6400 W Del Rio St, Chandler, AZ 85226
(480) 899-4249


Love is our Doctrine. Service is our prayer. Justice is our calling.

The Lay Pastoral Care Program is a ministerial program to provide a confidential, caring presence and support to congregants undergoing stressful life challenges.

Lay Pastoral Care Associates (LPCA) are members of the congregation whose work reflects our UU principles in our obligation to support each other in times of need. In this, the LPCA’s work is an extension of the Minister’s own pastoral care presence, providing a listening ear and helping the minister stay informed of needs in the congregation. While LPCA’s have a specific role, as a group they also work closely with the other groups within the congregation (such as Caring Neighbors Committee and Voices Lifted) as VUU strives to be the caring and supportive community we want to be.

In addition to supporting individuals in the congregation, we also provide support through periodic workshops or classes, as part of the VUU Faith Formation program, with focus on issues consistent with our role and congregational community needs.

LPCAs are appointed by the minister, and undergo both initial and on-going training. We meet monthly to discuss concerns or questions that might arise from congregant contacts and plan programming we may offer to the community. Our meetings allow us to engage in our congregational responsibility as help-seekers as well, as we provide support for each other as LPCA members. When time allows, we share readings that relate to LPCA topics.

We are available through the Joys and Concerns Form, by email, and in-person or on Zoom after the Sunday service. Every week the rotating pastoral care associates are announced during worship.

Carl Anderson

Carl has been a member of VUU since 1995 and has had the pleasure of serving on many committees and participating in many activities.

Currently he is a member of the Special Funds Committee, Lay Pastoral Care Associates, and Committee on Shared Ministries.  He helps facilitate the Our Whole Lives and Coming of Age programs for VUU youth.  He can also be found helping with various activities on Sundays and special projects.

Melissa Bush

Melissa has been a member of VUU since 1993, serving in many capacities. She has been a Lay Pastoral Care Associate for several years now and finds it very fulfilling. In her work as a hospice nurse practitioner, she knows the importance of being heard and seen. She is honored to offer a listening ear and bear witness to those who attend VUU.

Janet Cantley

Janet has been a member of VUU since 1986 and a lifelong UU. She has been a VUU Lay Pastoral Care Associate for more than 10 years. Her family has been involved in the congregation, including social justice issues, RE (now Faith Formation), MUUGs (Middle School UU Group), Coming of Age, and in music. Professionally, she worked with museum collections and exhibit development for 40 years.

Lisa Bonine

Lisa has been involved in the congregation’s adult education as a presenter, has been a mentor for UU youth, and sings with Voices Lifted.  She is one of the new members of the Lay Pastoral Care team.  She is from Northern Minnesota, her professional background is in special education and she joined Pastoral Care hoping to provide a non-judgmental, caring space for our community members who need a listening ear. 

Joyce Donahue

Joyce Donahue moved from New Jersey to Arizona in 1994. She has been a member of VUU since 2015. Joyce worked at ASU as a Career Counselor in the W. P. Carey School of Business and the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering. She enjoys connecting with people and is always willing to provide a ”listening ear”.

Carlin Knight

Carlin and her husband Doug Feisler have been members of VUU since 2010 after many years of involvement in their former Pennsylvania UU congregation. From folk music to musical theater to choirs local (including VUU) to international, music always has been an important part of Carlin’s life. Prior to retirement, her professional life included being a clinical social worker, a family therapist, and a family attorney all of which led her to lay pastoral care at VUU.

Daniel Schulte

Daniel Schulte has been a member of VUU since 2005, and a VUU Lay Pastoral Care Associate for more than 10 years.  He has been active in a number of other roles in the congregation through his time at VUU, and currently also co-chairs the VUU Leadership Development Committee.  Dan is married to fellow VUU member Melanie Cloonan-Schulte, and their household includes 2 children, a small dog and an even smaller hedgehog.   Professionally he works as a counseling psychologist, is part-time faculty at a graduate counselor training program, and is involved in a number of professional and volunteer organizations.

JoAnne Smith

When JoAnne Smith joined Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in 1970, she was sorry to learn that a congregation with such a saving message and wonderful, friendly people was struggling to meet their modest expenses. When she was ready to volunteer, she chose to serve in positions that would promote growth. She likes to say she has held about every position in the congregation except treasurer and has never sung in the choir and there are very good reasons for both of those omissions.

Now she believes that serving in the Caring Ministries, including LPCA, is the best way to ensure that the growth continues in a meaningful way.

Claudette Wassil

Claudette Wassil has been a UU for over 50 years and has been a member of VUU since she moved here from NJ 10 years ago. She has been a participant and leader of the Our Whole Lives programs and chaperoned and mentored our adolescent VUUers. Claudette established the Singles VUU group 8 years ago and still facilitates this welcoming social group. Professionally, she was a school psychologist, now retired.  Claudette was born a good listener and loves being supportive of VUUers!

Michael Woomer

Michael has been a VUU member since 2014. He’s been a Lay Pastoral Care Associate for five years. He and his wife Nancy have enjoyed attending and facilitating neighborhood Chalice Circles. They are retired and live in Chandler.

Nancy Woomer

Nancy has been a VUU member since 2014. In the past, she has enjoyed participating in Chalice Circles as a participant and co-leader. She has been a Lay Pastoral Care Associate for five years along with her husband Michael. They are retired and live in Chandler.