Meet Our Staff
Rev. Dr. Tovis Page, Worship Minister
Ordained on May 6, 2023, Rev. Dr. Tovis Page (she/her) completed her ministerial internship at UUSM in 2018-19 and is thrilled to return as our temporary Sunday worship minister. After graduating from Starr King School for the Ministry in May 2022, Tovis completed a five-month internship in Clinical Pastoral Education at Stanford hospital. Tovis is called to congregational ministry and to the larger Unitarian Universalist movement that seeks to embody a theology of radically inclusive love, continuous revelation and collective liberation. She envisions a future in which UU congregations are connected nodes of transformation in the wider web of regenerative, life-sustaining change. In addition to her service to UU communities, Tovis is the Program Coordinator of the Peninsula Solidarity Cohort, a cohort of religious leaders from diverse traditions working for justice, equity and compassion in San Mateo County. Prior to discerning her call to ministry, Tovis earned a Master’s of Theological Studies at Harvard Divinity School and a PhD in Religion, Gender and Culture at Harvard University. She has a background in Vipassana meditation practice and completed a yearlong course in Buddhist chaplaincy before starting her UU training. Tovis lives on the Peninsula with her spouse, their two middle-school-aged children and various furry, feathered and scaly critters. Email Tovis at email@example.com.
Rev. Stefanie Etzbach-Dale, Pastoral Care Minister
Rev. Stefanie Etzbach-Dale has been working closely with UUSM’s Pastoral Care Team since May 2022. In that capacity, limited to 20 hours a month, she has focused on supporting lay leaders during this time of transition, responding to urgent member needs, organizing and leading healing worship services, as well as offering monthly Sharing Circles. Rev. Stefanie has over 20 years of experience serving congregations in the Pacific Central District, and has worked as hospital Chaplain at NYU, UCLA, and Sequoia Hospital. She lives in Redwood City with her beloved, George, and their assortment of animals. She enjoys having her 90 year old mother nearby and being affiliated as a Community Minister with the UU Church of Palo Alto, which allows her to focus on “building spiritual courage, resilience, and joy through private spiritual direction sessions, group retreats and workshops, public speaking, justice work, and art. (To find out more please visit TendingSpirit.com.)
Joel Chapman, 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. Explore his website at: joelchapmanmusic.com, and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jac Brennan, Connections
Jac Brennan (she/her) 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. Jac has been a UU for more than four decades and has served UU churches in a variety of roles. She has nine children, the youngest five of whom are adopted and have different kinds of disabilities. Advocating for her children led her to become an attorney who focused her practice on civil rights, disability law, and employment law. Jac is ignited by the work of creating connections to and within our beloved community. You can reach Jac at email@example.com.
Garrett House, Director of Religious Education
Garrett House leads the Religious Exploration program and activities for church youth. Garrett is currently a graduate student in the Master of Divinity program at the Pacific School of Religion and at UC Berkeley. His study focus is social justice, systemic equity, and spiritual care. Garrett is a Peninsula native and has served progressive families for over 15 years in multiple roles, including on the Congregational Church of Belmont’s Board of Education. His love for teaching started when he was 15, as a camp counselor and lifesaving instructor for the Boy Scouts of America. Garrett has a strong background teaching voice and classical theatre. He is the proud father of two daughters and will soon be a grandfather!
Paul Zawilski, Pianist
Paul Zawilski provides good music for our Sunday services and Thursday choir rehearsals. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of music and an uncanny ability to transpose in real-time. When he's not on the piano, Paul slips into the back row of the choir and helps out on baritone or tenor.
Kate Wasserman, Office Admin
Kate Wasserman (she/they) lives in the Chicago suburbs and is excited to join the UUSM community from afar as the office administrator. She has worked in a variety of office settings, ranging from a wholesale liquor store to a law firm, and she loves to get nerdy about processes and spreadsheets. Kate is the proud mom to two amazing humans (ages 19 and 16) and two lovable dogs, and when she isn’t working, she loves finding new hobbies to dive into–currently at the top of her list is watercolor painting. You can reach Kate at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stephanie Lee, Office Assistant
Stephanie Lee is happy to join the staff of the Unitarian Universalists of San Mateo to support the congregation in her role as a part-time office assistant. As a long-time neighbor of UUSM and resident of San Mateo for over 30 years, she has a profound knowledge of the surrounding North Central community and its immediate needs. When she has free time, she loves working in her garden, biking with her three children, painting, and taking her dog for long walks around town.
Nicholas Soriano Smith, Media Tech
Nicholas Soriano Smith makes sure our audio and visual quality are top-notch for UUSM's services and meetings. Nicholas is a senior at San Francisco State in the Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts department, planning to graduate in the summer of 2023. In his spare time Nicholas is a singer, leaning towards R&B and soul.
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