Rev. Jacks is a graduate of Starr King School for the Ministry (1997) and received her undergraduate degree in Speech Communication from Emerson College in Boston. Alyson was ordained by UUSF in 2000 and served an Endorsed Community Minister from 2002 to 2012. In 2012, she joined the staff at UUSF as Interim Director of Religious Education, then as Minister of Family Life until December 2014. In January 2015, she became Associate Minister.
Previously, Rev. Jacks worked with A Home Away from Homelessness, serving as the Director of Mentoring and Volunteer Services for seven years, and the Associate Director four years. Her Bay Area non-profit experience includes San Francisco Network Ministries, International Child Resource Institute, Compass Family Services, Berkeley Repertory Theater, and The School of The Arts Foundation. Prior to moving to San Francisco, she was Managing Director for PolyArts, a performing arts program sponsored by the State Street Congregational Church in Portland, ME. She is a member of the San Francisco Threshold Choir.
A native New Englander (Southboro, MA and Portland, ME), she moved to San Francisco in 1985. Alyson and her spouse reside in beautiful Bernal Heights. She is an avid bicycle commuter and long distance cyclist. Watch for her as she pedals around on her Bike Friday, Toots.
A child of the 50s, youth of the 60s, and young adult of the 70s, Pam Gehrke was born in San Francisco and grew up among vineyards and walnut orchards in the Central Valley of California. She holds degrees from UC Berkeley, San Francisco State University, and Starr King School for the Ministry. Before attending seminary, she taught college courses in writing, world literature, and mythology at several Bay Area institutions.
Her parents discovered Unitarian Universalism when Pam was in high school, and she has been an active member of the Unitarian Universalists of San Mateo since the late 1980s. She has served as a lay leader for UUSM in many roles, and the congregation ordained her in 2015. Pam sang in the choir for several years, and currently she convenes a discussion series on “De-centering Whiteness.” For five years, she enjoyed working as a direct care volunteer with Mission Hospice. Pam served her parish internship in Bethesda, Maryland, and has become acquainted with a number of California UU congregations as a guest speaker. Recently she returned from serving as interim minister for the UU Fellowship in Auburn, Alabama.
Pam and her spouse, a retired architect, enjoy classic film, theater, and travel. They live with two cats and have two young adult children, one on each coast. As often as possible, they savor the company of new and longtime friends.
Born in 1937, Margot Campbell Gross is Scottish by heritage, but grew up in Great Britian. The oldest in a lively family of seven children, Margot had a talent for art and design. She graduated from the Royal College of Art with a BA in 1958 and went to work as a designer for the London County Council.
In 1960 Margot married Peter Watson Gross, an American law student. They lived in Boston but later moved to Knoxville, TN, where Margot quickly became involved in the Religious Education Program at the Unitarian Universalist Church. Youth services continued to be a strong calling, along with raising their growing family: two birth and four adopted children.
In 1985 the family moved to Berkeley, CA, where Margot attended Starr King School for the Ministry. She graduated in 1988 after completing an internship at All Souls Church in New York City with Revs. Forrest Church and John Buehrens.
Following her ministry at the First Unitarian Society of Plainfield, NJ, in 1995 Margot was called to be Co-Minister with Rev. John Marsh of the first Unitarian Universalist Church of San Francisco. Here, her passions for social justice and spiritual growth in the congregation created a living legacy, exemplified in the founding of our community after-school program – Up On Top – and the cofounding of the Faithful Fools Street Ministry.
Margot retired in 2004. She enjoys traveling with her husband Peter, time for painting, walks on Ocean Beach, and visits with extended family.
Greetings from your new ministerial intern - who may look just a little bit familiar. I have been a member of this church while being a seminary student at Starr King these last couple of years. And I am now changing hats to be a full time intern starting October 1st. My internship will also include some time with the Faithful Fools where I have been volunteering for the last year. I can’t imagine a more wonderful combination of settings and people.
The path to this internship included a noteworthy speed bump because the UUA does not generally allow interns to serve a church where they also have membership. I was required to request a waiver last June. Though the summer of waiting for the UUA’s decision felt long, they did grant my request, and I am now very happy to be able to start in an official way.
Some things you may want to know are that: I am originally from the East Coast (Boston and then Baltimore) but have lived in San Diego for 30 years being a clinical psychologist, a profession which I loved. I am a lapsed Ashtanga yoga practitioner (hoping to recover), a lover of hiking in mountains, and a long time appreciator of art and music though without much talent for either.
Needless to say, I am grateful and more than happy at this opportunity to serve the church, get to know you all, and learn from Rev. Vanessa as well as Rev. Alyson and Rev. Pam. Thank you all in advance.