listen. They have been trained in compassionate listening skills and are available to all members and friends of our congregation. To contact a Pastoral Care Associate, email email@example.com, or contact the Albany UU office at 518-463-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org. A PDF of this page is available here.
Anny has been a member of Albany UU since 1990. Her activities in the congregation have included teaching religious education to children and being on the religious education council, membership committee, art committee, growth through service, caring network, and wellspring. Now that Anny is retired from full-time work, she is in a two-year program studying to be a meditation teacher.
Anny currently leads a weekly meditation session for attorneys through the Albany County Bar Association and teaches some nutrition classes for lawyers through the NYS Bar Association, bringing her back to her first career as a nutritionist.
Donna and her husband Peter joined Albany UU over 25 years ago. Donna feels privileged to be a member of such a welcoming, active, and caring community. Over the years, she has served in many capacities including the Board of Trustees and Nominating, Personnel, Strategic Planning, and Stewardship Committees, and is honored to be asked to serve the congregation in this new role. Donna feels that she greatly benefited from the caring presence offered by Rev. Sam and our excellent Pastoral Care team during Peter’s lengthy illness in 2015. The empathic listening and compassionate support received gave her the strength to make it through a difficult time. She is grateful for the opportunity to support others in the Albany UU community as a Pastoral Care Associate.
Laura has been a UU since the 1990s, first joining the Schenectady Unitarian Society and later joining Albany UU after moving to Guilderland in 2011. Laura has served on Social Justice Committees in both congregations. She frequently ushers at Sunday services, and has participated in the Meaning Matters and Wellspring programs. Before retiring in 2012, she taught special education in preschool programs in the Capital District and administered teacher training programs for the State Education Department. After learning about caregiving as a volunteer for the Community Caregivers program, Laura was the primary caregiver for her life partner, Rodger
Fink for several years until his death in 2021. She is honored to have been asked to serve as a Pastoral Care Associate at Albany UU. She has created several gardens in her yard, with a special interest in native plants, and volunteers for the Landis Arboretum in Esperance, New York.
Randy and her husband, Chris, have been part of the Albany UU community since 1992 when they were looking for a spiritual and ethical home for their family-in-creation. A year later, they adopted three teenage boys. Randy became active with numerous RE programs, teaching elementary through Youth group classes, and has been honored to mentor three Rite of Passage youngsters. Throughout their tenure at Albany UU, Randy has also been privileged to serve on the Board, Personnel, and Finance Committees, and is involved with numerous activities including UU Weekend, fund-raisers, and the choir. Working in the community health care field for over thirty years, Randy strives to treat each person in need with compassion and care. She is honored to serve our community as a PCA and hopes to help whenever called upon.
Following the birth of grandson, Aedan, Alice sold her home to be nearer to family. Her search for a new spiritual home ended with her first visit to Albany UU, where she joined Meaning Matters and Wellspring classes. On Sundays, she attends meditation services directed by Rev. Sam. Alice’s career as a teacher included 36
years in elementary classrooms in the capital district and Ireland. Throughout her life, Alice has practiced Buddhist meditation with an emphasis on mindfulness and Metta Meditation. She has been
trained in transcendental meditation and is a Reiki Master. She believes the world needs healing. In her roll as Pastoral Care Associate, Alice is grateful to transmit this caring to others and is guided by poet Mary Oliver’s words, “Attention is devotion.”
Alice is dedicated to offering compassionate devotion, a listening ear, and loving heart to those who seek her counsel.
Sandy joined Albany UU about 30 years ago with her husband, David. At that time they were looking for a spiritual and religious home for their two children. They found one and have served the Albany UU community in many capacities since then. Sandy has been on the RE council and enjoyed several years with the Toddlers. She has served on the Finance Committee and the Nominating Committee is the Chair of the Flower Committee, as well as a current member of the Caring Network. She was co-chair of the Cancer Support Group at Albany UU when it started about twenty years ago. Outside of Albany UU, Sandy volunteered for the American Cancer Society in its outreach program for breast cancer survivors. She feels that she has developed good listening skills through my many affiliations and looks forward to being of service to my fellow Albany UU friends
Erik F. vonHausen
Erik has been a member of Albany UU with his husband Todd VonHausen since 2018. He has a BA from Gordon College in Psychology and Theology. In addition to Christian theology and Jewish History, he has also studied Buddhism and remains open to the lessons he continues to learn from his Humanist, Pagan, and Atheist friends. Erik attended a Wellspring Sources Group [link to Learning/Adult Learning] in 2017 and Co-Facilitated a Sources group in 2019. He is a Reiki practitioner and has held positions as a counselor to troubled youth, adults with mental illness, as well as terminally ill HIV/AIDS patients. He practices what is called “The Middle Way” which is summarized by Thich Nhat Hanh, “The miracle is not to walk on water. The miracle is to walk on the green Earth in the present moment, to appreciate the peace and beauty that are available now. It is not a matter of faith but of practice.” Erik is a believer in the power of Deep Listening and the power of love through a community like he and Todd have found at Albany UU.