Our members

Some come seeking deep thought. Some, yearning for acceptance. Some, wanting to explore spiritual connections.And many, wanting to do good deeds for the planet and its people.

No matter what your story. We welcome you.

Here are some of the stories of our newest members …

Colin Read

Professor, Economics and Finance
Co-owner of Lake Champlain Wine Company with his wife, Natalie Peck

Photo of Colin Read, his wife Natalie and their dog AlbertColin views each job as an extension of his interest in building a viable and sustainable community — something that he works into most everything he does. In fact, the meaning of life for Colin is “to build community and use every fiber of our ability to leave the world better off for the next generation.”

Why he joined the UUFP: Before he moved to Plattsburgh, Colin was a member and served on the board of a fellowship in Fairbanks, Alaska. During  his 11 years in Plattsburgh, he has attended occasionally, sometimes to speak. Says Colin, “Each time was a very nice experience.” This spring, when he decided to join the UUFP, he says, “I finally got around to completing that circle.”

Favorite foods: Asian. “Well, food of all sorts, really,” he says, adding “I enjoy variety and spice.” In fact, Colin says there is probably not a dish he wouldn’t eat, unless it had ants or cockroaches in it.

Most interesting place visited: Probably Indonesia. He went there to work on economic development for the Harvard Institute for International Development.

Favorite music: He loves Leonard Cohen for his poetic lyrics, but you probably won’t catch Colin singing those lyrics in public. “My voice scares me and others,” he says.

Proudest moments: Earning recognition for his community efforts from the UUFP and the Man of the Year award from Rotary. He adds, “I am also proud of my wife and my daughter all the time.” His single most influential event was the birth of his daughter, who is now studying for her Ph.D. in political science at MIT.

Who he would choose for a mentor: “Einstein, Tom Moran, Ted Kowalcyk, Bill Owens. People with great minds, commitment, and insights, but each in very different ways.”

A fear he’s overcome: Colin says he grew up poor and has feared not having enough income to have food and shelter. “I hope I have more security now, but I have also seen how fragile life can be and how people have lost everything to little fault of their own and ended up homeless.”

One thing he would change about the world: He would give the world “a greater sense of community, mutual responsibility and tolerance for others who are different.” Colin adds, “I also believe people should be free to make decisions in their lives so long as their decisions don’t harm others.”

Kerry Foley Burdo

A high school English teacher who loves to explore literature and writing with students.
Born in Huntington, New York, Kerry and her husband AJ (also a member) and their family now live in Morrisonville.

Photo of AJ and Kerry Foley BurdoWhy she joined the UUFP: “Not wanting to listen to religious texts about God, I found myself attracted to the diverse literary discourse present at the UU Fellowship of Plattsburgh. Having been raised without a specific religious background, with my mother being Jewish and my father Catholic, we celebrated numerous religious holidays but without the religious aspects attributed to them.”

Most interesting place visited: “I lived in Morocco for two years serving as a Peace Corps volunteer, from 1997 -1999. I loved the experience, meeting amazing people, learning Arabic, teaching English at a Muslim University, traveling through the Atlas Mountains and riding camels through the Sahara Desert.”

Proudest moment: Giving birth to Jasper (now 7) and Jade (now 5) with husband AJ at her side.

Single most influential event: “The event that really changed my outlook on life was a motorcycle accident July 10, 1990. I was the passenger on the motorcycle, and we hit a deer, killing it and hospitalizing both the driver and myself for a month. I really cherish and appreciate life to such a fuller extent now.”

Meaning of life: “to find, develop, and promote peace and love.”

How would you change the world: “I would like everyone to just get along and be nice to each other.”