Meet the Members of the Search Committee

John Eller

John Eller
John Eller

I am a lifelong UU. I grew up in the All Souls church in Tulsa, moved to the San Mateo, CA fellowship with my family and then joined the Oakland, CA church and have become a member of UU Marin.  I have four ministers in my family. My sister and her husband, Rev Janne and Rob Eller-Isaacs, are retired UU co-ministers.  My brother, Rev W. Jim Eller is a retired UU minister and his wife is an active Methodist minister.

I am a retired architect and have been active in retirement. I was appointed as a County Planning Commissioner and served for 8 years. I have been a board member of the Marin Environmental Housing Collaborative and supported their efforts to advocate for affordable housing.

I joined UU Marin in fall of 2019 and became active with the Building Committee and became the Chair of the Worship Associates team.  I am participating with the Pastoral Care Committee, the Social Justice Committee, the Intern Advisory Committee and recently was asked by Rev Leifert to lead a Visioning Task Force to generate ideas that could inspire a capital campaign. I have been selected to act on the Ministerial Search Committee and to act as the Committee Chair.

Kim Holscher

Kim Holscher

Kim Holscher is a German immigrant as well as a mother of two and Grandmother of three. She has been married since 1985.

Kim holds an MA in Whole Systems Design and has been a Waldorf teacher since 1992. She was raised Catholic, but chose to live unchurched for decades. A UU since 2016, she served on the Board 2018-2021.

Presently, Kim is a Soul Matters leader, Saturday Circle facilitator, the chair of the Healthy Congregation team, and the book club facilitator.

Kim also knows all the Indian restaurants in Marin county.

Joan Smith

Joan Smith

Joan’s spirituality was influenced by her early years in the Methodist church and her embrace of the Quaker tenets of simplicity, passive resistance and that there is that of God in every person. She came to UU Marin seeking like-minded people to support her resistance to Trump-era politics.

While she was looking for peace, she found a community that has fostered her spiritual growth through facilitating Soul Matters groups and has allowed her to do the things she enjoys as a way of giving back. She serves on the Stewardship and Hospitality Teams, is secretary of the Social Justice team, co-chair of the Rose Legacy Circle Subteam and participates in the Leadership council. She chaired our 2020 auction, which was held virtually and exceeded our fundraising expectations.

She also coordinates preparation of a weeks worth of meals for Trans Heartline House (a home for people to heal from post gender affirming surgery) and delivery in alternating months.

Joan is married to a smart, sensitive, non-religious man who looks forward to being with his golfing buddies on Sunday mornings, but who will be seen at Dinners for Eight. They have four children and 7 (soon to be 8) grandchildren spread across four of the U.S. time zones. Her educational background is in psychology and law and her career was in social work and child advocacy.

Margaret Craig Cohen

Margaret Craig Cohen

Craig was born and raised in North Carolina where she met her husband several years after graduating from East Carolina University with a degree in Home Economics. She has two sons grew up in Sherborn MA, and both came to CA to attend and graduate from UC Universities. Knowing they were not going to move back to Boston, she and her husband followed them out here in 2013.

Craig has been a UU since 2000 when her family joined the UUAC in Sherborn, MA seeking a spiritual community to help her children. She was an active member for 13 years participating as Hospitality Chair, Sunday school teacher, member of the Social Action Committee and the Women’s Alliance.

Craig joined UUCM in 2014 after moving to San Rafael, but did not start attending regularly until 2020. She is currently a Worship Associate, on the Hospitality Committee and on the Welcoming Committee. She looks forward to serving the congregation in the search for a new minister.

Talia Carter

Talia Carter

Talia Carter was born and raised in the Philadelphia area, where she attended a Quaker school and Meeting for Worship from an early age. The moral foundation provided by these experiences and the sense of responsibility to the environment and to social justice had a formative  impact on her childhood and have remained a guiding presence in her adult life. 

Talia met her husband, Nick, while attending Emory University in Atlanta and they moved to San Francisco in 2002. She began her career as a third grade teacher in Oakland and Berkeley before becoming a Literacy Specialist, working with diverse populations in San Francisco and San Rafael. She now has two children, ages 6 and 8, and works as a Literacy Specialist at their school, Marin Montessori School. 

About four years ago, Talia began searching for a community that would provide the moral grounding for her children similar to that to which she was privileged as a member of Quaker Meeting. She found UU Marin through her mother, who had recently begun attending. UU Marin is the beautifully accepting, nurturing, and progressive community she had hoped to find. The dedication of the Religious Education staff, particularly through the uncertain times brought by the Covid pandemic, has strengthened her connection to UU Marin and has engaged her children in meaningful activities, conversation, and relationship-building.

Talia looks forward to helping in the search for our next minister with the hope that this person will continue to guide UU Marin along the path towards expanding membership of families with children that may grow to be socially engaged individuals with open minds and generous spirits.

Ted Gaebler

Ted Gaebler
Ted Gaebler

Ted Gaebler is a Life-long UU. He has been supporting UU Marin as a friend since September 1985. He has been a member of UU Marin since January 2015 and was
Board President from July 2017 to July 2022. As President, Ted worked closely with Reverend Marcus Liefert for four years and our interim minister before that. Ted is
knowledgeable about our congregation’s culture, budget, hopes and aspirations. His ability to advocate for members’ long-term interests and short-term goals made
possible the turn-around that has been achieved in both our culture and financial position at UU Marin.


As a retired chief executive, Ted has hired dozens of top managers and therefore is very familiar with interviewing and evaluating candidates. He has lived in San Rafael for 37 years and therefore can explain community culture and cost of living to out-of-state candidates. Before California, Ted previously lived and worked in Ohio, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Oregon. Regionally, Ted is an elected member of the Pacific Central District Nominating Committee.

Dick Park

Dick Park
Dick Park

Dick Park is a retired, still energetic social worker and has been a member of UUCM for more than 50 years. He has served on multiple committees over the years, including being board president twice, and chaired a previous Search Committee. Beyond UU Marin he has served on the boards of the Pacific Central District, the UUA, the UU Service Committee and the Start King School for the Ministry.