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On Sundays, Worship Associates co-lead and lead worship services at UUSF. Worship Associates offer reflections on the morning's service theme. Below is information about each Worship Associate, as well as three of their favorite reflections, which you can view right now. These reflections were captured on video on our YouTube channel during our Worship Service Livestream, and are now available on this website page. Also check out all our reflections since 2019 (click here). Interested in becoming a Worship Associate at UUSF? Email Senior Minister, Rev. Vanessa Rush Southern (here).

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Dennis Adams is a student of theater and, throughout the last 46 years, has performed as a professional clown named Poindexter. In 1986, he was pictured in a calendar of San Francisco street performers. Originally from New England, he’s made his home hereabouts since 1980. Becoming a worship associate here at this center 10 years ago on the recommendation of Rev. John Buehrens has given him focus and insight into his own spirituality and that of others. He finds the atmosphere here at the UUSF center to be the rarified air of those who wish to serve and help others and act on those wishes. He lost his constant companion, Nugget the Wonder Dog, in May after 16 years and is considering acquiring a new SPCA rescue and companion dog soon. Joining the choir recently has added more depth and joy to his involvement and service to the UUSF community. He sees himself as a jokester, a jester, a singer, a storyteller, and an agent of social justice and change. He also intends to pen some sort of clown memoir in the near future.

My Three Favorites:

The woods as a refuge, Kennedy assassination story. (August 11, 2019)

The Mime, Story about Rebecca. (October 25, 2020)

The Christmas Day Fire I had in 1985, Felix the cat and kids with $. (July 11, 2021)

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Carmen learned about Unitarian Universalism and began attending UUSF when she met Rev. Kay Jorgensen in 1997. Carmen joined Kay in the social justice work she was engaged in, especially in her work to address the needs of people who were unhoused on the streets of San Francisco.

In 1998, Carmen and Kay co-founded Faithful Fools Street Ministry in the Tenderloin District of San Francisco, where she currently lives and works. Carmen's presence in the Tenderloin is the natural culmination of years spent engaged at street level, listening, learning, and walking with her neighbors.

Carmen was born and raised in Elk River, Minnesota. She studied theology and pastoral ministry at the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, MN. In 1983, she spent 6 months as a lay volunteer in Maracay, Venezuela, with the Franciscan Sisters, and when she returned to the US, she joined the Franciscan Community of Little Falls on April Fool’s Day, 1984. Carmen worked as a pastoral associate in a predominantly Hispanic parish in Chicago and spent seven years ministering in Managua, Nicaragua, where she worked with women and youth. UUSF is extremely important to Carmen, and she is grateful to be a part of a community and to serve as a worship associate.

My Three Favorites:

  1. "La Dolce Vita in Motion" (also known as "Reflections on My Life as a Dancer”) (August 20, 2023)

  2. “The Tasks of Life” (September 18, 2022)

  3. "Setting Boundaries" (July 9, 2023)



Bio coming soon.

My Three Favorites:

  1. "Giving it Up for Lent" (March 14, 2021)

  2. “Being Alive” (October 16, 2022)

  3. “A People Without Vision Shall Perish” (January 8, 2023)



My journey towards becoming a UUSF Worship Associate began years ago on USAF military bases.  I grew up attending Protestant services led by a bevy of chaplains from diverse faith backgrounds. These chaplains imparted in me a profound respect for the divine in its many expressions and an upfront and personal understanding of the paradox of the peace keeper; those who work to guide and comfort souls within an institution dedicated to defense but often tasked as the aggressor.

My experience of shared sacred spaces rotated between a lone cross, a crucifix, and the Star of David, offering me an early education in the pluralism I now believe includes Muslim mihrabs, Buddhist altars and Hindu Mandapas.

Professionally, I've been honored to serve in various leadership roles within purpose-driven organizations. My work is a testament to an unwavering commitment to equity, community, and justice. Over the years, I've enjoyed governance roles at Community Foundation Sonoma County and the Horizons Foundation, among others. In 2018, I was named an "Outstanding Voice" by the SF Business Times, a recognition I hold dear. Simultaneously, for two decades, I've been an advocate for a consumer at a California Regional Center.

Today, I consider myself both a leader and a passionate public speaker.   As a cultural Christian and now, a Unitarian Universalist sojourner, I find my faith both fortified and tested by the challenges posed by frail human institutions and the state of the world.

In my words, you'll find more questions than answers.  I try to bring a sense of exploration to my sermons and reflections while remembering and recognizing the honor of addressing you.  I'm a life-long science fiction fan and I offer up my August 2022 piece, weaving together the passing of Star Trek's Nichelle Nichols, newly released images from the Webb telescope and Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King's "I have a Dream" speech.  It's all in there and I invite you to experience it.

My husband Bill and I relish international travel, maintaining our two freshwater aquariums and savoring the communities we've built in San Francisco's Mission District and near Sonoma County's Russian River.

In the face of life's complexities, I'm thrilled to share a portion of my journey with you.  I invite you to join me and experience whatever comes next with an open mind and an open heart.

My Three Favorites:

  1. “Our Authentic Selves” (June 18, 2023

  2. “Double Edged Sword of Faith (November 13, 2022)

  3. “Apart, Together: a friend like Wallace” (May 31, 2020)



Bio coming soon.

My Three Favorites:

  1. Happiness is.... (November 17, 2019)

  2. "Good Job!" (9-3-23)

  3. "Who is Earth to Me?" (October 10, 2021)



Sam King has been a member of the First Unitarian Universalist Society of San Francisco since 2015, and in addition to being a Worship Associate, he also teaches Religious Education classes and is the Vice Moderator of your Board of Trustees. Before joining UUSF, Sam grew up Jewish and atheist, and he continues to bring those identities with him in his reflections as a worship associate.

Sam isn't all gloom and doom, but you wouldn't know that from his reflections! He's reflected on his mother's death and how there's no "right" thing to say to console someone who is grieving in The Right Words. He's spoken about Jewish mourning rituals and his grandfather's death in Death Should Be Hard.

But don't worry, it's not always personal trauma! He muses about how emotions and grief are complicated and don't have to make sense in We Simply Grieve. He challenges common interpretations of the Book of Job from Judaism, which is about why bad things happen to good people. He connects "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy to the Jewish song, Dayenu, and sees hope even when things seem bleak.

Sam has encouraged us to dream big together to make the world a better place, to sing together in community with one another, and to get back up and continue working after we mess up in social justice work. He has also struggled with the tension between independence and interdependence.

While most of Sam's worship work has been short reflections at UUSF, he was also lucky enough to co-lead one of the worship services at the UU General Assembly in 2021, the largest national gathering of Unitarian Universalists. And he also led a service with some tips on living joyfully.

My Three Favorites:

  1. "Living Joyfully" (8-13-23)

  2. "We Simply Grieve" (February 19, 2023)

  3. "The Right Words?" (January 12, 2020)



Mari Magaloni Ramos has been a member of the First Unitarian Universalist Society of San Francisco since 2015.

Mari is a first-generation Mexican American and uses acting, comedy, and storytelling to advocate for her community. In furtherance of the cause, she is also a Spanish medical interpreter.

She gratefully shares her life with her partner, improviser Michael Bossier, her son Max, their cat Kato, and her beloved UU community.

My Three Favorites:

  1. "I Know Nothing" (August 22, 2021)

  2. "A String of Gratefuls" (November 28, 2021)

  3. “Oh, Family” (December 4, 2022)





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