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Joanna Begin - Leadership Circle Member & Moderator

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Liz Douglass - Leadership Circle Member/ Vice Moderator

Liz Douglass comes from a long line of ministers in her family, so it’s no surprise she’s passionate about church and community. Liz attended Kent State University for her undergraduate work and Boston University’s School of Theology for her Masters of Divinity. Liz moved to the Boston area in 2004 and considers Medford her home now.

Liz is ordained in the UCC and spent many years doing chaplaincy work at Boston University through Marsh Chapel focusing on building bridges from the church to marginalized communities. Currently working at an Human Resources Manager at a nonprofit, Liz brings both her ministry and HR experience to the Leadership Circle. Liz is happy to be serving Medford and Sanctuary in this capacity, especially since her family is invested in the local community. Liz and her partner Elizabeth have an almost 3 year old daughter, Harriet and a 9 month old, Alden.
Liz enjoys running, biking, swimming, reading, gardening, and playing video games among many other activities, especially playing with her kids
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Erin (Coffee) Sennott - Leadership Circle Member & Treasurer

Erin (Coffee) Sennott is a Molecular and Cellular Biologist and a Manager with Oncology Initiatives and External Research, Novartis Institute of Biomedical Research. Erin is married to Paul Sennott and together they parent two young daughters – 3-year old Emerson (Emmy) and 5-month-old Elliott and live nearby in West Medford.

Erin and Paul chose Sanctuary as their church because of how accepting, diverse and socially-conscious it is. These are values they want to model for their children.

Erin wanted to serve on the Leadership Circle because she cares about the success of the church and wants to lend her support by being an active member. Her professional background requires her to manage budgets and systems and she has offered to lead Sanctuary as Treasurer. Now that they have small children, Erin enjoys finding fun, new activities in and around the city to participate in as a family (outdoor concerts, play spaces, parks, etc.).

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Branwen Cook - Leadership Circle Member

  • What I bring to Sanctuary/UCC Leadership Circle:
    • Gratitude Laughter Love Curiosity
  • Experience with United Church of Christ from 1957 (when it was formed)
  • 17 years in ordained ministry in the United Church of Christ
  • Writing skills including published articles and editorial work
  • Poet, journalist, spiritual director, singer, enthusiastic embracer of life/people
  • M.Div., M.Ed. in Counseling, B.A. sociology/English Literature
I’m an intuitive/extrovert with collaborative style & years of teaching from pre-school thru adults, film buff, social justice & labor relations parents, literature and music including singing, guitar, cello, and drumming. Practitioner of liberation theologies, which includes education, political awareness, and much more…laughter and “E.Q.” I’ve lived in various states and cities, including Rochester, NY where I got married and gave birth to my daughter; Yellow Sprigs, Ohio, where I divorced and lived in a tent on a friend’s farm for six weeks with my toddler; New York City Lower East Side (67-69) with said toddler
Boston is my hearts-home, South End working with teens at the YWCA in the 70’s, Dorchester from ’82 til ’97, Kantor Family Institute program further engaged my sense of call to healing and wholeness, as did internship at Asset Valley Pastoral Counseling Center, Field Education at St. Francis House Ignation Spiritual Direction, and Clinical Pastoral Education taught me a new sense of faith which I feel sure is never finished. I’m a Friend of Bill’s and taking it a day at a time. Dean’s Beans organic and fair trade, strong and dark roast please! Add a live performance of JSBach or Arvo Part— I’m in heaven!
Met my current husband (Allen) in 2012 and we’ve just celebrated 5 years of marriage. Our extended families are multi-ethnic, multi-national, South Shore, West Coast, Dorchester, Ireland, Idaho, Seattle, Florida, India… We are a happily celebrating (Christian, Jewish, Native Athabaskan, Irish, Cuban, and more) practitioners of peace and builders of bridges…
As co-founder of the Palestine-Israel Network of the United Church of Christ, I recommend UCCPIN.org
My articles on the 3 trips I was blessed to take as part of ihsHolyLand.org also appear as blogposts under my byline at MACUCC.org
Always and with gratitude, may the Loving Heart of Reality be in our lives and hopes.
As we like to say, Everybody needs a little sanctuary —come by for a cuppa!
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Joy Harris - Leadership Circle Member

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Rev. Wendy Miller-Olapade - Lead Pastor & Ex-Oficio Member of Leadership Circle

With a passion for creative and emerging worship, a heart for extravagant welcome and the provocative instincts of a prophet, Rev. Wendy inspires others to be their best selves and brings holy joy, an evangelist’s spin and a sense of celebration to all that she does. We consider her Sanctuary’s ‘Connector in Chief!