Rev. Ben has preached Unitarian Universalism for over 25 years. After receiving his Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance and Choral Studies with a minor in History from Sacramento State University in 1990, he went on to attend the Pacific School of Religion and then Starr King School for the Ministry from which he received his Master of Divinity degree in 1994.


Rev. Ben approaches ministry as a shared endeavor and recognizes the vast array of services provided by congregants. He believes in working collaboratively to build a dynamic synergy throughout the congregation and staff. He also feels it is essential for a minister to play a vital role in bringing about social justice in the larger community, and he actively engages ministers of other denominations as well as volunteers at local charitable organizations.


Throughout his ministerial career, Rev. Ben has served the larger denomination in many capacities by creating vibrant worship, leading workshops, and founding choral groups. His family and friends are a central part of his life. He loves to travel, hike, bike, cook, and do yoga, and he is an avid San Francisco Giants fan. He has a wonderful sense of humor. He has helped establish several music groups, some of which continue beyond his days with them.

From You I Receive ... to You I Give

We ask that everyone pledge some of their Time, Talent, Treasure and Trust to this congregation. The secret to spiritual transformation lies in commitment to community. Chipping in can be tailored for your life's current schedule or situation, and participation might be large or small at different times. All help is received with deep gratitude.

Time: Serving in one of many tasks on Sunday mornings is a good way to begin your commitment of Time and Talent. From Ushers/Greeters and Coffee Hour Hosts to Childcare Volunteers, everyone has a part to play. Talk to the office staff or browse our teams to find an opportunity that speaks to you. 

Talent: UUSM is a cooperative enterprise with a small paid staff. This offers opportunities to share your Time and Talent in many fulfilling ways. You may discover you have a talent you never knew about. 

Treasure: Members are also expected to pledge a sustainable financial contribution in accordance with their own circumstances. Pick an amount that is comfortable for you to contribute regularly. Your pledge allows us to plan our annual budget. You can pledge on-line using the link at the top of this webpage, or ask for a pledge form from the office and pick a payment method you prefer.

Trust: Trust your growth, the support of the congregation, and the process of transformation that comes from participating with a loving heart.

Director, Lifespan Faith Engagement

Tanya Webster has been involved in UU Religious Exploration for almost two decades. She has developed curriculum, managed budgets, recruited volunteers, and wrangled teens (including her own). Tanya has completed ten of the UUA training modules for Directors of Faith Engagement, trained as a youth advisor, and draws from her own experiences as a UU youth. She is active in the professional religious educators association. Tanya is excited to serve the UU Young Adult Revival Network (YARN). Tanya brings her love for Unitarian Universalism as well as her passion and respect for young people to every encounter. 

Congregational Administrator

Karyn Collins is an active member of the UUSM congregation, having served in many roles including Worship Associate, Auction Chair, Capital Campaign Committee member, and choir member. Her latest passions are triathlons and singing with her husband Shaun in service. As Congregational Administrator, Karyn enjoys putting her process-improvement and project-management skills to work to simplify how UUSM communicates with and supports its members. Contact Karyn via email or call the UUSM office at 650-342-5946.

Music Director

Joel Chapman is a San Francisco-based conductor, bass-baritone, and songwriter. He sings professionally with Volti, a new-music ensemble that performs and animates completely new works, as well as Endersnight, a choir specializing in Renaissance music. In addition to his many theatrical credits, Joel is a Stanford graduate and holds an M.A. in Music, Science, & Technology and a B.A. in Music. Joel's amazing voice and his approach to ministry through music add much to Sunday morning services. Visit his website at:

Connections Coordinator

The Connections Coordinator oversees radical hospitality to UUSM’s newcomers, members, and friends, and works to connect them to our religious community and assist them in their spiritual growth. This position is currently open, and we are engaged in a search to find the right person to fill it. 

Resident Pianist

Paul Zawilski provides good music.

Image by Tung Hoang

Across the distance, the light from within me shines, sending love to all
Across the distance, your light is fuel that warms me
and helps to keep my own light burning
Together, we keep the flame of community burning bright


~ Rev. Laura Thompson